Grading the Newbs

Although its not quite the halfway mark of the season, its pretty close.  And this winter break is super boring.  And with the January transfer window soon to open, I figure its a good moment to think and look back at the summer’s crop of new players.  How did they perform?  Who has exceeded expectations?  Who has fallen short?  What are your thoughts? Here are mine:

  • Mbia: Has been a dominant force in the center of the pitch, but has also made some big costly blunders (Racing).  Grade: B+
  • Vitolo: Started slowly, warmed up, and has slightly cooled back off.  Though at least we now know his best position.   Grade: B+
  • Jairo: Somewhat inconsistent though has certainly shown promise and pace.  Grade: B
  • Rusescu: Arrived out of shape.  Arguably didn’t do horrifically in minutes he played.  Couldn’t crack the top two.  Now headed to Braga.  Showing up so out of shape remains inexcusable to me.  And he’s still saying “I don’t know why I didn’t play”.  It’s because you were overweight!  I don’t know.  Tim, any additional insights on all of this?  Grade: D-
  • Gameiro: Has played pretty well, though he’s been fairly dinged up with injuries lately.  Grade: B+
  • Bacca: Although he misses some sitters (you could say the same of any striker), I think he’s answered our prayers of filling the gap left by Negredo.  Has rightfully earned the first striker spot.  Grade: A-
  • Carrico: Injuries derailed the beginning of his season, but he now seems like Emery’s first choice for starting CB and has played quite well there.  Without injuries I might go higher, but with injuries: Grade: B
  • Pareja: Looked promising at first.  Came back and wasn’t as good.  Injured again?  I’ve lost track.  Grade: C-
  • Iborra: Looked poor at first but has improved his play and has gained Emery’s confidence.  He’s also gotten forward and scored a few goals.  Grade: B-
  • Diogo: Wait, I’ve actually lost track.  Is he new this year?  I like Diogo.  Adventurous going forward even if not the best defender.  Grade: B+
  • Marin: Looked awesome in the first few games.  Then…  injury.  He’d probably get a B+ if it was only based on games he’s played, but we haven’t seen him for a while.  Grade: C
  • Cheryshev: Something like 5 minutes played?  Grade: Incomplete

Overall, I think that Monchi and co. did really well last transfer window.  With this new one opening we still seem to be in good shape as we finally get the “additions” of some high quality players like Marin and Cheryshev back.  I don’t think we have any present clear needs…  Though that will certainly change if Rakitic or Moreno get stolen away (Perotti’s absence we could cover more easily).

What do you all think?  Happy holidays to everyone.