With the return of Moi Gómez, currently 15 of the 27-man first-team squad that Javi Calleja is using — those he is currently working with, plus the international players to join up later–have come through the youth ranks of the Yellows system one way or another. This is a percentage of 55%, meaning that more than half of the current squad at some point or another came through the youth system at Miralcamp, and without going too far, the signing of Moi for a small fee in today’s market is a direct fruit of the hard work at the academy, even with him leaving and then returning.
The case of Pau Torres also has to be added to that of Moi, with the defender being the only player in the first-team squad who was born in Vila-real. “It isn’t easy for any player from Vila-real, nor even from the province of Castellón, to get into the first team, as playing at the very top needs elite players, and there is a lot of competition,” underlined the centre-back, who has received advice from his predecessors Héctor Font, César Arzo and Xisco Nadal: “I have a good relationship with Héctor Font and César Arzo, and now with Xisco Nadal, who is the first-team delegate. They give me advice and explain their experiences to me. It’s a lot easier because of that.”
First-team players who have come through the youth system: Mario Gáspar, Pau Torres, Jaume Costa, Xavi Quintillà, Samu Chukwueze, Leo Suárez, Manu Trigueros, Moi Gómez, Santi Cazorla, Manu Morlanes, Bruno Soriano, Ramiro Guerra, Chuca, Dani Raba, Gerard Moreno.