Fernando Gago: A Bargain Or a Flop ?
As last season drew to a close, the weaknesses of the team were obvious to us. One of these weakneses was the defensive midfield position which was covered by Mehmet Topal and the veteran David Albelda . Topal, who had his ups and downs during his time in Valencia wasn’t the ideal player, but was decent and has gained the love of the fans. Topal was sold at the beginning of the transfer window and leaving behind a lot of questions on how would Barulio Vazquez replace him. Specially, after selling him for an arguably low price.
The search for the new defensive midfielder started immediately after the departure of the Turk, With not many names being linked to Valencia at the time. The main targets however can be said to be Bruno Soriano from Villarreal and Gary Medel from Sevilla . Both players come from the Spanish League with two different styles of play. Another option that was looked by Sporting Director Braulio Vazquez was to play central midfielder Tino Costa in the defensive role. But obviously that wouldn’t have been a wise decision for many reasons. Bruno is the type of player who would get the ball from the opposition and would never give it up. Known for being really good with the ball, Bruno always got the highest pass completion ratio . On the other hand, the Medel is seen as a beast in the middle of the park. He’s got that aggressiveness in him which Italians call “grinta” which is something that Valencia are lacking . Some would prefer Bruno and some would go with Medel but the final choice was a bit surprising.
Fernando Gago is well known in Spain and his home country in Argentina. A player who was once touted as one of the best talents in the world, which led Real Madrid to sign him in January 2007 when Fabio Capello was in charge . His first two seasons were almost perfect for a young midfielder before the player suffered a few spells on the sidelines through injury. A few problems with Jose Mourinho led to Gago being loaned out to Roma last season. Furthermore, another positive sign about Gago is that he has always managed to be part of the Argentine national team but here’s why I think he isn’t the ideal defensive midfielder for us even with the bargain price.
Beside his injury problems, Gago isn’t the defensive midfielder we were looking for . He isn’t a “tackler” or the guy that tries to win the ball back for you or break the opposition’s attacks. I think that’s the main problem with this signing, as Gago at his best can be seen in a 3-man midfield or with another defensive midfielder, where Valencia can utilize his strong ability to pass the ball and controlling the tempo of the game. Pellegrino will have a huge challenge ahead of him to try and get the best out of Gago with this role.
What do you think? Is Gago the right signing ?
Gago in action with Roma: