Season 3 – Building blocks to push on for promotion!
After hitting all expectations and even exceeding all that were set out by the board it was time to keep building on the squad, we had put together to really consolidate our status in 2. Bundesliga and even give ourselves the potential to reach the playoffs this year!
We’re already seen as a top 6 team in the season preview and with some new additions, I can only see this getting better for us. I think now going into the third season its time to really kick on as a team and bring in some real quality to help us grow both on and off the field.
Players out the door…
So saying all of that, we had to clear out some of the deadwood that I couldn’t see getting much play time aswell as unloading some unnecessarily high wages!
Traore had already agreed a pre-contract with Bologna so he was already out the door as it turned to July.
Mendy was in my plans as my depth at Left Back but after the £160K offer came in I couldn’t really refuse it, especially as that money goes a long way when we are looking at free transfers.
Osede was also a good depth piece at the back but £120K offers as well as his contract only have a year left meant I had to cash in.
I was really disappointed that Osborn left the club, albeit for £825K. He was such a vital piece in the middle of midfield last year but he really threw a strop on when I turned down the first offer of £500K. So, when the next offer came in there was nothing else I could do. Thankfully with his wages being around £11,000 a week it did allow us to really utilise the free transfer and loan market as the window came to a close.
All other players which were loaned out are just to gain some first team experience that I really wasn’t going to be able to offer this year… there’s always next year for them!
Splashing the money… on wages.
14 players. I signed 14 players this window, 9 on free’s and 5 loans. Yes it was a little crazy and yes I loved every bit of it. I’ll run through it by positions…
Lawrence came in on a pre-contract after a great season with us last year. Then I had the option to bring back Reuell Walters who we had on loan in our first season, so these two now sort out our back line taking up the left and right back positions. We also brough in Ian Maatsen on a free to provide cover up and down the left side.
After Osede agreed to leave I decided to bring in Mbe Soh on a free for a bit of depth and then later rounded out the defensive core with a last-minute addition of Zach Awe on loan from Arsenal. I’m pretty happy to use all 4 of our Centre Backs at any time now.
Then in the midfield you already know about Tempelmann who agreed a pre-contract, he’ll be our starting box to box midfielder this year. I was also able to bring back Neudecker to the club, a player who’s on the favourites list aswell as being home grown at club. At only 27 he’s certainly someone ill look to keep around now we have him back. We finished off our centre midfield depth with Fiorini from Man City and Cortinovis for Atalanta, both on loan. Fiorini has played a full season in the championship last year so should be able to cope with this level and may well be our starting DLP as we grow into the season.
On the wings we were only really left with Moha and Vrenezi (and potentially Skenderovic) so we spent a little more money on wages to bring in the next few players.
Daniel Maldini comes in highly rated and adds that bit of youth to the wide areas where we really need it. This is also the case with Morgan Rogers who was released by City and can fill out both the wing positions aswell as slotting in upfront which is a bonus. They won’t be starters to begin with but will certainly have big roles to play this year. I was also able to bring in Conor Noss, who’s home grown in nation. He has some good potential and can play anywhere across the midfield so is a great squad player whilst having low playing time expectations.
Now onto the money makers…
Cedric Gondo looks like a machine to me, he’s still only 27 and has never really scored goals but playing in that pressing forward role he’s really someone I was looking for this year. The best part being that he is actually our player too so we really can look to develop him and finally have a bit more of a stable core to the team going forward.
Then on deadline day I decided to round out the squad with a decent striker on loan so the offers started to go out there, and I mean a lot of offers were sent! Finally, with just a few hours to go we got a deal done for Brazilian striker Rodrigo Muniz from Fulham. He looks as if he’ll fit the bill nicely as our advanced forward and to battle it our with Rogers and Skenderovic he may add that real bit of quality up-top that we have been looking for if we are going for a playoff push!
(Apologies i can't seem to upload any addional images right now, if i get it working you'll see all their profiles here!)
So, with all of the ins and outs here’s how the squad looks now! Definitely stronger than we started the summer with and hopefully potential for a lot of these free signings to grow with us whilst not having to rely on loan players as much!
Now it’s time to work our way up the league and hopefully a big playoff push for this season! Going off how we finished last year I can certainly see the playoffs as a real target this year and dare I even mentioned the word…. Promotion?