Chilean con carne!

Again Eduardo Vargas is in the loop to join Valencia, and now the opportunity is bigger than last time. Reports says Santos will put €2 million on the table for him, but that’s nonsense. They don’t have the money. Furthermore, the financial relation between Napoli, who own Vargas, and Santos, is quite complicated. But I’ll spare you those details now.

More importantly, why would Vargas be good for Valencia? If Los Che can come up with the money to pay his wages plus a fee, will he be worth it? In my opinion, an unconditional yes! Good strikers are so in demand today, that even if Lim comes and throw €30-40 million on the table right now, the chance to attract someone that guarantees 10-15 goals half a season is next to nill.

“Edu” is also young. Even more importantly, he’s ambitious. He’s schooled by Jorge Sampaoli, the most fervent Bielsa-disciple around, making him very smart and direct both in attack and in pressing the opponent. He’ll just keep on running all match, and if it’s something the fans want, and the team needs, it’s that.

No, he won’t be a (pre-Spurs) Soldado, scoring that often. But not far off it either, if Pizzi can keep up the fast and direct style we now see the sketchings of. The Chilean also can handle not having too much space, being strong, fast, and technically skilled. Pizzi has requested more attacking options, something Vargas also delivers. Right wing, second striker or target man are all roles he can handle. He didn’t get many chances at Napoli, but needed no time at all fitting into a new role at Gremio, where he lifted a mediocre team into a force to be reckoned with.

Bielsanism/Sampaolism mould very versatile and hardworking players, which makes them in demand. Vargas is still to be really discovered in Europe, and met a lot harder competition than Alexis Sanchez did when he came to Udinese, as Eduardo had to compete with the likes of Cavani and Hamsik.

With the World Cup coming up this summer, and Vargas being a sure starter for a Chile even stronger than four years ago, odds are he’ll be worth a lot more even if Spain’s group phase adversary crashes out early in the competition.   

The problem is that Valencia struggles with money too. So my vote is that the club moves heaven and earth to acquire him on loan with an option to buy. And I really don’t mind to send one of the numerous attacking midfielders the other way (except Bernat!).

Not just because Vargas and Valencia suits each other like Gin & Tonic. And also not just because maybe then my wife will stop acting like a culé as the first ever Chilean plays in the blanquinegra. But also because this kid is a rare, undiscovered gem in a market where even the richest of clubs scramble for lesser prospects. Because this is a Chilean con carne!


Pål Ødegård (@paalpot75)

Vice president and writer for