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Villarreal’s Starting XI Pau Torres and Nicolas Jackson leave. Who Starts?

Youth or Experience? Stability or Counter Attack? Who will Setien start as Villarreal fight in both La Liga and Europa

Sela Cup Soccer Tournament Photo by Domenic Aquilina/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Our Villarreal pundits give their views on our starting 11 for next year? Who will make up for Pau leaving us at CB. Does Setien keep Parejo in the midfield? Out of our dream attack which striker starts?



Reina: The veteran is regrettably our only option at this moment in time, as Jorgensen isn’t totally equipped for a starting role yet. There’s still some time left to find an alternative though.


There is no doubt that Pedraza is one of the most effective offensive fullbacks in the league and this was highlighted even more by how comfortably he kept Johan Mojica out of the starting eleven. Setién trusts Madi the Algerian throughout their days at Betis, so if no other defender is signed this summer, Mandi is the only real option.

Albiol Villarreal renewed this man’s contract for a reason, but he isn’t getting younger. Despite his age, he rivals the top defenders in the league and was partially responsible for the good representation that Pau Torres received over the years.

Foyth In a pre-season where Villarreal have looked so fragile defensively, the world cup winner is exactly what we need to ensure that some form of fighting spirit persists in our backline. The Argentine is a gladiator, and that’s why we love him.


Capoue: Papa Capoue is one of the most underappreciated players in Spain, as he is defensively sound, and his offensive aptitude is surprisingly incredible.

Parejo: It’s true that he can look lazy at times, but this team simply wouldn’t work without Dani Parejo. Topping the LaLiga passing chart last season, Parejo’s passing range is practically the best in the league and it is integral in our build-up play.

Baena: After an explosive proper first season in senior football, Baena will have sufficient experience to keep in the starting eleven, garnishing his undoubtable talent.


Big Ben could play anywhere in the Blackburn frontline, and he should be able to slot perfectly into Villarreal’s left-hand side. He is more dynamic than Sorloth, suiting the Chilean in the wide areas. He is best utilised behind the main striker, as his specialty is striking from distance.

Gerard Moreno coming into a season fully fit is a scary sight, for opposing defences that is. His ability to provide suits the wide role that he previously sported, and Setién should look to get this man on the ball as much as possible.

Sorloth He isn’t the most clinical striker of all time, but we have the talent behind him to provide the Norwegian with the service that would get the best out of him. He is a brute, and can bully defences in ways that no Villarreal player has ever been able to do.


Gk: still desperately waiting for Villarreal to enter the market. Hoping for Livakovic. Would be very unhappy at a Rulli return.

Defence: Pau Torres will be tough to replace, and hopefully Gabbia is up to the job. Keeping the others together to give some sense of continuity.

Midfield: can see a mixture of a trio and a pivot midfield being used, Comesana can come in for Denis at times if wanting a deeper option.

Upfront: I think it’ll initially be a one striker formation, with sorloth creating space for Gerard and Yeremy to operate in. Brereton Diaz can also start wide/upfront.


Reina gets a star by his name for obvious reasons. Villarreal absolutely need a new starting keeper, and I believe they will get one, even if it comes a little later than needed. The back four mostly speaks for itself. Sure, Gabbia is unproven at this stage, but Aissa Mandi hasn’t convinced despite vast improvement under Quique Setién.

The midfield is a little more tough to choose, but Santi Comesana should get the holding role, albeit Etienne Capoue won’t make it easy for him. Dani Parejo and Alex Baena should get the starting roles to start, with Denis Suarez providing competition, but more depth is needed there.

Alexander Sorloth is an impressive signing up top, but he is not likely to be a starter early on, and while Setién has options out wide, he will want to land another dangerous winger before the window is done.


For years I have been hoping for us to go back to 4 4 2 with two strikers up top. We lost confidence in 4 4 2 when we signed Alcacer the flop but my hope have been restored with more strikers on the books. Think we look really dangerous in attack and that will suit our managers tyle. I am a big fan of the diamond formation with protection for the back for which we will really need. It will really cover our defence weakness at CB anyway


I am a big fan of Cuenca and a think with game time he would be very very good. He may get that chance with Albiol injury prone. I am excited about Gabbia and I think he will surprise a few. Italian Centre backs are generally pretty good, they created Albiol after all at Napoli. I think Mandi will be covering more at right back this season with Foyth out.


This will be the most controversial I am sure. My midfield is built on speed and counter attack. For me Parejo is dropped. As much as I like him and how well he plays. He slows us down massively in midfield. Comensa will very be good on the counter, defend pretty well and link well with Baena. Pino I think is better on the right than left cutting inside much the same as Samu did and defends very well. Suarez is not as fast as Pino but is very intelligent. He can cross really well very solid in defending and versatile. He has a great pass on him and this will allow Pedraza to get down the left and score . I don’t want to see Alberto Moreno anywhere near the pitch if I am honest


Really happy with the strikers we have acquired. Will be great to see how they link up and that will take the pressure of Gerard for goals. Gone with Ben as I am biased about Chile… in all seriousness I think his speed will be so effective in La Liga. I think Sorloth will get plenty of game time but I don’t think will start. Really Really great to see so many proper strikers there.


In the politest possible way I have no frigging idea what is happening in goal. Not feeling confident on top four but please to see the deals we have done up top. I am not Setién’s biggest fan but he did okay last year. With Europe back on the cards it will be interesting to see what we prioritise.


I have gone with Mandi as Albiol seems to be really feeling his age. I still have nerves from seeing him and Rulli in defence, but he did put in some good tackles last season. Gabbia might be a pleasant surprise but won’t be the same league as Pau Torres. We will see how it goes.


My man Trigueros still can’t force his way in even in my starting line-up. My favourite player since Moi Gomez. Parejo has been indisputable for a place in recent years, and I don’t think that change. As you expect I have gone for quite a defensive mindset with him a long side Santi. I have fond memories of Suarez will bring a lot of experience for European games.


Very happy with Sorloth we need Viking Grit. I have a strange love for English lower division teams and think Brenton Diaz will bring that Vardy like approach to Villarreal. It good to see Villarreal have finally addressed the striker issue and takes a lot of pressure of G Moreno. Have no doubts about up top

Let us know what you think and give us your dream starting line up. Will Villarreal be a threat in La Liga and Europe this year?