With Valencia’s 4-3 defeat to Sevilla on the last day of the La Liga season, Los Che missed out on a place in next season’s Champions League, being pipped at the post by Real Sociedad. The blow for the Mestalla club is obvious – however the biggest repercussion of Europa League, rather than Champions League football, could well be the departure of star striker Roberto Soldado.
Soldado’s goalscoring pedigree has been proven time and time again at Valencia; the real shame is that he has not been given the chance to play consistently at the highest level – for club or country. The Valencia team of the early 2000’s that won La Liga titles and competed for Champions League glory is a distant memory, and since the departure of Juan Mata and Jordi Alba, Soldado has been fighting a one-man cause.
Despite being the top player in a stagnating team, Soldado’s goal per game ratio is excellent. After signing for Los Che from Getafe back in 2010 as a replacement for David Villa, the talented forward wasted no time in proving himself to the Mestalla faithful – scoring an incredible 25 goals in 31 appearances in his debut season. 27 goals in 45 appearances in 2011-12 was backed up by his best season in front of goal in the campaign just past. Despite Valencia’s worst league position in his time at the club, Soldado hit 34 goals in 43 games.
For a player of Soldado’s quality, it time to abandon a sinking ship and look for a new challenge. The Spaniard has already been linked with a summer move to Tottenham according to the odds of online sportsbook https://www.bwin.com. Also Premier League rivals Liverpool are also thought to have an interest. Should Soldado move to Arsenal, Juventus or even back to former club Real Madrid, it would not be a huge surprise.
At 28 years old, Soldado is in his prime, and needs to be playing at the highest level. The marksman has been the victim of a superlative generation of Spanish footballers, and national coach Vicente Del Bosque’s preference of playing a false nine or merely one striker rather than two. Omission from La Roja’s Euro 2012 squad was a disappointment and harsh on a top goalscorer. The fact that to this day he has only represented his country on seven occasions is a travesty.
In the right team, Soldado has the ability to prosper and prove himself as one of Europe’s top strikers. His consistency in front of goal for Valencia over the last three seasons should be reason enough for him to earn a move to a top club, something that he deserves while in his prime.