With the current financia crisis that is engulfing La Liga clubs, never has the development of academy players been more important.
The academy players can provide a steady stream of fresh talent to the first team, as we see in Barcelona, or they can provide a stream of talent that can then be sold off to pay down as club’s debt. And it is the latter that we are seeing at Valencia these days.
The tide started to turn with Raúl Albiol’s €15 million transfer deal to Real Madrid. The latest casualty has been Pablo Hernández, however , sold to Swansea for €7 million.
Over the last four year Valencia have sold 12 Spanish players, generating around €159 million for the club in transfer deals.
So far this summer Valencia has sold a goalkeeper, four defenders, three mid-fielders and four top class forwards. The club cashed in big time in 2010 when Villa and Silva were transferred in a flash for €73 million.
The following summer it was the turn of Juan Mata. In that case, Abramovich paid nearly €28 million to Valencia in order to whisk the Asturian away to Chelsea. And this year’s big transfer deal has been that of Jordi Alba, who went to Barcelona for €14 million.
However, one of the main reasons behind the exodus of home grown talent has been the high price paid for lesser known players. Valencia made €6 from the sale of Isco to Málaga, with Alexis being transferred to Sevilla for the same amount. Pablo’s move has brought in €7 million and other players like Joaquín, Marchena, Aduriz or Moyà have also helped replenish the club’s coffers.
The flip side of the sales, is that Valencia is selling off its best players, making it difficult compete at home and in Europe. Can you imagine how good Mauricio Pellegrino’s side would be this year if they had Juan Mata and David Silva in midfield with David Villa up-front?