Real Mallorca make their long awaited top flight return fresh from back-to-back promotions. Read on for our Mallorca season preview for 2019-20.
Last Season – 5th (Segunda División)
Mallorca’s rise over the last eighteen months from Segunda B football to the Primera Division has been a pretty remarkable transformation for a club that was in dire straights when they dropped out of the second tier in 2o17. They’ve got an awful lot right in the transfer market since then and their transformation was capped by a magical night in June as they overturned a 2-0 deficit to defeat Depor in the Play-Off Final at Son Moix.
Real Mallorca Transfers ahead of 2019/20
Ante Budimir – €2.2m from Crotone
Martin Valjent – €1.5m from Chievo
Igor Zlatanovic – €1.3m from Radnik
Aleksandar Sedlar – FREE from Piast Gliwice
Pablo Chavarría – FREE from Reims
Aleix Febas – FREE from Real Madrid (Castilla)
Aleksandar Trajkovski – FREE from Palermo
Alex Alegría – FREE from Real Betis
Josep Señé – FREE from Cultural Leonesa
Lumor – LOAN from Sporting Lisbon
Pol Roigé – FREE to GIF Sundsvall
Leandro Montagud – FREE to Cultural Leonesa
Álvaro Bustos – FREE to Pontevedra
Fernando Cano – FREE to Lleida
Salva Ruiz – FREE to Valencia
Alejandro Faurlín – FREE to Marbella
Stoichkov – LOAN to Alcorcon
Bryan Reyna – LOAN to Barakaldo
Pablo Valcarce – LOAN to Ponferradina
Enzo Lombardo – LOAN to Racing Santander
Sergio Buenacasa – LOAN to Ponferradina
Carlos Castro – LOAN to Lugo
Alex López – LOAN to Extremadura
Franco Russo – LOAN to Ponferradina
(Transfers up to 11th August 2019)
Coach – Vicente Moreno
Vicente Moreno has been the mastermind behind Mallorca’s rise to the top flight. Following a relatively unremarkable playing career mostly in the lower leagues, he coached Xerez and Gimnastic before moving to the Balearic Islands. He actually made his top flight debut as a player at the age of 34 for Xerez against Mallorca in 2009/10 and a decade on, he will coach in the big league for the first time as he aims to prove his managerial credentials at the highest level.
Possible Mallorca Team Next Season
Thanks to Mallorca-based journalist Alex Fitzpatrick for the possible XI and some info on the likely selection dilemmas outlined below. Follow him on twitter to keep up with events as RCD Mallorca make their return to the top flight.
Mallorca only finished last season on 23rd June so it has been a whirlwind summer in which they’ve had to quickly make decisions on the futures of players and get deals for new arrivals over the line. Given a large number of their existing squad were playing Segunda B football a little over twelve months ago, there will inevitably be doubts about whether they are going to cut it in the top flight and it may take Vicente Moreno a little while to figure out what his strongest eleven and best system will be.
In goal, last season’s number one Manolo Reina should continue to be first choice. However the back four will see some changes with 22 year old Lumor likely to come in at left-back following a loan move from Sporting Lisbon. Joan Sastre and Fran Gámez will be battling for a start at right-back while Mallorca are likely to commence the campaign with Antonio Raíllo and Martin Valjent in central defence again. The duo were key in a run which has seen them concede just three times in competitive action at Son Moix in 2019.
Daniel Rodríguez is another key man from last season who should start the season in the side but Mallorca may look to add another right-sided midfielder to provide competition before the end of August. Meanwhile Lago Junior impressed last term and adds a genuine goal threat from the left flank.
Moreno will be weighing up his options in central midfield though, both in terms of personnel and tactics. Initially at least, he may look to play veteran Salva Sevilla alongside the more defensively-minded Iddrisu Baba. However like many teams of the weaker teams, they may look to get an extra body in midfield in the tougher fixtures with new signing Josep Señé and the more experienced Marc Pedraza options although both men head into the new campaign carrying knocks.
Up top, they have two strikers with real aerial presence in the shape of Alex Alegria and Ante Budimir, both of whom have joined this summer although the latter was on loan in Palma last season and scored the first goal in Mallorca’s Play-Off Final victory. Pablo Chavarría is another new arrival who will be battling for a starting role in attack while Real Madrid loanee Aleix Febas is another fresh option in a slightly deeper attacking role.
Key Man – Lago Junior
? scorer: Lago Junior (11)
? assists: Salva Sevilla (9)
? recoveries: Salva Sevilla (313)
? most minutes played: Lago Junior (3,916) pic.twitter.com/cJ35yz83fQ
— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) June 29, 2019
If Mallorca are going to stay in the top flight, it’s certainly going to have to be a team effort and it’s not a squad packed full of star quality or big names. However one man to keep an eye on is Lago Junior. The 28 year old winger is from the Ivory Coast but has spent his entire career in Spain’s lower leagues and ended last season as Mallorca’s top scorer with 11 goals in the Segunda Division while only Salva Sevilla could better his tally of 8 assists. Mallorca will be hoping he can reproduce something like that kind of form on the big stage this term.
One to Watch – Joan Sastre
While they’ve added a number of players on on free transfers, Mallorca do have a bit of homegrown talent in their ranks too and 22 year old right-back Joan Sastre is one of their biggest prospects. He’s another player who has featured throughout their rise up from the Segunda B and he would never have dreamt of getting the opportunity to play for his local club in the top flight so early on in his career when he was promoted to the senior squad in 2017.
Mallorca 2019-2020 Targets
In short, Mallorca would be delighted if they can finish 17th or above this season but the odds are stacked against them given just how far they’ve come in such a short space of time. Their survival prospects may rest on their ability to turn Son Moix into something of a fortress again. They were almost unplayable at times at home last season in the second tier and they will need to make those home games against bottom half opposition count if they are going to be in with a chance of extending their top flight return into a second season.
Mallorca season preview via Mark Sochon
Contact: marksochon(at)hotmail.co.uk | @marksoc1 on Twitter