January has come and gone, and with it, the majority of our first season in the Championship.
My board have come through once more, paying to upgrade the youth facilities, which will come at the end of the season, as well as getting me an affiliate in Croatia, in Primorac from the Druga Liga. They’re not at the standard of Dinamo or Hadjuk, but, they give me a slightly different option in youth recruitment and the like.
As you can see from the table above, we’ve taken pretty well to Championship football. Scoring the second highest amount of goals, and having one of the better defences in the division. My board still want me to avoid relegation, so, I’ll still aim for that 😉
In terms of transfers, Jeff King has left to go to Colchester, and Conor Thomas has departed to Burton Albion on loan. Coming in, have been Ismahil Akinade from Waterford in Ireland on a free transfer (mainly to provide some cover on the wing), and Dutch youngster Perr Schuurs, from Ajax, who joins for a club record fee of £5m (£3m up front, plus £2m in installments). He can drop either into the back 4, or in the defensive midfield role, depending on where he is needed. At 20, he is one for the future, which is recognised with the 3 and a half year contract he signed.
Moves have also been made for Portuguese central midfielder Tomás Azevedo, from Setubal, who fits into the strong, team orientated player that will do well in the team. At 19, again, he is one for the future, but, I have also earmarked him as a potential replacement for Miguel Luis, should anyone come in for him in the summer.
Also signing in the summer, on a free transfer, is 22 year old German midfielder, Max Besuschkow, who can play in all midfield roles, and is particularly proficient in the centre. Like most German players, he is technically outstanding, and will hopefully provide drive going forward in the team.
Of course, these are the main moves, also coming in, on loan, is 23 year old Dutch striker, Richairo Zivkovic, from Oostende until the end of the season. Whilst I’ve been getting goals from Marquis, and to a slightly lesser extent, Mujica, Zivkovic provides a bit of pace so that if I want to mix it up, and get at the opposition a bit, he can use his pace to get behind the line, and cause trouble for the defence. He comes to England averaging a goal just under every 3 games, and if he can keep that rate up until the end of the season, he’ll be fine.
So, until the end of the season, the objective will be to keep learning about my side, and push for the playoffs. I won’t be disappointed should we fail to make it, as anything better than a relegation battle is a win.