Villarreal’s High Hopes for the 2022/23 Campaign

Villarreal have two great years behind them and are getting ready for another memorable run in the upcoming campaign. The Spanish club has high ambitions for the forthcoming year and hopes to add another trophy to its collection following the 2020 UEFA Europa League title. 

According to La Liga predictions, the Yellow Submarine are not surprisingly among the favourites to win the domestic title, but on the other hand, they have solid chances of going for the Copa del Rey and an even better shot at winning the UEFA Europa Conference League. 

Experience

Villarreal, and especially Unai Emery, know how to play in the knockout stages and the European competitions. We’ve mentioned that the Yellow Submarine have been superb for the last two years. 

In 2020, they won the UEL, beating Manchester United after the penalty shootout. During the previous campaign, we’ve seen Villarreal reach the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League, eliminating Atalanta, Juventus, and Bayern Munich, before falling to Liverpool in the semis following a tough fight. 

All this gives plenty of hope and enthusiasm to the players, fans, and the entire organization prior to the start of the 2022/23 campaign. 

They are one of the best La Liga picks for finishing among the top four places and securing a place in the UEFA Champions League next year.

Expectations

Regarding the UEFA Europa Conference League, Villarreal are in the playoffs and needs to overcome that hurdle to reach the group stage. Amongst the their potential opponents, there are not many that could claim to have a better side than Unai Emery

West Ham, Fiorentina, Nice, and Anderlecht are a considerable threat in the competition. Of course, there will be some arrivals from the UEFA Europa League qualifications, but the picture is unlikely to see radical changes.

Villarreal are a respectable force on the European stage who aren’t afraid of any opponent, which they’ve shown in the past. Being a Champions League-quality team in the Conference League, the Yellow Submarine have a realistic chance of winning this trophy.

Emery has to solve several enigmas before that. The first is Pau Torres and Arnaut Danjuma, two popular names in the summer transfer market. Torres is on the radar of at least ten teams and many major clubs are keen on his services, including Barcelona and Manchester United.

As for Danjuma, West Ham are after the forward and the London team is willing to break the bank to land the 25-year-old. The media claims that Villarreal might earn more than €100 million with these two transfers, which would open the door for a significant refreshment of their roster.

The number one task for Emery is to bring back Lo Celso from Tottenham on a permanent deal. The Argentinian was on loan last year and it is a priority for Villarreal to solve his status. 

Also, several players have already been summoned back from loans. Jorge Cuenca, who may be Torres’ replacement; Fer Nino, a young striker and central midfielder, Manu Morlanes. All three are between 21 and 23 years and are part of the future for the Yellow Submarine.

However, the team has plans to land several big names as well to boost the roster. Among them, the top name is the Uruguayan veteran striker, Edinson Cavani. 

Almeria’s striker Umar Sadiq, one of the better Segunda players in the recent years, has been on the radar, as well as the Rangers’ prolific striker from Colombia, Alfredo Morelos, who is arguably one of the most underrated players in the United Kingdom in his position.

It is worth mentioning that Villarreal have already got one big name through the door, veteran goalkeeper Pepe Reina, who came to La Ceramica stadium from Lazio. 

This clearly shows the Yellow Submarine’s high ambitions for the upcoming season. They already have enough quality to be competitive for at least two trophies, one on the international scene with the potential to extend Villarreal’s golden age beyond this campaign. Even though the La Liga predictions today aren’t giving them too many chances to attack the title, who knows, maybe a surprise could be in store. 

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