After turning 30-years-old just over a fortnight ago the last thing that Real Valladolid midfielder Oscar Gonzalez thought would be happening this winter was a transfer struggle for his signature. Yet his eye-catching form in La Liga this season has done exactly that.
His first stint at Valladolid was a success and he was considered a bright prospect for the future; however when the club was relegated in 2003 he craved La Liga and moved to Real Zaragoza. Again his time with Blanquillos was a success but led once again to relegation in 2008. His performances in Spain had caught the eye of coach Ernesto Valverde who signed him for Greek outfit Olympiakos in 2008. His two seasons in Greece saw him win silverware with the Greek double in 2009 but his first team opportunities were sparse and he returned to his first club on a free transfer in 2010.
Since then it has been nothing but up for Oscar as he helped Valladolid back to the top-flight of Spanish football in his second season at the club, scoring 13 goals in the process.
This season the Pucelanos have been La Liga’s surprise package sitting in ninth position after 13 games despite being tipped for a relegation struggle by many commentators in pre-season.
At the forefront of their success has been Oscar. His goals, six in total, and combination play from the midfield have been pivotal in the success of a side punching above their weight. His recent assist for former Manchester United striker Manucho to strike home the winner against Granada was a symbol of what he brings as a footballing talent.
There is no doubt he would be able to thrive in the Premier League and Sky Sports has reported that up to three clubs are interested in bringing him to the UK. While no teams are mentioned the popular guesses seem to be Swansea City, Wigan Athletic and Liverpool who would all be attracted to the cover he would bring to the midfield, his passing ability and the prevalence of a Spanish contingent to help him settle into English life.
Not to mention the price; he is available at a bargain £3million due to a release clause activated when he reaches the final year of his contract.
As a youngster Oscar played in the youth team for Spain that also possessed the likes of Mikel Arteta, Victor Valdes and Alvaro Arbeloa but he has never reached the same lofty position the former talents have in European football.
While it may be hard to pry the player away from a team where he has clearly found his best form there will surely be a part of him that wants to see how he compares to some of the more illustrious team-mates from his youth with a fresh challenge.
Have you seen Oscar play? Would you welcome him to your club?
image: © Sanjiva