After some drawn out negotiations, in which Valencia ended up getting close to what they wanted, Roberto Soldado and his 24 League goals – nearly 36 per cent of Los Che's total – has become the latest Spanish player to swap La Liga for the Premier League, joining Tottenham Hotspur for around €30m.
Considering the inexplicably cheap sales of the likes of Jordi Alba, Juan Mata and David Silva, in comparison to other inflated prices in the market, the club have done well to land such a handsome fee. This time though, unfortunately, the transfer has been tainted by the Spanish international’s departing sentiments.
“I'm going because I don't have faith in this project, nor this President,” said Soldado. “I do not believe in his methods and I may be wrong, I wish that this marks a good time for the club.”
The wake of the 28-year-old's comments mark the perfect time for Amadeo Salvo – Valencia's President – to respond to the criticism. His appointment this summer of former player Miroslav Djukic as Coach from Real Valladolid appears a forward thinking move – now he'll have to help his Coach replace Soldado's output.
Real Zaragoza forward Helder Postiga, who spent time at Tottenham, is set to become the latest addition to the squad at Mestalla. The €3m deal for the Portuguese international has been on the table for a while, but he is likely to be a replacement for Nelson Valdez, who was sold to Al Jazira, rather than Soldado.
That presents Djukic with Postiga, who is now 31, youngster Paco Alcacer, who is yet to live up to his potential, and Jonas, the Brazilian who is more likely to feature in the triumvirate behind a central striker.
Salvo, on a limited budget despite the fee incoming from White Hart Lane, is going to have to work on bringing in more goals from somewhere. Early talks with Roma, regarding Pablo Osvaldo, ended abruptly when it became clear how much the Italian side wanted for the former Espanyol striker. The loan market remains a possibility though, with Mundo Deportivo suggesting Los Che are monitoring the availability of Chelsea's Fernando Torres and Manchester United's Javier Hernandez – although neither seem likely at the moment.
The same paper mentions that the club's last resort could be another player who has just entered his 30s – Sergio Garcia. Espanyol are both unlikely and unable to command a huge amount for the Spanish striker, who would presumably fight for the No 9 role with Postiga, with Alcacer providing back-up.
Stringent finances will make it tough for the club to replace Soldado, with tried and tested experienced players seemingly the route they are looking to take. Djukic's managerial record with Valladolid was highly impressive and if, like Soldado says, they can't trust Salvo, then in their new Coach Valencia will have to place their faith.