With Pedri (18 years old, FC Barcelona), Dani Olmo (22 years old, RB Leipzig), Riqui Puig (21 years old, FC Barcelona), Martin Zubimendi (22 years old, Real Sociedad) or even Gonzalo Villar (23 years old, AS Roma) , the Spanish selection can be serene for the future. The last named took longer to assert himself at a high level, but for several months he has been catching up with the accumulated delay. Yet the path was strewn with pitfalls for him. Trained in Elche, he took the path of Valencia CF, one of the best Spanish clubs in terms of training. However, he will not play a single match with the first team and will leave freely for Elche in the summer of 2018. Interesting in a first season disrupted by a tear in the meniscus, he will confirm at the start of the 2019/2020 season by helping Elche to play the leading roles in the Spanish second division. So much so that in the winter of 2020, AS Roma presents itself.
Valencia, who still had 80% of the player’s rights, had the opportunity to bring him back following his fine performances. Despite a certain talent and the scolding of the supporters, Valencia preferred to touch 3.2 million euros in transfers (800,000 euros going to Elche) and to let him go to Rome. A real development for the player who had to adapt to the demands of a major Italian first division club. “I’m from Elche CF, a second division team and coming to Roma is a big leap, but I feel prepared. I have faith. We have just arrived and I am looking for a house, I have to work hard to show that we can be important and scrupulous players to experience football around the clock ” he explained to the Italian press a few days after his arrival. Quickly becoming an option (11 matches in the second part of the season), he convinced Paulo Fonseca and AS Roma to give him more responsibilities this season.
Atlético and FC Barcelona are watching him
Alongside Jordan Veretout in the heart of Paulo Fonseca’s 3-4-3, he forms a solid and complete double pivot. Thus allowing captain Lorenzo Pellegrini to evolve a notch higher. It asserted itself on the first restart and stands out for its technical quality. Where Javier Pastore has completely disappeared from circulation, Gonzalo Villar has become the player who facilitates the game of AS Roma. If this does not translate into efficiency with 1 assist in 42 games, his activity allows him to offer much more freedom to his midfield partner Jordan Veretout. Radiant, he certainly had his best season on an individual level with 11 goals and 5 assists in all competitions. Imposing the tempo in play of Giallorossi, Gonzalo Villar directs the offensives and is distinguished by a beautiful intelligence of play. A complete profile which had not however raised the crowds in Iberian lands.
Italy changed me. Borja (Mayoral), Carles (Pérez) and I decided to come here following a proposal. An outside club like Roma came to see me and showed me a project that nobody had presented to me in Spain, without disrespecting anyone. Spain did not give me much value, I am better known in Italy. I did not play in the first division there. They never appreciated me as much as AS Roma when they arrived. Finally I took the plunge and I’m happy. Going alone to another country has helped me to mature and I am installed in a high-ranking team explained moreover the main interested in AS last February. A lack of recognition that this big fan of Andrés Iniesta is gradually erasing.
A few weeks ago, he played in Euro U21 with Spain and qualified for the quarter-finals, notably scoring a group goal against Slovenia (3-0). While it will be difficult to make the A’s list for Euro 2020, Gonzalo Villar should at least continue to cut his teeth with the Espoirs for the final phase of the competition. With AS Roma, things got more complicated in the league with a seventh place, but the club are still in the race in the Europa League with a semi-final against Manchester United. Expected for this double confrontation, Gonzalo Villar knows he is under scrutiny since FC Barcelona and Atlético de Madrid are monitoring his performances. What to imagine a beautiful financial operation in a few seasons for AS Roma who had recruited him only for 4 million euros. The Louve club is pampering its jewel which has not yet finished growing.