Another emphatic win for FC Barcelona on Sunday night, this time against title-race rivals Atletico Madrid gave them an overwhelming nine point cushion at the top of the La Liga table. Despite going a goal down thanks to in-form striker Radamel Falcao, Barca came back strong and ended up winning the game 4-1. They did all this, and more without the help of forgotten Spanish striker David Villa who only featured for the final ten minutes of the game, coming on as a substitute for fellow La Roja international Pedro.
In 2010 the world was seemingly David Villa’s oyster. After helping his country triumph in the FIFA World Cup, the Spaniard landed the dream opportunity to play his football at the Nou Camp and started life as a Barca player in scintillating form, netting 18 in his first season at the club. But that was as good as things were ever going to get for the 31 year old.
The rise to prominence of club-mate Lionel Messi, a change of managers and a couple of prolonged injuries has left David Villa overlooked for first-team football by current Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova in recent times and whispers in the press suggest Villa may be searching for a new club should things not improve at the Nou Camp.
After seeing plenty of his La Liga counterparts such as Juan Mata, Michu, Santi Cazorla and many more make successes of themselves abroad in the English Premier League, the lure of of an exciting new challenge and the chance to join up with his Spanish amigos in new surroundings may prove too tempting for the Barca forward to turn down.
Online bookmaker Ladbrokes are already tipping David Villa to be a Premier League player next season and with clubs such as Swansea, Arsenal and Chelsea looking to the Primera Division for new talent in recent times, El Guaje will have no shortage of interested parties looking to bring him to England. So which clubs are most likely to land the Spaniard’s signature should he decide he’s had enough of Catalonia and wants to ply his trade in the English Premier League?
In terms of style of play, there’s no better club for David Villa than Arsenal. Arsene Wenger has been embedding his easy on the eye, continental style of play on the Gunners for years and with the likes of talented play-maker Santi Cazorla feeding him the chances, there’s no doubt Villa would relish a chance to play at the Emirates and fill the boots of recently departed striker Robin Van Persie.
Whilst not as attractive in their style of play, Chelsea could be another potential suitor to David Villa with new boss Rafa Benitez adding an extra Spanish factor into the mix. Mis-firing La Roja team-mate Fernando Torres also resides at Stamford Bridge which could be an added incentive for Villa and there’s no doubt defences up and down the England will be quacking in their boots at the thought of David Villa and Fernando Torres lining up against them, that is if Benitez can get the two amigos to rekindle their old form.
Whilst Ladbrokes may be wrong that David Villa is on his way to the Premier League next season, not many people will disagree with the fact that David Villa is too good a talent to be wasted on the bench, even at a club like Barca. But it’s true to say new boss Tito Vilanova is still getting a feel for his newly-acquired squad and David Villa may still get his chance in the coming weeks should Tito decide to rest and rotate his squad more frequently.