VCFCentral Winter Player Ratings
As La Liga takes a holiday break for a couple of weeks, VCF Central rates the performances of each Valencia player so far.
The Brazilian shot-stopper started off the season with chances of starting limited to Champions League appearances, and with Guaita competing he must have been pleased with that. Alves put in some great displays in the Champions League, highlighted with a man-of-the-match performance against Chelsea at the Mestalla. Valencia’s number one took advantage of Guaita’s recent injuries to make several La Liga appearances, he was decent in most of his La Liga matches, but Valencia’s match against Real Madrid was certainly not of them.
2 Bruno Saltor ( 5 / 10 )
Bruno has not appeared much this season, and he is definitely not a solution to our right-back problems. Although his spontaneous flick/lob to assist Jordi Alba is definitely worth mentioning!
3 Hedwiges Maduro ( 5 / 10 )
The Dutch international has not had much playing time, nothing new with that, but this time it’s because of a long-term injury blow. Maduro has been a role-model in Valencia for his extreme professionalism and his never-give-up attitude in fighting for a starting spot in Valencia, many other players would have cracked in his situation, Chori is the best example of that.
The answer to our problems in defense arrived when Adil Rami landed in Valencia. The added value he brings to Valencia is monumental and he has become an absolutely vital part of the team. His stature, speed, ball distribution, aerial presence, and keen eye for goal has provided Valencia with everything the coaching staff has been in need for. An astonishing steal deal for just €6m.
5 Mehmet Topal ( 6.5 / 10 )
The ‘spider’ has not yet lived up to the reputation that brought him to Valencia. Inconsistency is Topal’s main weakness, at times you see Topal eating every ball that comes his way and at other times he just seems out of it. Playing in the ‘sensitive’ position of defensive midfield, Valencia cannot afford to deal with such inconsistency. Topal has simply not done well enough to replace Albelda yet, nothing special from the Turk.
Ever so important for Valencia. Albelda has gone through so much in the past few years, yet he prevails. So many defensive midfielders have come and gone, and not one was able to take his spot, perhaps this is due to the poor signings from the sporting directors, but that still says a lot about Albelda. The skipper’s presence in the team brings stability, experience, and leadership to this young team, he has shown signs of aging, but he is not over just yet.
Many experts believe that there is no such thing called a ‘steal deal’ when doing business, but they would surely make an exception from Braulio’s masterstroke in signing the Brazilian forward for a mere €1.25m. Jonas started the season swapping roles with Canales, but with Canales’ long-term injury, Jonas cemented his role in the team and developed a lethal partnership with Soldado. Originally brought in to provide Valencia with goals, Jonas is shocking everyone with his passing abilities, vision, and team play.
8 Sofiane Feghouli ( 6.5 / 10 )
The young Algerian has finally found playing time in Valencia, and he’s getting lots of it too. Feghouli’s occasional touches show great potential in him, however, he still needs to improve in every aspect of his game.
Roberto Soldado is the current star of the team. After ending last season in brilliant fashion, Soldado maintained his great momentum into this season, smashing almost every ball that comes his way into the back of the net. His cynical finishing in front of goal has bailed Valencia out many times, and his team play is improving by the day. Expect the Valencia-born striker to squeeze himself into the Spain National Team for next summer’s European Championship.
The Argentine midfielder’s vision and passing techniques have always been infamous to La Liga fans, but his improved level of fitness and commitment (on and off the pitch) have given Banega that extra push he needed to become the great player he is today. Ever is simply world-class when on form, and on form he is today, let’s just hope he keeps it up and doesn’t go through his usual blips.
11 Aritz Aduriz ( 6 / 10 )
Ever since his horrific display against Schalke last season, things have only only been going downward for Aduriz. After a summer of speculation linking him with other teams, Aduriz finally stayed with Valencia and has not found much playing time, especially with Soldado and Jonas’s good form. He did, however, find some playing time and even started several matches, but he certainly did not take full advantage of the opportunities he was given. At the age of 30, it seems Aduriz is past his best.
12 Antonio Barragan ( 5 / 10 )
Valencia’s last minute signing was almost forgotten in the opening month of the season, as he was not even named in the squad rosters for any match. But with Bruno’s continuous injuries and Miguel’s eternal commitment problems, Emery was forced into betting on the young Spaniard. Barragan is clearly uncomfortable and immature when it comes to the defensive duties, and his relatively poor displays have left Emery with no choice but to ‘forgive’ Miguel, temporarily at least.
