Eibar are now heading into their sixth season as a top flight club, which is a remarkable achievement in itself and they now feel like part of the furniture in La Liga. Read on for our Eibar season preview for 2019-20.
Last Season – 12th
For the first time since 2012 when Eibar were a Segunda B club, they failed to improve on their previous season’s finishing position last term but finishing as the 12th best team in Spain is still some going for a club of their stature. They never looked in any danger of slipping into the relegation battle and from week 8 onwards, Eibar spent the season hovering between 10th and 16th. The highlight was a dominant 3-0 win over Real Madrid at Ipurua, with victory over Los Blancos another famous milestone for the Basque minnows.
Eibar Transfers ahead of 2019/20
Edu Expósito – €4m from Deportivo La Coruña
Quique – €3.3m from Deportivo La Coruña
Pedro Bigas – €3m from Las Palmas
Jorge Yriarte – €3m from Deportivo Lara
Roberto Olabe – €2.8m from Atletico Madrid
Takashi Inui – €2m from Real Betis
Álvaro Tejero – FREE from Real Madrid
Asier Benito – FREE from Athletic Bilbao
Rubén Lobato – FREE from Real Oviedo
Esteban Burgos – FREE from Alcorcon
Roberto Correa – FREE from Cadiz
Joan Jordán – €14m to Sevilla
Rubén Peña – €8m to Villarreal
Marc Cucurella – €4m to Barcelona (signed for Eibar for €2m earlier in summer)
Pablo Hervías – €1m to Real Valladolid
Pere Milla – FREE to Elche
Unai Elgezabal – FREE to Alcorcon
(Transfers up to 24th July 2019)
Coach – José Luis Mendilibar
Eibar will never be the biggest club in Spain but they are one of the best run and most stable. They head into the new season with José Luis Mendilibar still in charge for what will be his fifth top flight campaign with the club. His tactics are fairly well established and they are a team that always tends to get a lot of crosses into the box, certainly compared to other teams in La Liga. That may be even more the case this term with key central midfielder Joan Jordan having departed, starving them of some creativity in the middle of the park.
Possible Eibar Team Next Season
Eibar have had a pretty active summer. They’ve lost a couple of key men with midfielder Joan Jordán and right-back Rubén Peña departing. They’ve also lost Marc Cucurella who impressed on loan at the club last term. However Eibar have reinvested the majority of the cash they’ve brought in with nearly €20m invested on new signings.
They’ve also managed to capture Álvaro Tejero on a free transfer from Real Madrid and the 23 year old looks set to be Eibar’s first choice right-back this term with the remainder of the back four largely unchanged. Pedro Bigas has signed on a permanent deal having been on loan at Ipurua last term and he is likely to again compete with Anaitz Arbilla and Paolo Oliveira for a start in central defence.
In midfield, Edu Expósito looks set to fill the void left by Joan Jordan. The 22 year old moves up a division having completed a €4m switch from Depor. Forward Quique also made the same move and could feature heavily up front after a prolific season with the Galician club.
There will also be a familiar face on the left flank with Takashi Inui returning to Eibar after just one season with Real Betis.
Key Man – Quique
While Joan Jordan was a bit of a star for Eibar last term, they’ve found their success during their incredible rise over the past decade by operating as a team and there isn’t really one man who stands out as absolutely irreplaceable this coming season. However it’ll be really interesting to see Quique in La Liga. We’ve seen a number of strikers successfully make the step up from the Segunda to the Primera over the past twelve months and having netted 17 times last term for Depor, Quique has the potential to really make his mark in the top flight.
One to Watch – Álvaro Tejero
Official | Real Madrid and Eibar have agreed on transfer of Alvaro Tejero to the basque club. Alvaro spent the last season on loan in Albacete. pic.twitter.com/pMyQVrYu49
— Real Madrid Info (@RMadridInfo) June 26, 2019
Another player to impress in the Segunda Division last season was Álvaro Tejero. He finished the season with 10 assists from right-back on loan at Albacete. It wasn’t enough to convince Zinedine Zidane that he had a future at Real Madrid but the 22 year old could shine in the Basque Country having signed a five-year deal with Eibar and he’s certainly one young player to keep an eye on this season.
Eibar 2019-2020 Targets
Survival is always the primary target when you consider most of the clubs Eibar are competing with have vastly superior budgets. However they consistently punch above their weight and they look to have done some pretty smart business again this summer. Another mid-table finish would represent a good season and is not beyond them.
Eibar season preview via Mark Sochon
Contact: marksochon(at)hotmail.co.uk | @marksoc1 on Twitter