The versatile player's European odyssey continues with a loan move to PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands.
The 27-year-old has been adamant that staying in Europe is his desire and that having as many Mexicans as possible competing in the very best leagues is the way forward for the national team.
Just last week, “El Principito” talked in an interview with TDN about Mexico still having a long way to go in the exportation of players. He said earlier in the summer that he wouldn’t consider moving back to Mexico.
“If now there are eight (Mexicans in La Liga), hopefully it’ll soon be 10 and then 15 and 20 and 50 and each time there can be more of us,” he stated.
Ironically, the number of Mexicans in Spain’s first division may now be down to seven, with Guardado moving Tuesday on a season-long loan to PSV Eindhoven from Valencia, but he has resisted the temptation of returning back to Mexico.
Guardado has practiced what he has preached when it comes to Mexicans playing abroad, even if the Dutch league is a step down from La Liga. This is a player that stated in Sept. 2012 that he could make double his wage playing in Mexico and that left his home country at just 20 years old for Deportivo La Coruna, having already become a fan favorite at Atlas.
What the move does provide Guardado with is a team under Philip Cocu that has a well-respected young coach, scores lots of goals, is set to challenge for both the Eredivisie and the Europa League and, most importantly, first team minutes.
Guardado had been short of playing time in the first half of last season at Valencia and his loan to Bayer Leverkusen was hampered by injury and loss of form.
The technical Dutch league should fit his game very well and – as the World Cup proved – isn’t short of quality players.
The major question is where Guardado fits in at PSV. Cocu plays a 4-3-3 and the manager has stressed the Mexican’s versatility is a major plus. He could play as a left back, on the left of the forward three or, ideally, in central midfield as he did for Mexico in the World Cup.
If he does, as expected, get regular minutes, the move to PSV offers Guardado a more obvious path to consolidating himself with the Mexico national team in face of some stiff competition from the younger generation of players like Arturo Gonzalez, Dieter Villalpando and Alonso Escoboza.
Miguel Herrera was won over during the World Cup by the “little extra” that the Europe-based players showed in Brazil, but that has to be balanced out with the manager’s firm assertion that Mexicans wherever they are based need to be playing regularly to get called-up.
The Mexico manager already gave his tacit approval to Guardado’s move when he said in a video conference on Tuesday that the midfielder would be captain in next month’s games against Chile and Bolivia.
Finally for Guardado, PSV offers a better opportunity to put himself in the shop window next summer, when he will only be 28, have built yet more experience in Europe and, crucially, only have one year of contract left at Valencia. With a good season at PSV behind him, he’ll be in a strong position to negotiate.
The positives outweigh the negatives in Guardado’s move to PSV, with the clincher being that minutes should be much easier to come by in the Netherlands than at Valencia.