Real Betis head into a new era this term with Rubi replacing Quique Setien at the helm. Read on for our Real Betis season preview for 2019-20.
Last Season – 10th
After a terrific 2017/18 season which ended with Betis qualifying for Europe and often entertaining under Quique Setien, the wheels slowly fell off last time around. Despite winning at both Camp Nou and the Bernabeu, not to mention the San Siro in the Europa League, Betis fans began to lose patience with Setien’s style of play and general demeanour off the pitch. The Benito Villamarin became an increasingly toxic place towards the end of the campaign as results began to tail off badly and somewhat inevitably the season ended with Setien losing his job.
Real Betis Transfers ahead of 2019/20
Nabil Fekir – €19.75m from Lyon
Juanmi – €8m from Real Sociedad
Emerson – €6m from Barcelona
Dani Martín – €5m from Sporting Gijon
Alfonso Pedraza – LOAN from Villarreal
Pau López – €23.5m to Roma
Júnior Firpo – €18m to Barcelona
Sergio León – €4m to Levante
Ryad Boudebouz – €3.5m to Saint Etienne
Takashi Inui – €2m to Eibar
Darko Brasanac – €1m to Osasuna
Giovani Lo Celso – LOAN (to buy) to Tottenham
Víctor Camarasa – LOAN to Crystal Palace
Alin Tosca – FREE to Gazisehir
Alex Alegría – FREE to Mallorca
Aitor Ruibal – LOAN to Leganes
(Transfers up to 12th August 2019)
Coach – Rubi
The appointment of Rubi to replace Quique Setien has to be seen as a bit of a coup for Betis. Rubi has shunned European football with Espanyol to make the switch and has been very successful over the past two seasons having also previously guided Huesca into the top flight for the first time. Rubi’s style of play is similar enough to that of Setien that radical changes shouldn’t be needed but the fresh start should at least bring the fans back onside as Betis look to push for European qualification again.
Possible Real Betis Team Next Season
On the eve of the new season, it still feels as though Real Betis have quite a lot of business left in them with plenty of cash to splash following the departures of Pau Lopez, Junior Firpo and Giovani Lo Celso. Those are three significant losses and while there is plenty of quality still in the squad, they will definitely need fresh additions over the coming weeks with the summer-long search for a striker the top priority.
Therefore their starting XI may look quite different one month from now but we are unlikely to see any new goalkeepers come in with Joel Robles set to take over from Pau Lopez between the sticks while new boy Dani Martín will provide the back-up.
Betis tended to favour a back three under Setien but may switch to four at the back this season under Rubi. If that is the case, Villarreal loanee Alfonso Pedraza should complete the defence with Aïssa Mandi potentially budging over to right-back. William Carvalho and Andres Guardado are the most likely candidates to form the base of the midfield but it’s in front of that where things get a little complicated with plenty for the new boss to ponder on heading into the opening game.
Marquee signing Nabil Fekir has the potential to light up the Benito Villamarin this term and should feature in the number 10 role with a new man set to come in and lead the line. Betis have been trying to get a deal for Borja Iglesias over the line for what seems like weeks now and if they can do that, they will have a big upgrade on their other options for the number 9 role.
They may also be keen to bring in another wide option with Sergio Canales and Juanmi perhaps the most likely starters at present although neither are out and out wingers. If Joaquin can continue to roll back the years, he could feature prominently again along with a player at the other end of his career in the shape of Mexican teenager Diego Lainez.
Key Man – Nabil Fekir
— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) August 6, 2019
Nabil Fekir was on the brink of a €60m move to Liverpool last summer only for problems with his medical to lead to the deal collapsing. That may be a slight concern but on the face of it, Betis have still pulled off a massive coup by convincing the Lyon man to join for less than €20m only twelve months on. Fekir is an exciting and immensely talented player who should provide goals and assists and if Betis can get a proven goalscorer in before the window shuts, they should be much sharper in the final third this season.
One to Watch – Diego Lainez
Diego Lainez showed flashes of his quality last season and is unquestionably a very exciting prospect. The Mexican will be hoping to kick on this season and really challenge for a regular starting role as he looks to further establish himself as one of the brightest young talents in La Liga.
Real Betis 2019-2020 Targets
By qualifying for Europe in his first season, Quique Setien was in part a victim of his own success as Betis failed to live up to raised expectation levels last term as a large chunk of the 50,000 season ticket holders turned against their coach. Betis will receive passionate backing again as always and a push for European football will certainly be the expectation particularly with fewer distractions this time around. Much though will depend on their ability to get a couple of late deals done.
Remember to check out our LaLiga match previews when the season gets going. We plan to cover every game!
Real Betis season preview via Mark Sochon
Contact: marksochon(at)hotmail.co.uk | @marksoc1 on Twitter