Velez Sarsfield have agreed a deal to sign Argentinian international Fernando Gago on a six-month loan from Valencia.
The 26-year-old midfielder joined Valencia last summer from Real Madrid having spent the 2011/12 season on loan at Roma. Gago joined Madrid in 2007 from Boca Juniors in a deal worth €20 million.
A statement on Velez Sarsfield's official website read: "Velez Sarsfield have reached an agreement with Valencia for the loan of Fernando Gago, who will represent the Argentinian champions for the first six months of 2013."
Gago is due to arrive in Buenos Aires tomorrow ahead of his presentation. He has 46 caps for Argentina and has been named in manager Walter Montillo's 23-man squad for the friendly against Sweden next week.
Fernando Gago is still good enough to be playing in Europe. This move tells you that he wants to move back into his comfort zone. It will make him happy but won't help him develop into a better player.
Marca's Diego Pico believes Fernando Gago will be sold:
Valencia is looking to offload Fernando Gago, after the Argentine's below-par performances of the last few months. Gago is unlikely to stay at the club.
However, the midfielder may make life difficult for Valencia, as the player is only interested in joining a team with a great reputation.
Pico is referring to Fernando not giving enough effort when the midfielder's former team Real Madrid arrived at Mestalla and put five past Los Che in 45 minutes. Gago didn't make a single tackle, misplaced 27 percent of his passes and gave Mesut Özil acres of space.
Manager Ernesto Valverde subbed off Fernando and moved Victor Ruiz from centre-back into the No. 6 role. Valencia didn't concede another goal.
The backdrop to the story was Gago's continued unhappiness with the sacking of his compatriot Mauricio Pellegrino a month earlier.
Football Espana originally reported:
In the aftermath of Pellegrino’s sacking on Saturday night, rumours began to circulate that midfielder Gago stood up in the dressing room and in front of all his teammates told Llorente that he wanted out of the club.
In reaction to his Coach’s sacking, Gago’s action has drawn indirect criticism from more than one of his teammates, with Ricardo Costa and captain David Albelda, who lost his place in the team to Gago, commenting that anyone can leave the club if they do not want to follow the line.
Statistically, Gago has been superb this season: winning back the ball 4.9 times per league game (7.5 in UEFA Champions League), 86 percent tackling percentage and completing 81.8 percent of his passes (86.5 in UCL).
Numbers don't lie, but they don't reveal the entire story.
Tackles per game gives you an idea how active a player is defensively, but the stat doesn't tell you about his positioning—which can only be determined subjectively, aka the eye test.
Take Joe Allen as an example. His defensive numbers are solid but his positional awareness has been nonexistent in recent memory. For someone compared to Fernando Redondo, Gago's inability to track runners is a major concern, and raises questions over his football IQ.
Though, maybe that's not entirely his fault, given the amount of defensive breakdowns and lapses in concentration by his teammates every game—hence why Valencia's defence is ranked in the bottom half of La Liga.
Another reason to give Fernando the benefit of the doubt is that he was at one point of his career considered a world-class midfielder.
Also, if Football Espana is right in its account, then Gago's displays inevitably declined because he doesn't feel wanted.
Fernando can still do a job for a big club presuming his head is in the right place.