In the last few days, out-of-favor Barcelona striker David Villa has been linked with a loan move to European Champions Chelsea FC until the end of the season. David Villa could join his countryman Fernando Torres in London, reuniting a mouthwatering pair that have already starred for Spain under Luis Aragonés.
British newspapers (the Sun, Daily Mirror) have said that fellow Spaniard Rafael Benitez wants to add Villa to his in-form Chelsea squad. Chelsea have not yet replaced Didier Drogba, who led them to their first Champions League title last season, and are looking for competition for Fernando Torres in the main striker position. Villa would also join another of his national squad teammates in Juan Mata.
Since suffering a broken leg during the Club World Cup in Japan just over a year ago, Villa has not been able to recover his spot in the Barcelona starting XI. After a lengthy recovery, he has shown flashes of his quality in several cup games and the few minutes he has been given in the league.
However, these were not enough for Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova to restore him to the protagonist role he had under Pep Guardiola. Villa has played just 482 minutes in the league, way behind Pedro Rodriguez (1,272) and Alexis Sanchez (695). These are most frustrating stats, considering that in that time he scored five goals, while Pedro only scored one and Alexis still has to get off the mark this season.
No doubt because of this frustration, Villa has been linked to several Premier League clubs in recent weeks, including Swansea and Arsenal. Chelsea have also offered €15 million for Villa on a permanent basis, a sum that falls short of Barcelona's expectation.
But this latest Chelsea loan rumor may have more weight to it, considering that it is a club that may well still be in the race for the Premier League and this the first time a major club comes asking for him on loan.
The loan would be a potential win-win situation for both clubs and the player. Villa could get more minutes on the pitch and get back to scoring regularly, an essential boost for a striker’s morale. While if Villa is successful at Chelsea, Barcelona will be able to sell him at a higher price come the summer.
Furthermore, with Chelsea already out of the Champions League, there is no danger of the deal backfiring and Chelsea confronting Barcelona in Europe. Despite these arguments, it will be hard to get Barcelona to loan Villa off.
Although Cristian Tello and Gerard Deulofeu are two young strikers that could step-in in case of injuries, Vilanova will most likely not want to part ways with his first backup senior striker. Ultimately it might well come down to just how much Villa want out, and his ability to convince those at Barcelona that it is the right move.