FC Barcelona - The New Era

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  • Lyktan
    146 posts Has Potential To Be Special
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    It seemed to be one of those games where we wouldn't get anything from it. A miscalculation from Ter Stegen had Deportivo scoring quite early in the game and their keeper had an absolute wonderful performance but after a few tweaks at half time we could turn the game around within two minutes. Rakitic, the ever so important skipper, led the team to another step to the title.


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    Arthur hadn't been a starter most of the season but always kept his cool and always did great when he got the chances. After the injury on Vidal he had gotten more chances and in the press conference he mentioned he was excited to repay the trust that Lyktan gave him for starting him.

    "We have a few who can do the job in midfield and I'm happy Lyktan trusts me. I'm very happy with this win, we're showing that we are going 110 percent for the title. We're not easing off. We want to get it done as soon as possible"


    With a great last few months I had a meeting with the board about the upcoming season. We had done a great job with the academy players this year, but really we had no choice as the squad was too thin in the beginning. But players like Gallardo, Torres, Benitéz and many others had done a wonderful job when they got the chances.

    "Our transfer ban is going away as off 1st of June 2019. Who are we thinking of bringing in?" the board asked me. Frankly I hadn't thought about it too much. But I had some players in mind.

    A fullback like Mendy could really play on both sides as we only had Sergi Roberto who was 110% proven in the big league. De Ligt was also of interest. Rabiot could take a spot in a midfield where many players got into their 30's. The most important things were a winger and a striker though. We agreed on that and that we would start looking into it.
  • Lyktan
    146 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    I stepped into the dressing room and instantly said "You know what's at stake. If we win we guarantee that we will at least get to the play-offs. Trust me, if that's where we end up I wont really be that happy" and I was greeted with laughter. Rakitic had grown into a great captain and made sure everyone was going to fight for this win.

    The schedule had been poor for us and we only had a few days rest. I decided to give some youngsters a game and Gallardo, the goalkeeper who's done so well, would get another chance.

    "Enjoy it, you deserved it. Go win this." I said.

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    Most journalists expected us to cheer a bit more, and one of them asked after the game "if we're saving it for when we win the title?" and I just shrugged. We are Barcelona and we know that anything but a league title is a massive disgrace.

    I went back to the dressing room and that's when I showed the emotions the journos would've loved. "That's a fighting spirit guys. Yeah, we always should get promoted but it's doing it that matters. You've been absolutely brilliant the last few months, lets keep going and win it as well so we can have some days off before we go into the real deal".

    Rakitic was one of the players who played despite having played a few days before and was subbed off at the 70th minute and he limped around in the dressing room. He went to get it checked and I told him "It could be a month that you'd be away. But honestly, it's the best scenario to get injured now. You're a big reason for our good season"

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    "Alright guys. If Sporting drops points and we win today the league title is ours. Let's hope they do because we sure will win it. I kinda want to start focusing on next season without the 0,1% chance in the back of my head so lets just win and hope Gijon doesn't. Arthur, you're replacing Rakitic."

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    Rakitic was although the first one to lift the trophy and the first one to get questions from the media. "Why didn't you guys celebrate more than you did?" was the only question we got really and our answers would be as different as the questions. "We really would see anything else as a failure and we are back where we belong. Of course we're happy but it's no way the best day ever".


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  • subpop
    3364 posts National Call-Up
    CAMPIONS!!

    Back where we belong! Visca el Barça i Visca Catalunya!
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    Congrats on the deserved promotion will be interesting to see who Barca sign this summer to strengthen for next season back in La Liga
  • ASdoZeR
    1362 posts Professional
    Congrats on the title. After an unexpected start to the season the team got together and everything got sorted. Cruising through the league in the end. Now it's time for the big business again.
  • Lyktan
    146 posts Has Potential To Be Special
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    "Is this a joke? Honestly, I'm starting to think so. My players are literally bleeding from their faces and they get no punishment from it? We're going to end up with seriously bad injuries if you guys don't stop this" I shouted to the fourth official before the real deal broke loose.

