The Bats have blazed to their best start in LaLiga in 7 campaigns, and now it seems the club have wrapped up the summer transfer window with one of the best endings.
As the clock ticked, 2 more signings walked through the doors, making it 6 major additions for the first team. Right on deadline day, Getafe striker Hugo Duro, the 21-year-old ace wanted by Real Madrid, reunited with Jose Bordalas. Helder Costa, the scintillating 27-year-old winger from Leeds United, also arrived on loan.
Duro is a highly-rated frontman able to play anywhere across the front line, link up play and finish lethally. Having come through the Getafe youth system, he made his senior debut at just 17 years old and went on to play 25 league games for Bordalas across 3 seasons, notching a goal and 3 assists.
Costa, who was announced by counterpart Goncalo Guedes in his unveiling video, is a tricky winger comfortable on either flank. The Portuguese rocked up at Leeds in 2019 in a £16m deal, and played a crucial role in their promotion to the Premier League.
Marcos Andre is the other attacking signing this summer. The hardworking Brazilian made his name in Spain’s lower divisions and will be mentored well by Bordalas, who has a penchant for developing prolific lower-league forwards into LaLiga plunderers.
But while goals are expected to flow for Los Che, the club’s other signings have already made their mark at the other end of the pitch.
Bolting the back door
After shipping more than a hundred goals in the past 2 seasons, a watertight Valencia rearguard is a welcome change. This season, we’ve only conceded one goal in 3 games.
If you’re slapping yourself awake, it’s time to douse yourself in cold water for the almost unfathomable. Giorgi Mamardashvili is not only a nightmare for spell checks and sub-editors, but for opposing attackers too.
Up to June this year, you wouldn’t even have heard of him. Now, you can’t stop hearing about the Georgian goalkeeper and his heroics between the sticks. Get this: The 20-year-old was signed for the academy this summer, and is only on the pitch due to injuries to our usual suspects.
He’s not the only gem unearthed this summer. Enter Omar Alderete, who’s slotted in seamlessly in defence with his physicality and calmness. The two defensive additions are on loan, but at this rate, we have to sign them permanently.
As deadline day approached, right-back Dimitri Foulquier signed a 4-year deal, bolstering our ranks and shoring up our flanks. He will provide keen competition for Thierry Correia. For right-back that is, not in the hair department – we know who comes up tops there.
Where we stand
Don’t look at these four reinforcements in isolation, but what it does for the team.
See the picture on the puzzle forming: The Alderete piece unshackles Hugo Guillamon to display his passing prowess in defensive midfield. Likewise, the Folquier piece gives free-roaming Daniel Wass licence to roam the midfield.
The summer was also about keeping the team in shipshape. Our triple winter loan signings did not deliver the impact we yearned for, and were let go with minimal cost to the team. Players such as Kevin Gameiro and Eliaquim Mangala, who did not live up to their reputation nor the expectations of their wages, were also cut loose.
The departures of Ruben Sobrino and Lee Kang In left an attacking void, but our blitz double signing on deadline day of Costa and Duro will address that.
So far, the great start to the season has vindicated the transfer decisions. These are early days yet, but we have fashioned a fantastic spine of experience and youthful exuberance. From Paulista, Carlos Soler, Uros Racic, to a reinvigorated Denis Cheryshev and irrepressible Guedes, this team could well launch an assault on the European places this term.