The less said about England and Spain in Euro 2016 the better……
Betis could however learn a thing or two from the ‘lesser’ countries who have prospered so far. I’m thinking of Wales and more specifically Iceland, who have performed superbly. Without having the best individuals their team has excelled. It may be a bit cliché but they are following on in Leicester’s impressive footsteps.
Another glaringly brilliant example that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
Iceland’s defensive set-up has been immense, the players are incredibly well-drilled but they also break forward with purpose, intent and skill. Their tactics and teamwork have brought them to the quarter finals of the Euros and I definitely think Gus Poyet should be making a note in regards to Lars Lagerbäck’s approach. On a personal level I should also be making a note of Iceland’s (the frozen food company) marketing strategy as they played a blinder!
Back to Betis News
It’s been reported today that los verdiblancos have secured their 5th and 6th signings of the close season in Felipe Gutiérrez and Aissa Mandi. This comes after the club have announced that Durmisi, Jonas Martin, Nahuel and Musonda will all be playing in green and white next season. Let’s have a quick look at them all.
Riza Durmisi – Tricky, skilful, small Danish left back signed from Brondby for €2m. He has signed a 5 year contract at the club and his buyout clause has increased to €20m! Having done a bit of research he looks great going forward and looks like he’ll be able to provide some genuine threat on the left (reminds me of Jordi Alba) but there’s nothing too clear cut about his defensive qualities. He was the player of the year at Brondby last season and looks to have nailed down his place as Denmark’s left-back at the age of 22. Could be one to watch.
Jonas Martin – The Frenchman is a good all-round central midfielder. He’s 26 years old and signed from Montpellier for €3m. He can play further back in a defensive role/double pivot or slightly more forward around the centre circle but getting forward and joining the attacking plays. Although he doesn’t score many goals he has got good nerve on him, can pick a pass and can took away a penalty. He can also use both feet and likes to keep possession. Can be a calm influence for Betis this season.
Charly Musonda – We already know quite a lot about this 19 year old attack minded Belgian. He’s back at Betis on loan from Chelsea but for the whole season this time. He sparked life into a rather dull team last season when he joined in January and every single Betis fan I know is glad that he is back at el Benito Villamarín.
Matías ‘Nahuel’ Leiva Esquivel – known just as Nahuel, he’s a 19 year old winger on loan from Villarreal with the option to buy. In short he is a real talent with huge potential but not quick ‘knocking down any doors’ (as Miguel Verdugo put it for Beticismo.net).
He has great speed and explosiveness and can go either down the line on the left or cut inside. Looking forward to see him play, especially countering Betis forward. He was also born in Rosario, the same place as one Lionel Messi, therefore he must be good. Despite this he has featured for Spain’s U19s and U21s after coming over to Villarreal when he was 19.
Felipe Gutiérrez – 26 year old central midfield joins from FC Twente on a 5 year contract. He’s played in Holland since 2012 as well as featuring 29 times for Chile. Rather ironically, his arrival could spell fellow countryman Lolo Reyes’ departure. He appears calm and classy on the ball and possesses a good left foot. Also has a tenacious streak (as most South Americans do) which is much needed for Betis in the middle of the field. Looks like Betis are splashing out around €3m on Gutiérrez, so he must be promising!
Aissa Mandi – 24 year old French-Algerian has signed a 5 year contract from French side Stade de Reims for €3-4m. He plays mostly as a right full back but can also play centre back. Betis have struggled for many years now to find a decent, consistent full back, hopefully Mandi will put this to bed. At 6’1″ he’s a tall lateral but seems well equipped going forward as well as good tactical awareness at the back. He was linked heavily with newly promoted Premier League club Middlesborough earlier this month but it is Betis who have put pen to paper.
New Sporting Director Miguel Torrecilla is certainly doing what he set out to do when he joined Betis a few months ago and he hopes to make a further 4-6 signings to finish off the squad. There are also a number of players who need to be offloaded to make room for all these new players, so we’ll be keeping tabs on this in the coming months.