When West Brom broke their then transfer record to snap up Mallorca midfielder Borja Valero for €7 million they were getting a prodigy promising hope eternal.
The Spanish midfielder arrived in 2008 and was expected to lead the charge for Tony Mowbray’s newly promoted side - however that was not the case.
Instead he was a monumental flop. He failed to score or have a significant contribution in his 36 games for the club and upon relegation to the Championship he was loaned back to Mallorca until the end of the season.
Eventually he did leave West Brom permanently - joining Villarreal in 2011 after a successful loan deal and he instantly became a big hit at the club.
Whilst there he won his one and only Spain cap but unfortunately the club soon suffered relegation and he was again on the move - with a record of 11 goals and 17 assists in his 97 games for El Submarino Amarillo.
So he switched to Fiorentina. The Florence club seems to be something of a haven these days for Premier League flops - with the likes of Stevan Savic, Alberto Aquilani and now Anderson all donning La Viola.
But none are having a better season than Borja so far.
At 29-years-old he has having his best season yet - with six goals and seven assists from his 32 appearances across all competitions this term.
And he is now set to be rewarded for such brilliance with a contract extension in Italy - keeping him at the club until 2018.
By then he will 33-years-old - and coming to the end of his often topsy-turvy career.
West Brom could use him now in this form - but sometimes players aren’t built for certain leagues, and the pace of English football never truly suited Valero.
In Italy he has found the Goldilocks tempo for his style of play - and certainly looks worth the money West Brom once paid for his services.
image: © carca
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