Unai Emery said in a press conference today that Javi Ontiveros has been told the club is looking to move him somewhere else. This news comes despite the fact that Villarreal is desperately looking for depth at the left wing position, which is probably where Javi is at his very best. Ontiveros is one of my favorite players to watch in all of Spanish football, yet at the end of the day this move makes total sense to me.
What makes Ontiveros so special to watch is he is completely unpredictable. He plays so hard and is so willing to try things that he could launch a shot from 30 yards away or try to split two defenders with the ball at the drop of the hat. The safe, traditionally smart football play is never his first instinct. This makes him absolutely electric on the pitch.
However, this is the exact opposite of what Unai Emery expects from his wingers. Emery is all for attacking football, as long as team shape and defensive solidarity are not lost in the process. This is a lesson Samu Chukwueze finally learned towards the end of the year last year to wonderful affect and one that Take Kubo never learned which is why his loan spell here ended early.
With Champions League football on the horizon, Emery doesn’t appear willing to spend three fourths of the year teaching Ontiveros the positional discipline he expects, therefore the winger must be moved. Javi is certainly good enough to find his way somewhere else in La Liga, though, and I am fascinated to see what team takes a chance on him because he will provide immediate threat to their offense.