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FM22 - Valencia CF - Kitted Out For Success (22.3)

Jogo Bonito

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Posted (edited)


Valencia season 2022/23 (preview)

This has taken longer than expected, but progress during the transfer window until now (the eve of the new season) has been slow and not very satisfying

New season aims included that we lower the wage bill, continue to reduce the average age, increase the domestic bias, and minimise the number of loan players

All of this had to be done whilst on a budget of £4 million and negative balance sheet - with extra pressures of CL football added to the mix

So how did we get on?

The loan number reduction has (until now) been achieved with complete success - none of the five loan players have been kept at the club

That's left a big hole in the squad though, with missing striker Paco Alcacer and midfielder Ilaix Moriba definite successes of our impressive first year

Centre back Omar Alderete and winger Sergio Arribas did OK and were considered again, but forward Hugo Duro was disappointing and never delivered anything

There's still one month of the window open though, so it's possible (if not preferred) that some loan players may come in to round the squad off

Transfer planning and those who were made available for transfer

Positionally, we felt we needed to recruit a new striker, central midfielder and central defender all of starting quality - plus a winger to cover both flanks

In order to do this, we were prepared to sacrifice a small handful of players - and one of those exits would mean a new starting right-back was also a probability

In addition to the five loan men leaving, certain sales had to be allowed in order to strengthen where we wanted

Goalkeeper Giorgi Mamardashvili (Krasnodar, £8.75 million),plus defenders Toni Lato (Leganes, £2 million) and Eray Comert (Lugano, £3.4 million) were the first to depart

All three had been useful first-team squad members last term, but none were regular starters - and all of them were happy to move on anyway

Winger/forward Manu Vallejo (Young Boys, £4 million) who had been away on loan last year was also allowed to go as he would only have been a (useful) bench option

Right-back Thierry Rendall Correia, central defenders Gabriel Paulista and Mouctar Diakhaby, plus striker Maxi Gomez are also being offered out but remain here so far

The first three were regulars last term but transfer fees, age (in the case of Gabriel) and/or wage packets make all of them commodities we could shift on

However there have been no takers until now so it's hindered the progress we wanted to make with new arrivals joining the club

The top targets

Since February or March we had been looking to complete a pre-contract deal for Jaime Seoane, a central midfielder from Spain's second tier

Unfortunately we had a block on how much we could pay and the deal kept getting rejected - right up until the time Atletico Madrid stole him from us on 6th August

A second choice was found during those talks and joined on a free transfer in case our long-term and primary target could still not be secured (both would have been fine)

The incoming player does have a higher reputation and has served some big clubs - but he isn't Spanish and is costing more than three times the weekly wage of Seoane


The choice of a new central defender was to ideally pick up a Spanish left-sided player, but these area rare commodity especially with our finances

The man identified was Mario Hermoso from Atletico Madrid (them again) but although the player was keen, we haven't got too close to agreeing a deal with the club yet

A contingency plan, only necessary if the above doesn't join and one of Gabriel or Diakhaby leave, is right-footed option Dani Vivian of Athletic Bilboa

He has a release clause of just £11.75 million and his wage demands were also manageable - but he doesn't want to talk again after our board tried to restrict us on that too

The striker vacancy would ideally be filled by another Spaniard, and Alcacer was the preferred target after the goals he got for us on loan last season

Unfortunately, despite being listed as available by Villarreal we have not managed to agree a deal with them for a permanent transfer or even a loan yet

We hope that can be achieved eventually, otherwise we may have to levitate towards Borja Iglesias or confirm an option on Nigerian striker Terem Moffi (£9m, Lorient)

Numerous Spanish players were considered for the understudy winger role, but in the end we were forced to go for a bigger name (for free but on high wages) 

Again this player does not fulfil the Spanish preference, but he has played at a good level domestically and at international level

The new arrivals (to date) and missing pieces of the jigsaw 

Believing that one of Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City or Bayern Munich would follow up interest in Correia at £35 million, a new right-back was first to arrive

We were delighted to grab young Spaniard Pedro Porro for just £7.5 million from Man City after his loan at Sporting Lisbon ended - our best deal of the summer for sure

Unfortunately, Correia has still not moved on so the unreceived large transfer fee has held us back and we are currently overstocked with good right-back options


