Barcelona and Spain striker David Villa.
After a year out with injury, there are signs that David Villa is getting back to his best, and although he may not be highly valued by current club Barcelona, the attention he has attracted from top Premier League sides such as Arsenal and Tottenham shows he is still one of the world’s best finishers.
Villa first attracted attention from the world’s biggest clubs as a youngster with Real Zaragoza, where he scored 41 goals in his two seasons with the club. This saw him snapped up by Valencia in 2005, where he truly established himself as world class with an impressive tally of 128 goals in 217 appearances for the Mestalla side. It was around this time that he became a regular starter for the Spanish national team as well, and he has now established himself as one of the country’s best ever players, with a record-high 51 goals for the national team, helping them in their glorious era of two European Championships and one World Cup between 2008 and 2012. He is also Spain’s leading goal scorer of all time in World Cup competitions.
He has played a somewhat different role since joining Barcelona for £33million in 2011, often playing more wide to accommodate Barca’s star player Lionel Messi. Although he has had to adapt his game slightly, this hasn’t stopped him finding the back of the net, and he enjoyed a successful first season at the Nou Camp, notching up 23 goals and 9 assists, including a memorable curling finish in Barca’s Champions League final win over Manchester United.
Villa has dropped down the pecking order this season due to fitness problems, but has still managed an impressive tallyof 16 goals and 9 assists from the bench, showing he is still a top performer and worthy of a first-team place. He could still remain with the club after they rejected a bid from Arsenal for him in January, and there is certainly still time for him to get back to his best.
Throughout his career he has been a lethal finisher, but also a scorer of some great individual goals, making him the perfect all-round striker. He has also always performed in the biggest games, providing some memorable moments for both club and country.
Barcelona would be unwise to let him leave, and Arsenal or Tottenham would be very lucky to have him. Still one of the best strikers in the world, it would be great to see this class act playing in England before he hangs up his boots.