Both Moi Gomez and Alfonso Pedraza have been given extensions by Villarreal. Moi’s signature was accompanied by talk of him being part of the Yellow Sub ‘for life’ and his new contract will take him into his thirties. In the case of Pedraza, the left back was set to see his contract expire at the end of the year only for it to be extended four more seasons. This extension in particular raises a series of interesting questions about the club’s plans going forward.
¡Muy orgullosos de que un jugador formado y criado en el Submarino decida ampliar su contrato hasta 2025 !— Villarreal CF (@VillarrealCF) September 23, 2020
¡Un verdadero honor tenerte con nosotros, Moi Gómez !
At the left back position, Villarreal have new 15m signing Pervis Estupinan. Pedraza has to know with this deal being struck that the 22 year old Ecuadorean on a seven year deal is considered by the club to be the future of the position, so to me he only signs this deal if the plans for Villarreal’s other left backs are going to fall in his favor. This almost certainly means the end of the line for Jaume Costa’s Villarreal career, as he is scheduled to be a free agent next summer. It would not even surprise me if he is moved before the window closes. It also means that the club is likely assuming that the buy option in Xavi Quintilla’s Norwich deal will be executed. Most interestingly, it raises questions about what will happen to the currently injured Alberto Moreno, who has a contract until 2024.
The club can of course still pivot on any of these player decisions and make moves that push Pedraza further down the depth chart and out of contention for a place, but it at least seems likely that Pedraza believes this will not happen. I expect, therefore, that we’ve seen Quintilla’s last appearance in yellow and possibly Costa’s as well.
For Gomez’s part, it solidifies him as part of the club while rumors of Javi Ontiveros- probably his biggest rival for playing time- is linked with a loan move to Huesca. Moi is a bit more versatile than Javi so even if the young explosive winger comes back next year to stake a place on significant minutes I think the expectation is that Moi will be a regular contributor to the first team.
In the long view, keep an eye on how Moi’s extension could impact Manu Trigueros. Manu’s contract expires in 2022. In early days of this season he is clearly not one of the top three central midfield options for Unai Emery in the 442, and with Moi’s ability to slide inside, Trigueros may find himself an odd man out if Unai Emery doesn’t find a combination featuring the Spaniard that he likes. If you go into next season feeling good about a more experienced Ontiveros on the wing, Morlanes is coming back from a loan, and Parejo/Coquelin/Iborra are your first three preferences in midfield... where does that leave Manu?
I personally love Trigueros, and would like to see what he and Parejo look like together in a 433, but the investment in two fairly big name strikers as well as both Kubo and Chukwueze makes figuring out who to drop in order to change formations is complicated right now. I don’t want to see Trigueros leave but I do not like his prospects for game time right now, either.
Villarreal has a lot of pieces locked up for the relatively long term. After seeing the club bring in two veteran CMs and an expensive loanee early in the window, it’s good to see that they also seem to have a long term plan.