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Setién’s bets
Setién’s bets

The Yellows coach has handed debuts to six youth team players for the 2022-23 campaign

A total of six players Villarreal CF who have featured for academy sides have fulfilled the dream of every child who starts kicking a ball during the 2022/23 season. Alberto del Moral, Diego Collado, Mamadou Mbacke, Haissem Hassan, Ramón Terrats and Jorge Pascual have all had the opportunity to enjoy their first minutes with the first team.

All of these first appearances have taken place since Quique Setién took the reins of the Submarine at the end of October 2022. Without a doubt, a real commitment to young talent, as this season has been the campaign in which more players from the reserve team have made their debuts since 2017/18. Back then, nine names emerged: Dani Raba, Chuca, Ramiro Guerra, Ander Cantero, Genís Montolio, Manu Morlanes, Pedro Martínez, Sergio Lozano and Darío Poveda.

In successive years, Yellows fans have been able to enjoy the participation of many other young talents, as well as the emergence of promising players such as Samu Chukwueze, Álex Baena, Yeremy Pino or Nico Jackson.

Six new names for the 2022/23 season

The first player to make his debut this season was Alberto del Moral. The midfielder from Toledo defended the Submarine’s jersey during the last minutes of the match against Athletic Club, which was played on 30th October 2022 at San Mamés. And, although his presence was somewhat symbolic, it marked the starting point of the following first appearances, which followed one after the other over the months.

Midfielder Diego Collado and Senegalese defender Mamadou Mbacke followed suit. Both made their debuts in the first knockout round of the Copa del Rey against Santa Amalia. The Granada-born forward enjoyed a total of 90 minutes, scoring a goal in the 31st minute. For his part, the Senegalese defender played 35 minutes. Later, both played at the Estadio de la Cerámica on 22nd January against Girona FC.

Almost a month later, on 18th February, French attacker Haissem Hassan made his debut against RCD Mallorca at the Son Moix stadium (4-2). Setién then called on his services again in the win against RC Celta (3-1) on 30 April at the Estadio de la Cerámica.

For his part, home-grown player Jorge Pascual has had the great experience of playing in two competitions. His debut was in the UEFA Conference League against Anderlecht (Round of 16) on 9th March, playing 58 minutes. After that, the player from Almeria made his official debut in LaLiga against Cádiz. Although, undoubtedly, his best memory of the season was to come in injury time in the last league game of the 2022/23 season. The Andalusian scored and gave Villarreal a great point against Atlético de Madrid.

Finally, the most notable appearance was that of Ramón Terrats. The Catalan midfielder arrived as a luxury reinforcement for Villarreal B, although Quique Setién would end up making him a key player for his team. Terrats has played a total of 28 games for the first team and a total of 1,276 minutes between LaLiga, the UEFA Conference League and the Copa del Rey. The reward in the form of a goal came on 30th April when he scored the goal defended by Celta Vigo’s goalkeeper in front of the fans.