clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Villarreal ‘close in’ on securing return of former star

He could be the second former star to make a comeback this summer

Al Hilal Saudi FC v Foolad F.C - AFC Champions League 2022 Photo by Noushad Thekkayil/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Argentine striker Luciano Vietto is reportedly closing in on a return to Villarreal this summer.

A report from Mundo Deportivo has suggested that the 29-year-old is to depart Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal to move back to the Estadio De La Ceramica.

Vietto played for Villarreal for just one season, but scored 20 goals and provided eight assists in 48 games across all competitions as Marcelino’s side finished sixth in the 2014-15 season.

He subsequently moved to Atletico Madrid, but never regained his form, and failed spells at Sevilla, Valencia, Sporting CP and Fulham followed before he moved to Al-Hilal.

He managed just three goals in 20 Saudi Pro League games this season, which raises questions about his ability to succeed in La Liga.

Vietto did impress in the Club World Cup final against Real Madrid, scoring twice in a 5-3 defeat to the European champions, and he showed glimpses of his star quality which made him so popular all those years ago.

The striker was superb technically and showed frightening potential in front of goal in his one glorious season at the Estadio De La Ceramica, and perhaps he and the club believe that Villarreal is the best place for him to kick-start his career again.

Quique Setien certainly does need to strengthen the attacking line this summer, especially if the in-form Nicolas Jackson does depart, and Vietto would arrive as a low-cost squad option who could be useful for the Europa League.

Denis Suarez is also making a return to Villarreal this summer, and like Vietto, he enjoyed a wonderful season at the club under Marcelino before struggling elsewhere.

Although there may be a nice sense of nostalgia in watching two technically gifted, and likeable players wear the yellow shirt again, there may be some scepticism over both deals if the pair are unable to show off their true ability in the early stages of next season.