Soldado confident Valencia can progress without Mata

In the wake of Juan Mata’s sale to Chelsea, Roberto Soldado believes Valencia are still in a position to improve from last season’s third place finish.

The forward was talking in the wake of the club’s announcement that a deal had been reached with Chelsea for the Los Che’s No 10, and whilst Soldado took time to acknowledge the influence of his soon-to-be-former teammate, he also insisted the team is well-positioned to progress further:

“No player is indispensable and this season we will not be any worse off. We have strengthened well this summer. This year’s squad is more competitive than before, and in the dressing room we are convinced we can achieve the same [as last term]. Hope will be the same as two days ago [before Mata’s transfer was announced].”

Soldado described Mata as a great person who was very good for the atmosphere in the dressing room. However, where he also acknowledged his influence on the pitch, he suggested the team is well-covered in that area not to be too affected by his departure.

Summer arrivals Sergio Canales and Pablo Piatti can both play there, whilst youngster Juan Bernat has also emerged from the B team to great encouragement in pre-season. Soldado suggested: “There are the players to [replace Mata] and this is their chance to prove they can play at the top level like Mata.”

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