Alaves’ season was one to remember in 2016-17 – they finished ninth in La Liga, and made it all the way to the Copa del Rey final before ultimately losing out to Barcelona. The highlight of the season was arguably their 2-1 win against the same opposition at the Nou Camp, though they were hammered in the return meeting later in the season – to the tune of a 6-0 home loss.
They saw manager Mauricio Pellegrino depart to eventually take the reins at Southampton in the Premier League, and brought in Luis Zubeldía as his replacement. But as well as change in the dugout, there will be plenty of new faces available for action for Babazorros.
The club have signed no fewer than 14 new players this summer, and while many of those transfers were clearly made with an eye to the future the caputures of the likes of Ruben Sobrino from Man City and Ruben Duarte from Espanyol have indicated their intent not to rest on their laurels. Last season may have been a cracker – but they want that kind of showing again, if not a better one this time around.
The highest profile signing so far was arguably Burgui from Real Madrid, for a fee of around €3m. The 23-year-old spent last season on loan at Sporting Gijon, but following their relegation from La Liga he made the jump. Last season may not have been electrifying – certainly not to the extent of his potential – but he did return 10 points, which was more than many other players of course! He scored two and provided four assists, but his discipline let him down a little. He picked up six bookings, meaning he could have scored 16 rather than 10 if he could have just avoided the ref’s book.
His Price / Performance (P/P) ratio of 2.8 wasn’t great. That would have been better but for his fairly high 5.00m valuation, but only time will tell whether he will prove a more attractive inclusion this time around or not. 1% of fantasy managers included him in their squads last season – that could go up this time around as he seeks to establish himself at a new permanent stomping ground.
Alaves also completed another transfer from Real Madrid, with their manager Zinedine Zidane’s son Enzo making the move on a free transfer. This transfer could well prove something of a coup for Alaves if they can bring him anywhere near to a level that his lineage could offer him.
Having represented Real at C and B levels, he never made a first team appearance and so his inclusion may be something of an unknown quantity – there aren’t any EuroFantasyLeague stats from last year with which to monitor him. He should get plenty of chance to showcase his talents this year though, and given his lack of previous action his price tag could well make him worth consideration from all fantasy managers.
The club’s other signings have been Antonio Sivera, Ermedin Demirovic, Juanan Entrena, Antonio Cristian, Mubarak Wakaso, Arturo Segado, Hector Hernandez, Alfonso Pedraza, Guillermo Maripan and Sergio Lamas.
The main issue with that many new faces is that it could take them some time to gel as a single unit, and so Alaves are taking a big risk if their ambition is to at least match last season’s performance, despite the obvious quality at their disposal.
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