We're a big club now. The team is touring Ireland (Athlone Town, Bray Wanderers), England (Tottenham Hotspur), and Poland (Lechia Gdansk) for 4 preseason matches and countless questions about world champion Joan Capdevila.
Juan Carlos Garrido's first 25-man squad of the 2010-11 season:
GKs (3): Diego López, Oliva, and Juan Carlos.
Ds (7): Ángel, Gonzalo, Musacchio, Kiko, Catalá, Mario, and Joan Oriol.
MFs (11): Senna, Bruno, Cani, Cazorla, Borja Valero, Cristóbal, Natxo Insa, Matilla, Marcos Gullón, Hernán Pérez, and Castellani.
Fs (4): Fuster, Rossi, Marco Ruben, and Jefferson Montero.
For the sake of discussion, assume no further transfers. How does this squad compare to the one at the Anoeta in late August? What is your first-choice starting XI?
GKs, 2-3: By promoting Juan Carlos (and 8 of his closest friends), there are 3 keepers in the squad. I think Juan Carlos is ready if a big offer comes in for Diego López, but that appears unlikely. Something has to give, as a 23 year-old third-choice keeper makes no sense. Xavi Oliva on loan to our promoted local friends Hercules or Levante?
Ds, 8: Capdevila and Godín will return from their holidays, sending Kiko back down. If the charrúa leaves, Marchena or another experienced defender will complement Gonzalo and the young pups. Musacchio and Catalá will get their chances; while Joan Oriol has it tough, Mario Gaspar should fill in when the bad Ángel rears its ugly head.
MFs, 8-9: Natxo Insa, Hernán Pérez, Castellani, and Marcos Gullón are filial players, though Gullón has earned a look. Fuster will move back to the midfield with Nilmar's return, but there may still be an opening. I would love Achille Emana from Betis, but that might be too costly. We have 4 central (Borja Valero, Bruno, Matilla, Senna) and 4 wide players (Cani, Cazorla, Cristóbal, Fuster), but an Escudero-type could be useful if Cristóbal does not pan out. A knock to Santi and Montero moves back to winger?
Fs, 4: Even the biggest Jozy supporter does not expect him at the club this season. With Nilmar in the fold, it will be interesting to see how Garrido handles this quartet. We will miss Llorente's physical presence, so does the 4-3-3 return? Rossi and Nilmar out wide with either B teamer in the middle would be lethal.