In his introductory press conference, Unai Emery made a reference to ‘four or five signings’ coming in during this next transfer window. Getting that many deals done in a shortened window will be difficult. I think this implies something that has been in the back of my mind for a few weeks now, namely that free transfers will be very important to Villarreal this window. There are also relegated teams to consider, as many of them will try to cash in on their resources before losing their Primera finances.
Fortunately for Villarreal, we have an excellent crop of Spanish free agents this season. The Spanish frees bring most of my attention because for these players (many of them older) moving to a Spanish side with play in Europe to offer could be a comfort zone for them. The big headliner here is of course David Silva, who has played for Emery before, and a quick negotiation would likely be Victor Ruiz, who is familiar with the club (though that also means our fanbase already has distinct opinions about his play).
Mikel San Jose could fit the bill for what we need at the base of the midfield, and Aleix Garcia coming home could be interesting. We’ve already mentioned Jose Callejon and the links between us and the Napoli winger, but overall in a season where we have several roles to fill this could be a way of getting it done without sinking too much cost. In the vein of wingers, Pedro’s contract also just came up at Chelsea.
The big name here is Marc Roca, with news circulating today that Espanyol would accept 18m for him, less than half his release clause. Dimitrios Siovas could be another option in this vein, though he’s an older player at this point.
With Pedraza, Costa, and Cáseres all scheduled to come back from loan in the coming months, free help could be on its way already. A lot of this will come down to how Emery rates the player and whether any issues those players may have had with Calleja can be healed by him no longer being at the club.
It’s also worth noting that signing Zambo Anguissa permanently will probably be one of the four or five signings.
I am not sure how much of this Roig intends on funding himself. We have some money coming in for Toko Ekambi and Alvaro, not to mention Akram Afif. In addition, the salary finances from Santi and Bruno leaving will relieve some funds.
If we don’t wanna rely too much on free tranfers, another sale is probably in order. An obvious option here is selling Samu Chukwueze who would probably net 30-40m in the post virus market.
A lot of this boils down to what transfer philosophy you think the club should subscribe to. Do you want to avoid older players and invest in more long term options? Do you want to maximize our potential for this season and therefore get some veterans we can rely on immediately? How to young players like Manu Morlanes and Javi Ontiveros play into these plans, if at all. What current players need to move out?
As ever, I would love to hear your thoughts below.