07|01 PRESEASON: CHAMPIONS LEAGUE MONEY WELL SPENT!

seasonSeven.episodeOne | Preseason

After the dramatic end to last season, I will be doing all I can to ensure this season it’s a lot less so. However, when our rivals are spending €60m a season on transfers, there’s not much you can do except keep picking up youth players, developing them and bringing them through to the first team.

That, and nabbing some free-transfers when they present themselves. Consolidation is the key term for this season. Consolidate our position in the Champions League, try to retain our top talent, and pick up new young talent we can develop, and in the case of Marques, sell for big money.

TRANSFER BUSINESS

It has been a bit of a scattergun approach this pre-season. I had my targets in early, however, a couple of interesting names came across my desk, and I couldn’t say no.

OUT | Carlos Marques | €40m to Man United

First up, Carlos Marques becomes the first player from the academy to exit Parma. He goes with our best wishes. A deal worth close to €50m was enough for me to accept.

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IN | Alberto Dossena | €6.75m from Atalanta

When I heard that Dossena might be available, I made an enquiry, and we were comfortable with the terms we would have to meet for Atalanta to agree to let him go. I’m pleased because we have let quite a few players go after their contracts were not renewed, including a couple of central defenders.

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IN | Marcos Michelli | Free from Gimnasia La Plata

There were a lot of clubs in for Marcos when his contract was on the cusp of expiring. A chance reading of a news article brought him to my attention and I’m glad it did. He looks to be an exceptional player. A few traits to learn but he’ll almost certainly be a starter for me.

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IN | Martin Ødegaard | Free Agent

I saw that Napoli had put in an offer to Martin, and seeing as he had just left Real Madrid on a free transfer, I assumed the risk would be minimal. A poor season could see us take in some nice funds from a transfer. I don’t need an attacking midfielder, but I couldn’t miss this opportunity, especially with Komes still unsure about staying.

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IN | Leonel Nuñez | €4.4m from Estudiantes

I have a lot of scouts out in South America, and I try to buy young due to the foreign player rule in Italy, where I can only register one new foreign player each season. I’m hoping Nuñez will grow a bit more, as he’s a little on the short side, but he looks like he could be quite a good player in the future.

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IN | Sergio Gómez | Loan from Man City

Sergio will come in as a Winger to support Messina and the renewed Douglas Costa. Given the troubles with injuries last season, I wanted to more cover on the flanks, and Gómez will certainly give us that.

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IN | Miroslav Andrejic | Loan from Paris Saint Germain

Given that we only have Iemmello as a recognised goal scorer, and that he is going to be 32 this season, I signed Miroslav to keep up the competition and rotate with Iemmello as his legs tire due to the increase in games we have.

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THE PRESEASON RESULTS

Nothing much has changed tactically, so pre-season was all about fitness and conditioning. We’ve lost a couple of players to injury, which isn’t surprising, but we go into the season with a strong squad and some good backup options. Unlike last season I feel better prepared now.

The results of preseason are as follows.

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The results were good, and Costa has been on fire. I’m a little disappointed with the Chievo result, given I played a strong team that I expect to start against Inter Milan in the  Supercoppa Final, but on the whole, we’ve done alright. I’m positive about this season coming.

Until next time, arrivederci.

O.Jensen

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