Real Valladolid Season Preview 2020/21 – Can Sergio’s men be LaLiga’s surprise Package?

Real Valladolid season preview

Real Valladolid are heading into their third season back in the top flight. Last term was the 4th year in a row in which they bettered their previous finishing position on the Spanish football ladder and there’s reason to think they could continue that record of steady progress this time around. Read on for our 2020/21 Real Valladolid season preview.

Last Season – 13th

With one of the smallest budgets in the league, survival was always going to be the primary objective again and it was achieved with relative comfort. Sergio’s side were never seriously involved in the relegation scrap and spent virtually the entire campaign in the top half of the bottom half.

The key to their success again was a solid defensive record with just 43 goals conceded, a record just six teams could better. However they did struggle in terms of creativity and goals with only relegated Leganes and Espanyol netting fewer.

Crucially they consistently had enough to get the better of the teams at the bottom end of the league, ensuring they didn’t get sucked into the relegation picture. All of their 9 victories came against teams that finished below them and while they failed to pick up a single victory against a team that finished in the top 12, only Barcelona managed to do the double over Real Valladolid which is testament to just how awkward an opponent they can be.

Real Valladolid Summer Transfers

Players IN

Fabian Orellana | from Eibar | FREE

Javi Sánchez | from Real Madrid | €3m

Luis Pérez | from Tenerife | FREE

Raúl Carnero | from Getafe | Undisclosed

Moha Moukhliss | from Real Madrid | FREE

Roberto | from West Ham | FREE

Shon Weissman | from Wolfsberger | €4m

Players OUT

Mohamed Salisu | to Southampton | €12m

José Antonio Caro | to Ponferradina | LOAN

Stiven Plaza | to Trabzonspor | LOAN

(Transfers up to 2nd September 2020.)

Coach – Sergio Gonzalez

Real Valladolid aren’t a team that tends to make many headlines, but there is a growing understanding that Sergio Gonzalez is one of the shrewdest young coaches in Spain. It was something of a gamble when he was given the job at the Jose Zorrilla after more than two years out of the game following his dismissal at Espanyol, but Sergio has repaid that faith and plenty more.

Whether by design, or due to the limitations of the squads he has had over the past two seasons, Sergio has set Real Valladolid up with a defensive mentality and made sure that if nothing else they are hard to break down. It’s invariably a 4-4-2 with a disciplined midfield that rarely ventures too far forward. There are similarities in the way he gets his team to play with Jose Bordalas’ Getafe and Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid.

Possible Real Sociedad Line Up 2020/21

Real Valladolid line up

There will be competition for places right across the pitch this season for Real Valladolid. They’ve already made seven signings with some significant gaps in the squad having needed filling with several loan deals ending.

In goal, Jordi Masip should continue as the undisputed number one with Roberto arriving from West Ham to provide back-up. The most significant departure has been that of centre-back Mohamed Salisu. The 21 year old was really impressive during the 2019/20 season and moves to Southampton. They did at least manage to get good money for the Ghanaian which has enabled Real Valladolid to add several new faces.

Javi Sánchez is not strictly one of those, with the defender joining from Real Madrid having been on loan in Valladolid last term. Fellow new arrival Luis Pérez, a right-back signed on a free from Tenerife, could also form part of what may be a new-look back four.

The midfield should retain the solidity of recent seasons but Sergio will be hoping that talented Chilean Fabian Orellana can provide that spark that could push Real Valladolid on to the next level. They clearly have been keen to find a bit more creativity in midfield and while the January signing of Hatem Ben Arfa captured the imagination but didn’t really work out, in Orellana they are getting a player who knows LaLiga and is a proven performer in it.

Up front, Sandro and Enes Unal have both departed following loan spells at the club. They are likely to add at least another forward before the window shuts with Mallorca’s Ante Budimir a rumoured target although they may face stern competition for his signature. Initially though it’s likely to be Sergi Guardiola and new €4m arrival Shon Weissman up front.

Key Man – Fabian Orellana

Fabian Orellana may be 34 years old now, but his arrival feels like a real coup for Real Valladolid and he’s exactly the kind of player they need to just add a bit more quality to their attacking play. The Chilean is an experienced campaigner in this league and was vital for Eibar last term.

Orellana was directly involved in 15 league goals for the Basque club (8 goals, 7 assists) and that was 9 more than any of his teammates managed. He has also benefited from a nice rest having left Eibar when his contract expired at the end of June and he could be a very important player for Real Valladolid this term.

One to Watch – Shon Weissman

Shon Weissman will be a new name to many in Spain but if he can get anywhere close to reproducing the goalscoring form of his last 12 months, he could be a real hit in LaLiga. The Israeli international top scored with 30 goals in the Austrian Bundesliga last term for Wolfsberger and also showcased his talents in the Europa League against better quality opposition.

Real Valladolid haven’t really had a prolific striker since they returned to LaLiga and while this is going to be a big step up for Weissman, it’s an intriguing signing and he’s definitely one to watch as LaLiga 2020/21 gets up and running.

Real Valladolid 2020/21 Targets

Real Valladolid are invariably tipped to struggle but there is genuine reason to be positive this term. They appear to have added players who will offer them more in an attacking sense which should help give them a much needed boost in terms of their goal tally.

The departure of Salisu is a significant loss but if they can hold onto that same identity and spirit, whilst smoothly integrating the likes of Fabian Orellana into the team, there’s no reason why Real Valladolid can’t improve on last season’s 13th place finish and achieve a solid mid-table position.

LLE Prediction: 10th

Umbrellas in Valladolid

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About Mark Sochon 2072 Articles
Mark is a freelance writer based in Madrid. He has been writing about Spanish football since 2014 and regularly attends and covers matches across Spain. His work has also been published by various newspapers and websites including These Football Times, World Soccer and Guardian Sport. Available for freelance work: marksochon (at)