Barcelona were keen to have significant depth this season, but it has led to them losing one of their brightest talents in Nico Gonzalez.
Following their preseason tour to the USA, Miralem Pjanic had impressed Xavi Hernandez so much that he won himself a place in the squad for this season. It appears that decision has made Nico reconsider his position.
On Wednesday evening he arrived in Valencia to finalise a loan move to Los Che to complete a season-long loan move, declaring to Mundo Deportivo his enthusiasm for the upcoming season.
“I am very happy and content to be here, I have been looking forward to coming here for a few days now and I am really keen to get started.”
With Franck Kessie, Gavi, Pedri, Frenkie de Jong, Pjanic and Sergio Busquets all competing for minutes, it is understandable that Nico wanted the chance to win a regular place.
He confirmed as much in an Instagram post, quoted by Sport.
“It’s not a goodbye, it’s a see you later. At my 20 years of age I need to and want to play more minutes to grow as a footballer, and for that reason I decided that the best thing for me was to do it at a different club this season. To the Cules, the team and the fans, I wish you all the luck in the world and I hope you can celebrate many titles. We will see each other in a year, Forca Barca!”
Xavi was reportedly disappointed that he could not count on Nico, but accepted his reasoning. It is thought that the Blaugrana wanted Nico to act as an understudy to Busquets, but if Pjanic was indeed a contender for the same position, then it is unlikely both of them would have seen much game time.
For Valencia, it brings some much needed depth in midfield. Ilaix Moriba, another former La Masia graduate, won a starting place in Valencia’s midfield with ease last season and Nico so far has shown himself to be just as capable as Ilaix.