Next season will see Sevilla line-up without the influence of Jesus Navas who had been with the club for ten years, it will be without the goals of Alvaro Negredo who’s been their highest goal-scorer since joining the club 4 years ago and they will be under the guidance of a newish manager in Unai Emery, for me, they will do just fine, in fact, I’d say it now, they’ll do better than last season.
In the 2012/13 season Sevilla had a season to forget. The high of the season was between three; making it to the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey, making it into next season’s Europa League through the fault of other clubs and their finances or the annihilation of rivals, Real Betis in the 5-1 league win. The lowest points; well that was the season overall, finishing 9th in the league and winning just one away game in La Liga all season.
During last season Unai Emery replaced Michel in January which means the 2013/14 season will be the manager’s first full campaign in charge. During the summer transfer window Emery has seen the club lose some very valuable players as well as some fringe players and even some young talent. With the likes of Alvaro Negredo and Jesus Navas heading to Manchester City, Luis Alberto, Antonio Luna and José Campaña also following suit and heading to Liverpool, Aston Villa and Crystal Palace respectably. Emir Spahić and Andres Palop both left to head to Bayer Leverkusen and of course the trio of Miroslav Stevanović, Alberto Botía and Manu del Moral all heading out on loan to La Liga new comers, Elche.
During the window, Sevilla have so far let go of 10 players, but have brought in 10. They have replaced all the out-going positions and made a bit of cash in doing so.
The incoming players are for me very sensible choices, signing the likes of PSG’s Kevin Gamerio for around €7M, Club Brugge’s Carlos Bacca for the same and Raul Rusescu for just over €2.2M to replace the outgoing Alvaro Negredo. They then went about shoring up the defence with the signings of Daniel Carriço from Reading, Diogo Figueiras from Paços de Ferreira and Nico Pareja from Spartak Moscow for a combined fee of €1M as Carrico and Pareja come free on loan. We must also remember that Sevilla have managed to keep on-loan GK from last season Beto for next season as well, who’ll be more than an ample replacement for Palop.
We then move on to the heart-beat of the team and the midfielders, both Luis Alberto who was on at Barcelona B last season left for near €8M and Jesus Navas who has been at Sevilla for a decade as well as youngster Jose Campana all left the club. No worries, as in come the likes of Chelsea’s Marko Marin (On a season long loan deal), Las Palmas’s Vitolo for €3M and Racing Santander’s highly rated young winger, Jairo for just €2.5M.
As you can see a bulk of talent has left last season’s Sevilla side. Now with a chunk of players leaving, it would have been devastating not to replace such players and for me, this is where Unai Emery, Del Nido and Sevilla this season have got it spot on replacing the out-going talent with some young and exciting prospects.
Sevilla have sold players this window and brought in around €60M in the process, and have spent as little as just under €25M of that money. With the departing players wages off the books it has made room for the incoming ones. So all in all it’s so far been a tremendous summer transfer window for Sevilla on the field and in the offices.
There’s no doubt in my mind that Sevilla will better their league position of last year, they’ll also enjoy a run of European football and will have another go at the Copa del Rey. Under the guidance of Unai Emery and with the influx of the new young, raring to go talent alongside the already established players such as José Antonio Reyes, Ivan Rakitić, Piotr Trochowski, Coke, Federico Fazio, Cicinho and even hot-head, Gary Medel it should be one cracker of a season for Sevilla and their fans.
The start of a new era if you will.
(Picture credit: @Estadios_Spain via Twitter)