Alvaro Negredo has been linked with plenty of Premier League teams recently; and he showed why with a four goal salvo against Valencia last night.
It was the final day of La Liga yesterday and with plenty still up for grabs it looked like being one very exciting day for fans of Spanish football.
With the relegation places going down to the wire there was also the small importance of the European spots to decide; with places in the Champions League and Europa League well and truly up for grabs.
For the Champions League it was a straight ding-dong between Real Sociedad and Valencia while the Europa League was a far more complex situation.
As the Copa Del Rey final was contested between Atletico and Real Madrid, both of whom had already qualified for the Champions League, one extra Europa League slot was allocated to the league standings.
But here is where things get slightly harder to follow. Because due to Malaga’s expulsion from UEFA competitions, due to financial irregularities, the sixth place team could not qualify.
That meant the team finishing eighth would go into the Europa League Third qualifying round.
But the team that finished eight was Rayo Vallecano; and the Madrid side have also been suspended from UEFA competitions for failing financial fair play checks.
So the ninth place team had entry to the Europa League; which at the start of yesterday’s football was Sevilla - with Getafe and Levante in hot pursuit.
So the fact Sevilla played Valencia on the final day made for an exciting watch.
Valencia knew that anything but victory and a Real Sociedad win at Deportivo La Coruna would see them drop into fifth position. Meanwhile Sevilla knew a win would guarantee them European football.
Real Sociedad did win; 1-0 at the Riazor condemning Deportivo to relegation to the second tier once again.
Alvaro Negredo was the hero on the day for Los Rojiblacos as his terrific four goal haul saw them win an enthralling encounter 4-3; despite the efforts of Tottenham transfer target Roberto Soldado.
The result means Valencia will be playing Europa League football next season while Sociedad embark on a Champions League campaign for the first time since 2003-04.
In the end Sevilla did not even need the win; as Getafe lost and Levante were held against Granada and Real Betis respectively.
But at least they can say they qualified with style.
You can see the highlights in the video below; and pay special attention to Negredo’s first goal…
image: © eslee82