Segunda Division champions Osasuna return to the top flight this season with survival sure to be their principal objective. Read on for our Osasuna season preview for 2019-20.
Last Season – 1st (Segunda División)
Osasuna romped to the Segunda Division title with an extraordinary home record ensuring no side got close to overhauling them in the race for automatic promotion. Osasuna won their final 17 home league games in 2018/19 to seal their return to the top flight after two years in the second tier. They were the division’s top scorers too although the goals were shared around with Juan Villar and Roberto Torres netting 12 goals each.
Osasuna Transfers ahead of 2019/20
Rubén García – €3m from Levante
Chimy Ávila – €2.7m from San Lorenzo
Marc Cardona – €2.5m from Barcelona
Brandon – €2m from Rennes
Darko Brasanac – €1m from Real Betis
Facundo Roncaglia – €250,000 from Celta Vigo
Adrián López – FREE from Porto
Pervis Estupiñán – LOAN from Watford
Carlos Clerc – FREE to Levante
Miguel Díaz – FREE to Tudelano
Imanol García – FREE to Cordoba
Jaume Grau – LOAN to Lugo
Xisco – RELEASED
David Rodríguez – RELEASED
Miguel Olavide – RELEASED
(Transfers up to 12th August 2019)
Coach – Jagoba Arrasate
Osasuna are coached by Jagoba Arrasate whose only previous top flight managerial experience came with Real Sociedad between 2013 and 2014. His road back to the top has come via Numancia and he proved a very astute appointment by the Osasuna hierarchy last summer. At 41, he’s another young Spanish coach hoping to make his mark in La Liga and he’ll be hoping his team can make El Sadar a fortress again in the big league.
Possible Osasuna Team Next Season
Osasuna are clearly trying to find the right balance between continuity and adding a bit of quality to the side that won the Segunda Division last season. They’ve spent more money than other newly promoted clubs but their most expensive signing Rubén García was at the club last term, as was Brandon – a €2m capture from Rennes.
They opted to veer between a 4-4-2 and more of a 4-2-3-1 in 2018/19 and the latter looks the more likely approach in the majority of their games this season at the higher level. The goalkeeper and back four is likely to remain the same with the exception of the left-back position. Carlos Clerc, a regular last season, has moved to Levante meaning loan signing Pervis Estupiñán may get a starting role. He won promotion from the Segunda Division last season but with Mallorca rather than Osasuna.
Central midfielder Darko Brasanac is another new arrival who stands a chance of making the first XI from the off and he does bring some valuable top flight experience having previously played for Leganes, Betis and Alaves. Fran Mérida may partner him at the base of the midfield with Rubén García offering a greater attacking threat ahead of them.
It may take Jagoba Arrasate some time to determine his strongest options and best approach in attack. Last season’s joint top scorer Juan Villar may initially lead the line but Brandon and new arrival Marc Cardona will provide genuine competition.
Perhaps Osasuna’s most eye-catching summer buy is that of Chimy Avila who scored two of the best goals of the 2018/19 La Liga season for Huesca and if he can add greater consistency to his game, he could be a real asset for Osasuna this term. Roberto Torres was another key man for Osasuna last term and he should also start the season in the team so they do have plenty of attacking options but finding the right balance may take time.
Key Man – Ruben Garcia
? scorers: Roberto Torres & Villar (12)
? assists: Ruben Garcia (11)
? recoveries: Oier (246)
? Most minutes played: Clerc (3,545) pic.twitter.com/yEFZEHwpSN
— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) June 27, 2019
Ruben Garcia was Osasuna and indeed the Segunda Division’s creator in chief last season with 12 assists as the Pamplona outfit clinched the title. He’s capable of playing out wide or in a number ten role and has reinvented himself somewhat since leaving Levante in 2017. At 26, Garcia will be hoping to finally prove himself at the highest level in Spain.
One to Watch – Kike Barja
It’s a relatively experienced Osasuna squad that will take on the challenge of trying to stay in the top flight but 22 year old Kike Barja does bring a bit of youth to the table. He was in and out of the team last term but still managed to contribute 3 goals and 6 assists despite only starting 20 times in the league. Barja has been at Osasuna since the age of 8 and will be relishing the chance to represent his local club in the top flight.
Osasuna 2019-2020 Targets
Like all the promoted teams, survival will be the main objective for Osasuna. However having won the Segunda Division at such a canter and added a few new recruits, there is a greater sense that they will be able to achieve that providing they can continue to be tough to beat at home.
Osasuna season preview via Mark Sochon
Contact: marksochon(at)hotmail.co.uk | @marksoc1 on Twitter