In a rather surprising turn of events, Watford midfielder Mario Suarez has joined La Liga side Valencia on a season-long loan, just eight months after making his move to England. The 29-year-old Spanish defensive midfielder made his name in the La Liga while playing for Atletico Madrid and was an integral part of the side that won the UEFA Europa League in 2011-12, La Liga in 2013-14 and finished runners-up to arch rivals Real Madrid in the 2013-14 Champions League.
Not believed to be in the plans of manager Diego Simeone, Suarez was shipped to Fiorentina at the start of 2015-16 season while Stefan Savic moved in the other direction. A move that was initially believed to provide the Spaniard playing time did not work too well as he featured just 9 times for his new side. When Watford came calling for the player in January 2016 with a bid believed to be in the region of £4 million, Fiorentina were more than happy to encash the option.
Only a few months down the line, Suarez is on the move back to his homeland as he looks for consistent playing time with his new side. Touted as a high-profile signing for Watford, the former Atletico Madrid man featured regularly for The Hornets since joining in January and played a crucial role in helping his side achieve a remarkable 13th place finish after being tipped to be amongst the relegation battlers at the start of the season.
The new manager Walter Mazzarri is believed to have indicated that Suarez does not have a future at the club under him and made public the intention by not picking the midfielder for his side’s opening game against Southampton.
Where does he fit in at Valencia?
The club has already seen three of its key midfielders in Andre Gomes, Danilo and Javi Fuega leave for Barcelona, Benfica and Espanyol respectively. The departure of the mentioned players has left a huge hole in the side’s spine and Mario Suarez could prove to be an astute signing by the club. He brings with him a wealth of experience in the La Liga, is an industrious presence to have in the middle of the park and loves to constantly disrupt the rhythm of the opposition with interceptions, crucial tackles and sometimes even harmless fouls. While he might not bring a lot of flair to the side, he will bring the combativeness that is often required to add balance to a line-up.
New Valencia coach Pako Ayestaran is hoping he can usher in a new era of success at Valencia and Suarez could play a pivotal role in his plan.
Suarez, who has endured a rather strange last season is keen to put its ghosts behind and is looking forward to ensuring that his reputation as a rock solid defensive midfielder remains intact. In fact, he is already looking ahead of the season, expressing that he would like to play for a long time at Valencia.
“I am very grateful for returning to La Liga, to a great side. Hopefully I can be here a lot of years at Valencia, it is what I want,” the player was quoted as saying during his first interview with his new side.Published 18 Aug 2016, 00:01 IST