It was the winter break. We managed to get in the league quite well, not losing against our rivals that are battling with us to avoid direct relegation.
While my players went on holiday me and the staff stayed behind to get some transfer business in. We needed to strengthen te squad if we really want to survive the league. Like I said before, we need real fire power.
First off all me and the board sat down for the expectations for the league. I said that I believed we could fight for a mid table spot due to the points between the number 10 and 16 is so close. The board wasn't having it with resulted in the expectation staying the same, avoid direct relegation
That's when I went to look at some players, mostly attackers because that was very necessary. Also because my number one striker went to the Africa Cup, luckily he missed only pre-season, but what if he got back injured..
There was allot of interest in my defender Lasse Sobiech, due to me not extending his, still 18 month during, contract. He wanted to be best earner in the club by upping his wage from €10,000 to €18,000 (!) with the option that if I match that wage with another player, his get increased again (!). I said no, because that isn't how I build my team. NYC FC
came first with a bid, but that deal fall trough due they already have 3 designated players. He finally went on to move on at deadline day.
Then my talented defender also wanted to leave due to interest from RB Leipzig
and RB Salzburg
. Both clubs bid a small amount but due to board pressure and player pressure I decided to accept both bids. It was the first friction between the board and me. After that we got into another argument due to them giving me only 55% of the transfer money to invest. I wanted to increase that, but there was nothing that changed there minds.
I quickly moved on for a defender, getting Bulthuis on a cheap. He would be the ideal replacement for the two defenders I mentioned above. Nurnberg
put him on the transfer list, so I was very quick to place a bid and the deal was quickly done. Got him for (only) €160,000. In mind that he is slightly worse then the two defenders I sold for a combined fee of around €5 million.
I looked with he staff at allot of players, between 30-50 players. Most of them where just not good enough or way to expensive due to high wages.
We got our striker reinforcements in the end. With Javi Hernandez coming on loan with an optional fee of €210,000. Also Silvio get a chance in my team to compete with Aziz for that number one striker spot. Due to me playing with 3 real strikers for the second part of the season he will be used allot. For only €45,000 it can't go wrong can it?
The best signing was by far getting Thierry Ambrose
on a free contract. Although he is joining at the end of the season, it is how I want business to run here. Getting young players, develop them and sell them. That is how it works at St. Pauli, but I'm OK with that. For me this was the best deal of the January transfer window.
On deadline day I moved over to Sanogo, he was but on the transfer list by Arsenal
. Although he asked for €17,500 p/w I got Arsenal to cover some of which resulted in not a friction in the squad due to one player earning allot. We still have to wait to see him in action. He is still injured for 2-4 weeks, but I'm confident he will shine for this club.
That really concludes the January transfer window. Very busy window, but I'm happy with the power we brought in and good handling on two defenders leaving. Now to get my team out of relegation danger as fast as possible so we can look forward.
(selected players are the one's I brought to the club)
Note: Friendly's will be mentioned in my next post when I cover January, February and March.
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