The home-grown goalkeeper has established himself as one of the fan favorites at the Mestalla. Guaita kept up the good performances that earned him a contract extension, he brings stability, confidence, and leadership to Valencia’s back line.
14 Pablo Piatti ( 3 / 10 )
The only reason Piatti is still finding playing time is because of what we know from his past, along with the large sum Valencia has invested in him. Otherwise, Piatti would have joined the likes of Bruno in warming the bench. Piatti has not had any considerable input to the team as of yet, his ball control is poor and his passing is shaky, all we have seen from Piatti is fast runs and falling on the ground every time a ball comes near him. Piatti is a totally different player here from the player he was at Almeria, he would probably not get such a low rating had we not known what his potential really is, but we do know. Flop of the season (so far).
15 Angel Dealbert ( 6 / 10 )
Dealbert would probably get a higher rating had he found a bit more playing time. The 28 year old is the definition of professionalism, and that’s what is keeping him alive in Valencia. A hard-worker that never allows his limited appearances get to his head. Dealbert has been impressive every time he was called upon this season, he has improved and seems to be learning a lot from Adil Rami and Victor Ruiz, and hopefully not from Ricardo Costa.
16 Sergio Canales ( 7 / 10 )
Another player that might have got a higher rating had his season not been hit with a long-term injury. Up until his wrecking injury, Canales has been a regular, filling in the hole behind Soldado and dropping back to support Banega with possession. Canales gelled with the team instantly, which was very impressive.
A great player that has been brilliant throughout the season, and his reward was no less than being officially capped for Spain’s national team. Whether at left-back or left wing, Alba is saving Valencia from the obvious problems the team is having down the wings. What amazes you about Jordi is the fact that his defensive game is just as good as his offensive one, an extremely valuable asset for the team.
Valencia’s directors were very patient in their hunt for Rami’s partner in defense, and that patience has paid off with the signing of Victor Ruiz. The Catalan broke into the first team immediately, and the great chemistry between him and Rami was on show from the first match they played together. Besides his defensive abilities, Ruiz’s technique on the ball and his ability to bring the ball forward from the back is just what Emery has been needing.
19 Pablo Hernandez ( 4 / 10 )
Disappointing. When Villa and Silva departed, Mata stepped up to become the star of the team, and Pablo had the opportunity to do the same after the departure of Mata and Joaquin. On the contrary, he did just the opposite, he has been having a horrendous season so far, losing his starting spot to Feghouli more because of his poor form rather than Feghouli’s good form. Pablo will never be the player he once promised us to become.
20 Ricardo Costa ( 0 / 10 )
Hardly worth mentioning. He has turned his back on the team simply because he lost his spot to two better defenders. His outrageous attitude and outspoken words are just unacceptable. Although Dealbert is not as technically gifted as he is, there so much that Costa can learn from Dealbert. He should be allowed to leave in the winter market.
21 Dani Parejo ( 5 / 10 )
Parejo was brought in to play in a central midfield position that the player himself isn’t too familiar with. It seems Parejo is too offensive of a player to be deployed in place of Banega or Tino Costa, and that took a while for the technical team to concede. Up until this point of the season, Parejo has generally failed to fully convince Emery.
It is very rare for two players fighting for the same position, like Mathieu and Jordi Alba, to experience such similar fates. What was said of Alba could exactly be said of Mathieu. Mathieu has also been playing in both the left-back and left-wing positions, inter-changing with Alba, and he has also been great in both positions. Just like Alba, the Frenchman was also rewarded with a full debut in the France national team. Mathieu’s main glitch prior to this season was his inconsistency, but we have not seen any of that this season.
23 Miguel ( 4 / 10 )
You just cannot rate Miguel without putting into consideration his off the pitch behavior, he just doesn’t allow you to. On the pitch, Miguel has started off the season with good form and consistency for a change, which was an improvement from his previous seasons. On the other hand, the Portuguese full-back’s off the pitch behavior has been nothing but the same, arriving late to training ahead of the most important match of the season for Valencia is just too irresponsible and selfish. If there was any chance for Miguel to be rewarded with a contract renewal then now there isn’t.
One of Valencia’s most exciting players. When Tino finds space to take a shot the crowd holds its breath, when the team wins a free kick the stadium buzzes with excitement, his set pieces and corner kicks are also a beauty. Tino was left frustrated at the beginning of the season with lack of playing time due to Banega’s domination. Eventually, Banega’s injury gave Costa the opportunity to prove his worth, and he did exactly that, Tino simply gives Emery’s team a different dimension.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from VCF Central!!!