After two years in the second tier, Granada are back in La Liga and will be hoping to do better than they did in 2016/17 when they were relegated with Tony Adams unsuccessfully overseeing their final few games. Read on for our Granada season preview for 2019-20.
Last Season – 2nd (Segunda División)
Granada looked like promotion contenders from very early doors last season, moving into the top six on match-day four and never dropping out of it. With just 28 goals conceded they had the best defensive record in the Segunda Division and ultimately clinched automatic promotion with a few games to spare. They remain under Chinese ownership as was the case when they fell out of the Primera in 2017 but they have steadied the ship off the pitch since then and will be hoping to re-establish themselves in the top flight although they will start as one of the clear favourites for the drop.
Granada Transfers ahead of 2019/20
Domingos Duarte – €3m from Sporting Lisbon
Darwin Machís – €3m from Udinese
Yan Brice – €1m from Sevilla
Fede Vico – €250,000 from Leganes
Neyder Lozano – FREE from Elche
Roberto Soldado – FREE from Fenerbahce
Yangel Herrera – LOAN from Manchester City
José Antonio Martínez – LOAN from Eibar
Adrián Castellano – €300,000 to Numancia
Pablo Vázquez – FREE to Badajoz
Sergio Peña – FREE to FC Emmen
Alberto Martin – RELEASED
Fran Rico – RELEASED
Nicolas Aguirre – RELEASED
Raul Baena – RELEASED
José Antonio González – LOAN to Cordoba
(Transfers up to 12th August 2019)
When the season gets going on Friday 16th August, we will have La Liga match previews for every game.
Coach – Diego Martinez
Granada are coached by Diego Martinez who is just 38 years old but does have a wealth of coaching experience behind him having retired from playing at the age of just 20. He has steadily built his way up since, spending seven years on the coaching staff at Sevilla before getting his big break with Osasuna in 2017-18. His switch to Granada last summer ultimately worked out well for both clubs with Osasuna the other side to achieve automatic promotion from the Segunda last term.
Possible Granada Team Next Season
Having won promotion with the best defensive record in the Segunda but only the 5th best goalscoring record with only one player netting more than six goals in the league, it’s clear where their priorities have been this summer. The main goal was always likely to be keeping their defensive foundations but adding a bit of quality further up the pitch and they’ve done that to some extent.
Portuguese keeper Rui Silva should continue behind the same back four as last season, initially at least. Diego Martinez has though added a new centre-back in the shape of Domingos Duarte for a significant €3m fee which at least raises the possibility that they may go five at the back in some games.
Granada are also likely to go with two holding midfielders. Ángel Montoro has been a key part of the side since he joined as a free agent in the summer of 2017. This season he is likely to be joined by Manchester City loanee Yangel Herrera rather than Fede San Emeterio who has returned to parent club Real Valladolid.
In the final third of the pitch, last season’s top scorer Antonio Puertas may face a battle to keep his place in the team following the recruits of Venezuelan international Darwin Machís and experienced striker Roberto Soldado. Last season’s regulars Fede Vico and Álvaro Vadillo are also likely to feature having helped guide Granada to promotion but there could be fresh attacking recruits before the window shuts, particularly if they make a slow start to the new campaign.
Key Man – Álvaro Vadillo
The main concern with Granada is going to be whether they will score enough goals to stand a chance of staying in the division. Roberto Soldado appears a smart signing and he should enjoy playing with 24 year old Álvaro Vadillo, Granada’s most dangerous creative player last season with 11 assists, the second best tally in the Segunda Division. Vadillo appears to be on the right track again after two cruciate ligament injuries hampered his development at Real Betis, ultimately resulting in him leaving the Seville club in 2016 to drop down a division.
One to Watch – Yangel Herrera
— Diego M. Belmonte (@diegombelmonte) August 4, 2019
Granada’s loan signing of Yangel Herrera from Manchester City is a bit of a coup for the new boys. Although only 21 years old, Herrera is already featuring regularly for an improving Venezuelan national team and having got a taste of La Liga football with Huesca at the back-end of last season, he could really kick on this time around in Andalusia.
Granada 2019-2020 Targets
Granada have impressed in pre-season, raising hopes that they will at least do considerably better than their miserable campaign in their last top flight appearance. They take momentum into the new season as a result and do look to have done some smart business but perhaps not enough to see them avoid a relegation battle. Survival will be the objective.
Granada season preview via Mark Sochon
Contact: marksochon(at)hotmail.co.uk | @marksoc1 on Twitter