Previously we looked at the team’s transfers in defense, and today we examine the arrivals and departures on the rest of the field. Let’s get started!
While Kondogbia was covered in our post about the defense, he could also be considered here, as he typically plays as a defensive midfielder. I’m not sure in which role Monchi et al have selected him, but it’s not hard to imagine him playing alongside Medel in a 4–4–2 in defensive lockdown mode, or in a 4–2–3–1. Of course he’s very young, so it’s possible this will be a growing/settling year. Whether he plays much this year or not, though, this looks like a signing that will pay dividends for several years in the future.
- Along with the previously mentioned Cicinho, the signing that has given Sevillistas the most ilusión is without question the promising young Chilean Bryan Rabello. The 18-year-old has been dazzling oppositions in Chile with Colo Colo and youth national teams, and when his contract expired, Sevilla and a host of European clubs lined up for his signature. He’s a creative attacking midfielder who can play all along the midfield line, providing speed and penetration from the wing or danger and creativity from the middle of the pitch. As a young, exciting and cheap (check that–free) player, Rabello is exactly the kind of signing Sevilla built its impressive last decade on, and is just the sort of acquisition Sevillistas have been calling for in recent years. He’s supposed to begin on the B team, but I expect he’ll see some minutes with the senior team at some point this year.
- Age: 18. Position: M. Previous team: Colo Colo. Cost: Free.
- For a minute there it looked like Hedwiges Maduro was going to end up down an all too familiar and unfortunate road when concerns were raised about his heart. Although some feared he might never be able to play again, he has since been cleared by specialists in the USA, and has rejoined the team and commenced normal train. Given the arrival of Kondogbia and the continuing presence of Medel, Trochowski, and even Rakitic, it’s not clear that Maduro will see a lot of time, and he may have been added for late-match substitutions and to provide cover for injuries, suspension, etc. Here’s hoping that if he does see a lot of the field it’s because of his outstanding play and not because we’re missing better players.
- Age:27. Position: DM. Previous team: Valencia. Cost: Free
- Another arrival whose price is tough to beat, Javi Hervas was actually signed from Córdoba on a free mid-season last year and was immediately loaned back for the remainder of the season. But he’s ours now, and many people see him following a very promising trajectory. At 23 this feels like a signing for the long-term more than this season, but I expect he’ll see his fair share of minutes during the year, especially if any of the projected starters struggle. In any case, this player also seems like someone whose full impact won’t be felt for a season or two.
- Age: 23. Position: M. Previous team: Córdoba. Cost: Free.
On the departures side, there’s a number of players who didn’t bring in money but won’t be missed particularly either. Guarante has been shipped to Bologna on loan, and if you’re saying “we still own him?”, that pretty much says everything you need to know about the impact his departure will have. Ditto Acosta, who returned this summer from a loan at Racing and now heads to Boca Juniors on loan. Luis Alberto and Koné are two forwards whose loan deals have ultimately lead to permanent departures. We’ve covered Koné’s departure elsewhere, and I feel kind of similarly bad about Luis. In Monchi we trust, but I’d feel better about losing that talent if Baba had seen more minutes last season. Finally, we bid farewell to Kanouté this summer, and we all wish the club legend the best.
So that covers the whole transfer field at this point. Any additional thoughts on these exits and arrivals? How’s the roster looking for everyone at this point?