Real Sociedad have had a very interesting summer in the transfer market and there is some genuine excitement growing around their young team. Read on for our Real Sociedad season preview for 2019-20.
Last Season – 9th
Real Sociedad’s campaign was a bit of a mixed bag. They took a while to get going at their new-look home and despite some impressive away wins, such as in the Basque derby at San Mames, they ultimately sacked coach Asier Garitano halfway through the campaign. Things did pick up under Imanol Alguacil but La Real still struggled for consistency and ultimately missed out on European qualification with a final day defeat to Espanyol.
Real Sociedad Transfers ahead of 2019/20
Portu – €10m from Girona
Alexander Isak – €6.5m from Borussia Dortmund
Modibo Sagnan – €4.5m from Lens
Alex Remiro – FREE from Athletic Bilbao
Martin Ödegaard – LOAN from Real Madrid
Juanmi – €8m to Real Betis
Eneko Capilla – FREE to Asteras Tripoli
Jon Guridi – LOAN to Mirandes
Jon Bautista – LOAN to KAS Eupen
Martín Merquelanz – LOAN to Mirandes
(Transfers up to 25th July 2019)
Coach – Imanol Alguacil
After one stint as caretaker boss and half a season in charge at the end of last term, Imanol finally gets the chance to have a full pre-season with his squad and have a greater input on moulding a new-look Real Sociedad. As B team boss, he was widely seen as unfortunate not to get the Sociedad job twelve months ago and will be hungry to prove his managerial credentials at a club he knows well having been employed at Anoeta in some capacity for the past eight years.
Possible Real Sociedad Team Next Season
There will be a real youthful energy to this Real Sociedad side this season. That doesn’t guarantee success by any means but they have some really talented young players and if the new arrivals can settle quickly, they are certainly one of the teams that could be really good to watch.
Defensively, things should be pretty stable with Igor Zubeldia and Asier Illarramendi again providing good protection for a back four which may see only one change from last season. 20 year old Modibo Sagnan has joined from Lens and he’ll be pushing for a starting role although La Real may opt to start the season with Hector Moreno partnering Diego Llorente again.
It’s in the attacking third of the pitch where things get really interesting though. Martin Ødegaard should finally see game-time in La Liga, almost five years on from his transfer to Real Madrid as a precocious teenage talent. The Norwegian is fresh from his most impressive season to date with Vitesse in the Netherlands and will be hungry to nail down a starting role on the right flank.
Portu is Sociedad’s most expensive signing of the summer having joined from relegated Girona and he should go straight into the team in an attacking midfield role. Both he and Mikel Oyarzabal are capable of operating out wide or in the number 10 role so there could be some early season experimentation as Imanol aims to find the best formula.
Up top, it’s likely to be a straight battle between Willian Jose and Alexander Isak with the 19 year old Swede another highly rated youngster who’ll be hoping to make his mark having moved to San Sebastian this summer.
Key Man – Mikel Oyarzabal
Mikel Oyarzabal is one of the most exciting young players in La Liga and he still stands out above the new arrivals, as the player most likely to make Real Sociedad tick this season. They’ve so far managed to fend off any interest in the 22 year old who netted 13 times in La Liga last season and impressed for Spain U21 over the summer. Oyarzabal will be hoping to really kick on this term with a place in Spain’s Euro 2020 squad likely to be his personal target.
One to Watch – Alexander Isak
Alexander Isak with his first goal in spain pic.twitter.com/3rKRjNDM6V
— É (@benzismo) July 13, 2019
There will be plenty of media interest in Real Sociedad this season thanks to the arrival of Martin Ødegaard but Alexander Isak is possibly an even more exciting prospect and a player well worth keeping an eye on. The 19 year old was outstanding on loan in the Eredivisie last season, scoring 13 goals in 16 appearances whilst also chipping in with 6 assists. He’s clearly a talented player and Borussia Dortmund’s decision to move him on raised many eyebrows and Sociedad certainly feel they have pulled off a bit of a coup by signing him.
Real Sociedad 2019-2020 Targets
Real Sociedad may feel as though the players they’ve managed to bring in over the summer could be sufficient to help them kick on and clinch European qualification this term. They only missed out on a place in the Europa League with a final day defeat at Espanyol last term but that could end up being something of a blessing in disguise given their squad doesn’t really possess enough depth to challenge on multiple fronts. The top six will certainly be the goal this season but there have been false dawns before and they’ve only managed that twice since they went close to winning La Liga in 2002/03.
Real Sociedad season preview via Mark Sochon
Contact: marksochon(at)hotmail.co.uk | @marksoc1 on Twitter