Who is Emiliano Sala and what does he bring to Cardiff City?
For a fee of about £20 million, Cardiff City may just break their transfer record. To be honest, when you mention Emiliano Sala, I’d never have thought he’d break any sort of record.
Loitering around the lower divisions, the Argentine has far from set French football alight, but ‘lowly’ Nantes took a chance on him. Sala was finally relieved from the clutches of Bordeaux and their loan deals. 25 years old and with no more than 15 First Division appearances, €1m could’ve presented a risk for Nantes, who have never been in full financial stability.
His first season for the side from Western France was not bad but also didn’t tear up trees. Just 6 goals in 22 league games (9 substitute appearances) was not what the ambitious goalscorer had in mind, but whilst France were encapsulated by Euro 2016, Sala was working hard to turn his fortunes around.
Three seasons later and Emiliano Sala has repaid Michel de Zakarian for forking out the money to buy him back in 2015. The 16/17 and 17/18 seasons were identical; twelve goals and four assists, a more consistent return which helped Nantes reach a high of 7th place in Ligue 1, but the reason why Cardiff are so interested in this 6ft 2in goalscorer is this season…
Another twelve goals. This time in just 16 First Division games, two behind Neymar. Not only is that impressive, it’s borderline world-class. You could argue over whether he could carry on this form for the remainder of the season but still, you can clearly see he has quality, something Bordeaux clearly missed.
Style of Play
What’s great about the 28-year-old sharpshooter is his ability to score all types of goals. Whether it’s a ball in behind that he has to chase, a turn and swivel in a confined area, or of course a powerful header. Using the centre-half almost as a ladder to climb up extraordinarily high is something only the great aerial presences can achieve without giving away a foul, and Sala does just that.
He would provide a perfect option for Neil Warnock’s side. Flexible and dynamic, he allows The Bluebirds to counter-attack with his surprising pace, but also, if they go a goal behind, he can offer something else, enabling Junior Hoilett and Mendez-Laing to swing crosses in for him to attack. With rumours that he’s flown in for talks, it’s only a matter of time before we see Emiliano Sala in the Premier League. We wish him well.
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