    Osasuna started the game with an ugly tackle on Ter Stegen in the first minutes and never stopped with their late tackles and the referee didn't do anything except for one yellow card to Osasuna. By the 26th minute Arthur lost his head and lashed out at a player and got a straight red. I shaked my head but I understood him. As he went down the tunnel I stopped him and said "Look, that was really stupid. But trust me. I get it. No hard feelings". He nodded and went back to the dressing room.

    After several incidents where a penalty would be rewarded I barely could stand it anymore. The game wasn't even in focus because as soon as we had an attack going we would get mauled. Wague got tackled right next to me and this time got a freekick but that's when the bad things happened. Wague ran up to him and started a fight and everyone on the pitch got involved in both the fight and trying to hold everyone off. A player from Osasuna ran up to me and laughed in my face trying to get a reaction. I told him to "Calm down. You guys have an exhausting play-off to focus on" and smirked.

    The game went on after several minutes and Wague had to be almost pushed down the tunnel for him to leave. A few seconds later Lenglet and Rakitic both went in studs up in their challenges and were both shown the red card. If you saw us play against Real Madrid about 7 or 8 years ago, it was that kind of feeling in the stadium.

    After the game in the dressing room I looked at everyone and said "The media is loving this. We're losing it. We can't deal with not being number one in the world. You guys are hotheads. All of it. They will be asking me, you, your dog and your neighbor if you guys shouldn't get fined for this. You're not. Honestly, between these walls, showing passion for your team like this isn't always that bad. I mean, it's real stupid and we are the most hated team as of now, but if you didn't stand up for your brothers today at least one of you would be at the hospital with a broken leg by now. I honestly don't think of you any less because of this".


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    "Right, right, right. We need to win today. I want it more than I've wanted anything the last few months. I want to get over the 100 point mark, badly. Let's get a win".

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    It didn't look like it for a very, very long time. But if you want to summarize this season as a whole you'd mention Malcom. After a few weeks of poor form he came back to his old self and in the 94th minute, overtime on overtime, Alcácer headed the ball down from a goal kick and he hit it on the volley. Top bins, 3 points, 101 points. Malcom summarized his season, and our season, on overtime.

    I don't think I celebrated a goal more than I did that day.
  • Lyktan
    146 posts Has Potential To Be Special
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    I went to my office and sat down. Last few months had been intense and I hadn't spent an awful lot of time in my office. I enjoyed those moments where I could relax knowing everything was alright for the moment. It was time to read check out the BBC's Season Summary Hub.

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    Messi is not doing very well. Wonder if he wants to come back? I thought to myself. Laughed a bit, but he probably would if we wanted him but the fee would be huge for his age. Your time here is over, man. Crush it next season instead.

    Surely we'll dominate the Team of The Season? I said as I checked it out. Umtiti and Malcom were the only ones that made it and I didn't bother to check it out more than that.

    The transfer targets are quite spot on. I'm a bit interested in Martial as well, to be honest.
  • Stlducks
    1781 posts Play-Off Hero
    Great season to finish with 101 points and champions as expected. The young team needs to learn from this rough game with all the red cards but luckily it didn't matter in the standings.

    Time for the real challenge to start next season.
  • Lyktan
    146 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    subpop wrote: »
    CAMPIONS!!

    Back where we belong! Visca el Barça i Visca Catalunya!

    I’ll do ya proud!
    JoshDFC wrote: »
    Congrats on the deserved promotion will be interesting to see who Barca sign this summer to strengthen for next season back in La Liga

    Cheers! Yep, such a nice feeling to buy players lol. Forgot how it felt.
    ASdoZeR wrote: »
    Congrats on the title. After an unexpected start to the season the team got together and everything got sorted. Cruising through the league in the end. Now it's time for the big business again.

    Thanks! Yeah the start left a lot to be desired. You said it! Looking forward to actually meeting teams I know about lmao.
    Stlducks wrote: »
    Great season to finish with 101 points and champions as expected. The young team needs to learn from this rough game with all the red cards but luckily it didn't matter in the standings.

