For Celta two consecutive league games without Iago Aspas this season – in the first of them he was injured, against Real Madrid, in Valdebebas, on January 2 -, both games are counted as defeats. We agree on what Iago is and what it represents for the team that he is on the court because of the player he is. It seems repetitive, but it is the reality. We have to adapt to him being away and prepare the games to win them stated his partner Nestor Araujo this week.
Winning without Iago is now the goal of a Celta who in just three days will have a new opportunity to try. Statistics are not in your favor. First, Aspas has been low in a total of 30 games with his team, of which, in 20 of them Celta was defeated. He managed to rescue from the remaining 5 wins and 5 draws. The ‘Aspasdependencia’ is a reality supported by the figures. With Moaña, in 216 games, Celta signed 86 defeats -71 victories and 59 draws-. In summary, the Vigo team lost more than 65% of the games without Iago; with him, the defeats do not reach 40%, the difference is remarkable. It is the fourth time that ‘El Príncipe de las Bateas’ has been absent due to injury since his return to Vigo in the summer of 2015. In the 15/16 and 17/18 seasons, he was 2 1 and 23 days off, respectively; missed 3 games both times.
In the first of them, the team achieved two draws and one defeat, in 17/18, one victory and two defeats. But when just two weeks ago Iago Aspas asked for the change in Valdebebas with annoyance, Celtism shuddered remembering what happened two seasons ago. In 18/19 he suffered a muscle injury to the inner calf of his left leg that kept him out of the field, first, for a total of 47 days. Later, a relapse lengthened his recovery period by another 39 days.86 days without Iago Aspas are many days, so many, that they almost cost Celta a relegation, -because, without him, the celestial lost 7 of the 9 games played-. But the one from Moaña returned in time.
He did it in a match against Villarreal in which he expanded his legend; With two goals, he came back from the 0-2 that Celta had conceded at halftime. Later, when he was substituted, he couldn’t hold back his tears as he sat down on the bench. With him, like him, the celestial fans cried. Of impotence, of rage, of relief, of happiness. Things were finally coming out, Iago was finally back, there was light at the end of the tunnel and a path was beginning to be seen to it. That image of Iago crying will remain forever in the retina of Celtic because it says a lot about what the soccer player is. And everything that Iago Aspas is is far above everything that he manages to do on green.
That season Celta was saved and Aspas devoted himself a little more. This time, the situation is different. The good run of the Vigo team during November and December provides a margin, a safety net. That Iago’s injury is not serious, that he is progressing well, and that in about fifteen days he can be back with great peace of mind. But injuries and reprimands are part of football and this can happen again. The ‘Aspasdependencia’ has long been a problem; In the coming weeks at home Celta, there are duties for everyone: the team must learn to win without him, the club must search the market for reinforcements with guarantees, and Iago himself ensure his return to 100%. With him, the clouds always move away.