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Conor McDonald: The Student

Started on 18 April 2020 by Jack
Latest Reply on 3 September 2020 by ScottT
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Madrid Announce Triple Signing


Following the news of six outgoings at Real Madrid, Conor McDonald has finalised his first three transfers as the new manager of the club with Alessandro Plizzari, Daniel Saizar and Sven van Waas all joining the ranks.

Just under €200million was brought in from the player sales of Kaio Jorge, Álvaro Odriozola, Andreas Skov Olsen, Krzysztof Piatek, John Stones and Youri Tielemans.

A lot of that initial income has been spent on the new arrivals as around €140million has been a figure touted by various sources as the amount paid by Real Madrid.

Alessandro Plizzari was signed by Real for a fee of €50million from German giants Bayern Munich after he became the Bundesliga champions’ starting goalkeeper following the retirement of club legend Manuel Neuer in 2024.

The four-time Italian international began his career at AC Milan but failed to get ahead of Gianluigi Donnarumma in the pecking order. Fellow Serie A team Fiorentina signed the goalkeeper for €11million in 2023 and spent one-and-a-half successful years as a key player.

After keeping 20 clean sheets in 41 games for La Viola, Bayern Munich selected Plizzari as Neuer’s long-term replacement and agreed a €37million fee for the young goalkeeper.

In his first half-season, Plizzari was the starting goalkeeper that led Bayern Munich to their sixth Champions League title in 2025. Since then, he lifted the UEFA Super Cup, the DFB-Pokal and most-recently, the 2027 Bundesliga title.

Plizzari has been given the number one shirt for the upcoming La Liga season, raising serious doubts about Thibaut Courtois’ immediate future under Conor McDonald.


Daniel Saizar was reportedly the first signing to be completed as Real Madrid activated the right-winger’s minimum fee release clause of €58million at Athletic Club.

The 21-year-old rose through the famed Athletic Club academy in the Basque region of Spain and with the club’s unique transfer policy, he was pushed through the ranks quickly over a few years.

Saizar made his debut in 2023 and scored his first goal for the club later that year in the Copa del Rey 2nd Round against Algeciras in a 2-1 extra-time victory.

The next season, Saizar made himself a regular starter in the league as he scored 11 goals in 31 games in all competitions for Athletic Club as well as adding three assists in the 2024-25 campaign.

After 154 matches for Athletic Club aged just 21, Saizar’s record in all competitions has been nothing short of superb, scoring 47 goals from the wing and assisting 31 times.

Saizar will take up the famous number 7 shirt at Real Madrid, worn by legends such as Emilio Butragueño, Raúl and Cristiano Ronaldo.


The final player to be announced in today’s signing announcements from Real Madrid was PSV Eindhoven’s Sven van Waas who costed the club €35million.

The 20-year-old central midfielder has spent the entirety of his career, like Saizar, at his boyhood club. He rose through the ranks from Jong PSV in the Eerste Divisie after making 37 appearances for the club’s reserve team.

Van Waas’ debut came in PSV’s first Eredivisie-winning season since 2021 as he made two appearances throughout the 2025/26 campaign.

The following season, van Waas imposed himself more on the first-team, shifting former PSV midfield regular Joao Mario out of the starting eleven to make 44 appearances throughout the 2026/27 season.

Last season was his best season yet as he made 54 appearances for PSV as well as making his Holland national team debut. Throughout 2027/28 he scored seven goals and assisted eleven times from central midfield which saw his value sky-rocket.

He has been given the number 16 shirt for the 2028/29 La Liga season.


Seb: Nice to have you caught up ;) The board at Bordeaux were a disgrace with the budgets, I couldn't believe it when the message came through. The intention is to get rid of the ageing players and replace them with youthful, ambitious players.
Of all the players that you've signed, I'm most impressed by Sven van Waas. He looks like the complete central-midfielder that you'd want to have, and his 'mentals' are insane! Plizzari and Saizar are also good signings, and they'll strengthen the squad considerably. Plizzari will be much better than Courtois, and his arrival should allow you to try to shift the Belgian on if you wish to. I don't know what to make of Saizar just yet, but I am looking forward to seeing him play a few games.
Excellent business from Conor and the club I believe. A lot of underperforming more senior players have been moved on for a tidy amount of cash that has been reinvested well into younger talent that clearly have the makings to become very good players should they be developed correctly. I'm confident that will be the case under a manager who has asserted himself as one of the best in the game.

On a separate note, I really like the graphics you've created. A very nice overview of their career history and their accomplishments added really enables us to get more of an insight.

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