Levante today held a press conference to introduce all of the clubs close season arrivals. Before any new players were introduced however, the club took the time to thank goalkeeper John Ruddy for his efforts last season, and congratulate him on a well deserved place as the custodian in the Division 4 Team of the Year.
It was a very proud moment for both the player and the club, and gives us a great incentive to improve for this year.
After the presentation of John Ruddy’s award, it was time to meet the new players.
Conserva Fagner – Joined from Corinthians for £4m plus Sebastian Bassong. The Brazillian, who has been capped by his country at U20 level is expected to compete with Hugo Nervo for the right back position at the club. He will help add some depth to the squad, and is a good age to have a long and successful future at Levante.
New full back Conserva Fagner
Matheus Pereira – The 17 year old midfielder also came in from Corinthians for the bargain price of £360k. Matheus began playing for Corinthian’s academy. He has been considered one of the club’s most promising young players in years. Levante will look to continue his development path and hope that one day he can be an exciting member of our first team.
Exciting youngster Matheus Pereira
Sidiki Maiga – Another exciting prospect. The Mali starlet joins from AS Korofina for £320k. He was one of the stand out performers at the last U17 World Cup, and again, Levante are delighted to announce the signing.
Sidiki aiga for Mali
Guillermo Varela – Joins from Huddersfield for £1.8m. The Uruguayan right back is another with a lot of potential. He was at Manchester Utd before heading off to Yorkshire, but Levante are happy to bring him back into the Top 100 fold, and hope that he can build on the promise that originally alerted Manchester United to him.
Guillermo Varella signs for Levante
Connor Washington – A 23 year old striker who joins from Peterborough for £320k. He is the 4th player Levante have brought into Top 100 from the Posh, and he will be given time to settle in before hopefully making some headway towards a first team place.
Conor Washington explains his reasons for leaving to PUTV
Ryan Woods – Levante’s final permanent off season signing. The 22 year old midfielder signed from Brentford for a fee of £800k. This transfer is sill subject to a medical at the time of the conference, but there are no problems envisioned at the stage. The young midfielder has been playing well in the Championship, and is another that has a chance of progressing well if he keeps his head down.
Ryan Woods says goodbye to Brentford
It’s not been the easiest off season for Levante in terms of player signings. The club had three main targets, and have ended up getting just one of them. Of the others, one went to Berlin for £14m after we were blown away in a bidding war, and the second target never even got out of the starting gate. When contact was made, his current club said that they wanted to keep him as one of the players they are looking to build around. As such, we accepted the clubs wishes and no bid was made. The player will continue to be monitored though, and if there is any change in the future, then we will see if anything can be arranged.
It isn’t just permanent targets that the club have missed out on. A deal in principle was also agreed with the manager of a top flight club to bring a promising young midfielder in on loan, but the clubs chairman rejected the deal, feeling that the player in question would be best served spending more time at his parent club.
With the exception of Conserva Fagner, all of the players have come in for their potential to improve and push for a starting position in the future, rather than because they are ready right now. This approach is the only real option at the moment, as we are not in a position to spend huge amounts on marquee signings. There are two other players on the radar, nbut it is unlikely that deals for either will be concluded before the start of the season.
The club have very limited funds, and are not able to compete with other clubs if a bidding war breaks out. As such, we have had to sign Most of the money spent has been offset by the departure of striker Ibrahima Balde to Olympiacos is a £5m move. The club would like to sincerely thank Ibrahima for his goals and efforts with the club last season, and wish him well for the future.