Corinthians – Club 4 – Season 2 – Update 1
Welcome back to my second season with Corinthians in Brazil, and the good news to kick us off with is that I have retained my job! Despite the board being bitterly disappointed at the end of last season, they have back me in my first transfer window and let me assure you that I have done a huge amount of business. So without further ado, let’s get into the transfers!
We have had a massive squad overhaul during the off season and have managed to rake in a massive £155m for players that, on the whole, I didn’t even want to keep around so I am absolutely delighted.
The big one, and possibly a shock to some people is Denilson, who has left for my former rivals Beijing Guoan for a massive £49m (a club record sale). I highlighted him when I joined as our best player, but he never showed it for me last year, scoring just 3 goals so I have decided to cash in and I think I have made the right choice given the money we have received.
The only player on the outs list that I am disappointed to see leave is Naldinho, who I was planning to have sit at the base of the midfield and a player who I rate very highly. Unfortunately, there was a lot of interest in him and due to Brazilian rules meaning each player must have a release clause, he left when Porto matched his fee of £23m. Apart from that, we have managed to offload a lot of dead wood for a decent profit, so I am very happy with the rest of the sales.
We have actually managed to make a tidy profit of £30m in the window, whilst also drastically improving the squad, so I can’t really complain. We have managed to avoid spending big on a lot of players and have instead managed to recruit very effectively in almost all areas of the team.
I’ll make my way through the squad from back to front and start with Joel Casagrande, our new rotation keeper. Xavi has been decent for us, but I felt that a little more competition was needed, so I have brought in Joel to battle for the position. I would have liked someone better, but without taking up a foreign player spot it just wasn’t possible. But for £2.7m I feel we have signed a decent player.
Defence was the biggest area for me to improve and I hope you will agree with me when I say that I have signed two fullback who could become some of the best in the world in the future. I will start with Michael Ochoa who has signed from Columbia for a tiny £2.1m (his release fee) and is already a 4 star player at 22 years old. He isn’t the best at going forward, but defensively he is second to none in our league and with Kailky remaining as a backup, suddenly our left back position has got much stronger.
The other fullback we have signed isn’t really a fullback at all, but actually a right winger. Jeremias Barcia has joined from River Plate for his release fee of £5.25m which is an absolute bargain when you look at him. Man Utd were also rumoured to be interested, so that is just how good of a player we are talking about. Although he can’t play fullback upon joining the club, he has 13 tacking and 13 marking which clearly show he is capable of defending and his 17 crossing and 18 pace will make him deadly going forward.
We have also signed Bocao, who will act as backup to Barcia. At £13.25m he is a little expensive for a backup, but he has some good potential to grow into, and should get a fair few games, given that we are in Brazil and rotation is key.
The second most expensive signing of the window is centre back Sandrinho who has joined for £20m. I wanted a Brazilian centre back as both of our starting partnership last season were foreign and therefore taking up 2 precious spots (only 5 allowed in Brazil), but finding a good Brazilian defender proved to be difficult and he was the best of the bunch.
Moving up the team we have two players that I have brought in to replace Naldinho. First up is Edimo who joins for £17m and looks like a great prospect at 19. He is naturally a little more defensive than his new rival and I think overall a decent pickup.
The other player brought in is Jefferson, who can play both central and defensive midfield and at £14m he looks like an amazing capture. He doesn’t quite have the physical attributes I would want for a really good midfielder, but none the less he looks very good.
The next player on the list is the most expensive and that is Omar Ramirez for a massive £30m. He comes in to compete with Cantu who turns 31 this year, so the idea is for Ramirez to replace Cantu next season. He is also Mexican, meaning that it will likely be either one of them playing in the team, rather than both together, but to me he looks like a quality pickup – hopefully he can perform to the high levels that Cantu set last year and show the fans why we have spent big on him.
We have also signed Maxwell for £12.5m who will act as backup in all of the midfield roles. We didn’t really have any depth there last year, so I feel much better about our options this time around.
And the final player I would like to highlight is out new star striker Gustavo Mosquera who has joined for £2.4m, just 1/20 of what we sold Denilson for. He does lack a little finishing with 13, but his physicals and mentals more than make up for it. To me he looks like the kind of player than on his own could score 40 goals a season, but in a 3 man attack I hope that he will be a bit more creative as well as finishing the chances he gets.
And that’s the end of the transfer business. I think you will all agree that we have made some fantastic additions at some amazing prices. Since there have been so many new players, here is how our best XI will look now:
For those who don’t know, in Brazil there is essentially two different league systems – the State Championships and the Brasilero (Serie A). The State Championships take place at the start of the calendar year and pit all of the teams for the same State against each other, regardless of their league ranking. For Brasilero (Serie A) sides this essentially acts as an extended preseason as there are a lot of teams from Serie C and D, which means there is a lot of chance for rotation.
Once the league season is complete, the top teams qualify for a knockout stage with the winner being crowned King of the State, and that is where I will start giving more in depth updates, as we have so far won all 8 of our games with an aggregate score of 35-1.
At the end of February however, we started some meaningful games as we entered the first found of the Copa Sudamerica. Unlike the Copa Libertadores, there is no group stage in the tournament and each tie is a two legged knockout. For the first round we drew Danubio FC from Uruguay and, despite me expecting a fairly close game, we dismanteled them 9-1 in the first leg with both Mosquera and Renato getting hattricks as well as young striker Matheusao getting a brace and defender Hollman rounding off the drubbing.
The second leg also resulted in a hefty 6-0 as we cruised through into the second round 15-1 over 2 legs! The difference in team stature can probably best be explained by the fact that they had a sold out stadium with a crowd of just 1,000 fans for the second leg. In the next round we have been drawn against Huracan from Argentina, so I expect we will have a bit more competition in that game.
A big update for you there, but a transfer update is also special, particularly the first one as a manager. I really feel that the team is so much stronger this season with the signings and if we don’t finish in the top 3 or 4 in the league I will be disappointed. I also expect us to be one of the favourites to lift the Copa Sudamerica and, although it isn’t the continental competition we are looking for, I will certainly be trying to win another high value trophy.
*Let me know what you think of the transfers I have made and who you think our signing of the season will be. Also let me know where you think we will finish in the Brasilero this year with our improved squad. Thanks for reading!*