Superman! Enner Valencia; Th e player who brought so much excitement, but never strung more than a few good performances together.
I often think back to our 2014/15 season opener against Spurs when Enner made a late substitute appearance and the cheers for him coming on were deafening. Th ere was such a buzz around this player who seemed to have great attributes with pace, strength, heading ability and a powerful shot.
He had it all but only showed glimpses of his talent. I was even lucky enough to witness the ‘supernatural’ strike against Hull City, and believe me, it was magical. Moments like that still make me believe he could develop into his modest nickname. Going back to the start of Enner’s career, he’d started out at the same academy as the unrelated Antonio Valencia.
In Ecuador, he also won the player of the year in 2013, which although not a top league, a very prestigious award nonetheless. Having impressed in Ecuador he earned a move to Mexico and to Pachuca, and his scoring record there was very prolific with 18 goals in 23 appearances. Th en it was the World Cup, where for Ecuador, he really impressed and this was when he joined the greatest team in Europe for £12 million, which in today’s money is nothing.
From there, we have witnessed only a few glimpses of ‘superman’. Th ere was a lot of hope when we think back to the start of the Valencia-Sakho partnership. Allardyce was given his instruction for attacking football and these two were at the forefront of it.
At the start of that season, they ran defences ragged. One running to the wings, while the other caused mayhem in the box. Th ere was a real sense of excitement around these two. Th en it stopped. But why? Carroll coming back from injury casted doubt on both of them starting. Was fitness an issue? Enner’s injury troubles certainly caused problems.
Every club complains about injuries but in the forward department, we really are unlucky. We have so many, yet normally, only one striker is fully fit at any one time. Enner was normally in the unfit category. With his troubles, it was virtually impossible to pick up enough form to score a decent number of goals.
He is so injury prone he can’t be planned for. You cannot build a team with him in, because, the chances are he won’t be in it. This means that he never got the opportunity he needed. So when he was fit, he wasn’t the man. He was filling in for a team that aren’t used to having him there, how was he meant to find form? I think this is the main reason for where it went wrong.
Overall it hasn’t ended to badly. Everton have given him a chance and if he takes it we will recoup what we paid for him and a bit of change for his wasted wages. I wish him all the best and am very sorry it didn’t work out, because it really could have. He may not be ‘superman’, but certainly had talent.