Newly promoted Rayo Vallecano have brought in a host of new signings ahead of their return to La Liga, for the first time since 2016.
The side from South Madrid have spent a modest €6.5 million as they look to re-establish themselves back in the top flight, with fellow promoted sides Huesca and Real Valladolid both spending less on players.
Club legend Michel, who led their promotion charge last season, has spent the club’s money shrewdly, as he plots their survival.
Their big money buy has been former Chelsea player Gael Kakuta, who comes in for a €3 million fee, from Hebei China Fortune.
The attacker spent the 2014-15 season on loan at he club, establishing himself as a fans favourite – making 35 appearances, and scoring five goals.
He will add pace directness to the Rayo attack, but he will need to chip in with goals if they are to avoid the promoted side curse of not scoring enough to remain in the top flight.
Another former Premier League player to come in is Jose Pozo, who came through the youth ranks at Manchester City , with Rayo paying €1.1 million to bring him in on a permanent deal from Segunda side Almeria.
These new faces will improve Rayo in key attacking and defensive areas, both vital in coping with life in the top flight, however exits have also been a feature of Rayo’s pre season preparations.
Full backs Baiano and Johan Mojica have both departed, for Alanyaspor and Girona respectively, after playing a big role in last season’s promotion push.
However the biggest story has been the exit of exciting young prospect Fran Beltran, to Celta Vigo.
Beltran is a product of the club’s youth team, and a local player embedded with the traditions of the club. His departure has been met with a mixed response from supporters, who are concerned by the message that it sends about their seriousness of staying in the top flight.
He was central to their progress in 2017-18, pulling the strings in central midfield, despite his tender age of 18, and he had been earmarked as a future club captain.
However Michel will now seek to focus attention on the new signings, hopeful that the number of them will distract from the exit of Beltran.
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