“I love it when a plan comes together” – John ‘Hannibal’ Smith.
The move back to the Keepmoat happened at the end of may, with just under 7000 new seats taking the capacity to nearly 20000, replacing the 1200 we lost when undersoil heating was introduced, then adding another 5000.
We could afford another 5500 seats before a new stadium had to be considered.
The general aim of this preseason, especially given that its a European Championships year, is to get rid of a few deadweights who won’t make it, and then top up the youth teams.
I cannot foresee a massive transfer window, as, honestly, we don’t really need it, and only a silly transfer fee would have us listen to any of our players.
Of course, that is, until Arsenal throw this offer our way.
Even with paying the sell on to Odegaard, if he goes, it will be a massive profit for us, and allow for some investment in the team. We have a ready made replacement in Bruno Oliviera who can step in, and, at the same time, make sure Olivieras potential replacement is being worked on.
A few days later, the Odegaard deal becomes a reality.
Its a record transfer fee received for us, breaking the Miguel Luis one from last season.
The use of Bruno Olivieira as the replacement was also made slightly easier, as a potential replacement was identified, and, at less than a million pounds, was more than affordable.
For £600k, Phil Foden is a low risk option. He matches everything we had in Martin Odegaard in terms of attributes, he is home grown, so fits into the Champions League picture, and is very technical and offers a great deal going forward.
Also signing was Argentinian midfielder Santiago Iniguez, from Independiente. The 21 year old is physically strong, and will fit into the midfield rotation, offering a replacement for Joe Allen, as well as being in the mix with de Assis and Henrique.
A few more bits of business go on, fringe players go out, raising some funds, with Rasmus Wikstrom departing for £10m, and Gavin Johnston, who hasn’t developed like I’d hoped, and for that reason, has spent a large amount of time on loan, going to Wolfsburg for £14.5m, rising to £20m.
Carlos Ardiles was offered a new deal, and signed a 5 year + 1 year extension deal, doubling his wages to just over £100k a week. For the amount of goals he scores alone, even at this age, he is more than worth it, and, should he attract attention from elsewhere, a massive price will have to be paid to get him out of Doncaster.
Also coming in, this time on a free transfer from Manchester City, is Ilkay Gundogan. Mainly brought in to act as the other half of Joe Allen, so we can keep him fresh for the big season, Gundogan comes on a 1 year deal, and will provide a massive amount of experience when required.
A backup goalkeeper was brought in, as Daniel Bentley has picked up an injury preseason, Karl Darlow joins on a free transfer from Newcastle.
We also lost Diogo Goncalves for at least 6 months to a broken leg, the winger was one of the rotation options in his position, so will not cause too much damage to the team.