Celta Vigo are hoping for brighter things following some exciting new summer signings that will give the squad a real Galician flavour this term. Read on for our Celta Vigo season preview for 2019-20.
Last Season – 17th
There were two Celta Vigo’s last season – one with Iago Aspas and one without. Whenever he he was absent, Celta struggled badly and looked to be heading firmly in the direction of the Segunda Division during a lengthy Aspas injury lay-off at the start of 2019. However Vigo’s favourite son returned to rescue his team from relegation (not for the first time) with 10 goals and 4 assists in his final 9 appearances, starting with a remarkable comeback victory against fellow strugglers Villarreal.
Celta Vigo Transfers ahead of 2019/20
Denis Suárez – €12.9m from Barcelona
Joseph Aidoo – €8m from Genk
Santi Mina – Part-Exchange from Valencia
Jorge Sáenz – LOAN from Valencia
Maxi Gómez – €14.5 (plus Santi Mina) to Valencia
Mathias Jensen – €3.8m to Brentford
Andrew Hjulsager – €500k to Oostende
Emre Mor – LOAN to Galatasaray
Gustavo Cabral – FREE to Pachuca
Robert Mazan – LOAN to Tenerife
Dennis Eckert – RELEASED
Nemanja Radoja – RELEASED
(Transfers up to 5th August 2019)
Coach – Fran Escriba
Celta fired two coaches last season with Antonio Mohamed and Miguel Cardoso both getting the chop before Fran Escriba arrived to narrowly steer the club to safety. Even towards the end of the campaign though, there were some poor showings on the road and Escriba will need a good start if he is to avoid coming under pressure early on this term.
Possible Celta Vigo Team Next Season
Celta Vigo’s squad hasn’t undergone a wholesale overhaul which some may have expected following a very poor campaign where they were very dependent on one player. However they have added three players who are likely to go straight into the first team and could make a real difference.
At the back, they’ve signed Joseph Aidoo, a 23 year old Ghanaian centre-back. He joins from Genk where he has caught they eye in the Belgian league and he has also made his international debut in 2019. Escriba will be hungry for him to sure up the defence while Valencia loanee Jorge Sáenz is another new central defensive option.
Meanwhile Denis Suarez returns to the club he departed eight years ago as a teenager. The midfielder will have a bit of a point to prove having failed to really make the grade at so-called bigger clubs during his time away. Suarez is a versatile midfielder which has perhaps contributed to his inability to cement a regular starting role elsewhere. He may initially be utilised on the left of midfield following the end of Sofiane Boufal’s loan spell but much will depend on his ability to shake off lingering injury problems.
Escriba favoured a 4-4-2 system at the end of last term and it looks likely he will go that way again although if Celta can complete a deal for Nolito, they may revert to a 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 which could alter Suarez’s role in the team. Assuming it’s 4-4-2, then talisman Iago Aspas is likely to be paired by Santi Mina up front. Mina is another Galician returning to his hometown club and although he’s a very different kind of player, he’ll be expected to fill the void left by Maxi Gomez.
Key Man – Iago Aspas
“His tears on the bench showed that football is still a place with emotion. Players have feelings, although some show them more than others, and with Iago it shows how much he has suffered without having been able to help his team for so long.”
Juan Mata on Iago Aspas. pic.twitter.com/h94Lf2LsLk
— MUNDIAL (@MundialMag) April 2, 2019
Iago Aspas was an absolute superhero for Celta Vigo last season, hauling them to safety with a stunning late season run of form. His outpouring of emotion following his inspired showing on his return from injury against Villarreal was one of the moments of the season and he will certainly be key again for Celta this term. Outside of the ‘big 3’, Aspas has been by far the most consistent goalscorer in La Liga over a number of seasons now but Celta need more players to come to the party if they are going to have an improved campaign.
One to Watch – Joseph Aidoo
It’ll be fascinating to see how Galicians Denis Suarez and Santi Mina do in their first seasons back at Balaidos. However Celta have invested heavily in centre-back Joseph Aidoo and they will need him to settle quickly if they are going to make the defensive improvements that are clearly necessary after three straight seasons where they’ve conceded 60+ goals in La Liga.
Celta Vigo 2019-2020 Targets
More will be expected of Celta Vigo this season and there is a degree of optimism and even excitement building following their ability to convince Santi Mina and Denis Suarez to return to the club. At the very least they’ll be looking to steer well clear of the relegation battle this season but a European push may be too much to ask unless they can further strengthen their squad over the final few weeks of the transfer window.
Celta Vigo season preview via Mark Sochon
Contact: marksochon(at)hotmail.co.uk | @marksoc1 on Twitter