Villarreal have an eye for a striker.
The Yellow Submarine have developed a talent in finding the gems rough around the edges who would later on be transformed and polished into proper football diamonds.
Villareal’s brilliant scouting system and excellent recruitment policy have been yielding fantastic players over the last couple of years, and most notably in the striking department, such is the case with Cedric Bakambu this season.
The 24-year-old France-born Congolese striker may be a long way from being recognised as one the club’s most prolific forwards and living legends like Guiseppe Rossi, Diego Forlan, Juan Roman Riquelme, Victor Fernandez and Ikechukwu Uche, but former Bursaspor starlet has been a major revelation in this year’s edition of the Spanish championship.
Cedric Bakambu has so far scored 10 La Liga goals in his 26 appearances, while he also added five more in the Europa League and one in the Copa del Rey.
For a player who has only joined Villarreal last summer, Cedric Bakambu has been an instant hit with the club, serving as another proof of a result-yielding scouting system that has been feeding Villarreal for years now.
Brought as a direct replacement for Luciano Vietto, who joined Atletico Madrid last year, Cedric Bakambu is enjoying a debut La Liga season to remember.
Speaking of Luciano Vietto, the 22-year-old Argentinean had himself been on the very same path Bakambu is threading at the moment. Brought from Racing Club in 2014, Vietto went on to score 12 goals in 32 La Liga outings and 20 goals in 48 matches in all competitions for the Yellow Submarine.
However, Vietto is currenty going through a difficult spell with the Rojiblancos as his goal drought passed the five-month mark, with Atletico Madrid striker failing to find the back of the net on Saturday as well in a 2-1 loss to Gijon.
Vietto is without a goal since December and Villarreal have not shed a single tear for their last season’s most prized possession who has been more than adequately replaced with the imposing striking force that Cedric Bakambu has become in just a couple of months with the club.
On his own part, Bakambu’s progression has seen a steady growth ever since his professional debut with Socheaux.
His first football steps in the homeland have perhaps not been the most prolific ones as Cedric Bakambu only scored 21 goals in all competitions during his four-year stay with the French club. However, his move to Turkey proved to be a right move as Bakambu hit the new heights in his career, never looking back.
The 24-year-old Congo international has scored the exact tally in a single season for the Turkish side Bursaspor as he did during his entire stay with Socheaux. His 21 goals in 39 appearances have alarmed the Villarreal scouts, who acted quickly to grab the talented striker.
And they haven’t made the wrong choice.
Having signed a five-year deal with Villarreal in August, Bakambu went on to score a brace nine days later, in a 3-1 victory over Espanyol.
Bakambu has since then become somewhat of a brace specialists considering the fact that the Congolese forward has so far bagged six braces for his club.
The most recent of those braces came in Villarreal’s last La Liga match against Sevilla.
The Yellow Submarine have been dealt with a 4-2 blow at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, but it was exactly Cedric Bakambu who used his two goals to save the team’s pride in the loss.
Having scored two quick goals in the span of six minutes, Bakambu managed to over-turn the result after Iborra’s opener and lead his team to the interval with a 2-1 lead over Sevilla. Villarreal ultimately failed to keep hold of a lead, losing the game 4-2, but Cedric Bakambu has once again been the brightest spark in Marcelino’s squad.
Powerful forward, Bakambu has impressed with his off-ball movement, skill, technique and composure in front of goal which are all his main characteristics as a striker.
With his team getting ready to welcome Barcelona at Madrigal on Saturday afternoon, fans will be hoping of another inspiring performance from their debutant.
Aware of the challenge that lies ahead, Villarreal will be eager to snap Barcelona’s incredible 38-match unbeaten run and Bakambu is looking at the 16/5 odds to score anytime against the Catalans.
If anyone can do it, it is him.