Nico is the ‘reinforcement’ that Baraja will have to face Osasuna

He was injured on December 31, in the match that resumed the club competition for Villarreal and Valencia at La Cerámica, when Gennaro Gattuso was still the Valencia coach. Two coaches later and with Rubén Baraja trying to establish himself on the bench, Nico González returns to the team to pitch in and get Valencia out of this critical situation that has dragged them down to the relegation places.

After more than two months in the dry dock, the midfielder is already 100% recovered from the fracture he suffered in the fifth metatarsal and that forced him to undergo surgery in the month of January. The first diagnosis even spoke of a few more weeks off, but Nico has always worked with the idea that the team needed him back as soon as possible and, finally, it has managed to slightly shorten the terms of a recovery that has been complicated.

Nico’s return is fantastic news in many ways. The center of the field, the most soulless position of the current squad, recovers troops. Of great caliber as well. Hugo Guillamón, Ilaix, Almeida and Yunus welcome the player on loan from Barça with open arms, aware that he will be a breath of fresh air for them. It should also be noted that increasing competition is always positive, both for the coach and for the players themselves.

Besides, Nico returns having already passed the adaptation stage. His first weeks in Valencia were difficult and it showed him to offer the level that he had shown at Barça. As the games went by, he grew in various contexts: as a solo pivot, in a double pivot and even inside. In fact, his injury came just when better football was unfolding. In the last games before the break he had become the starting number 6 for Gennaro Gattuso, even sharing minutes with Hugo Guillamón, who had just been one of the most pleasant surprises of the previous season. His point of ‘distribution’ must be that and, from there, continue growing to help Valencia as much as possible before returning to the Camp Nou.

Variants for Deck

The main beneficiary is undoubtedly Baraja. El Pipo incorporates a type of player into his squad that he did not have when he arrived. It’s like your winter reinforcement, or Fallas in this case. Nico will allow the coach to vary his system according to what the game demands. The double pivot now stands as a more real option. The Galician, endowed in equal parts with an imposing physique and overflowing quality, is also a fantastic option to adopt the role of ‘line breaker’. His change of pace is powerful and his handling of the ball allows him to direct defense-attack transitions with a lot of danger. Player ‘made in La Masía’, he has enough capacity to give that last pass that the team has been resisting for several days.

In any case, Nico’s case is not Gayà’s, for example. The ’17’ has been ‘unemployed’ for a long time and, although on a physical level he is one hundred percent, he will need a logical process to recover the rhythm of the competition. He will be in the squad against Osasuna and could dress short again for the first time in 2023.

Leave a Comment