The new central midfield player signed as the Seoane transfer saga dragged in to it's fifth month was ex-Bayern Munich man Corentin Tolisso

The French international has had a quiet few years, but should easily be capable at our level and he can expect to start on a regular basis 


The third and final first-team arrival was one we hesitated on for some weeks, but hopefully the talent will be released and he will prove to be another nice addition

By no means our first choice, but eventually we took the gamble and confirmed the free transfer signing of ex-Juventus winger Federico Bernardeschi on 28th July

My two wide attackers had been very good last time out, so the Italian is going to have to try and force his way in to the side over time


In other news, Lucas Canizares (son of ex-Valencia player and now U19 coach Santiago Canizares) comes in as our 3rd choice goalkeeping option from Real Madrid B

And 17 year-old Spanish youth player Koke, a central midfielder, arrived on a free transfer from Valladolid B to join the U19 squad

The clear gaps that remain in the squad are for a starting central defender (we can then move one of ours out) and a striker who will take the burden of scoring our goals

Promoted in to the first team squad after spells away from the club on loan last year are goalkeeper Cristian Rivero and central defender Jorge Saenz (both purely as cover)

Midfielders Vicente Esquerdo and Martin Tejon, plus striker Andres Garcia (all Spanish and Valencia graduates) are also now in and around the squad for extra depth

And finally, striker Jose Manuel Lopez (a January signing from Lanus in Argentina) is now joining the main group after being given time to settle in quietly

2022/23 squad (pre-season friendlies now complete, but one month left of the transfer window) 



And as we mentioned pre-season just a moment ago, here is a brief summary of how we are looking ahead of the new campaign - not bad at all it seems


Good financial management (sales exceed spent sums and wage bill trimmed) plus competition payments and TV revenue sees a much better financial position here (for now)


And so, on 31st July 2022, the season opener is now upon us (we host Real Betis)

Hopefully we will get our final two players in (and one or two out) in order to take on the challenges of the new season with optimism


Edited by Jogo Bonito
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A frustrating window but it looks like you've made solid progress. Improved the finances and made some good signings. Tolisso still looks like a player!

We all know what pre-season results are worth but definitely some cause for optimism there :thup:

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On 18/04/2022 at 13:00, warlock said:

A frustrating window but it looks like you've made solid progress. Improved the finances and made some good signings. Tolisso still looks like a player!

We all know what pre-season results are worth but definitely some cause for optimism there :thup:

Cheers. Yes it's slow progress I guess but some positive signs there, and things have seemingly got better still since then...


Season 2022/23

Our early form has been consistent, with four wins from five La Liga games - and one loss which came when Real Madrid scored all three in the final 10 minutes

You'll see a familiar name on the score sheet below, but one who was not mentioned in the previous squad review

The Champions League groups have also been drawn, and it will be a challenge for us to progress out of Group F


All the graphs look good, although it's too early to expect the league will end up like this

The financial graph again shows a rosy picture, but that's because European and TV money has been paid - monthly losses are still expected over the course of the season


On 3rd August, we were finally able to strike a deal to bring back Paco Alcacer after his successful loan spell last term

We needed a striker to lead the line and take the main goal burden, and the fee and wages were fairly reasonable for this move to take place


Towards the end of the window, Correia agreed a move to Bayern Munich (we had our two right-backs in place already) for a healthy £28.5 million


And that move allowed us to sign one of the two central defenders we had been interested in

Unfortunately we couldn't get Mario Hermoso from Atletico Madrid, but Dani Vivian was much cheaper and younger and adds to our growing Spanish contingent

The release clause deal of £11.75 million and reasonable wages made this just about affordable and he joined with hours left of the transfer window



Striker Maxi Gomez was loaned to Osasuna for a year as they are paying his full £49k per week wages, and that concluded our late transfer business

We now have a few tough months ahead, let's see how this goes...


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11 hours ago, warlock said:

All good stories have a strong beginning... just have to hope for a crowd-pleasing ending :). KUTGW!

Thanks mate. After some time feeling understocked to take on the extra fixture load coming our way this season, I just about managed to assemble a squad I'm content with.

