Sunday, January 9, 2011

Who Is Training, Who May Be Leaving, And Who Might Join In

The list of players who are taking part in Newell's Old Boys summer training has been released. Originally reported as 32 players, two have already been sent back to the reserves. Emanuel Dening, and Federico Falcone, both 20 years old, were cut as coach Roberto Sensini feels that they are not in the running for a spot on the final roster.

Sebastián Peratta
Nahuel Guzmán
Lucas Hoyos

No changes can be expected here. Peratta will remain first choice, with Guzmán on the bench.

Rolando Schiavi
Gabriel Cichero
Alexis Machuca
Cristian Lema
Ignacio Fideleff
Jonathan Valle

Schiavi, and no doubt Cichero, are locked into the starting defense. Fideleff might give Cichero a fight for a starting spot, but we will see. With the departure of Agustín Alayes the battle will be for his spot, though I expect, barring a new player being brought in, Machuca will be in the starting 11 in his place.

Lucas Bernardi
Mauro Fórmica
Luciano Vella
Diego Mateo
Leonel Vangioni
Hernán Villalba
Mauricio Scaglia
Marcelo Estigarribia
Franco Dolci
Leandro Velázquez
Cristian Díaz
Juan Vieyra
Martín Tonso
Lorenzo Faravelli

Mauro Fórmica, and Marcelo Estigarribia are training with the team, but are not expected to be with the club much longer. Galatasaray have yet to reply to Newell's counter offer on the Fórmica transfer, a move that has been reported on the edge of taking place for over a week now. I can only imagine that El Gato is feeling a bit frustrated at this point. As I understand it, his contract with the Turkish club has been approved, but it cannot be official until both teams involved come to a final agreement.

Estigarribia, on the other hand, may be going to Racing Club as a part of the deal to bring Claudio Bieler to Newell's. Newell's officials have stated that Bieler is the only player that the team plan on bringing in, while Sensini has expressed the desire for another defender after Agustín Alayes left for Chilean team Colo-Colo.

Provided that Vangioni can remain healthy, the loss of Estigarribia will not be difficult to deal with. Vangioni, up until the Apertura, had been Newell's most consistent player over the past few years, and if he can recapture that form the left side of midfield will be in good shape.

Fórmica, however, will leave a big hole to fill. Velázquez is perhaps the obvious choice, but he did not show much in his few opportunities during the Apertura. There has been talk of Luis Rodríguez taking on the playmaker role, but whomever takes on this challenge is sure to fall short of what we have come to expect from El Gato.

The double 5 pairing of Bernardi and Mateo will be together for at least another year. Villalba is capable for filling in should either need a game off, for whatever reasons.

The right side of midfield would seem to belong to Vella, though Dolci may just give him a run. Sperdutti could possibly return to this position, depending on how the rest of the forwards shape up.

Mauricio Sperdutti
Iván Borghello
Luis Miguel Rodríguez
Juan Manuel Cobelli
Cristian González
Daniel Salvatierra
Maximiliano Velasco

Sperdutti, Borghello, Rodríguez, and Salvatierra. Those are the names from this list of forwards I expect to make it onto the final roster. Should Bieler arrive from Racing Club, that will give the team five forwards, or four if Sperdutti moves back to midfield. Cobelli, González, and Velasco are virtually unknown to me, so if one or more of them step up and claim a spot it is all to the better.

Noticeably absent from the forwards is one Sebastián Taborda. The Uruguayan forward was so ineffectual during his appearances in the Apertura lead me to call him "The Great Tree Stump."

Still, there is a month to go before the start of the Clausura, plenty of time for things to change.

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