With the finances required to bring Gonzalo Montiel from River Plate to Villarreal looking increasingly implausible, EPM reports that the club is looking to bring Andrei Ratiu back from his loan to ADO Den Haag in the Dutch Eredivisie. The 22 year old right back has struggled for playing time for the 16th place side and would represent a significant scaling back in expectations at the position.
There is no official confirmation from either club nor the article that this deal is officially done, but I just don’t think Ratiu represents- at this point in his career- the type of solution that will be beneficial at the La Liga level. Andrei has just 520 minutes in the Eredivisie this season despite half their season being done and there being no record of injuries that I can find. I fail to see how a player who cannot consistently find his way on the pitch in the Dutch league is somehow going to come to La Liga and be a legitimate fill in for Mario Gaspar.
It’s entirely possible that what is happening here is not entirely unlike the Jorge Cuenca deal from this past summer. It was rumored among other CB options and then when it happened it turned out that he was simply being brought in to be loaned somewhere else while Juan Foyth came in to be the backup CB. It may be that what is happening here is that Ratiu is being brought back from a loan that isn’t working out so that he can be sent somewhere else- though this late in the window that could be difficult- while the club continue to work on the Montiel deal.
I glanced quickly at Andrei’s profile on smarterscout.com and it was grim. Adjusted for a La Liga level, he had a ball retention rating of 1 (out of 100) a defending quality rating of 3 and an attacking output of 4. Just no indication he’s ready for this level. I’d honestly rather try to convert Dani Raba into a RB than through this poor kid to the wolves.
We’ll keep an eye on the situation in the coming days but if he’s being brought back to play for Villarreal this season count me among the skeptics.