BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 05: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona duels for the ball with Raul Baena of RCD Espanyol (L) and Joan Verdu of RCD Espanyol (C) during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and RCD Espanyol at Camp Nou on May 5, 2012 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
With the rumors of Espanyol's Joan Verdu being pursued by the Seattle Sounders one question that must be answered is "who is he?" Spain's La Liga isn't the easiest league to follow, particularly for teams not called "Barcelona" or "Real Madrid." But, here at SB Nation there are some people that follow La Liga for www.SBNation.com/Soccer, in this case Sounder at Heart reached out to Kevin McCauley (also of Tottenham blog CartilageFreeCaptain) because he watches a lot of soccer, both MLS and La Liga in this case.
The following is his response to when asked for a short scouting report about the type of player Verdu is;
He's a very good attacking midfielder who spent most of his time as the No. 10, in front of a double pivot in a 4-2-3-1 last year. He's not lazy or poor defensively, though, and could conceivably partner Alonso in a 4-4-2, though I can't remember off the top of my head the last time he played in a 4-4-2. Espanyol became exclusively a 4-2-3-1 last season and he was always the first choice guy in the hole.
He's pretty physically capable for a Spanish No. 10, which explains why an MLS club might be interested. Has a pretty solid goal-scoring record from midfield, but that's not what he's there for. Very good at coming back to find the ball and helping to start counters. Espanyol sits back a bit and counters quickly compared to most La Liga teams, which again explains why an MLS team might be interested in him.
I think that he has the ability to slot into Seattle's team right away, but there's not going to be a clear place for him that mirrors what he did for Espanyol unless Sigi changes his team a bit. Then again, it's not like any of Rose, Caskey or Evans is a box-to-box midfielder with great defensive positioning, so it might not matter at all.
In chatting with McCauley about Verdu the Montero role is not a fit. It really seems that like the Christian Tiffert rumor this rumored move is about the Evans role. While Verdu is a #10, he can and does sit deeper, particularly in defense.