Leganes are gearing up for their fourth successive season as a top flight outfit with all the Spanish giants set for another trip to Butarque. Read on for our Leganes season preview for 2019-20.
Last Season – 13th
Last season resulted in Leganes’ best ever league finish as the South Madrid minnows once again punched above their weight and comfortably beat the drop. It wasn’t always pretty but Butarque was a real fortress with none of the ‘big three’ winning on their respective visits. Leganes actually managed to beat eventual champions Barcelona at home while they also had a derby victory to savour at Getafe in a season to remember for Los Pepineros.
Leganés Transfers ahead of 2019/20
Martin Braithwaite – €6m from Middlesbrough
Jonathan Silva – €3m from Sporting Lisbon
Juan Muñoz – €1.4m from Alcorcon
Roberto Rosales – €1.2m from Malaga
Fede Varela – €1m from Porto
André Grandi – FREE from Inter Madrid
Álex Martín – FREE from Real Madrid
Sabin Merino – FREE from Athletic
Aitor Ruibal – LOAN from Real Betis
Juan Soriano – LOAN from Sevilla
Óscar Rodríguez – LOAN (extended) from Real Madrid
Luciano – €1m to Gremio
Fede Vico – €250,000 to Granada
Nabil El Zhar – FREE to Al Ahli
Ezequiel Muñoz – FREE to Lanus
Andrés Prieto – FREE to Espanyol
Dani Ojeda – LOAN to Albacete
Mamadou Koné – LOAN to Deportivo La Coruña
(Transfers up to 5th August 2019)
Coach – Mauricio Pellegrino
Mauricio Pellegrino did a fabulous job on his return to Spanish football last season leading Leganes to their best ever league finish. After a difficult time at Southampton, it was somewhat ironic that he thrived in La Liga by utilising what might be described as a British style of play. Lega were very direct at times but his approach was successful, particularly at Butarque and he coped better than anyone could have expected with the difficult challenge of filling the boots of Asier Garitano, who will always be a legendary figure at the club.
Possible Leganés Team Next Season
Leganes have been heavily reliant on the loan market during their time in La Liga and they’ve used it pretty well on the whole. However that does inevitably leave them with holes to fill each summer and this one has been no different with no fewer than 11 players on loan at Butarque last term. They have managed to keep some of those players in South Madrid for at least another season but the likes of Guido Carrillo, Allan Nyom and Mikel Vesga, all pretty much regulars last season, have departed.
There will be at least a couple of changes at the back this term with Pellegrino likely to stick with what is effectively a back five. At right-back, new signing Roberto Rosales could be the preferred option with Nyom having agreed a deal to play for Lega’s near neighbours Getafe this season. Dimitris Siovas was arguably Lega’s best player last term and he remains but youngster Rodrigo Tarín could see more first team football this season unless they can agree a deal to bring Chelsea’s Kenneth Omeruo back to the club on loan for another year.
Jonathan Silva has converted his loan into a permanent deal and will be the first choice left-back while young midfielder Óscar Rodríguez has extended his loan from Real Madrid into another season. There is an opening in the midfield though for a new face and new signing Fede Varela will be hoping to break into the first team having featured for Rayo Majadahonda in the Segunda last term.
Up top, Leganes may struggle to afford a deal to bring Guido Carrillo back to the club on a permanent deal. He was an influential figure last term with much of Lega’s play going through the big Argentine. However Martin Braithwaite and Youssef En-Nesyri also impressed and may well form the side’s first-choice strike pairing this time around.
Key Man – Dimitris Siovas
Dimitris Siovas was outstanding last season, marshalling the Leganes defence with some dominant displays. The Greek international is a real leader for his team and it’s perhaps surprising that there hasn’t been more interest in the player from elsewhere. Mauricio Pellegrino will again be looking to his centre-back to provide the foundations for what has been a strong Lega defence again this term.
One to Watch – Youssef En-Nesyri
En-Nesyri seems to be a real striker.. ?? pic.twitter.com/htofAw5FrN
— ELAYOUBi (@Med___24) June 29, 2019
Youssef En-Nesyri may be a familiar name to fans of La Liga but perhaps because of the sides he has played for, his development has gone a bit under the radar in comparison to other young talents. In a more attack-minded side, En-Nesyri would surely have bettered his tally of 9 league goals last term. The highlight of his campaign was a hat-trick against Real Betis and while he scored twice at the African Cup of Nations, Morocco’s early exit perhaps robbed him of the chance to really announce himself on the global stage. That may be good news for Leganes though who will be keen to hold onto the 22 year old for as long as possible.
Leganés 2019-2020 Targets
Survival will be the primary objective for Leganes again. They have lost a few important players but there is now more of a sense that they feel as though they belong at this level and more importantly they appear to have found a formula to keep them there. If they can continue to be tough to beat at Butarque, Leganes will probably look at the three promoted teams and one or two others and think they have enough quality to avoid a relegation scrap again.
Leganés season preview via Mark Sochon
Contact: marksochon(at)hotmail.co.uk | @marksoc1 on Twitter