New Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has claimed David Villa ‘guarantees goals’ as the Spanish striker returns to full fitness.
The 30-year-old fractured his tibia playing for Barcelona in last season’s Club World Cup, which kept him sidelined for the past eight months.
Having seen Villa make his return to the side in the 73rd minute of Barcelona’s 2-0 friendly win over Dinamo Bucharest on Saturday, Vilanova praised the former Valencia player’s talents, underlining his importance to the Catalan club’s La Liga campaign.
“Last year we missed him (Villa) because he’s a player that guarantees goals,” Vilanova said in an interview with Barcelona’s official website.
“He’s very necessary to the side.
“I spoke with the doctors and the physios before playing him against Dinamo.
“It is very important for us to recover players, especially if they are well-loved like Villa is.”
Barcelona triumphed over Bucharest thanks to goals from Lionel Messi and Ibrahim Afellay, another pleasing result for Vilanova who has been happy with what he has seen during pre-season.
“The team is playing at a good level ahead of the start of the league,” Vilanova said.
Barcelona will start the new Spanish season against Real Sociedad on August 20, as they attempt to win back the La Liga crown from arch-rivals Real Madrid.