    Time for the real challenge to start next season.

    Yeah that game was weird.. yeah, it’s already very tough when your opponent is semi-decent this time around.
  • Wyojasond
    13852 posts Has That Special Something
    4 red cards in one game. Mother of God! Great finish to the season though. Eager to see how fast the team jumps into next season
  • Lyktan
    146 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    4 red cards in one game. Mother of God! Great finish to the season though. Eager to see how fast the team jumps into next season

    That makes two of us! Really excited for the season.
  • Lyktan
    146 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    I had a short vacation and I decided to go back to Sweden for the summer. Nothing extraordinary, meeting up with old pals and family. Not gonna lie, most of the time I was still thinking of players to sign, scout and players to eventually sell. Cillessen told me the day before we all went on a break that he wanted to be sold due to the lack of playing time and I couldn't fault him. Ter Stegen had been amazing and Gallardo, a 16 year old, had done a terrific job when he got the chance. I wasn't impressed by Cillessen and going elsewhere would be the best for both of us. I told him I'd get it sorted for him.

    Time went past quicky and as quick as one two three I was back at my office in Catalunya. The media had speculated about Messi coming back, about Mbappe being the main star here and Hazard also had his name frequently on the headlines. That most likely wouldn't happen unless something very odd occured, I told myself.

    But the media had been right too. De Ligt had spoken to us earlier in the season and was highly wanted by most clubs but he seemed of genuine interest and I had many phone calls to the manager in Ajax, Erik ten Hag. I promised him that we wouldn't take long if we could get him early into the pre-season. Ten Hag wasn't interested in the beginning, but we made progress. We had to pay almost 40 million euro for the lad, so Ajax would obviously be happy with it. I couldn't think of many better young prospects right now, maybe Marquinhos. But the Brazilian had gotten himself seriously injured in the South American-tournament during the summer and was therefore not an option.

    De Ligt flew over to Barcelona shortly after that and I knew he wanted to join us and I knew that Ajax wanted the money, so he wouldn't be too hard. His agent told me he expected having Matthijs playing very often which was a big shout, but we only had two centrebacks who played every week now and I knew everyone would be satisfied with resting a game every once in a while.

    "Well then, we've come to an agreement then. I'm very excited to have you on board" I told de Ligt and he smiled at me saying "Me too. Really". The first signing had been done only a few days into the transfer window.

    But I felt like we could do better than that. The supporters had stuck with us and I wanted them too have a big surprise. Or, as big as it gets during the days of social media where it always is a leak somewhere. But within two days we would have two other players signing for us. One of the players would be our biggest transfer fee ever, and the third biggest of all time. The fee for the striker in question was €128 000 000 million. But we didn't want to stop with only two for the big announcement and decided to seal the deal with a fullback as well.

    "Are we just going to publish it now?" I asked the PR-team. De Ligt had been eager to make it official on his social channels for almost two days but I told him it'd be worth the wait.

    "Let's just do it. Publish it!"

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    Obviously it wasn't a total shock for everyone. It had been reports, big ITK's had reported of us having very serious talks with Griezmann a few days ago but no one knew it was done before we posted it. A rare sight in todays football, but a welcome one.

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    Anywhere you went in Barcelona would have this poster. Really anywhere. And it showed we meant business and that we showed that we had our sights on top football again.

    But I wasn't finished. I still feel like one more player could be the key. A winger of some sort, not necessarily a player of the most expensive sort. The Barcelona fans would do the right thing in hoping for something exciting although saying that.




