Léo Baptistão Joins Villarreal
My first signing of the summer is 23 year old Brazilian Forward Léo Baptistão, you might think it strange that I am bringing a forward in after our front two Soldado and Bakambu netted 67 goals between them, however Baptistão has been on my radar for a while, he is strong forward with quality finishing skills who I see as a long term replacement for Roberto Soldado, but that’s not to say the Brazilian won’t get his chance in the forthcoming season as we embark on a Champions League campaign. Baptistão is no stranger to El Madrigal after a loan spell here the season before I took charge. He also fits in to my system and at a cost of £3m up front with a further £3m in add ons he also fits in to our philosophy of buy cheap sell big. So who is Léo Baptistão:
Leonardo Carrilho Baptistão (born 26 August 1992), commonly known as Léo Baptistão, is a Brazilian professional footballer who plays for Spanish club Villarreal . He mainly operates as a striker, but can also appear as a winger.
In July 2011, after playing his last year as a junior again with Rayo, Baptistão joined the first team for preseason games. However, in his debut, a Trophy of Vallecas match against Sporting de Gijón, he suffered a collarbone injury; his first appearances as a senior were made with the B-team, in Segunda División B.
In the 2012 summer, Baptistão was again summoned for Rayo main squad’s preseason. On 25 August he finally made his first-team debut, starting in a 2–1 La Liga away win against Real Betis, assisting Piti on one goal and scoring the winner. On 16 September he netted against Atlético Madrid but in a 3–4 away loss, adding a brace the following month at RCD Espanyol but again not being able to help his team gain a single point.
Baptistão quickly became an automatic first-choice in his first year with the Paco Jémez-led side. On 3 November 2012 he provided a further two assists for Piti in a 2–1 away win over Málaga CF, scoring his fifth goal of the season the following matchday, a 3–2 home success against Celta de Vigo.
In January 2013, with the winter transfer windowopened, Baptistão was linked with moves to the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United, Queens Park Rangers, Leeds United and Brighton, but nothing came of it. On 14 February, in only his second appearance after being sidelined several weeks with a muscle injury, he scored the winner in a 2–1 home win over Atlético Madrid, only to be downed with another collarbone ailment in April, which sidelined him for the rest of the season.
On 3 June 2013, Baptistão signed a five-year contract with Atlético Madrid for an undisclosed fee. He made his debut for his new team on 21 August, replacing Arda Turan in a 1–1 home draw against FC Barcelona for the first leg of the domestic Supercup, which was eventually lost on the away goals rule.
Baptistão scored his first goal for the Colchoneros on 18 September 2013, in a 3–1 home win over FC Zenit Saint Petersburg for the season’s UEFA Champions League. It was also his maiden appearance in the competition.
On 11 January of the following year, Baptistão joined fellow league club Betis on loan until June. He scored in a 2-0 away win against city rivals Sevilla FCin the last-16 clash of the UEFA Europa League, but the tie eventually ended in penalty shootout elimination.
On 19 August 2014, Baptistão joined former side Rayo in a season-long loan. In late September, in two games separated by only three days, he earned his team six points by scoring braces at home against Athletic Bilbao (2–1) and at Levante UD(2–0).
Baptistão was loaned to Villarreal CF in the 2015 summer, with the club having an option to buy him at the end of the campaign. On 27 September, he helped defeat Atlético Madrid by scoring the game’s only goal at the Estadio El Madrigal, and four days later, against FC Viktoria Plzeň for the Europa League group stage, repeated the feat.He returned to Atlético at the end of the season.
Baptistão spent last season at Espanyol were he played 25 games scoring 5 goals
Transfer News Outgoing
We have released 30 players who we feel are not good enough to make the first team. Defender Victor Ruiz has joined Barcelona for an initial £7.25m rising to £9m with add ons. I have also listed left back Bojan Jokic who I feel wont get game time this coming season. The departures have reduced the wage bill which I want to keep control of.
We have signed 21 year old ball playing Dutch centre back Sven Van Beek from Feyenoord for £10.5m rising to £13.25m with add ons. Van Beek has the potential to lead our back line for years to come.
Players Promoted In To The First Team Squad
The board expect us to qualify for the Champions League via our League position. The media predict us to finish 4th.
First Team Squad Contracts
I have negotiated a number of contracts that hopefully should protect the clubs future.
We are spending Pre Season on tour with 4 games in the USA and 4 games in China before we return to Spain for the Super Cup Final against Atletico Madrid. The pre season tour will bank us a few million and hopefully bring so added revenue in the American and Asia markets. Thanks for viewing my latest update.