Otámendi's departure still hurts, admits Valencia boss

Nicolas Otámendi, whose market value skyrocketed after an excellent season with La Liga side Valencia, has settled into life in Manchester fairly well following his big-money move from Spain.

Since then, he has been impressed in an ever-improving backline at Manchester City, whilst forming a solid centre-back partnership with captain Vincent Kompany; without speaking much English at all.

Otámendi already settled in Manchester

Communication is an integral part of football, not least in a defensive manner when teammates have to talk to each other, guide one another to ensure they keep their shape and avoid making mistakes which could ultimately lead to goals conceded.

At 27-years-old, Otámendi still has plenty of years left to perform at the highest level. A switch to the Premier League seemed inevitable, but Valencia manager Nuno Santo has publicly admitted that his side miss the Argentine's presence in the heart of their own defence.

Valencia admittedly missing their star man

"It's clear [that losing Otámendi hurt]. He was with us [up] until a week before we played Monaco [Champions League qualifier]." The 41-year-old boss continued, saying that the Argentine, who has 29 caps for his country, allowed the team to "defend in a different way."

Known for his strength, agility and towering presence in-and-around the area - despite not being particularly tall for a centre-back at 6ft, he was heavily linked with moves to Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Real Madrid amongst Europe's elite. However, he opted for a switch to Eastlands instead - and is already fast-becoming a fan favourite in the blue half of Manchester too.

Nuno also said: "His virtue was his anticipation and that made the team play differently. We can't be the same with him, as [we are] without him."

With eleven League games played this campaign, Valencia sit three points away from the Champions League places, in seventh currently. Celta Vigo (fourth), Villarreal (fifth) and Eibar (sixth) are above them in the race for European places.