In August, I really and truly thought we were going to bring Cedric Bakambu home to Villarreal, as it turns out, he’ll be going to OM instead according to a report from the most reliable Fabrizio Romano. On an emotional level, this will be a bit of a blow to Villarreal fans but really and truly this is probably the best outcome for both us and the player.
Thirty league goals in two and a half seasons made Bakambu a favorite around these parts, and he was in such electric form in the first half of of the 2017-2018 season that he left us with the best possible memory has he had four braces and a hat trick in those final few months. Since then, however, he has not faced the best competition in the Chinese Super League, and there will almost certainly be some time of adjustment for him before he is back up to speed with European football. I am not sure that sort of timing is what works best for Villarreal as we look to assert ourselves in La Liga and advance in the Champions League in the next month.
What’s more, it is not clear that Bakambu would be the starter next to Gerard Moreno once Boulaye Dia returns from AFCON. The Senegalese forward is finally getting his feat under him, and is four years younger than Cedric is, and I sincerely doubt Bakambu is coming back to Europe to be a backup. What’s more, club record signing Paco Alcacer is still on the wage books, and he looks like he is filling the Carlos Bacca role of highly paid backup. From a wage structure perspective, it does not make any sense to be paying three strikers the sort of money it would take to have them all around the club.
I home Bakambu has a wonderful season at OM. They are currently third in Ligue 1, and as a club they’ll have my support the rest of the way. Not all dream reunions need to actually happen, and I think we’re are best left with the beautiful memories on this one.