November 2022 - May 2023
The only senior departure was that of striker Pablo Chavarría. He left for San Lorenzo in a €150,000 deal. He was in his mid-thirties, was having a disappointing season and his contract was due to expire. It was a no-brainer, particularly with Rey Manaj coming in.
Three players joined in the January transfer window. Omar Richards was Armando Pérez's main target, and the Spanish club brought the Jamaican left wing back in for a bargain €3,200,000. Fred also joined for €1,500,000, with his contract at Manchester United due to expire.
Armando Pérez wanted the club to bring in Borja Mayoral from Real Madrid to bolster his attacking options. However, Málaga owner José María Muñoz refused to release any additional funds, despite the club being in a strong financial position. This meant Pérez had to settle for Albanian international striker Rey Manaj, for a €400,000 fee. Not a bad option but certainly nowhere near the level of Borja Mayoral, who joined Olympique Lyonnais for a €4,900,000 fee (he went on to score 11 goals in the second half of the Ligue 1 season...).
Málaga Youth Intake 2023
Head of Youth Development Duda reported a 'Golden Generation' this year and rated the intake very highly. Having delved into the profiles of the players, Armando Pérez came to the conclussion that Duda was intellectually challenged because there was nothing special at all about any player. Duda's contract was terminated the following day.
Goalkeeper Eugenio Rivas was the brightest of the lot. Good shot stopper, decent kicker, shit attitude.
Following the mid-season break for the 2022 winter World Cup, Málaga returned to action with Copa del Rey action in December. No surprises as Paulino dominated. The arrivals of Richards, Fred and Manaj in January helped Málaga to a strong start in 2023 and they very nearly eliminated Real Madrid from the Copa del Rey 4th Round, if not for a penalty shootout defeat.
Form was incredibly mixed throughout the second half of the season and Málaga's attacking performances became very much a case of Paulino & Friends - with his Friends being incredibly shit. If only funds were released to sign a competent striker in January.
Memorable wins in the second half of the season included a 2-0 win against Villareal and....
Málaga Season Stats
Sergio Rico played every game in goal. 10 clean sheets in 42 games didn't tell the full picture as he did keep the score down at times this season.
Fabian Schar impressed in defence, while January arrival Omar Richards produced 8 assists from left wing back to give Málaga some quality in the back line.
Rey Manaj scored an impressive 15 goals in 22 games since signing in January but it was the Paulino show this season as the right-sided inside forward scored a total of 27 goals throughout the season as his stock in the game grew. With a release clause of just €13,500,000, he was certain to move to a bigger club this summer.
Despite a largely inconsistent season, Málaga recorded a very impressive 53 point haul. It wasn't enough for Málaga to finish anywhere above 12th. Still an impressive season, considering they were expected to be relegated.
Real Madrid won the league. Eibar, Leganés and Cádiz were all relegated.
Paulino's goal haul saw him named as the third top scorer in the league, behind Luis Suárez and Borja Iglesias.
, there’ll always be job offers, so Pérez wasn’t too concerned with letting the Lazio job get away from him then. Who knows - maybe he’ll move on this summer?!?