  • Lyktan
    146 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    A few weeks ago I recieved a letter to a Pre-Season tournament and today was the day we would fly to Germany for a nice tournament to kick off the new season. Most players were eligible for it but one that wasn't was Malcom as he had the South American tournament going on. A bit unfortunate as most people were excited too see Griezmann paired with Malcom.
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  • ASdoZeR
    1362 posts Professional
    Ok wow that's some serious business...splashing €200M. Griezmann is an insane transfer and definitely shows that the clubs aim is to go back where they've been and beyond. De Ligt is a very talented CB who should give you some room to breath in terms of rotations and Mendy does so as well.
    Insane start for Griezmann stealing the show already. Despite the slip against Everton a solid preseason which should delight the fans and make them looking forward to this season.
  • JoshDFC
    2146 posts Fans' Favourite
    Barca putting down a statement there with the transfers three big players who will add quality to this side.
  • Lyktan
    146 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    JoshDFC wrote: »
    Barca putting down a statement there with the transfers three big players who will add quality to this side.

    Agree with you! Really feeling a difference with them.
    ASdoZeR wrote: »
    Ok wow that's some serious business...splashing €200M. Griezmann is an insane transfer and definitely shows that the clubs aim is to go back where they've been and beyond. De Ligt is a very talented CB who should give you some room to breath in terms of rotations and Mendy does so as well.
    Insane start for Griezmann stealing the show already. Despite the slip against Everton a solid preseason which should delight the fans and make them looking forward to this season.

    Griezmann is amazing. Really nice to have a player in the attacking end that us proven on the big stage.
  • Danimal5981
    2503 posts Fans' Favourite
    Unfortunately (for me and my fav team) De Ligt heading towards Barça isn't far from the truth. Not a full 40 million is a bargain. I predict him leaving for a lot more. But he'll be one for your starting eleven, not just for the width of your squad.
  • Lyktan
    146 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    Unfortunately (for me and my fav team) De Ligt heading towards Barça isn't far from the truth. Not a full 40 million is a bargain. I predict him leaving for a lot more. But he'll be one for your starting eleven, not just for the width of your squad.

    I know, thats how I found out about it to be completely honest. Love him! Had a laugh when they asked him about Manchester or Barcelona and he answered ”Ajax”.
  • subpop
    3364 posts National Call-Up


    Lyktan wrote: »
    Unfortunately (for me and my fav team) De Ligt heading towards Barça isn't far from the truth. Not a full 40 million is a bargain. I predict him leaving for a lot more. But he'll be one for your starting eleven, not just for the width of your squad.

    I know, thats how I found out about it to be completely honest. Love him! Had a laugh when they asked him about Manchester or Barcelona and he answered ”Ajax”.

    Then next question was if about doing tourism in a weekend: Manchester or Barcelona? Obviously he said Barcelona... and this is what the Catalan press use to say that De Ligt is willing to come. :D

    Unfortunately (for me and my fav team) De Ligt heading towards Barça isn't far from the truth. Not a full 40 million is a bargain. I predict him leaving for a lot more. But he'll be one for your starting eleven, not just for the width of your squad.

    More than 40 million? Seriously? Expectation or wish?
  • Danimal5981
    2503 posts Fans' Favourite
    subpop wrote: »
    More than 40 million? Seriously? Expectation or wish?

    Expectation: Davinson Sánchez left after one season for Spurs for this amount. Matthijs de Ligt is the Golden Boy as far as defenders is concerned. With Barça, PSG and City all in the running, I think it will push up the price way more.

  • subpop
    3364 posts National Call-Up
    subpop wrote: »
    More than 40 million? Seriously? Expectation or wish?

    Expectation: Davinson Sánchez left after one season for Spurs for this amount. Matthijs de Ligt is the Golden Boy as far as defenders is concerned. With Barça, PSG and City all in the running, I think it will push up the price way more.

    If those are the rivals, there's nothing we can do unless UEFA for once and for all take these state clubs out of the map. I understand Ajax and how market works, but it would be insane to enter in this kind of fights... although, considering what we did with Dembélé, who knows...

  • Wyojasond
    13852 posts Has That Special Something
    HUGE SIGNINGS! Griezzman and Mendy are great editions but I agree with the others that De Ligt is the future. That kid is going to go for a HUGE fee some day
  • Lyktan
    146 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    After our game against Sporting my ASM called me. He was impressed by Raphinha and told me we should make a move on him as our winger before any other club did. I agreed with him, kids got exceptional talent. I told him to try and arrange a meeting as I got a phone call.

