Why David Villa is worth every bit of £34m
As he arrives in Barcelona to put the finishing touches on his four-year deal, Spanish international forward David Villa will join Barca for a reported £34.2m. It seemed almost every summer that Villa was expected to move away from Valencia, the club he became so synonymous with. Many remember the excruciating saga last summer in which Villa was linked with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester United and a few other clubs.
It seemed that in mid-June that it was a certainty that Villa was on his way to the Bernabéu to join superstars Christiano Ronaldo and Kaká. Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez tried desperately to lure Villa away from “Los Che” but he ultimately decided to stay at Valencia and again helped the club qualify for the Champions League.
In stark contrast to last summer’s events, Barcelona have quickly snapped up the striker for a very reasonable fee. David Villa is one of Europe’s most consistent goalscorers. If you were to take a look at his career statistics he’s never had a season in which he hasn’t nearly scored goals at ratio of one in every two games.
Villa has found himself on score sheet in 51% of his total club appearances and has an even better ratio at the international level at 65%. Fernando Torres may have famously scored Spain’s winning goal against Germany in the Euro 2008 ending their 44-year drought but it was Villa who won the Golden Boot scoring 4 goals in 4 appearances.
This is clearly a case of the rich getting richer as Villa joins up with Zlatan Ibrahimović, Barca’s major signing last summer and the phenomenal Lionel Messi. Paving the way for the move is another prolific forward in Thierry Henry who has been strongly linked with a move to the New York Red Bulls of the MLS.
Some pundits have maintained that Ibrahimović wasn’t clinical enough despite scoring 16 goals in 29 appearances for the Catalan giants. Still, “Ibra” enjoyed receiving even better service from his new colleagues than he did previously at Inter Milan or even when he took Holland by storm with Ajax. Villa will surely be rubbing his hands with delight when he finally is able to take the pitch alongside such magnificent world-class talents as Messi, Xavi and Iniesta.
My verdict is that David Villa should have very little trouble adjusting at Barca. Unlike Ibrahimović, he has spent his entire career in La Liga and already has a terrific understanding with international teammates Iniesta and Xavi. Villa is a sure-fire striker and could possibly battle Messi for the Pichichi (top La Liga scorer.)
With their latest acquisition and the possibility of Arsenal’s driving force Cesc Fàbregas also joining up, Barcelona should be able to clinch the Spanish title with greater ease over bitter rivals Real Madrid. Barca fell just short of reaching a second consecutive Champions League final after being knocked out by José Mourinho’s dogged and determined Inter Milan.
The signing of Villa should greatly improve their chances of repeating their “treble” year of 2008-09 winning the Champions League, La Liga and the Copa del Rey.