Villarreal have announced that they have completed a deal for Boca Juniors, 18-year-old attacker, Leonardo Suárez. Despite having barely played for the Boca first team, the La Liga outfit will pay around €2 million initially, a fee that could rise to €7 million.
Suárez flew out to Spain on Monday to complete the deal and Villarreal announced on their website: “Pending a medical, Villarreal CF and Club Atletico Boca Juniors have reached an agreement for the transfer of Leonardo Gabriel Suarez, who has signed a contract until June 30, 2020.
“The promising youngster will play at the South American tournament with Argentina’s Under-20 side from January 14 until February 7, 2015, in Uruguay, before joining our Villarreal B side.”
Provided there are no complications over the medical the deal has been completed and Boca will benefit from the boost to their funds but regret losing another academy product before he has even had the chance to represent the club.
Villarreal fought off competition from La Liga rivals, Valencia in order to capture Suárez and have him sign this five-year deal. Interest from both clubs was reported a month ago when it became apparent that Suárez’s contract with Boca was running down.
The gifted attacking midfielder made his Boca debut during this season as Rodolfo Arruabarrena took the opportunity to play some of his fringe players ahead of the their Copa Sudamericana matches.
Having such limited first team exposure has not hindered his move to Europe after impressing for Argentina’s under 17s and helping La Albiceleste lift the South American Championship in 2013.
Being Argentine and standing at just five foot three inches, Suárez immediately draws comparisons to the countries most successful of young exports, Lionel Messi but the similarities do not end there. Left footed with a low centre of gravity and a quick burst of pace, Suárez has performed impressively for the Argentina under 17s and under 20s in this familiar number 10 role.
Suárez represents a calculated risk for Villarreal given his young age and lack of first team football but with such potential, it could prove to be a masterstroke.