A new season begins Saturday! Hooray!!! With the World Cup this summer hasn’t felt as intolerably long and empty. The World Cup also meant that a pretty busy Sevilla transfer season was both compressed and relatively under-watched by me. So partly as a service to the blogetariat (TM, duh) and partly so that I can take this opportunity, let’s take a quick moment to review the comings and goings, shall we? This list isn’t comprehensive by any means–here’s just a few of the biggest news items from my perspective (obviously, feel free to add yours in the comments).
- Obviously there’s only one man to start this list, and that’s el capitán, Iván Rakitic. What his departure means to the team is basically impossible to overstate: he was simultaneously the heart, soul, and head of our team last year. He was the only player whose absence demanded a completely different approach from the team (or the same approach, done way worse), and typically also with worse results. No amount of money could have reasonably compensated Sevilla for us, or honestly funded the purchase of a like-for-like replacement, but damn, €45M would have sounded a lot better than 18 or whatever. Not a criticism of management or of Rakitic either, to be honest; he just had the one year left, and after the Europa win I don’t blame him at all for feeling like it was both a closure of his time with Sevilla and time for his next step. Barcelona have a fantastic player at a wonderful price, even if many of the more clueless Barca fans have no idea what a fantastic player they’re getting.
- Alberto Moreno’s tearful goodbye is a great reminder of everything that’s wonderful about this team. Born, raised, and trained in Sevilla, he’s leaving after a summer-long courtship with Liverpool. At 22, I can’t help but wonder if his stock wouldn’t have raised with a year or two more at the RSP, but it’s hard to argue with ~€15M from a guy that may or may not have ever had this much cache around his name. A fine sale for Sevilla, and I’d say an equally wise use of some of that Suárez cash for Liverpool.
- Last, and most certainly least as far as quality of sales by the club goes, is the departure of Diego Perotti. It wasn’t that long ago (or that many actual playing minutes, dammit) that Juventus was willing to pay literally more than 40 times what we sold him for to Genoa. Terrible work. Terrible loss. Terrible.
- Sevilla’s biggest marquee arrivals are here on loans, but Éver Banega’s arrival is a good old-fashioned full-on sale, and a bargain at that. There will likely be lots of disagreement about whether he will ever be as good as his potential seemed to indicate, or whether he can in any way be a serviceable replacement for Rakitic, or whether he’ll get so many red cards that we’ll wish he never put on our jersey. What’s undeniable, in my opinion, is this is the kind of player that Sevilla is too often said to be in the hunt for (along with a few other mid-table teams) but which they always seem unable to close the deal on, and we at the blog are left fuming that another really great player whose circumstances have conspired to make cost less than his value has trotted off to a rival or some fucking English team.
- Many of those same words could be said about the Barca project boys. Gerard Deulofeu just left Everton where he played well enough that everyone still believes in the outstanding promise they saw before he went there. He’s only here on a loan, and unlike Denis Suárez does not have a purchase clause. (Like Deulofeu, Suárez is here for two years; the Celta Vigo product has a purchase option rumored to be around €6M). Interestingly, Barca was rumored to have offered a purchase clause for Deulofeu as well, but the number was more than Sevilla spends on players. But, I mean…the “youth player gets farmed out to other La Liga teams because the club spent too much money bringing in superstars that play the same position” is a narrative those guys in Cataluña so enjoy mocking the team in the capital for–the smarmy self-righteousness is all hard to keep track of, is all I’m saying. At any rate, the two players come with lots of excitement, hype, and talent, and should be able to get minutes and contribute from the beginning.
- The club also signed a lot of other folks I don’t know much about but about whom the Twitters seem to have the usual amounts of excitement for: Krychowiak, Vidal, Aspas, Arribas, Barbosa…we’ll almost certainly be cursing (or just forgotten) most of these names by the end of the year, but perhaps one will be heroically slotting in the goal that gets us into 5th place and the last Champion’s League qualifying spot (Valencia’s troubled finances finally having caught up with them, putting a black mark on their suprising third place season).
Alright, I’ve highlighted the obvious choices for biggest arrivals and departures–what do you all who are smarter and better-informed than me think of the team’s business this summer? Whose arrival or depature has your blood warming or boiling? LET YOUR THOUGHTS BE KNOWN IN THE COMMENTS, FRIENDS!!!