After the 2028/2029 season, the first season back in the top tier with Arsenal de Sarandí, I had only one clear and simple aim for the summer. I had to sell several players to balance the financial side of the club due to loans and dept from the time before I joined them.
A brief preparation
I didn’t mention it in the previous post about the first season after promotion but our participation in the top tier also means our Reserve squad is able to play competitive matches in Reserve Division.
I didn’t have enough money in the budget to hire staff for Reserves so it was an empty squad without staff. The first team assistant was in charge of matches, many first-team players appeared during the season and they finished 8th and 5th in the latest season.
I signed a manager/assistant manager and some coaches but mainly because they are also available to first team training so I have more coaches. I was glad I was able to sign former Independiente, Estudiantes or Brondby player Lucas Albertengo (click to the name to see his profile) who has decent attributes and he has Model Citizen personality. But he accepted an offer from Atlético de Rafaela during the season and he became their manager. It was a matter of the heart for him probably as he played for this club six years.
And the Reserve squad also made me a service when I decided to clear the first team squad. Players about I knew I don’t want them because they are out of contract in the summer, I wanted to sell them or release, were just moved to Reserve squad.
Despite we had a longer season due to Superleague Cup, some of these players were moved to Reserves during April/May so two very good (money) transfers were arranged early. And we had more than €1M straight in the bank.
It continued and we sold players for around €4.6M in the end. None of them would be more than a backup player to it was a very good transfer window and we earned much-needed money for the whole next season.
On the other hand, we had only one transfer for cash as we signed young attacking midfielder Matiás Carabajal from Lanús with a view to making him our number one Inside Forward on the left side of the pitch.
You will be able to see results below but he made 30(4) appearances, scored 7 goals and made 10 assists.
I was satisfied also with the signings of Juan Carlos Guevara, Jorge Russo and Juan Manuel Barragán despite the last one missed almost 5 months of the season due to injury.
When I signed a striker Ariel Suaréz in December 2028 from River I thought I will not have to search new striker(s) for the team. But as we are used to it, this game could make you idiot within one spacebar click. Ariel Suárez injured himself during training at the beginning of August and he missed two months.
Emanuel Castro and Ivan Carrizo, the other two strikers at the first team level, were also injured for a long time. I had to sign someone new and the choice was Lucio Cordero.
The 22 years old striker from River signed until the end of the season and he made an immediate impact with scoring a hattrick just two days after his arrival to the club.
There is no way he could be substituted or benched. He was 100% the best striker of the team and he scored 13 goals during the first half of the season despite I experimented with lone striker roles before I locked it to Deep Lying Forward with Attacking duty.
The dilemma appeared during a short winter break. Cordero was out of contract in the summer 2030 and my aim (and a dream) was to sign him for a free from River. Just two days before the end of the calendar year he signed a new contract with River until 2033 with a wage of €45K p/m.
I hoped to sign him for a free but this ruled out also the potential another loan due to high wage. And his price has increased from €2.9M to €7.75M.
Despite the fact, Cordero was the best striker from the team I decided to make the best thing for the team and as Suárez was back after the injury and I had one other young striker, the solution was to give all players enough playing time but Cordero became more a backup player because I knew I will not be able to sign him in the summer.
(He signed a new contract with River despite he still had a transfer requested and he was on the transfer list with an asking price of €7.5M. During the April/May it raised up to €15M).
Castro and Carrizo played mainly for Reserves but only when they were able to stay out of injury. Castro missed 34% of the season, Carrizo 17% of the season and I rather gave a chance to young Iván Holgado who got injured a week before the end of the season for two months paradoxically.
You can see Cordero made the most appearances but it was mainly during the first part of the season when he was in the starting XI but he played enough time later as well because I didn’t want to kill him on the bench.
Iván Holgado is still very young but it was great to see him he was able to fight against much stronger players and I feel he is able to develop in a good player. And if I will not find someone better for a good value and he will stay healthy, Ariel Suárez will be our striker number one next season as we have nothing to spend.
The season 2029/2030
The season went very well in my eyes. We were 8th in the table after the first half of the season after a very good start but a little bit complicated end of November and the beginning of December when we had 5 or 6 players from the starting XI injured. But that’s a football…
I had almost all key players back from injuries at the start of the second half of the season and after some impressive wins, we moved to 6th place at the end of February. Next two months were even better in the domestic league and we finished 6th in the table with Copa Libertadores place in the pocket.
We also made our continental competition return as we participated in the Copa Sudamericana. We made it to the 3rd Round after we beat Atlético Nacional 4-2 on aggregate and Atlético Mineiro 3-2 on aggregate.
The Superleague Cup ended early for us this year after last year’s final as we lost to Boca after penalties in the 2nd Round.
It was a productive season in terms of results and progress on the pitch. Unfortunately, off the pitch side of the club is still the same. No money, very bad training and youth facilities, no chance of some improvements without money.
The aim of the summer is easy again – need to sell players and save as much money as possible.
The last picture is from the Copa Argentina semi final against Huracán. We were 2-0 down and Agustin Chocobar in the shower from the 27th minute. I changed formation to 4-4-1 and moved defensive line back to default and played cautious but with get stuck in. It resulted into three goals and another Copa final appearance.
The first and third goal were scored by central midfield players who played with support and attacking duty. There were some nice and dramatic matches too in the rest of the season but this one was probably the most favourite to me.
As always, if you would like to ask something, just let me know.
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Until next time…take care!