The club has officially announced that Manu Morlanes has left on loan to UD Almeria. This is not the least bit surprising, given the fact that Dani Parejo and Francis Coquelin arrived this summer, and both can play the same role in midfield Morlanes does. Still just 21 years old, the player may come good yet, but for now he will have to prove himself in a Segunda side that should be in the race for promotion.
The deal includes a purchase option for UD Almeria, which I would imagine they will exercise if he is a crucial player in getting them promoted. Villarreal, for their part, have a buyback option over the next few seasons even if the move does become permanent. In my mind, an ideal situation would be that Almeria are promoted, that they buy Manu (giving us some short term liquidity), and he becomes a strong Primera player over the year after that so that we can buy him back as Almeria (likely) go back down.
In limited action over the last two La Liga seasons, Morlanes has shown that in moments he can do a wide array of things well. His chance creation for a central midfielder is excellent, and he is solid both carrying the ball and in recovering it. What he needs is game time. Lots of minutes that will allow him to build confidence and sharpen the mental aspects of his game. I think he’ll get that at Almeria. Even if they buy him permanently, I fully expect Manu to come home to Villarreal at some point in the future.