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Enes Unal linked with move away from Villarreal

Getafe are interested in the striker, apparently.

Real Valladolid CF v FC Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

One of the big roster questions for Villarreal in this short offseason involves our third striker—does Enes Unal return from Valladolid, do we stay with the aging and pricey Carlos Bacca, or?

Our new coach of course knows Bacca from his time at Sevilla, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get the nod. And in any event, Unal has been pretty much a regular starter at Real Valladolid for two years, so coming back to a less than full-time role, even on a team playing in Europe, wouldn’t be a slam dunk. Well, now we have the first rumor about Unal, and it makes a lot of sense actually—Getafe want him, and we want €10m for him.

Here’s a look at Unal’s performance with Valladolid last season (thanks, Zach!). Keep in mind that the Pucela were a side that focused first and foremost on defense, secondly on playing a long ball out to the wing and then trying to get the ball to Unal as their lone striker, so that’s obviously going to factor into these stats.

What we can see immediately is that Unal’s big contribution is in the air—he is in the top quarter of all forwards for aerial win percentage (he won 3.8 per game, which was 12th in the league; the forwards ahead of him played for similarly struggling teams—Alaves, Eibar, Mallorca, Espanyol).

Other than that, his expected goals and assist totals are pretty unremarkable, though it’s not as if he had a lot of help—he was basically expected to win headers, try to dribble into the box and go from there. (WhoScored reports he had 1.7 shots per game, and about 2.5 bad touches per game, for what that’s worth).

From Getafe’s point of view, the deal makes a lot of sense because their game is built so much around aerial play anyway, and their strike force is 31, 38 and 33. I’m tempted to think part of the problem they had after the break (in addition to chronic indiscipline on the pitch) was the front group had trouble with the every three-or-four day schedule. Adding a young player like Unal would really help them.

I know that Valladolid were very happy with him and were hoping to sign him on a permanent deal themselves. But they don’t have a lot of money. We signed Unal from Manchester City for €14m, so selling him for €10m at this point would seem OK.

The rumor seems reasonable; will it happen? Watch this space.