Numerous news sources are now reporting that the signing of Ecuadorian World Cup striker Enner Valencia is imminent and should be finalised in the next couple of days. The signing of Valencia is certainly a gamble, particularly with the price tags that are being reported, with some reports claiming the purchase will put us back as much as £15 million in total. Despite an impressive World Cup display, notching three goals for a relatively poor Ecuadorian side, I undoubtedly have my fears over whether Valencia is worth the risk.
It’s fair to say that unless Sam Allardyce is looking to play two up front in the forthcoming season, Enner Valencia is more than likely signing to provide competition for a place alongside the boss’ supposed ‘main man’, Andy Carroll. Personally, I cannot see Big Sam adapting and opting to go with two strikers next season, particularly with his selection headache of fitting Mauro Zarate, Ravel Morrison, Matt Jarvis, Stewart Downing and Kevin Nolan into the starting line up, come August.
Although I have my doubts about Valencia’s imminent arrival for a hefty fee, it’s refreshing to see Stewart Downing praising the signing, describing it as “a big boost for the club”, and also believing the new forward will ease the pressure on Andy Carroll’s shoulders. It was clear for all to see that our reliance on Andy Carroll for goals last season was a huge factor in our downfall at times, and the signing of Valencia and competition for places will only bring the best out of the Englishman, as well as the Ecuadorian.
So, what do you think? Will Sam Allardyce manage to fit Valencia into the current side and play him alongside Carroll, or will Valencia face a struggle trying to beat the Geordie to a lone forward’s place? Are the prices being reported unjustifiable, or do you think it’s a statement of intent and a gamble that is worth taking? – let me know.