21/22 would be another difficult year for Miguel Alvarez, who will be in this position for the eighth consecutive year. In this piece we will have a quick look at the chance that Villarreal B could survive in the fisrt ever Primera Division RFEF and more importantly which talent could reload the first squad in future.
In general, qualifying for Primera Division RFEF does not change the club’s strategy for talent development and team selection. But there are still some interesting movements in this summer that we summarized as below.
Departures: Marc Vidal (Real Betis B)
Addition: Jaime Duran (Vil C)
Marc returned from an injury but could only found himself on the bench for most of the time during the last season. On the other hand, the 19 years old Swedish from Vil C found himself pretty comfortable in front of the goal as MA thought. And during Filip’s absence resulted by an injury at the late stage of last season, Iker Alvarez did a good job as well. So Marc, once I thought him as the next Asenjo, decided to leave for more minutes on the pitch, leaving Filip and Iker fighting for one position. Well, and Jaime, who would see himself being called up occasionally.
Departures: Copete (Ponferradina), Ros (Lugo)
Additions: Pablo Iniguez (At. Levante), Dani Pereiro (Vil C), Martin Pascual (Vallacano)
I can’t remember how many times I cheered for Copete and compared him with Pau. The truth is that with him maturing along the way, eventually there’s a cross road. And now he choose to go northwest. Segunda will be his next platform, and he’s ready to advance with Ponferradina where young defenders like Manu from Castilla, Maxi Villa, and Ignasi Miquel once evolved. The club retained the repurchase right of him and he will be watched of course by us.
Ros left the club as well, back to Galicia, in pursue of more professional experience. Two of the three CBs with most minutes of last season have gone, so the club reacted quickly and reached out to an old friend to accompany Dela in the center. Pablo returned from At. Levante, where he spent a half season and found himself regular. Before that, he had spent three and a half year at Hercules, and been loaned out to several clubs as in At. Levante. His thigh problem seems easier on him and we would always happy to see a comeback story. Martin Pascual is another reinforcement, who’s been growing up through Rayo’s youth system and spent the last year with the first team, on the bench though for most of the time. He’s 1.9 meters tall, which equals the height of Copete and Pau, and makes him the highest among the others. He comes here on loan with an option for Villarreal to buy at the end of the season, so I assume that the club has a high expectation on him, as they have on another 21-years-old 1.9 meters tall CB.
Departures: Maxi Villa (return to Girona), Andrei Ratiu (Huesca), Edu Adell (Huesca?)
Additions: Migue (return from Groningen), Goyo (return from Badalona)
We thank Maxi for every minute he played and wish him well in his recovery. And we thank Andrei for his return and decisive performance in the second half of the last season. But we have to accept the fact that the two promising stars won’t be included in the plan of the next season, one returning to Girona and one looking for a higher platform. And Edu decided to leave as well, since he has only played 4 minutes this year. With no surprise, MA would rely on Migue and Lanchi on the right flank. And Goyo will join Esmo on the left side.
Departures: Carlos Betia (Celta B)
Additions: Alberto Del Moral (Cordoba), Carlos Perez (Valencia Mestalla)
MA have tried several different combinations in the middlefield during the last season. Effentually, Lozano came back in the winter and saved him. I’m not sure if Lozano would like another year in the lower level of the league, but Betia was sure that he’s not in MA’s plan. To fill the hole, the management recruited Alberto and Carlos. Both at 21, Alberto has more match experience than Carlos, so he would probably secure a starting position. It’s also worth noting that he’s capable of several positions, including CM, DM and even CB. So like he said, he’s for the team, and is ready for wherever the coach makes him play. But I’m gonna mess here, which coach?
And another one gets ready is Ramiro, after missing another whole season. The Uruguayan looks well in shape in the pre-season medical check, and let’s see if he can return to his best. Captain Ramon also returned, after 550 days away from the court, and played about 20 minutes against Budapest Honved. What a moment.
Departures: Juan Aguero (?), Victor Narro (Real Valladolid B)
Additions: Nicolas Jackson (return from Mirandes), Jorge Galdon (Vil C), Nikita Iosifov (Loko-Kazanka Moskow), Iker Goujon (Andorra)
Once I had a high expectation on Juan, not because of his sir name of course, but of the fact that he’s been outstanding with Atletico Juvenil and came here I supposed as a substitute for German Varela (another runaway talent who underperforms since leaving). And MA trusted him as well during the past three years. Now the 22 years-old Argentine should not worry about his future, though his future will not be in Villarreal.
Nicolas returned from Mirandes where he played just average, compared to his teammate Ivan Martin. But he’s only 20 and will be a good reinforcement to MA’s team. But the competition would be fierce. Hassan can play both sides and was called up to the first team for pre-season, as well as Iosifov who arrives with a long-term plan. Iker was the starter of Andorra. Galdon was the MVP of Copa de Juvenil two years ago. And we have Ahn in the squad. Let’s see if MA could bring this new attacking group to the next level.
Departures: Alex Millan (?), Jack Harper (return to Getafe)
Additions: Alex Fores (Vil C)
It’s highly probable that our top scorer will not play Primera RFEF in the next season. If so, it’d be quite a challenge to find someone to replace the roaring bear. Over the past 12 months, Arana had 4 goals in official games, and Collado scored only twice. Well, they didn’t have much time playing on the ground. And our new Alex scored 10 goals in 16 games in Tercera Division. So who knows?
Filip/Esmo, Pascual, Dela, Migue/Del Moral, Carlo/Nicolas, Lozano, Hassan/Arana
The first ever Primera RFEF will be played in two phases, in the first of which the 40 teams will play in two groups. In Grupo II where Vil B is, there are Albacete and Castellon who were relegated from Segunda, giants like Andorra and Nastic, and four other cantera teams including Castilla, Barcelona B, Sevilla At. and Betis Deportivo. The champion of this group will promote to Segunda directly, while the second to fifth team will regroup with those from Grupo I competing for another two promotion places. And the five team with lowest points will face relegation to Segunda RFEF.
The team had three pre-season games so far, draw with Budapest Honved and lost to Andorra and Cornella. Although some players were staying with the first team, the results indeed were not satisfying. The first official game will come on August 29, away against San Fernando CD, and before that we have one pre-season game on the schedule with Sabadell. With one month left, there’s still time for preparation and roster change. I’m already looking forward to the new season, although there’s little chance for promotion at the end in my opinion. What’s your guess for the next season?