So, 2022/23 has the World Cup in the middle. That, I forgot about.
In came Victor Hugo De Alba for £650k, with Ross McCrorie coming in from Rangers (for a slightly bigger fee than I wanted to pay), for £7m. The news that Paulo Roberto was going to miss the first couple of months of the campaign was tempered somewhat, when 18 year old French youngster, Justin Picard came up on a scout list.
Mobile, strong in the tackle, and fit, although, diminutive in size (at 5’5″, he is the smallest player in the squad), he fits how we want to play, and for £4m, presents a great resale value for the future.
A large number of players departed on loan again, aiming to push their experience further, and several players departed for new clubs, bringing nearly £77m in fees in.
Thomas Buitink was the first to depart, Wolves sparking an auction, which saw the fee go up to £33.5m, with a 30% sell on clause, bringing the club nearly £22m in profit for 18 months worth of work.
Alessandro Murgia departed next, unable to find a space in our starting lineup, he kicked up a bit of a fuss, and went for £3.5m to Aston Villa, which, for less than 12 months, and a £300k profit, wasn’t too bad for us.
Bruno Paz departed to Spain, where Villareal paid £9.5m for the Portuguese midfielder, a profit of nearly £9m in the near 2 years he spent with us.
Max Bauer returned to Germany, with Borussia Mönchengladbach parting with £3.5m for the centre back, again, a profit of £1.3m for just under 10 months.
Andre Girao was the next to depart, the Portuguese winger, signed for £600k in 2020, was the subject of several bids from PSG, and in the end, £2.5m and a very healthy 50% of any future fee saw him depart.
Young Argentinian, Guido Olguin departed next, the £7m fee we paid to River, was trebled by Bayer Leverkusen, and the promise of Champions League football saw him go.
That was the last of the ‘big’ fees, but, 3 other fringe players departed.
In competitive fixtures, we came up against AZ in the Europa League qualifiers, and despatched them 6-0 over 2 legs.
A trip to Croatia came next, with Rijeka our opposition, they were despatched 4-2 on aggregate.
Our run came to a disappointing end in the 4th Qualifying Round, seeing us bow out to Mainz, who were better drilled, and saw us off 4-2 over the 2 legs.
In other competitions, we were beaten 3-0 in the Carabao Cup 3rd Round, and our run in the league was going better, seeing us lie 4th after 17 games, and being one of the only teams to score past Liverpool this season.
Player wise, David Brooks, Luis Iriarte and Keiran Douglas find themselves towards the top end of the goalscorers charts, with Brooks in 3rd place in the league, with 8 goals.
There is some interest coming in for some of the players with the transfer window looming, but, it will take a massive bid or two to part with some of the players.