09|01 PRESEASON: YOU DON’T WIN ANYTHING WITH KIDS!

seasonNine.episodeOne | Preseason

Season nine. It has been an interesting journey with Parma, with plenty of ups and downs for me, personally. I’ve had moments where I’ve wanted to throw in the towel, and then moments of joy and elation when we’ve overachieved in the Champions League and not forgetting the league win in season seven.

Into the new season, we’ve made quite a few changes to the playing staff. With the new philosophies in place, sign youngsters and grow from within, I’ve a new mantra when it comes to releasing players. If you want out, and there’s a bid above your value then you can leave. And so, this season sees some of our best players exit Ennio Tardini.

So, let’s take a look at the business we’ve done this pre-season.

TRANSFER BUSINESS

So first up, let’s take a look at those who have left us.

OUT | Simone Scuffet | €23.5m (€30m) to Juventus

This could come back to bite me in the ass, but Scuffet was the root cause of all my issues last season. I couldn’t wait to see the back of him so accepted the first offer that came in. That’s all I want to say about him.

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OUT | Martin Ødegaard | €47m (€56m) to Bayern Munich

Another player I really didn’t want to lose, but he kicked up a fuss about Scuffet and demanded a transfer so out he went. Another player I won’t waste any time on.

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OUT | Francisco Vargas | €75m to Man City

A bid I couldn’t refuse. He was arguably my best player, but City made an offer I couldn’t say no to. And despite them already have world-class right-backs, they decided that they needed another. Good luck, Francisco, we’ll meet again.

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IN | José Vicente | Free transfer

I don’t understand how this happened, but Vicente was available on a free transfer and discovered by my scouts at the latter end of last season. We snapped at the chance to sign him, knowing Scuffet would be leaving, and what a replacement!

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IN | Pedro Simao | Free transfer

Another free transfer, but one for next season perhaps. Pedro will stay in the under 20s this season to continue his development. He may get a change in some games if we need

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IN | Pablo Romero | €6.75m from River Plate

I had inadvertently gone over my quota for foreign players so I cannot register Pablo until next season. I will try loan him out for the season to get some games under his belt so that he is ready for next season. Something tells me that he is going to be a big player for us.

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IN | Sune Jørgensen | €9m from Midtjylland

We needed a right-back to replace Vargas. Sune isn’t of the same quality, but he has room to develop for us. At 22 he’s close to the limit for the age of player we’re looking to bring in here, but it does mean there’s scope to improve and if he does he could have a good future.

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IN | Boubacar Konté | €9.75m from Werder Bremen

What a young player he’s going to be. Highly rated by my scouts with bags of pace and acceleration. He has a lot to do to improve his technical attributes, but he’s in the right place to do that. He’ll get games.

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IN | Francis Salami | Loan from Paris St. Germain

Losing Ballester last season meant I needed some fresh legs on the left. Konté will be a great player, but he’s still only 18 so I’ve brought in Francis to play there while he settles in.

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There were a few other signings, but very young players with potential so I won’t bring them all here, but hopefully you’ll get to see them in the first team soon enough.

THE PRESEASON RESULTS

Preseason has been pretty standard for us, with Cristini and Bazan picking up where they left off last season. I’m going to experiment with some two-striker systems this season to try to get them both on the pitch as I think they can really drive us to success. Time will tell if it works.

The results of preseason are as follows.

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The board still expect a league title at the end of the year, and the press makes us second favourites. Hopefully, Scuffet does us a favour and lets a few in for Juventus. Who knows what will happen.

Until next time, arrivederci.

O.Jensen

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