SeasonThree.EpisodeOne | Pré-saison
I can’t believe we’re already into season three. Last year was an amazing season with plenty to celebrate, however, with the profile of the team and players rising, it’ll be a battle to keep this squad together…
June 2020 – August 2020
With that introduction, it’s obvious what has happened…
At the end of last season, Raphinha was making noises about wanting to leave. I really didn’t want to lose him, but after the season he had, I knew Europe’s elite would come calling. Unfortunately, there was only one team willing to pay the €55M valuation I placed on his head.
THE TRANSFER WINDOW
It has been a busy window for us. Busier than I would have liked, but I am happy to get to the end of it with what we have.
First up, the players I have brought into the club this window.
IN | Dan-Axel Zagadou | on loan from Borussia Dortmund
We needed some reinforcements in the centre of defence. At the time of bringing in Zagadou, I didn’t really have much of a transfer budget. We managed to secure him on loan from Borussia Dortmund.
He’s a very strong centre back and will do well in the middle for us, I’m sure. I needed a bit more in there, especially with our Champions League matches requiring a bit more rotation in the squad. With his low valuation, I will try to make this a permanent move at the end of the season if the loan works out.
IN | Matheus Pereira | €5.5M from Sporting CP
With Raphina heading for the exit, I signed Pereira for when the inevitable would happen. Clearly, Pereira isn’t on the same level ability-wise, but the stats would back up this signing as someone who would adequately replace him.
Pereira is creating 2.67 chances per 90 minutes compared with Raphinha, who more selfishly took more shots when in position to do so. Although Pereira finished with 5 goals compared to Raphinha’s 12, he got them in less than a third of the minutes. He scored and assisted more than Raphinha and far outweighs him in terms of chances created.
I’m excited to see what he can do for us. Hopefully, he can produce the same numbers.
IN | Alphonso Davies | on loan from Bayern Munich
We had a little tantrum from Siliki (see below) this window, so I needed a quick replacement for him in the left-winger position. Davies comes in on loan from Bayern to allow me another season to search out a left-winger to bring in.
It’s disappointing because Siliki had a great season, but I have high hopes for Davies slotting in and doing the business.
IN | Ferdy Druijf | €9M from AZ
I couldn’t ignore the numbers any longer. Ferdy has been out-performing every striker in my price range for the past couple of seasons so I had to take a punt with Gouri leaving us.
He has the most shots, the most goals and the most goal contributions per 90 minutes of any striker in the price range. His numbers are outstanding. I don’t know if he can reproduce this for us, and €9M is a massive gable considering we don’t really have a lot of money to throw around, but it was a gamble I was willing to take.
Always the worst part of the updates. But being a club of our stature, it is always going to happen.
OUT | Raphinha | €55M to PSG
Yep €55m to PSG. I would have preferred to sell him to another club outside of France, but a) he didn’t want to join any other clubs, and b) it was only PSG willing to pay us €55M for him.
I wish him well. He has had a fantastic season. Perhaps we could get him back if he doesn’t get a game over there…
OUT | James Lea-Siliki | €4.7M (€5.75M) to Anderlecht
I really didn’t want to sell Siliki. He had a great season for me last year and when he came asking for a new contract, I was happy to say yes. However, Sabino Aguad, my trusted Director of Football, offered Siliki the same terms as he was on before, €7,000 per week. This wasn’t enough and he threw his toys out and demanded a transfer. Considering he has started dishing out €97K contracts, he probably could have stretched a little further.
However, he joined Anderlecht. On less.
Youth player promotions
Jacky Rault | 17 years old | Midfielder
Jacky made a couple of substitute appearances for us last season, but this year he is officially called up to the first-team squad. I’m not sure how much time he will get, considering he is up against Palacios for a place, but I think he should see some important minutes.
He is developing well, so it’ll be important that he gets game time.
Gilles Schmitt | 16 years old | Striker
Perhaps a little young to be called up, but if Camavinga can do it, I’m sure Gilles can. He, like Jacky, will be made available for the second team for most of the season, but he will get game time to aid his development.
PRESEASON 2020 RESULTS
Pretty good all round. We are scoring for fun and it would appear we are not missing Raphinha too much. The new players are settling in nicely and contributing overall.
It’s good to see Druijf and Naing hit it off early, even against some opposition which isn’t the easiest.
Nothing new tactically from us this season. The new ME update has been kind to us so it’ll be much of the same unless things start to fall apart when the season starts.
PSG. The bastards.
It was almost the perfect month, again. But PSG beat us, every single time. It’s not surprising considering the riches at their disposal. I mean they could afford to spend €55M on Raphinha and leave him out of the opening four games…
Naing has continued his scoring, and Pereira has settled in nicely with a goal and two assists in his four matches this season. Quintana also getting on the scoresheet from the right-wing position, so I think we might be okay out there after all.
Another good start. We were never beating PSG so I will take the current position all day. We have another tough Champions League group, but if we can pick up a couple of points there to help with the bank balance, that would be great.
Chelsea, Juventus, and FC København. Lovely.
Did I mention that Raphinha hasn’t played a minute for PSG yet?
And on that note…
As always, you can get in touch with me in the comments below, via twitter @fmfutbolmanager, or my slack channel #fmFutbolManager — if you’re not a part of the Football Manager Slack community, then you can join here!
Until next time, à tout à l’heure.