Happy 2020 guys, I’ve been busy for the past month or so couldn’t get in on the conversation nor watch as enough matches. However, given it is the winter break it’s time to give some preliminary ratings for our signings. The thing about Sevilla is the large amount of players who enter and exit the RSP each transfer window, so there’s plenty of players to rate.
I will give a few comments and grades on the acquisitions made in the last window and will review them at the end of the season and to save the time used to make another thread. Everyone can chip in with their own thoughts and why you agree / disagree. After all, a forum is where you can have an opinion, not just get one.
Jules Kounde (25m from Bordeaux): When I heard that Sevilla paid a fee that broke the club’s transfer record to buy a relative unknown 20 year old center back from Ligue 1 we had expectations, he was brought along slowly and was found out during the debacle away at Eibar after coming on for an injured Carrico. Fortunately, he bounced back and has become quite solid in the absence of the captain. Hope he can continue.
Rony Lopes (25m from Monaco): The second transfer window where we signed an expensive attacking player at the death, the last one was Promes and he didn’t turn out so well but Lopes is even more of a disappointment, he was never deemed fit enough to start games and so far has only played 11 minutes in the league and 6 matches in Europa with an assist to show for it. Not what you expect from a 20m plus signing. If Lope doesn’t rate him he could follow Promes out of the door.
Munas Dabbur (17m from Red Bull Salzburg): given he was signed last season there was always the risk the new coach could not fit him into his plans and it appears to have happened. The majority of his appearances have been in the Europa with 3 goals and 2 assists to show for it. While in the league he had to wait till week 16 to come on as a substitute and has a grand total of 24 minutes of action. He will turn 28 in May and may well look to leave to further his career.
Diego Carlos (15m from Nantes): Nantes were very solid in Ligue 1 last season thanks to the performances of Emiliano Sala (RIP) but Carlo’s performances didn’t go unnoticed and Monchi snapped him up at the end of May. He is a freaking physical specimen and while his aggression may get the best of him at times as we saw against Eibar and Real Madrid he is always willing to commit to the cause. It’s been a while since we had such a physical presence in the defense who can pop up
and score goals when needed. Liverpool are rumored to be in for him, if VVD has a 75m price tag Diego should cost at least 60m.
Lucas Ocampos (15m from Marseille): Lucas has been around the football scene for a fair bit but showed potential without a lot of end product. One may argue that he was overshadowed by Thauvin and Payet at Marseille but when given the stage to perform Lucas has delivered. He is electric on the right and when switched up top to save the game he performs as expected; with 5 goals he is our top scorer and during his suspension the team really missed his directness. Clubs will definitely be sniffing around him so probably time to find a replacement.
Joan Jordan (14m from Eibar): a box-to-box do-it-all signed to give energy to the midfield. Jordan has definitely lived up to his billing, he helps in attack and scored two crucial goals against Alaves and Getafe, yet rarely completes the full 90 minutes. Around November he started doing too much and his performances started slipping. I have him down as a less glamours Banega once he leaves and given his age his future is promising.
Luuk De Jong (12.5m from PSV): this is not Luuk’s first foray into Europe, after scoring for free in Holland he went to Mochengladbach and Newcastle but failed to deliver. This led to his return and subsequent revival at PSV, this managed to enamor Lope enough to request a transfer. He has taken time to find his feet and frustrated the fanbase more than a number of times (that Barca game comes to mind). He has only 2 goals but a good work-rate and scoring the winner against Betis is always a plus in your Sevilla career. Given his price I think he is a decent buy but not a starter, he can come on when we are defending a lead or when we go anti-football and need a person to hoof the ball to.
Oliver Torres (12m from Porto): A former Atletico Madrid youth player, the plan probably for him to show he can establish himself in La Liga but he has been shunted between the attacking midfield and left winger positions. The returns have been a goal and an assist but he has been a lively presence nevertheless. If Lope can give him a consistent position and role he would definitely benefit.
Chicharito (7.75m from West Ham): A renowned hitman in different leagues. I was surprised Sevilla could get him for less than 10m but turns out while he has the touch and ability the tactics just don’t suit him and thus has only scored 1 goal in league and 2 in Europa. Rumors linking him to the MLS started making rounds in the past month or so and it does seem too be the norm for Mexican players in this age bracket. He might be better served plying his trade in the states, Inter Miami would love to have a player of his quality.
Fernando Reges (4.5m from Galatasary): I have always underlined the importance of having a tenacious defensive midfielder in the side. Fernando cannot do the jobs of Krycho, Mbia and Iborra at the same time but with him on the field everything is a lot calmer with Fernando being a reliable outlet for the defense and midfield, sure there have been lapses in concentration but the pros outweigh the cons. The only drawback is he will be 33 by the end of the season, if only we signed him when he was 27.
Nemanja Gudelj (Free Transfer from Sporting CP): A free signing who played 2 seasons in the Chinese league is enough to make you wary, but he was signed to be a backup and with the majority of his appearances coming in the Europa he has held his own, that is what you expect from a backup player.
Sergio Regullion (on loan from Real Madrid): We have been screaming for a left back ever since Escudero went downhill and Sergio showed what we missed in his first game. Sure there have been ups and downs with the games against the Madrid sides coming under scrutiny. His contribution on the left flank has become inconsistent in the last couple of matches but with age on his side (he just turned 23) and Ferland Mendy locking down the LB position in Real Sergio would be looking for a club where he can play. There is no purchase option in the loan deal but I reckon a sale can be hammered out.
Bono (on loan from Girona): A rather surprising signing given he was willing to give up a starting position for a spot on the bench. He has only started in the Europa League and Copa Del Rey, but against second tier opposition his performances cannot be really evaluated. When he first came the expectation was that he could unsurp Vaclik but the latter has managed to rack up 8 clean sheets so the no.1 spot is still his for the time being. I’m also not sure if the club would try to make his move a permanent one given Soriano is coming back after this season.
Lopetegui: Lope was out to redeem himself after being dismissed from the Real rebuilding project and to be honest he was not my first choice. His signings and tactics are head-scratching at times and his deployment of players could be better refined but nevertheless he has delivered in some tricky fixtures; Espanyol away, Granada away, Betis away, Getafe at home and Valladolid away are all challenging for a manager with a new team and he delivered. There have been matches where the performance have been below par as in the draw with Celta at home, debacle away to Eibar, routine thrashing against Barca and unacceptable losses to Real Madrid and Villarreal at home, I will also say we should have at least won one of the games against Atletico or Valencia but after 18 games we are 3rd in the league with the best away record. Not bad for a team with a new coach and a dozen new players.
Right that’s my amateur musings. The first three fixtures after the winter break are Athletic at home, Real away and Granada at home, how the team performs could very much set the pace of how the second half of the season goes, of course I believe Monchi has a signing or two up his sleeve to shore up the squad. There is also Amadou, Gnagnon and Rico coming back at the end of the season who could give more funds for reinforcements, but that’s for the end-of-the-season review. Chat away!