22nd July 2016. By Edward Stratmann.
After losing Grzegorz Krychowiak to PSG for a whopping £28.56 million and Ever Banega to Inter Milan, their two most influential midfielders from last season, Sevilla have quickly gone about bolstering their ranks in this area of the pitch ahead of the new season.
Under exciting new coach, Jorge Sampaoli, who won the 2015 Copa America with Chile (the first in their history), the club have signaled their intent by bringing in some hugely gifted yet entirely suitable players.
To play within Sampaoli's high octane, attacking system, the Argentine manager clearly wants players that are dynamic, fit, aggressive and full of intensity. "Undoubtedly I am a person who is tremendously passionate about attacking" he insisted.
"For that we need a rebellious group. We need a lot of spirit spread to the group of players so we try to make this team respected throughout Europe, as it is now. I hope I can fulfil the expectations that the fans have of the team and me."
Their highly regarded director of football, Monchi, the mastermind behind Sevilla's unbelievably successful transfer record, is doing a great job of helping Sampaoli get the players he needs to formulate the type of side he desires.
A brilliant mixture of attacking and defensive midfielders, that all possess huge scope for improvement, have already been purchased by the winners of the last three Europa Leagues. They include Ganso, Joaquin Correa, Hiroshi Kiyotake, Pablo Sarabia, Matias Kranevitter and Franco Vazquez.
If Sampaoli can triumphantly integrate all of his new players, Sevilla will be a frightening proposition for any team to face off against next season, just as his bold Chile team was. With such talent at their disposal, there's every chance Sevilla could achieve great things again next season too.
To focus specifically on the last man on that list in Franco Vazquez, who returns to La Liga three years after his first stint with Rayo Vallecano, and Sevilla deserve high praise for bringing him in for a reasonable £12.75 million, for he's a player who will perfectly embody Sampaoli's philosophy.
Vazquez has unquestionably been one of the premier players in Serie A over the past two seasons with Palermo. Blessed with sublime technical gifts, the Argentine born playmaker's dazzling dribbling ability and incisive passing game were vital in animating things in the final third for the Sicilian outfit.
His outstanding statistics provide tangible evidenced of just how incredible he's been. In his first season at Palermo, where he dovetailed beautifully with the now Juventus star, Paulo Dybala, Vazquez was remarkably the highest rated player in Serie A, according to Whoscored. Finishing above stars like Andrea Pirlo, Paul Pogba, Juan Cuadrado and Gonzalo Higuain suitably illustrated his tremendous quality, in a season where he scored 10 goals, supplied 10 assists and completed the most successful dribbles of any player in Serie A.
Having suffered the misfortune of losing his partner in crime, Dybala, heading into the 2015/16 campaign, Palermo struggled badly, only narrowly avoiding relegation by defeating Hellas Verona 3-2 on the final day. Vazquez, however, was brilliant again throughout the crusade, as he was a pivotal factor in the Eagles managing to stay up. The fact he ranked as the fourth highest rated player in the league, despite playing in a team going through such a turbulent season, served as a testament to his exemplary attitude and footballing qualities.
The thing that really sets him apart from the majority of players in his position, though, is the way he contributes so vehemently on the defensive end. Being so adept in the art of pressing will have impressed Sampaoli to no end, as this is an integral component of his all-action game plan. In addition, the intense commitment Vazquez exudes, which sees him never afraid to fly into challenges and keen to physically impose himself on his opponents, make him the ideal man to set the tone for his teammates and defend from the front.
As a result of his desire to win back possession, Vazquez completed a wonderful 2.3 tackles per game last term. On the other side of the coin, the 27-year-old did commit more fouls than anyone else in Serie A, with 3.4. But his uncompromising, energetic approach would've definitely been one of the most pertinent reasons Sampaoli wanted him.
Another massive bonus for the Andalucian outfit is that he'll be fresh to hit the ground running and immediately synchronise himself with Sampaoli's strategy, as the man who chose to represent Italy due to his mother being Italian wasn't selected for Euro 2016.
"The development of our idea of how we should play is still wearing nappies," Sampaoli mused.
"We'll be an extremely attacking team, and that allows us to control and seek our objectives and not wait for them to find us."
With Vazquez's vision and sublime powers of creation, combined with his defensive output, expect him to be an integral, game changing member of Sampaoli's team.
He really is the perfect signing for Sampaoli's high pressing, attackingly geared style.
Licence to Roam another fantastic football resource.
Sevilla's new signing Franco Vazquez
22nd July 2016. By Edward Stratmann.