Valencia have confirmed the loan signing of Luciano Vietto from Atlético Madrid until the end of the season with an option to buy included in the deal.
The agreement brings an end to a lengthy transfer process which almost saw Vietto join Sporting Clube de Portugal before eventually opting to remain in La Liga with Valencia.
Gil Marin, Atleti’s CEO, told Spanish TV last week that the deal with Sporting was agreed and only Vietto’s agreement was needed but as the 24-year-old bided his time, Valencia revealed their interest and the opportunity to reunite with manager Marcelino was too good to turn down.
#BenvingutVietto | El sueño de ser futbolista al que Marcelino le sacó el máximo brillo.
— Valencia CF (@valenciacf) January 4, 2018
The pair worked together at Villarreal during the 2014-15 season, where Vietto really made a name for himself, scoring 20 goals in a debut campaign in Europe.
That breakthrough year was supposed to push Vietto onto greater things but since moving to Atleti for €20 million in 2015, the forward has strugged to reproduce that form. One goal from 25 appearances and an only slightly better loan with Sevilla, has left Vietto with plenty to prove all over again.
Diego Simeone, who handed the talented 17-year-old his professional debut at Racing Club, spoke of his disappointment that things haven’t worked out at Atleti this week.
“His departure annoys me because his play hasn’t been accompanied by goals at a team which doesn’t wait,” Simeone explained.
“He has been one of our best players. I love him a lot as a person and he is an extraordinary footballer. It’s a shame that he hasn’t been able to add goals to his game.”
While Vietto hasn’t been able to find success in Madrid, Simeone is correct in his praise of the Racing Club product and Valencia could benefit hugely if Marcelino can get the confidence back in his young striker.
A versatile forward, capable of dropping deep and joining up play, whilst also providing a penalty box threat, Vietto will add a useful option to Valencia’s attack as Los Che aim to build on a hugely positive first half of the season.
Financial difficulties prevented Valencia doing a permanent deal but the loan suits all parties and if Vietto can quickly find his feet, it would be no surprise to see the quality of a €20 million forward.