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Almeria transfer window analysis – what have Almeria done and what do they need to do this summer?

  /  autty

In: Luis Suarez (Olympique Marseille)

Loan Returns: Gui Guedes (Lugo), Alex Sola (Murcia), Arvin Appiah (Malaga), Ivan Martos (Cartagena)

Out: Francisco Portillo and Cesar de la Hoz (free), Nikola Maras (Alaves)

Summary so far: Sealing the signing of Luis Suarez is a good deal, as he became a nuisance and an effective leader of the line towards the end of the season. He is the big addition so far by proxy, even if he was already there. El Bilal Toure (who has been linked with a move) was equally good in stages, but unreliable in terms of injuries. They may want more another guarantee of goals if he goes – it depends on what formation Vicente Moreno favours, and whether they feel Vinicius Lazaro will keep improving in that regard.

Almeria have a relatively deep squad, but they will be looking for a little more differential quality next season to keep opposition defenders honest. Leo Baptistao is much-loved, and very hard-working, but it would be no surprise if they wanted to give his minutes to someone relying a little less on hustle and know-how.

Samu Costa, Kaiky, Luca Robertone are the key men to hang onto for Almeria, but they do need to sell in order to loosen up that salary limit, and so sacrifices might be made, creating new problems of their own.

Key Need: Robertone was impressive with 7 assists, Gonzalo Melero had moments, Baptistao and Adrian Embarba made useful contributions too. Yet nobody surpassed 7 goals either. It appears Suarez will be their main forward having invested €8.5m in him, so a winger or second forward with major goal threat must be the priority. Not many sides survive without someone hitting double figures, and while Toure was injured at times, and Suarez played just half a season, more goal threat is a must. That will make the rest of the side much smoother, attracting attention from the defence, and creating space for others to thrive.

Beneath the Surface: Almeria had the third-worst defence in La Liga last season, and between Srdjan Babic, Chumi, Kaiky and Rodrigo Ely are a passable stable of central defenders. Kaiky in particular has great potential, but if they could find someone to impose themselves in the backline, then it might help them take a step up and reduce the pressure on Samu Costa, Inigo Eguaras and Robertone in front of them.

Related: GrêmioSuarez