A football CV that is envied by competitors around the world combined with technical brilliance that is a direct result of coming through the ranks of one of the best football academies there is, this player is a must have on any team that desires to compete with the top clubs of Europe consistently. And his profile should fit Arsenal’s bill perfectly from next season as it is high time they put a player of such high calibre on the pitch. For it is not just the achievements, but also the leadership and respect this player would command from the rest of his teammates that would make him an instant success and a certain fan favorite at the Emirates. After all, Arsenal harbor intentions of winning a cup and competing for the league and I honestly don’t see the club going that far next season without signing players of such reputation and talent.
SOMETIMES SOME STATS CAN BE MISLEADING
It can come as a bit of a shock that a player of such accomplishment has achieved very little in the national side. He has rarely been a first team player since his international debut in 2010 and has almost always warmed the bench while his team kept racking up wins. Surely, he must hate national duty? Or he must have goofed up terribly? Well, it’s neither. The fact of the matter is that this player, simply put, is awfully unlucky that his chief competitor for a spot in his country’s starting line-up is quite possibly the best that country has ever had in that position.
Putting aside this aberration and glancing at some stats of the last few seasons that actually matter to our discussion, we can quickly see why this player would be much coveted come summer transfer window. And yes, our player is a goalie!
*Stats gathered from www.fcbarcelona.com
These are excellent numbers for a goal keeper and add to this 5 league titles, 2 domestic cups and 3 Champions League titles and 5 Zamora trophies and we have a phenomenal individual who has won and done it all.
AND HE IS …
Víctor Valdés i Arribas is a celebrated goal keeper who currently plies his trade with arguably the best football club on the planet. Even with the likes of Lionel Messi and Xavi on his team, Valdés’ own performances are often standout and his presence in front the goal is often the starting point of Barelona’s numerous tiki-taka plays.
When we talk about Arsenal and their need to sign new players, Valdés strikes the chord perfectly. He may not be leading the list of coveted transfer targets this summer but he should the leading the list for Arsenal. Since Lehmann retired, Arsenal has lacked a true leader at the back and a calming presence in front of the goal.
Arsenal's exciting young talent in Wilshere, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Walcott and the Ox may form the backbone of the team in the coming seasons but Valdés could be the fulcrum on which the team finds the perfect balance. A club of Arsenal’s stature will always attract top talent but without a proper and strong base, the efforts of the team could again be fruitless. Steve Bould’s impact on Arsenal’s defence this season is exciting but is also a work in progress. If it is to be sustained, it needs a goalie like Valdés’ to take the club forward. He could be the true captain of the ship on the pitch that Wenger needs for his philosophies to show the outcomes they deserve.
With Barcelona, Valdés has achieved every single trophy and accolade there is and has nothing left to prove. With Arsenal, he could become a legend, a player as remembered as Henry whose influence reverberates even after years of retirement. Yes, Valdés could and should retire at Arsenal after helping them re-emerge from the depths. His experience in big games could be invaluable to the team and he could be the true spearhead Arsenal sorely lacks.
Valdés belongs to the current crop of extremely gifted football players from Spain and a player of his calibre certainly deserves more caps in the national side but never have we seen him complain or begrudge the fact that Iker Casillas, another of Spain golden generation of goal keepers, has been hogging the playing time and limelight since the year 2000. In fact, if Valdés would have been a citizen of any other nation than Spain (and perhaps Italy), he would surely have been the undisputed number one on the football pitch.
Victor Valdés needs Arsenal as much as Arsenal needs him. Here’s to the hope that he adds to the club’s rich legacy from next season and becomes the legend he deserves to be, if not already! Wouldn’t you love to see him at the Emirates, Gunners??