So with £44m to spend and a few positions to strengthen as we are in Europe again the first news of pre-season wasn't something I was anticipating. It came about very quick and ended within a few days. It wasn't totally surprising as Lewis Cook, the player in question came to me asking to join Arsenal as they had shown an interest around February and I said if they make an offer he can leave as we were doing well and I didn't want an unhappy player amongst the ranks.
Anyway in the summer they did bid and it totalled £33m but it was in bits and installments so I asked for £40m up front and they accepted and off he went. A main part of my team had gone so with £84m behind me I needed a replacement for him.
In came more than a replacement in my eyes....
Cook's replacement! :)
He's a fantastic player and cost £5.75m. Yeah you read it right, £5.75m for someone as good as him. So a £34m profit and a player as good if not better in his place.
The next person I saw was a striker and as much as I was impressed with his stats and what he could bring to the team I don't need another forward. With that said I bid anyway and got him as he was a little bit different to my other strikers.
He only cost £9.75m which is nothing with the money I had left and he is homegrown as well which helps.
Still very young, with good finishing skills, good pace and good dribbling. His vision, passing and teamwork need a bit of work but when he plays his sole job will be to put the ball in the net and be clinical which is what we missed last season. It may be a case of I need to fit 2 strikers into my formation this season.
Last season I only had 1 left back in the squad after I couldn't find any worthy players to battle Charlie Taylor for the position so he had to play almost every single game, in fact after checking he played every single game last season. 38 in the prem and 22 in the cups so a 60 game season with no injuries is fantastic. This pre-season I found a player that is probably better than Taylor but out of loyalty will start as back-up.
Baba Rahman has arrived on loan from Juventus and i'm not sure why they've let him go. He is unhappy with the lack of first team games and they do have Alex Sandro but defensively anyway Baba is better. They have also just brought in Andy Robertson originally from Hull but has been at Liverpool, Wolfsburg and now Juventus so has had some big moves. Rahman is transfer listed for £11.75m so I will probably make that permanent in January if everything has gone to plan and he isn't injury prone or disruptive, which I doubt but, you never know.
I already needed another central midfield player before Cook left so with Kimmich coming in I still wanted another and so this guy arrived for £14.75m who I have been after for ages because I had him in my previous Barnsley save and he was beyond excellent.
Ivor Fossum is an all action, complete midfielder who will add a lot of energy and athleticism to the team. He has been unhappy at Bayern Munich for 2 seasons now but they wanted 20m which I wasn't willing to pay. With the 40m from the board and the 40m from Cook's transfer I decided to go for it to try and upgrade the team. He's our highest earner on 60k a week but for a player of his calibre it isn't that much.
Adalberto Penaranda joins on loan from Dortmund ironically as it's the place we loaned Malcom from last season who was brilliant. He isn't as good as him and to be fair was my 2nd choice as Malcom, my first choice went to Valencia for 13.25m. I tried to get him but he opted for Spain which is disappointing.
Iuri Medeiros is another loanee and a stop gap before I find a top class option on the wings. He will be back up initially and he may end up playing out of this world but at the moment he's just an short term option. I don't particularly like his low work rate and teamwork but we'll see. He is brilliant in other areas, especially when he has the ball and being left footed is different to what we have now.
Moreto Cassama joins for just 2m after being transfer listed by FC Porto. He's a brilliant attacking midfield player and as I sold captain Conor Hourihane as he wasn't playing anymore, Ryan Woods who, again was only playing when injuries occurred and Ante Coric who didn't develop as I had hoped I needed another attacking midfield player and Cassama more than fits the bill. He has all the stats needed and more coupled with being just 21 years of age I can feel he is going to be a massive player for us.