With 30 minutes left in the LaLiga game against Athletic Bilbao, Javi Gracia turned to his new hitman on the bench, Patrick Cutrone, to make an impact on his Valencia debut.
“The coach told me to make movements, to up the pressure,” said Cutrone in an exclusive interview with Batzine. “It was emotional when I put on the shirt and it’s a big pleasure to be here at Valencia – a club with a great history.”
Within 5 minutes of the Italian’s introduction, Valencia had scored. Cutrone proved a handful for the Bilbao defence at a corner, leaving Gabriel Paulista free to power a header in.
Cutrone nearly became an instant Los Che hero too, only to screw his shot wide late in the game after promising link-up play with fellow striker Maxi Gomez.
Cutrone told Batzine that the Uruguayan frontman was one of the reasons why he decided to join Los Che on a loan deal. “I know Maxi Gomez and Carlos Soler because they are great players and I want to be part of a good team with them,” said the 23-year-old.
Boss Gracia spoke well of Cutrone post-match. “In the time that he was on the pitch, he participated in the defensive work that the team needed. In attack he was very active on some transitions, especially the one that he opened up for Maxi. He was very motivated, and worked hard, like the rest of the team.”
With his directness, clever runs and nifty touches in the penalty box, one can see why Premier League team Wolves shelled out 18 million euros for Cutrone. His aggressive style endeared him to the English fans, and the notoriously hard to please AC Milan fans before that.
Having tasted Italian and English football, Valencia’s new No.11 is eager to bring his best game to Spanish shores. “The LaLiga is a good league, a fascinating league. I know the importance of this league to the European game and I am happy to be here,” said Cutrone, who mentioned that he had been inspired by fellow countryman Simone Zaza’s time at the Mestalla.
For all the action he promises, the six-foot-tall Cutrone knows full well a striker’s currency is in goals. He said: “I love to be in the area, testing goalkeepers. But the most important thing for a striker is to score goals. I want to give my best here for the team.”