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AND he transfer market this summer was as unique as the year itself. Some different dates, the closing day occurred with the fall well into, much less money has moved than we had become used to in recent years … a different window that has given more and less flashy signings but that, and this does hold true from previous markets, after weeks the murmurs about those who have not yet debuted or whose feelings have not been entirely exciting begin .
Although it has been a year with less movement than usual, some of the announced signings are already giving rise to talk due to their lack of minutes or the low quality of them. In Sevilla, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Villarreal … there are some other players who are still out or out of coverage.
After the resounding success of last season, Monchi continued working to tweak an already ultra-competitive squad. Although there were hardly any players ( Banega is the most sensitive loss of the Seville team), Lopetegui has begun to work with new players to repeat, or improve, the feat of last year. After the descent with Leganés, Óscar Rodríguez returned to Real Madrid knowing that it was most likely that his time at the White House was temporary: a new transfer (or sale with trial and error) was the most obvious option and it was. He landed in Seville in a clear step forward in his career, but for the moment his presence has been rather testimonial. He played 22 minutes against Cádiz in the team’s debut in the league and five against Levante, but from then on … substitute against FC Barcelona, substitute against Granada, against Chelsea and against Stade Rennais. Only against Éibar, a game that Sevilla ended up losing, Óscar stepped onto the pitch. His role as midfielder in a team that usually plays 4-3-3 does not seem to benefit Oscar, which will have to continue working to gain prominence.
Oussama Idrissi and Karim Rekik, signings made on the last day of the market, have not yet worn the Sevilla jacket, although their absence is part of a process of adaptation and obvious recovery after landing in the Andalusian capital.
Unai Emery came to Villarreal to lead a project that wanted to compete with Atleti and Sevilla , in the long term, for being the third team in the national league. For this, the yellow club kept its best players at the same time as it moved in the market looking for the best market opportunities. And he found them: Coquelin, Parejo, Kubo and Foyth will play this season at Villarreal for, between all, less than ten million. Of course, only the first one was signed with previous payment, while Parejo arrived for free and Kubo and Foyth are on loan.
Francis Coquelin’s case is understandable: he is expected to be a regular player for Emery, but injuries have not allowed him to be consistent. Stranger was the case of Kubo , who went from being a key player in Mallorca to playing as a substitute in all his games . He was even sent off in a matter of thirty minutes against Valencia. Curiously, that was the game of change: Villarreal appealed the second card, won and the young Japanese has three consecutive starts.
It is also surprising, relatively, the situation of Gerónimo Rulli, who arrived for five million to be Asenjo’s substitute and has not yet made his debut, and that of Juan Foyth, whose loan from Tottenham Hotspur has not guaranteed minutes and is still waiting for his opportunity .
Florentino warned him when he won the league: it will be an austere market. And what if it was. The club has not signed anyone who did not already belong to the entity, and among these fictitious incorporations is Martin Ödegaard . The Norwegian started in the best possible way, playing as a starter in the team’s debut in the domestic competition and also against Betis at Benito Villamarín. From there, downhill: two minutes against Levante, national team stoppage and injury. Now, Ödegaard faces a month off due to a broken soleus and will not return until the national team break in November.
The club needed a revolution at the worst possible time. Bayern’s eight goals were the straw that broke the camel’s back, the project was going no further. Setién left, Koeman arrived and the need for a renovation was evident, but economically the situation remains delicate. Thus, except for Dest , the Catalans had to settle for the signatures already officialized prior to the European hecatomb, as well as the return of Coutinho .
Miralem Pjanic stands out among those players that we already knew before the end of last season that they would play for Barcelona . The Bosnian arrived with the undisputed starting tag, but the truth is that for the moment Koeman’s midfield continues to trust De Jong and Busquets, leaving the crumbs for Pjanic : thirty minutes in five league games and two starts: against Ferencvaros and against his former team, Juventus, signing a performance that has left opinions of all kinds.
Trincao , whose substitute role was more to be expected, is responding well to those final minutes he enjoys, thanks to dribbling and speed characteristics that adapt very well to the revulsive player that Koeman is looking for.
Without spending money, Betis wanted to improve the squad that last year disappointed all the Verdiblanca fans. The team was not up to the task and that is why reinforcements arrived: Víctor Ruiz, Claudio Bravo, Montoya … but not all of them are adding.
In fact, Víctor Ruiz has only played 11 minutes and Montoya , in his only game, has been sent off. Juan Miranda , who arrived in Seville at the last moment of the market, has played so far … a quarter of an hour.
Bordalás asked for new faces, youth and tension to maintain the suffocating pressure that characterizes the Azulón team. Signings have arrived, but at the moment they are not counting too much except for Cucho Hernández.
Enes Ünal was the bet of the summer: 12 million euros that, for the moment, are not being used. Zero goals and no starts for the former Turkish Villarreal at the start of the season.
Poveda, Diaby, Palaversa and Mollejo have followed a similar dynamic. They have not played anything or almost nothing , but they are part of Bordalás’ wardrobe and could have their opportunities in the future. The team, yes, is doing very well at this point to start doing experiments.
Osasuna needed a goal and called Ante Budimir. The signing, correct from the mathematical point of view (he arrives on loan, with experience in the First Division and with an interesting scoring background last season), has not been a success … for now. The Croatian has only played half an hour and will miss at least two games after testing positive for COVID-19 in the last tests of the rojillo club.
A news that joins the injury of Jonathan Calleri and that leaves Osasuna in a very delicate situation at this stage of the season. Hopefully, when he returns, Budimir will be the decisive player that Jagoba Arrasate sorely needed . He and all those named above are in a much better situation … but the season is long and there is still a lot of time to turn it around.