    The man calling me was Jurgen Klopp, a manager I respected very much. He was as kind as you'd expect and he called me about having an interest in Malcom. I knew someone would call me up on it. After the pre-season tournament Malcom talked about his first season here and said that he "looks forward to the Champions League" and also, eventually just by phrasing it badly, said "That's really all I want right now". It was a matter of time before someone from a club playing in the CL called us.

    "Thanks for calling Klopp, but for now I don't think so. I mean, everyone has their price so I'll ask you to come back with an offer and we'll see about it.". He thanked me and hung up.

    We would have zero wingers if Malcom was sold, and we would have to bring in a replacement. A world class replacement together with another winger on the other side. Sane, Mbappe, Insigne, Salah and Martial were a few options. Ahh.. I really hadn't planned for this.


    A few days later

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    The media somehow found out about it making everything ten times worse. But you know, they always do. The media did love this story although and I had to make a comment to the public for now. A journalist from BBC called me asking about the credibility in the story and the chances of Malcom leaving and I decided to play like he wasn't going anywhere, and I still don't think he is. Just hoping that Klopp either gives a massive bid or forgets about Malcom.

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    A few days later

    Raphinha and Sporting had gotten in touch with my ASM and I told him that we needed to get it done so we could focus on eventually another winger. If he could get him for the figures around 30-35 it would be ideal and we would fly him over here to discuss the contract details.

    I read the news again. Or I checked Reddit for the convenience to see all different sources. I realised Klopp has been a chatty little guy this time around but I knew I could spike the price up a lot in that case, so I felt like he did himself on this one.

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    Klopp called again.

    "So. Malcom. We have a bid on him. We can offer you 83 million euros for him. It's already a great price for him for you guys as he probably wants to go somewhere else to play in the CL."

    "Yeah yeah yeah. I don't think he is. Do like this, we'll arrange a meeting and we'll discuss it together you and I. If you really want him you're gonna have to work a little".

    Klopp laughed and hung up.

    Media called again. They asked about the transfer. I couldn't lie and say nothing was happening and decided to tell them that an offer had came in and didn't answer whether we would take the deal or not.

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    A few days later

    In the shadow of the big business, Raphinha arrived in Barcelona for a meeting. I didn't have time to save a few pennies in the negotiations and the deal could be done in a very short time. I told Raphinha we would make it official as soon as possible but that we wanted to get the details on the Malcom deal done first so Klopp doesn't see that we now have replacements for Malcom and lower the bid he was going with.

    Klopp came to a place we agreed on and had the huge grin on his face. We actually had a nice small talk before he proceeded with "Right, let's get going. 83 million as I said before. What do you think about that?".

    "Honestly, my friend, you're getting his shirt for that price at this moment. Malcom won most things that were possible last year and did a good job for Brazil this summer. I don't even want to sell him and I'd have to think about it even if you paid me 180 million for him."

    He was silent for a while. Then he laughed. "I'm not paying 180 for him, man. But you're right. 83 was optimistic. I can go 120 million but that's it."

    I realised he really did like Malcom and I knew about Salahs position under him last season. Salah hadn't had a great season and he went from having bids at almost 200 million last year to having in comparisation low ones this year.

    "Let's do like this. Malcom is the best player I've personally had in my team. I know that Salah and you have fallen apart a bit as of late. If you buy Malcom for.. uhm.. 140 million, and that's as low as I can go: for real, and I'll give you a good offer for Salah. Honestly, Salah is better than Malcom now but Malcom is much younger and Salah might need a move".

    "You are right. I'll be honest, it's way too much compared to what I was thinking but I agree with you. If you promise me a good offer on Salah I can agree on this. I'll give you a bit of insight, because he still gets good offers. Manchester City offered 87 million for him. Do a bit more and I won't be in your way."

