Guedes finds his ideal place up front

The Portuguese played his best game this season acting in attack point. His numbers, as a forward or midfielder, are spectacular: 9 games, 5 goals and 2 assists


Javi Gracia knows that with the oxen he has, he will have to plow this season. He doesn't even think about the January market and rather prays that Murthy keeps his word and doesn't sell to Kondogbia. Therefore, it is focused on getting the most out of each of its players. And one on whom he has the focus is Gonçalo Guedes. The Portuguese is the most expensive signing in the club's history (40 million) but he has not just exploded with Valencia, except in the first season in which he was on loan from PSG. The challenge is to recover everything since he must be a differential footballer in the current Valencia.

And one of the keys that Gracia played with Guedes last Sunday was to place him in front, along with Maxi Gómez. And at least numerically, the bet paid off. The Portuguese scored a great goal and also associated well with Maxi and with the players who joined in the second row. In fact, Gracia must have liked the test since he only replaced him in the discount for Vallejo and it was the game that left him the most minutes on the field this season.

In general terms, Gonçalo Guedes has not played too many times as a midfielder or as a companion for the forward. In fact, Marcelino only used it there in specific games, in the 2018-19 academic year, and Celades in several consecutive games last February, when he also looked for his place. However, the confinement stopped everything. In total, Guedes has played nine games at the top of the attack, either as a playmaker, behind the striker, or as a second striker. In those duels, he has scored five goals and given two assists. By numbers, a position where you generate a lot.

After a first season (2017-18) in which Guedes wore Marcelino on the far left, with some exceptions on the right, the Asturian coach tried with the Portuguese in the center, at the attack point, several times during the course 2018-19. His first appearance in point was saving. He started for 20 minutes in Krasnodar, with the Europa League tie uphill, and scored the goal that gave the tie and the pass to the quarterfinals. A great goal. A month later, Marcelino returned to pull Guedes as a resource in two consecutive league games. Against Levante, where he scored a goal and gave an assist at Mestalla (3-1). And a week later, at Villamarín, where he scored both goals in Valencia's victory (1-2). In that same stadium, in the Copa del Rey final against Barcelona, he played as a forward in the last minutes. He had two clear options to sentence but he missed them, already as a result of fatigue.

In the past season, Celades also tried to place him as second striker, although most of the time as a resource, coming off the bench. He only lined him up as a starter in attack, alongside Maxi, twice. And neither time did it go wrong at all. Against Atlético, in the Wanda (2-2) where both combined well and in the infamous San Siro match against Atalanta (4-1). It is true that the final result turned everything black but the two of them and Ferran Torres generated chances to score more than one goal against Gasperini's team. In addition, Celades put him as a forward 45 minutes against Betis, in Mestalla, due to Maxi's injury. He played with Gameiro and gave him an assist (2-1). Likewise, he played 31 minutes up against Getafe (3-0) and 18 minutes against Alavés (1-1), in the last game before the break. Last Sunday he returned to play as second striker and scored a great goal.

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