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Villarreal officially announces signing of Etienne Capoue

Vincente Iborra’s replacement will be arriving at the club presently.

Chelsea FC v Watford FC - Premier League Photo by Chris Lee - Chelsea FC/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Describing the player as having an ‘innate capacity for winning back the ball’, Villarreal officially announced the signing of Etienne Capoue today from Watford. Regardless of how enthusiastic we are (or in my case, are not) about this particular player joining, yesterday’s performance against Sevilla left no doubt that another defensive midfielder was needed and on that note I commend the club for once again moving assertively to address a need.

Capoue’s contract will be two and a half seasons long, as previously reported, meaning the player will be just shy of his 35th birthday when the contract runs out. I haven’t seen any fee listed yet, but I can’t imagine there was a ton of money involved. We relieved a Championship club of some salary and got a warm body for defensive midfield.

Capoue is very likely an improvement over Iborra in terms of winning the ball back. He’s also probably a bit more mobile. He’ll help defensively on set pieces as well as he is very good in the air, but the big question is going to come down to ball retention. His numbers keeping the ball this year in the Championship have been fair, but he was pretty bad last season in the Premier League on that front.

This could very well be the only business we do in January. The only other thing that I think is worth taking particular note of is what happens with Kubo. He hasn’t played in a few matches now, and as our attacking options get healthier I’m not sure that will change any. He may be back on his way to Real Madrid.

Welcome Capoue, and Endavant!