I sacrificed a few players like Correia (very good, but had two Spanish right-backs already), Lato (Spanish and decent, but had two good Spanish left-backs already), Gomez (hope he scores goals on loan at Osasuna and we recall him and benefit from his confidence boost), Vallejo (Spanish and a decent squad filling wide attacker, but out of favour at the club in real life), Comert (would have kept this central defender, but he wanted to go after being under-used a little last season) and Mamardashvili (young and promising 'keeper, but not Spanish and was a good saleable asset to help finance other player signings).

I'm prepared to let Gabriel Paulista move on as he is 30+ and earning a lot of money, but need to ensure the team don't react badly for making that sale. Bernardeschi, despite being a new arrival, is also not likely to be here long as I hope to get a decent sale price for him (signed on a free) and replace him with another Spaniard for a smaller fee and on less wages. By next season, I'm hoping we can have an even higher % of Spanish players than we do now.

The main successes so far, apart from positive results on the pitch are these:

  • I've got no loan players at all (a massive target achieved, we had five last year)
  • I've increased the Spanish influence and now 17 of 26 (including promoted youngsters) who are able to play domestically and in Europe, are Spanish
  • Finances are better (for now) and new signings are fitting in to a more sensible wage structure
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2 hours ago, karanhsingh said:

Hope you're doing well mate! Although logging on after so long, i was expecting to see this save a little further down the line ;)

Haha. I can't really dispute that statement, will try harder :lol:

Yes doing good thanks, and I hope the same for you. 

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2 hours ago, Jogo Bonito said:

Haha. I can't really dispute that statement, will try harder :lol:

Yes doing good thanks, and I hope the same for you. 

Yes all good thanks. Work & life seems to be returning to normal now. Hoping it stays that way. 

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  • 3 weeks later...


Season 2022/23 - Part 2

Playing time has been limited of late, but I've found time to make some small progress with Valencia

September and (in particular) October 2022 were fixture-heavy months due to the over-achievement of last year putting us back in to European competition

At the end of August we sat second after five league games, and September was a little disappointing domestically after a good start against Villarreal

Dropped points at home to Celta Vigo was one thing, but losing at Cadiz was poor in every sense

In contrast the month had seen an excellent start in Champions League Group F with tight and invaluable wins over strong German and Italian outfits

A 3-3 draw away to PSG was also a fine result, but being 3-1 up until very late on meant this was seen as a bittersweet outcome despite being huge underdogs

The league form in October was also a mix of good and bad with a heavy defeat at Barcelona and a 4-3 loss away to Atletico Madrid (also after being 3-1 up)

The draw against local rivals Levante wasn't good, but hard-fought wins over Sevilla, Alaves & Mirandes (in stoppage time) were useful and kept us in a reasonable spot

The 2-0 victory over Athletic Bilbao was our best performance in the league during the month, and hopefully that standard will be met more often again now 

October saw two European nights, and despite a narrow loss away to PSG, a second win over AS Roma confirmed qualification alongside PSG with one game to go  


The graph below shows we have dipped over this period, partly due to losing our stronger right-flank combination of Porro and De Frutos for most of this batch of games

The latter returned a few weeks ago, and the winger marked his return with a goal - whilst the former will be back soon and will be a big improvement at right-back

Left-back Gaya has been the outstanding player so far, although his assists tally is boosted by taking most of our set-pieces on the right side

You'll see that we have neither excelled in attack (10th best) or defence (8th best) but we have had to heavily rotate and both rankings should improve in time

Financially we have taken massive steps forward, partly due to sound business acumen but significantly due to obscene money you get for playing in the Champions League


The month of November is, of course, a domestic football tragedy due to the Winter Wonderland (aka 2022 World Cup in Qatar)

After our game in Germany on 2nd November, we have nothing else in the calendar until 1st January 2023

We'll make our transfer plans and report back after the winter window closes, but we did add one player on 14th October

Spanish international Isco had been a free agent since leaving Real Madrid in the summer, and I managed to secure him on a very low wage

The short term deal was by choice (and he took some convincing), but he should add quite a bit as we tackle multiple competitions

He was ineligible for the Champions League group stage, but will get included at next registration point (so far he has given two assists in three league games)


See you again soon, and thanks for reading


Edited by Jogo Bonito
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Isco is great business, granted he is 30, but he is never going to be seen as a mobile or hardworking player, but what he does offer is that ability to make something out of nothing and has done so at the highest level!!

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