Exclusive: Valencia hero Juan Sanchez on Gattuso, Cavani & Barcelona’s Nico dilemma

Valencia hero Juan Sanchez admits he’s happy seeing the “energy” of Rino Gattuso now running things at Los Che.

Gattuso has made a big impact at VCF since his summer appointment, the Italian has the team sitting eighth in the standings, while he has captured the imagination of the local public with his passionate approach.

The former AC Milan and Napoli coach has already received three yellow cards this season and clips of his touchline blow-ups have gone viral on social media.

For Sanchez, who twice won the LaLiga title with Valencia, the fiery ways of Gattuso are welcome, telling Tribalfootball.com: “Gattuso is working very well, I like that he is demanding, his boundless energy and he is a brave coach too. I think he is doing a great job with a young squad.

“Valencia this year has a young squad but is competing well. Hopefully, they can be close to being able to fight to get into Europe. However, it will not be easy because they have to compete with other well-established Spanish clubs in La Liga …who will also be fighting for European places this season.”

Inside that “young squad” is Nico Gonzalez, who arrived on-loan from Barcelona with big expectations. However, Nico has struggled to find a way into Gattuso’s XI so far this season and there is a discussion inside Barca regarding an early recall for the youngster.

But Sanchez feels Nico should fight his way through his current situation, insisting he can still be valuable to Gattuso further into the season.

“Nico is a very young lad, he has all the conditions to be a great central midfielder, he has to work to improve like all the young players. I hope that, as the season progresses, he will be an important player for Valencia.”

Nico’s arrival was sealed after it became clear that former captain Carlos Soler would be leaving for PSG. Like Soler, Sanchez came through the youth system at Valencia, and he insists there’s no point VCF fans dwell or resent the midfielder’s decision to leave.

He explained, “Carlos Soler will have taken the decision that he thinks is best for his career, we have to respect him and wish him the best. Regarding internal issues of what happened between him and the club, I can’t assess for sure what actually happened.”

A striker himself, Sanchez was also keen to highlight the arrival of Edinson Cavani. The veteran Uruguayan is now working his way to full fitness after missing preseason and is already amongst the goals for VCF.

Sanchez is confident Cavani will prove a clever signing – both on and off the pitch: “Cavani is a proven striker, he will help the young players for sure.

“I see him as a very committed and hard-working player, he always has a good attitude too.”

After last night’s impressive 1-1 draw at Sevilla, VCF are next up against Real Mallorca on Saturday.

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