Copa del Rey winners Valencia will be gunning for more silverware this term as they hope to mix it with the elite clubs in Spain and Europe. Read on for our Valencia season preview for 2019-20.
Last Season – 4th
It was very much a season of two halves for Valencia. The first saw a catalogue of woeful finishing contribute to far too many drawn matches and saw Los Che seemingly drift out of all contention. Their Champions League return ended at the group stage too but they bounced back brilliantly from January onwards with a club record unbeaten run which propelled them to an eventual 4th place finish in La Liga. In the cups they also excelled, making the last four in the Europa League but the highlight was a remarkable Copa del Rey run which saw them stage two fine comebacks before upsetting Barcelona in the Final in Seville to claim their first silverware in 11 years.
Valencia Transfers ahead of 2019/20
Jasper Cillessen – €35m from Barcelona
Maxi Gómez – €14.5m (plus Santi Mina) from Celta Vigo
Denis Cheryshev – €6m from Villarreal
Manu Vallejo – €5.5m from Cadiz
Salva Ruiz – FREE from Mallorca
Jason – FREE from Levante
Neto – €26m to Barcelona
Simone Zaza – €12m to Torino
Rúben Vezo – €5m to Levante
Nemanja Maksimovic – €5m to Getafe
Jeison Murillo – LOAN to Sampdoria
Jorge Sáenz – LOAN to Celta Vigo
Santi Mina – PART-EXCHANGE to Celta Vigo
Nacho Gil – FREE to Ponferradina
Aymen Abdennour – FREE to Kayserispor
Álex Blanco – LOAN to Zaragoza
Toni Lato – LOAN to PSV Eindhoven
(Transfers up to 5th August 2019)
Coach – Marcelino
Marcelino was reportedly on the brink of the sack during the darkest days of last season but Valencia stuck with their man and he certainly repaid them. The challenge this term will be turning home draws into home wins and the signing of Maxi Gomez appears designed to give Marcelino the flexibility to tinker with his usual counter-attacking style which has at times fired blanks at home.
Possible Valencia Team Next Season
Valencia spent big last summer and budgeted for Champions League qualification. They made it by the skin of their teeth but there has been a more measured approach to this transfer window with a couple of major additions funded by sending players in the opposite direction and cashing in on a couple of players who were away from the Mestalla on loan last season.
In goal Jasper Cillessen is set to be the number one and it feels like a much needed move for the Dutchman who has been second choice at Camp Nou for three seasons. In front of him, the back four looks set to be much the same as it was last term unless Valencia can pull off any late deals to strengthen in the full-back positions. Cristiano Piccini is perhaps the most vulnerable to losing his place with versatile Daniel Wass another option in the right-back role.
In midfield, Goncalo Guedes and Geoffrey Kondogbia were plagued by fitness problems at times last season but should be fresh and ready to go this term. Dani Parejo had arguably his best season at the Mestalla and the midfield four is likely to be completed by Carlos Soler who has been utilised on the right flank despite preferring a central role. Youngster Ferran Torres and new signing Jason are options should Marcelino want a more natural winger.
Up top, Valencia have tended to rotate their strikers throughout the Marcelino era. That may be the case again this season with Maxi Gomez, Rodrigo Moreno and Kevin Gameiro the main options. Gomez will provide some much needed aerial threat but there may still be times when Los Che opt to go with the two pacier options which does suit their counter-attacking style. Rodrigo had been tipped to leave the Mestalla this summer but it now looks increasingly likely that he will stay put which is a boost to Valencia despite his disappointing goal return last term.
Key Man – Dani Parejo
Valencia’s talisman is still Dani Parejo. As well as being their main creative force, he also ended last season as their top scorer in La Liga with 9 goals. That was as much down to the lacklustre finishing of the forward players as anything but Parejo is a reliable presence in midfield and at the age of 30, he is finally starting to get some of the credit he deserves. The more physical approach of Kondogbia alongside him gives him time and space to pick a pass and much of Valencia’s play this season is sure to go through Parejo again.
One to Watch – Ferran Torres
Ferran Torres hits winning spot-kick to send Spain ?? into #U19EURO final v Portugal ?? on Saturday – 4-3 spot-kick winners over France ?? after 0-0 draw. #FRAESPhttps://t.co/O8fkwlUKY0 pic.twitter.com/z8H7k4cIxG
— UEFA.com (@UEFAcom) July 24, 2019
Valencia have some of the most promising young players in La Liga on their books with South Korean teenager Lee Kang-in another very highly rated prospect. Homegrown Ferran Torres looks to be closer to making a real breakthrough into the first team fold though. He made 12 starts for Los Che last term and while he blew hot and cold to some extent, Torres clearly possesses plenty of natural ability and he is certainly one to watch as Los Che look to build on a strong end to 2018-19.
Valencia 2019-2020 Targets
The ambitious target would be for Valencia to try and break up the ‘big 3 monopoly’ in La Liga with Atletico Madrid certainly looking more vulnerable than they have done in recent years. However in truth Valencia would settle for 4th were it offered to them now as they look to re-establish themselves as Champions League regulars. That competition will also be a major focus this term and the objective will be to make the last 16 having fallen at the group stage last season following a tough draw.
Check all our LaLiga predictions for the verdict on all 20 teams ahead of the new season. We will also have full match previews for every game.
Valencia season preview via Mark Sochon
Contact: marksochon(at)hotmail.co.uk | @marksoc1 on Twitter