Aduriz on verge of return – but is he the right signing?By: Jack | June 7th, 2012
The Basque forward appears to be close to signing from Valencia but I’m not convinced he’s the player we need.
It is clear our attack needs strengthening. Whenever Llorente is absent or off form we struggle to score. He is the focal point of the team and we have few other attacking options. While Toquero works his socks off he offers little goalscoring threat and isn’t really suited to the lone striker role.
It is also true that Aduriz is a good player and a goalscorer. Even at 31 he’s still in his prime and played 43 games for Valencia this season (though most from the bench) scoring 9 times. In fact, it was the first season in four years his league tally was in single figures. His departure from San Mamés was a mistake (and at only €4m bad business) and we missed his goals. But I’m still not sure he’d be a good signing.
In his last spell at the club he was mainly partner to Llorente – under Bielsa though the team only plays one forward. Assuming Llorente stays (I think he will but until he signs his renewal it is a worry) he is that lone striker. So Aduriz would either have to play on the wings – which isn’t his position – or settle for a place on the bench. I do feel he would do well as an impact sub but less sure he can play as a lone striker. Also, when in need of a goal or two taking Llorente off is hardly a brilliant idea, though maybe with the option of Aduriz, Bielsa could switch to two strikers as a plan B?
As I say though we do need backup for Llorente. He misses few games but when he does his absence is felt. Our self enforced policy restricts our options and there simply isn’t many top level Basque strikers out there currently, which is why it’s hard to turn down someone like Aduriz when he becomes available. But I believe we should be going after someone else.
Toquero was plucked from nowhere and did a job for us and so I think could a striker from the second division – Urko Vera.
You may recall he was with us before, albeit briefly. Last January Caparrós signed him from third division Lemona and though he mainly featured for the B team, he made five substitute appearances for the first team scoring once – a late equaliser against Getafe. When Bielsa took charge though he was not in the Argentine’s plans and was sold to relegated Hércules. In the Segunda he’s scored 12 goals as his side hope to make a swift return to La Liga.
At 6′3″ he is a more direct replacement for Llorente. When at the club under Caparrós he was too similar to Llorente to play with the Spanish international but I believe he would be a great backup. He would also accept being on the bench most games, at 25 fits in with the current youthful and energetic squad (though I do think Aduriz’s experience would be useful) and as shown this season has an eye for goal.
Any signing in the forward department is a positive one though and Aduriz’s return will be a popular one, but I’m still unsure he’s the right player for us.