Stade de Reims 18/19 summer window
Back in the top flight at the first time of asking, the real hard work begins as we try and survive and than build into a team that can compete with the likes of PSG, Monaco and Lyon domestically.
Predicted to come 18th out of 20 teams, the media think we are going to be in a relegation dogfight and end up in an end of season play-off. Lets get to the magic 40 point mark quickly and try and get ourselves around 14th. With £2.4m for transfers and an additional 50k per week for wages we are going to need to wheel and deal.
It was a busy window hence the slight delay in getting this update out there. In totla 7 players left the club permanently whilst 6 went out on loan to get some game time and hopefully some much needed development. In terms of the outs, two were youth players who were not going to make it, Kamara was out on loan last season and moves to Gazalec Ajaccio on a free.
Hendricks Cakin, Mathieu Cafaro, Gregory Berthier and Anatol N'Gamukol were all back ups last year and were mainly the subs that came on. All were shifted on, two for money to help free up further wages / transfer budget.
Nine new faces joined over the summer. 5 on loan and with 4 permanent signings, i am going to have some job getting this lot gelling. When it came to looking at where i needed to strengthen, the answer was pretty much everywhere. Our league title was pretty much made up of 1 or 2 players having good seasons and the rest being generally ok. That was not going to cut it at this level.
Starting with the loans, i wanted to add some young players that given the chance could become possible stars in the league. To add competition for Jordan Siebatcheu upfront i went to Paris and bought in Odsonne Edouard
for the season. Celtic fans would have seen him last season and i am hoping he can make it big here. Lyon have loaned me Spanish midfielder Pape Cheikh
who looks to be a solid allrounder and i think can be the Mezzala this season with Chavalarin struggling after his long injury layoff. From Italy i bought in two young wingers/strikers in the form of Moise Kean
. Both offer different options uptop if the big man tactic doesnt work in the big leagues as well as trickier and maybe more attacking options on the left flank. My final loan signing saw me go to England to get Phil Foden
from Man City. Young and versatile, i see him either as a MC if the Mezzala doesnt work out or another alternative as the AMC slot.
In terms of permanent transfers, i started close at home as i bought in left back Yousseff Kone
for £1.2m from Lille. He was on loan here last year and with all of the new faces, it was good to bring in someone who knew the club. Ukrainian Eugene Tkachuk
was the only other player coming in for money signing for £200k from some Ukrainin club. He is tall and has great determination meaning he should make a decent tutor whilst being only 27 at the same time. The free transfer market saw me bring in German Tobias Levels
to compete at right back and Kevin Monnet-Paquet
to compete for the wing slots. Both are on par with our current options meaning we have a lot better squad depth this time around.
On the pitch
A short pre-season as we played just 4 friendlies, 3 of which were in England and the other in Belgium. All four were won with relative ease but our fitness levels were still a little short going into the season.
Two matches were played in August and our first match in Ligue 1 was at home to Monaco. Not an easy tie by any means but much like the PSG cup game last year we fought to the bitter end but were unfortunately beaten 1-0 when Naby Keita scored mid way through the 2nd half. We did though bounce back with an away day victory over Stade Rennais with loanee Pape Cheikh hitting the only goal of the game.
So far not too bad.