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Scout Report: Vicente Iborra

Who is Vicente Iborra?

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Full Name

Vicente Iborra de la Fuente.

Date & Place Of Birth

Vicente was born on the 16th of January 1988 in Moncada, Spain.

Playing History

Iborra has only ever played for two clubs in his ten years as a pro - Levante and Sevilla.

Having made his debut for Levante back in 2008, Iborra went on to regularly feature as a defensive midfielder for Les Granotes for five years, becoming an integral part of their side which overcame financial trouble and adversity to become a solid mid-table La Liga side, even finishing in 6th in 2012.

He left Levante as a club legend to join Sevilla and has been an ever-present in their side since, winning the Europa League with Los Rojiblancos in each of the last three seasons.

Iborra has carved a reputation in Spain of being a dependable professional who is rarely injured or suspended, despite playing a very demanding and physical role in the team.

Physically, What Is He Like?

Vicente is a big lad, standing at around 6 ft 3 in. He's good in the air, incredibly powerful and is not easily out-muscled. He isn't the quickest, but he doesn't struggle to get around the pitch.

What Has Been Said?

Sky Sports confirmed yesterday that Sunderland's £7.7m bid for the Spaniard had been accepted, but it would appear that the deal has not been straight-forward at all and whether he actually ends up here is anyone's guess right now.

It is believed that Iborra would be doubling his wages in moving to Wearside, so this is obviously an appealing move to him when paired with the fact he's being given an opportunity to prove himself in arguably the best league in the world.

As you'd expect, Sunderland are being made to sweat with regards to fees - the selling club holds all the cards with this transfer and they'll hold out right up until the end of the deadline if they have to.

Spanish newspaper Marca have claimed this morning that the deal is off, but I wouldn't head for the Wear bridge just yet - these things are often like a game of cat and mouse. It's a case of seeing which club gives in first.

How Did He Fare Last Season?

Unai Emery - the Sevilla coach last season - transitioned Iborra from his usual role as a defensive midfielder to a more advanced role further up the pitch, and it proved fruitful as Vicente scored seven league goals.

Vicente featured in the closing minutes of his side's Europa League Final win over Liverpool in May and featured regularly across the season as Sevilla disappointingly finished in seventh in La Liga.

Where Would He Fit Into David Moyes' Squad?

Sunderland are absolutely desperate for central midfield players at the moment, particularly ones that can add goals further up the pitch.

Moyes' Everton team did play a more possession-based style of football than most will give them credit for, and with the introduction of players like Iborra, Manquillo and Steven Pienaar it would be fair to say that Sunderland's manager is keen to impart his own stamp on our playing style going forward.

Iborra is the Sevilla captain, and Sunderland have lost leadership from their team this summer with the departure of Younes Kaboul. It's a signing that makes sense, all things considered.

Injury History

As noted at the start of this article, Iborra is a very dependable player and hasn't got a particularly bad history with injuries. In fact, Iborra has only missed playing time through injury on three occasions in his whole career, the last being a sprained ankle back in 2014.

Video Footage

Here's big Vince putting one past Barcelona last season.

Conclusion

I trust David Moyes on this one - he's obviously a player that he has watched for some time, and will likely know all about his attributes and what he can bring having coached in Spain last year.

The comparisons to Marouane Fellaini are probably fair, and it's no surprise that we were linked with the Manchester United player earlier in the window - he's a player that Moyes has long admired. Unfortunately though he would cost us an absolute fortune, so bringing a player like Iborra to Sunderland that can offer us similar qualities makes alot of sense, with the added bonus that Vicente has won major trophies with Sevilla and has captained their side.

The rumoured fee seems sensible too, especially when you consider the amount of money being thrown around on average players this summer.

I'm just crossing my fingers hoping we don't Sunderland this one up. Talk today would suggest that the deal has hit a snag but I speculate that any selling club would be trying to milk Sunderland for every penny that we have knowing that we are as desperate to recruit players as we are.