20/21 Summer window
A 3rd summer window and a chance to find the players that can wrestle back the league title having lost it on the last day. First things first we secured Samuel Grandsir for a 3rd loan spell extending his stay here and meaning a right winger was no longer a must, but we still needed to add some new players to the side.
The free transfer market is always a good place to start and we added two bosman signings. Young Spanish midfielder Manu Garcia was signed from Man City. Some nice dribbling and technical attributes means i hope the Spaniard can provide some creative flair from the centre of midfield. The second new face was Pawel Dawidowicz, a polishman who had recently been in Portugal from Benfica. He is another ball playing defender and after the success of Alexander Hack last season, i feel a 2nd ball playing defender can really help us with playing out from the back.
My final three signings all did end up being wingers and all for different reasons. Venezuelan Yeferson Soteldo was on loan at Sampdoria last season but found himself back in South America after that deal ended. Good pace and technical skills as well as being 23 this South American could end up being one of them players that fetches big money in a few years. At £1.6m he was the most expensive signing but one that could make an immediate impact to the side. Milosz Sadowski was a player of the future and my first regen signing as the 16 year old looked impressive with the right attributes and personality that could turn him into a future star. For this season he will be in the U19's and might make an appearance in the cup. The final new face was a loan for the season as Yacine Adli was bought in to give us good coverage on the wing and in the centre of the midfield.
In terms of the outgoings it was generally a case of trying to trim down the U19 squad of players who were getting too old and not good enough to make the first team. Both Culina and Hernandez were out with ACL tears last season and were deemed surplus to requirements so i let their contracts run out. Budzinski and Dytyayev were both the wrong side of 30 and i felt that youth was going to be the way forward.
On the Pitch
So onto the football. Well with the window shut we have been battling on two fronts (The league and the Europa League) and it has largely been a success. However, i will start with the less good and that was in Europe as it was hard to replicate the form we showed last season. Personally i always find the Europa League qualifying a lot harder than the Champions League qualifying and so when you don't get seeded, it was always going to be tough.
We started off in the 1st qualifying round with Zeljeznicar Sarajevo of Bosnia and that was comfortable enough winning 1-0 and 2-1 to set up a tie against Norrkoping of Sweden. That is where we fell apart as we got smashed 4-0 in Sweden killing the tie meaning our 3-1 victory in the 2nd leg was just to make the aggregate score look a bit more respectable.
I am gutted but i want Domestic success and so far it has been pretty good in the league as we won our first 5 games before drawing the last two before the window shut leaving the table like this
Our best start to a season so far and that is all i could have hoped for as we hunt down our 7th league title.