Allez les Verts! acte II

Transfer Centre: 2017/18

Transfer Budget: £4.5 million

Pirlo 21ASSE Crest embossed

The former Juventus, Milan and Italy midfielder Andrea Pirlo has announced his retirement from football at the age of 38.

However, there was to be one final chapter in the magnificent career of Mr. Pirlo…

Kenny Rocha Santos: NextGen 60

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After signing his first professional contract in November 2016, Santos made his Ligue 1 debut with Saint-Étienne in February and continued to assert himself at youth level. His goals at youth level have underpinned his key qualities, especially a 40-yard chip against Clermont that demonstrated his acute sense of spatial awareness.

This skill is also displayed in the Cape Verdean’s ability to navigate through tight spaces with close control. Defensively, the 17-year-old has the potential to be a pressing machine – his rapid lateral movements allow him to change direction and pressure multiple opposition players in quick succession. He has been followed by numerous clubs, notably Manchester City.

Now, this is where Andrea comes in.

Not only does Andrea have tremendous top-level experience – he still possesses quality in abundance. Admittedly I’ll need to play him alongside someone with more legs, industry and bite, leaving Andrea to do his thing. His legs are pretty much gone but, we have plenty of runners in the squad who can deal with that side of the game. He’ll be able to make those passes that most other players won’t see, never mind execute. Delivery from set-piece situations is also second to none.

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Having a professional personality also makes Pirlo the perfect tutor.

RochaSantos tutoring

Rocha Santos is a player we have high hopes for here at Saint-Étienne. True to the philosophy we discussed in Volume I – Kenny will be in and around the first team. He’ll rotate regularly with the more experienced, Vincent Pajot. We believe that with the right blend of first-team action and one-to-one mentoring with Andrea – Kenny will go on to have a glittering career. Either with us or, perhaps even moving on to bigger and better things. $$$

One thing is for certain though. Andrea Pirlo will most certainly be hanging up his boots at the end of 2017.

Pirlo retires

Not many of us Football Managers have had the chance or, will ever have the chance again, to manage Andrea Pirlo. I’m going to enjoy the last few months of an outstanding player and true master of his craft. For this will be the final time we’ll see him on FM.

Pirlo retiring

Having further assessed the squad after a few weeks working together, we felt there’s really only one area where we seem to be severely lacking. Goals! Where are goals going to come from? I’m a firm believer in trying not to concede first and foremost but, at the end of the day, you need goals. When I identify players to match our philosophy and how we want to play here, we look for work rate, teamwork and stamina above almost all else.

Ilija Nestorovski

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“Nestorovski’s technical characteristics are very similar to Inzaghi,” said Fabrizio Miccoli, himself a former fan favourite at Palermo.

When Director of Football Dominique Rocheteau left the scout report on my desk, little did I know that within seconds of opening the dossier, I’d be straight on the phone to the Chairman. We had to sign Ilija Nestovovski..!!

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We will mostly be deploying a 4-1-2-3 DM wide formation and Nestorovski will spearhead our attack.

Attacking trio

NEWS: Club record signing Loïs Diony (striker) is out for 6 months with a broken lower leg…!!

We also decided to let the experienced Kévin Monnet-Paquet leave the club for £1.5 million. Sorry to lose his undoubted quality but, he’s getting on a bit now at 29 and his current contract expires next summer anyway.

A player we’re delighted to bring in on loan also features in this year’s NextGen 60 list. Son of Liberian politician and ex- Marseille and AC Milan striker, George Weah. I know they hold him in very high regard over in Paris. Timothy is someone I’d really like to work with and develop over time, however, whether Paris Saint-Germain feel the same, only time will tell. Extremely pleased to have him with us for this season at least.

Timothy Weah

More than happy with the business we’ve managed to do and I must say, we’re playing very, very well indeed.

We’ll be back really soon to examine how we’ve been performing and take a look at individual player roles.

Take care and Allez les Verts !

Volume III coming soon


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