This past summer, Villarreal signed Sofian Chakla to bolster the defense of their B side. The 26 year old Moroccan defender is a youth product of Malaga and Real Betis, and in 2014-2015 he won the Hungarian top division with Videoton FC. The official club announcement, which you can read here, says that the player has been ‘definitively promoted’ to the first team squad.
When I first saw that we promoted a defender, I honestly expected a left back. With Alberto Moreno down with his third muscle injury of the season, I figured it was about time that we deepened that position and didn’t try to count on the former Liverpool man too much for the rest of the year. Instead, this sees to be a move to cover for the Pau Torres injury.
Pau has been linked with all kinds of moves that I don’t think will happen this window while he’s hurt. I don’t want to judge Chakla before seeing him compete at a La Liga level but a guy in his mid-20s arriving in one of if not the very toughest league on earth for the first time doesn’t strike me as something particularly likely to succeed.
That said, this is also a player who has worked a long time for this opportunity and I have a tremendous amount of respect for that. I would love nothing more than to see him be a huge surprise to the La Liga scene and completely change the complexion of his career. If he ends up in the squad list I’d expect him to see minutes vs Rayo this week, and who knows, maybe we’ll get a La Liga debut at some point in the next few weeks.
Congratulations Sofian and welcome to the first team!