    So that was that. I gave him the clear to contact Malcom and I now had a headstart in my new winger. I did feel like Sane would be a very good shout and I did call Pep Guardiola but he told me there was no way on earth he was letting Sane go for under the region of 170 million. It wasn't worth losing Malcom and spending extra to get Sane, a player I wasn't sure was going to thrive under me.

    But Salah. He would most likely.

    And we could now officially go out with Raphinha's transfer. He would take the vacant number 7 and would go right in as a left winger. Many will fear that Raphinha would be the replacement for Malcom if the deal goes through and I don't know - Salah might not want to go to Barcelona and then I'm back to square one.

    The media though? They already knew everything. It was a matter of time before Salah rumors to Barcelona would start.

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  • Wyojasond
    13852 posts Has That Special Something
    :o:o some huge transfer news. Malcolm fits perfectly at Liverpool with Klopp. Getting Salah in return would be a great bit of business as well
  • Lyktan
    146 posts Has Potential To Be Special
    There were quite a few discussions on forums all around the world. How could Liverpool go for Malcom when he isn't proven on the big stage? Why isn't Klopp shutting down the rumors of Salah to City? People were disgusted by the amount of money that went into a transfer. People had questions and one would be answered as Liverpool updated their website and their Twitter to make sure no one missed out on one of world footballs most expensive transfer of all time.

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    I sat there and felt sick. I knew he was leaving obviously, he called me a few hours ago thanking me for a good season. No hard feelings, the money we got was great. 140 000 000 million euros for him was a no brainer in my opinion.

    I also knew about it since Klopp and I had an agreement on an offer for Salah. I still wanted Sane but it was clear he wasn't going anywhere and Salah was the best player we could go for. My excitement started to grow and I got in touch with Klopp before the deal was accepted on Malcom.

    "Whats your offer then, Lyktan?"

    "90 million euros. Better than Citys, so you're not strengthening a rivals squad. Also, a good price" I said. I kinda had this one done.

    "Oh, I was thinking like.. 110.. at least.. but.. we could just go 100." Klopp said and I started to laugh.

    "110? Nah, let's do like this. We'll do it quick as every supporter is calling for my head now thinking my replacement for Malcom is Raphinha. 95 and I'll get Salah here".

    "..Alright" Klopp said and we hung up. 95 million euros for Salah was an insane price, but still not as expensive as one would think.


    Salah came to Spain only a day after Malcom signed for Liverpool. Liverpool were now in our position. They sold Mane to Real Madrid on the second day of the transfer window for 55 million and would now need another winger. Not my problem, though.

    The contract with Salah went quickly. He was excited about Spain and about us and we could come to a full agreement in under 45 minutes. It was time to as quickly as possible get the photos done and publish them because so far, no big source had reported about us signing Salah - they were too busy with City doing it.

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    Cillessen had finally found a club who could match his demands and off he went to Monaco. He thanked me for being a good sport about it and I wished him well. No hard feelings there either.

    A journalist called me asking what my next move was and I replied "I'll take a breather and focus on La Liga now. It would have to be a massive change of things to make us either buy or sell anyone right now".
  • Stlducks
    1781 posts Play-Off Hero
    Some very big signings but this is Barca so having the best players is expected. Barca are looking to make a statement with the return to the top league and bringing in all these big names.
  • Wyojasond
    13852 posts Has That Special Something
    I agree with Stl. With most teams I’d maybe questioning these moves but Barca can do all of those easily. Great price for Malcolm again. Salah suits this team more though at the moment. Expecting a HUGE season from him
  • subpop
    3364 posts National Call-Up
    New era, new faces... I still miss some homegrown talent which make the crowd connect with the team.
  • ASdoZeR
    1362 posts Professional
    Wow serious business. 140M for Malcom is huge. With Salah you got an experienced player who proved to be stable on the high level. And you made some profit...well done. Looking forward to the new season even more.
  • Ashy
    10621 posts Has That Special Something
    Crazy transfer business happening, Grezimann looks to have hit the ground running and now Salah is added to that attack! Really like your additions overall and can see you instantly fighting for the title to be honest
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