Roberto Soldado has been voted Villarreal player of the month for August by the club's fans after an impressive start in La Liga following his summer move from Tottenham Hotspur. The Spanish striker expressed his delight in getting the Mahou award while admitting his first weeks at the club have been even better than he could imagine.
The 30-year-old moved to White Hart Lane for around £26m ($40m) in the summer of 2014 as part of the overhaul conducted by Andre Villas-Boas following the departure of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid. Having scored 24 goals for Valencia in the previous stint in La Liga, the Spaniard was expected to lead the Spurs attack but struggled to secure regular playing time at the north London club – both under Villas-Boas and Tim Sherwood.
But after Mauricio Pochettino also failed to resurrect the striker's Premier League career during the 2014-15 season, Spurs allowed him to return to his homeland by a cut-price fee, with him having scored only 16 goals in his 76 appearances at north London.
Soldado has since managed to replicate his best form in La Liga. Even though he could not make pre-season with the rest of his teammates, manager Marcelino Garcia Toral handed him a starting role in his line-up in the first three La Liga games of the campaign, with the striker responding with two goals and two assists.
"I want to thanks the fans who have voted for me to receive this award. It is nice to start this way and I hope to win many more during the season. I think my return has. I came back eager to return to Spain and to La Liga and especially play in a club that have everything to do things right this season. The reception from the fans and the club has been excellent and we have also enjoyed a good start to the campaign," Soldado said after receiving the award. "We know we have much potential both offensively and defensively to do great thigs if we work as a team."
Soldado's goals have helped Villarreal to an impressive start to the campaign, with them fourth in the La Liga table, behind Barcelona, Real Madrid and Celta Vigo, after securing seven points from three games. "We've got 11 new players and now we are trying to know each other better during the training sessions to give our best in the pitch," he said.
"The effectiveness until now has been good because the team is creating many opportunities but we must continue in this line and go even further. The dressing room is going to make every effort to have a good season. We have a very good squad and I believe we are going to enjoy a very nice and exciting campaign."