Former Arsenal man reveals he snubbed La Liga for Championship

Watford goalkeeper Manuel Almunia says he snubbed a move to Valencia this summer.

Former Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia has revealed he could have been playing this season in La Liga.

Instead the veteran Spaniard chose to reject the offer which came his way and remain in the Championship with Watford instead.

"Playing the play-off for promotion to the Premier League and losing him was one of the reasons that made me stay. Want to give my contribution. Valencia sought me out, but I told the leadership of the Watford I wanted to stay."

Almunia arrived at Watford with a bit of a bruised reputation after an up and down career at Arsenal, where despite the high standards of him he showed he was able to perform at the highest level.

In the Championship he has shown his clear ability, and what is crucial is that he has the motivation to stay at the club despite a more glamorous offer.

He clearly feels hurt regarding last season's play-off final defeat to Crystal Palace, a 1-0 win courtesy of a Kevin Phillips penalty.

The link to Valencia is an interesting one, but Almunia has his reasons. He would likely have been sitting on the bench, and at 36 he needs to play first team football.

Valencia already possess talented goalkeeping duo Diego Alves, a 28-year-old Brazilian international, and Vicente Guaita - a player Arsenal tried to negotiate for this summer but did not want to meet the club's asking price for.

Who knows, had Valencia managed to get Almunia in - his former club may have seen demands drop for Guaita and he could now be competing for a place at the Emirates.

Is Almunia's decision the best one? How important is he for Watford?


image: © wonker

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