El Centrocampista

VALENCIA’S BASQUE BATTLER – Striker faces his last shot at glory with Los Che

It was a cold Sunday night in Santander, Valencia were a goal down after some appalling early defending that allowed midfielder Adrian to take advantage and score his third goal of the season two minutes in.

The first half ended poorly and the second started just as badly until Aritz Aduriz appeared on the touchline 63 minutes in.

Unai Emery’s engrained 4-2-3-1 converted to a 4-4-2 as it often does when his team are losing, with Aduriz accompanying top scorer Roberto Soldado up front.  Three minutes later from an out swinging corner Aduriz volleys home giving his team one of their very rare chances to close the gap on Barcelona.

With ten minutes left in the game the opportunity was seized following a Ricardo Costa 25 yard blast which was parried by Tono; Aduriz, doing what comes naturally, followed up the shot with a header that gave his team a 2-1 lead and the chance to pull away from those behind and cut the gap from Barcelona to seven points following their 0-0 draw away to Villarreal.

As important as that goal could have been, it was one that the striker won’t remember fondly, not because Racing went on to equalise in the 88th minute, but because of a clash of heads with Christian in between his two goals which caused the player to leave the pitch prematurely and consequently suffer with concussion to an such an extent that he has been asking round for footage of the game in order to remember his goal.

Aduriz will be in the squad for Valencia’s Copa Del Rey clash with Barcelona and he’ll hope more than ever that this will be a chance to start as in the league alone Aduriz has played 15 times but 11 of those have been from the bench, yet he remains the clubs second highest scorer behind the unstoppable Roberto Soldado.

Unfortunately for the 30-year-old, the Copa Del Rey could well be his last shot at a trophy as it looks likely this will be his last season as a Valencia player, club president Manuel Llorente has advised his staff to actively scout for a striker and although interest in players from the Brazilian Serie A such as Leandro Damiao remains, a deal for Rayo Vallecano’s teen sensation Lass Bangoura may already be done in time for the summer.

The Basque striker who began his career at Athletic Bilbao experienced his best seasons at Mallorca but will hope to maintain a similar level of competition if he does eventually leave.

Aritz Aduriz is no doubt one of Spain’s most accomplished finishers evidenced by call ups to the national squad and a goal return that, for someone whose five transfers combine to make €13.3million, is rather impressive.

Sadly Aduriz is a victim of circumstance, unable to fit in a single striker formation competing with one of the best in Europe on current form he is likely to become one of the first out as Valencia’s summer transformation begins, but with around three more years of playing time left in him, there’s every chance the Basque striker could feature in the Pichichi scoring charts again next season.


  1. Ads

    1 February, 2012 at 17:04

    I think he might go back to Athletic Bilbao next season if he does leave Valencia. Very under rated player for me.

  2. chelsea

    2 February, 2012 at 00:20

    He’s a great player, skillful and physical. If he leaves Valencia, I would love to see him back at Athletic Bilbao!

  3. Connor Andrews

    3 February, 2012 at 13:36

    Agree with the above comments about Athletic, seems most likely and probably the best move for the player, but I think Valencia will just sell to who offers the most money (possibly Betis) and at 30 years old and not particularly Bielsa’s type of player I cant see Bilbao getting caught up in a bidding war.

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