When Dani Raba first stepped into the first team at Villarreal, the talent was obvious. As a 21 year old, he put up two goals and four assists in about a thousand La Liga minutes and really looked like he had a trajectory that was going to allow him to accomplish great things.
Unai Emery had what was, to me, a strange habit of picking Raba when we needed attacking presence late on in matches. Outside of Copa del Rey matches where he started for rotational reasons, Raba came on the pitch nine times in all competitions, including in the European Super Cup against Chelsea just before the end of regular time. He was also thrown on right after we fell behind against Manchester United at home and just before we conceded twice to lose to Barcelona.
When the chance to bring in Giovanni Lo Celso arrived for Villarreal, it was Raba who (rightly in my opinion) lost his place. It seems as though his failure to make a positive impact in those instances mentioned above were enough for Emery to decide to move on in favor of a player in the Argentine that the manager specifically asked for.
Nevertheless, I am happy to see Raba land on his feet in Granada. This move comes for him as there is speculation of a Darwin Machis move to MLS. Granada fans will learn very quickly that Raba is no replacement, there, but perhaps a little lower down the table on a team with more modest aspirations he can find a home and carve out a long La Liga career where he can contribute.
We wish him nothing but the best as long as he’s not playing us. Endavant Dani.