Kevin Gameiro has completed his €16m move to Valencia from Atletico Madrid, and is in line to make his debut against his former employers when his new club’s LaLiga campaign gets underway Monday week.
The 31-year-old has signed a three-year contract at the Mestalla and becomes Valencia’s second striker acquisition in quick succession after the loan arrival of Michy Batshuayi from Chelsea.
The France international initially joined Atletico in 2016 after impressing at Sevilla, but was rarely Diego Simeone’s first choice striker as he played second fiddle mostly behind Antoine Griezmann, and Diego Costa last season.
He made just 11 league starts last season, scoring seven goals as Atletico finished second behind league winners Barcelona.
The summer arrivals of Gelson Martins, Nikola Kalinic and Thomas Lemar saw Gameiro fall further down the pecking order at Atletico, and he now finds himself at a club he was keen on joining.
“It was not easy, but as the president has said, it has long been clear in my head [that he wanted to join Valencia],” Gameiro said at his presentation as a Valencia player.
“Now I’m here and I’m very happy.
“A long time ago I wanted to come here, but because of club problems it couldn’t be. Then there was no option and I went somewhere else.
“The coach [Marcelino Garcia Toral] told me that he wanted to work with me for a long time. When the coach tells you that, it gives you a lot of confidence to come. I will work hard to try to do many great things here.”