Very rarely, I think, do we ever actually break news to you folks are dear readers. Usually you have the same people in your Twitter feed we do so unless VUSA has gotten something straight from the club or you just so happen to click here first, you already know and we are just providing opinionated commentary.
Therefore, it would not surprise me at all if you already knew that Sofian Chakla has COVID-19, and is the second Moroccan player to test positive at their camp this week. He is currently in his home country quarantining and will have to do so for fourteen days total, which takes him out of contention for Valencia.
Ultimately, I do not think this changes any of the club’s plans for that match. From what I can tell, Chakla is fifth on the center back depth chart for Villarreal. Ramiro Funes Mori and Juan Foyth were both active for Argentina this week, Pau Torres and Raul Albiol are still of course the undisputed starters for the club, so the matchday 18 probably will not even change.
There was some discussion yesterday as to whether this positive test is the reason Chakla is still at the club, but given the timing I find it more likely that there just wasn’t any interest. Chakla was good at a Segunda B level last season, but no one in that tier really has transfer money to throw around. He’s 27, so it is not like anyone is going to pick him up to scope out his potential. He injured an abductor muscle in September, and so would not have been fit in the opening weeks of the lower division season, and I think the cumulative effect was just him not going anywhere.
We hope Chakla recovers well from his virus. Villarreal has been very fortunate since the beginning of this pandemic in terms of keeping positive tests low. Hopefully within a couple of weeks he will be back in training feeling as well as he ever has.