In my last post I outlined the tactic I am hoping to employ with Toulouse during my time at the club. Once that had been decided upon, I had the task of building a team of players that could fulfil the roles I expect. The squad I inherited definitely wasn’t going to be capable of what I wanted, and so a lot of changes were to be made.
So let’s begin with the ins and outs of my first transfer window in charge:
As you can see, a number of players have left the club, bringing in quite a decent transfer kitty (€20.54m). The main outgoing players were:
- Wissam Ben Yedder: Benfica €10m – Despite being one of the best rated players at the club, he never really seemed to get going last year. To be honest, I just didn’t really fancy him and I think getting €10m is a good deal.
- Martin Braithwaite: Kolne €4.5m – The pacey Dane was a little too one dimensional for me, and again I think we got a good deal.
- Oscar Trejo: San Lorenzo (Free) – He was one of the better players for me last year, but he’d already agreed to move on before I joined the club, which was a shame considering his quality.
Here’s a slideshow of some of the players I brought in. I’ll go in to detail about the more important players I signed below.
I brought Peybernes in from Bastia, who were relegated last year meaning I got a pretty good price. He was exactly what I wanted from my centre back; just an all-round good defender. His speed particularly pleases me, and should hopefully get us out some sticky situations.
Mario Lemina is probably the biggest name of my signings (currently on loan at Juventus in real life). He was transfer listed at Marseille, and I had my eye on him for a while. I’m hoping he still has room to grow at 23. His physical attributes are already good enough, but his technicals could do some work. His position map shows just how versatile he is which is very pleasing.
I’ve had difficulties signing Italian strikers in the past (see Andrea Belotti at Milan). I’m hoping to convert Longo into the shadow striker for my system. He is a good all-round player, and I’m hoping he will form a connection with the man up top…
As with Perybernes, Kamano came in from Bastia. I struggled to find a player for the DLF role in my system, and I’m not 100% on Kamano at the moment. He seems to be a decent finisher, as well as being competent on the ball. Hopefully he can grow as well, as he is only 21 years old.
I still have around €10m in the bank, so further signings could be made if required in January.
So with all these signings, here is what I’m thinking my preferred starting XI will be:
The only players from last year are Ahamada (GK), William Matheus (LB), Blin (DM), and Felipe Gedoz (AML). Because of the big changes I’m expecting it will take some time for the team to gel, and therefore also become proficient in the tactic. The preseason results looked like this:
Excluding Atalanta, the opposition were all very weak and it was mostly about building fitness and confidence. I think the shape is looking promising at the moment, although I’m sure tweaks will be necessary when we come up against stronger opposition.
The board are only expecting me to avoid relegation, and I am hoping to achieve this comfortably, getting as close to the middle of the table as possible. I think this first season will be largely about settling all the new players, and understanding how the tactic works.
Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you next time!