After an unbeaten start to their La Liga campaign, Real Sociedad find themselves second in the table, with confidence high at the Basque club.
An opening day win at Villarreal, who are expected to be in the European qualification spots again at the end of this season, and a draw at Leganes has sparked hopes of a strong campaign.
The club has experienced a yo-yo period in recent seasons, qualifying for European football just once in the last four years, and fans are desperate to bring the big names back to the Anoeta.
The first part of the 2017-18 season was a wash out, and it drew criticism of manager Eusebio Sacristan and his players, particularly as there seemed to be little chance of their form reversing.
Imanol Alguacil was appointed on a temporary basis following Sacristan’s departure in March, and he steadied the ship, eventually finishing in 12th place and avoiding the nightmare scenario of a relegation battle.
However the club moved to make a statement of intent in the summer by bringing in former Leganes manager Asier Garitano and backing him with transfer funds.
Garitano has opted to do it ‘his’ way, as he did at Leganes, and identify specific targets and spend the club’s money with care.
The main signing has been Mikel Merino, coming in from Premier League side Newcastle, in strange circumstances.
Merino signed a permanent deal with The Magpies in July,after spending the 2017-18 season on loan at the club from Borussia Dortmund.
However Sociedad persuaded Rafa Benitez to cash in on his new man, just two weeks later, with a profit.
This is a sign of Garitano’s management, in that targets are located and he will push hard to bring them into the club.
Theo Hernandez has also joined on a season-long loan from Real Madrid, in a deal that saw highly rated full back Alvaro Odriozola go in the other direction.
However the most exciting aspect of their start to the season has been the continued goal scoring form from 2017-18, where they finished as the highest scorers outside of the top three, with 66 goals.
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