Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Archubi & Alexis Sanchez New Millonarios

After weeks of negative news, some good news has finally appeared in sight: Rodrigo Archubi (left midfielder) and Alexis Sanchez (foward) will join River Plate in our quest to conquer at least one tournament in the coming season.

Both are very interesting players, and may play a key role in the team's performance. Archubi plays on the left side, a position in which we lack players, and runs up and down throughout the match. He was very important for Lanus, as well as the Argentine U-20 side, in which he won a Youth World Cup. Luckily for us, he got in an argument with Lanus' coach, making his transfer much more accessible. In fact, the club's dirigentes did not let him go easily, and barely accepted to sell him upon seeing the 3 million euro offer a few businessmen did on behalf of River. Still, we won't have the federative rights for Rodrigo, since the businessmen are only loaning him to us, though we will have an option to buy 50% of his transfer after a year.

As for Alexis Sanchez, he is a great foward with plenty of future ahead of him. At only 18 years of age, he has won more tournaments than River has in the last three years! He is quick, talented, and with plenty of potential. It isn't a coincidence that Udinese quickly spotted him and purchased him over a year ago. Despite that, the Italians want him to gain more experience and would like to recuperate a bit of the cash they invested on him. This is the exact reason for which he will arrive at River only on loan. Either way he will still be one of the best incorporations of any Argentine team in this pre-season.

One thing that worries me is that we do not have a classical #9, the type that scores EVERY single shot he gets. For now, these are our fowards:

- Marco Ruben: The player with most chances of being our top goalscorer. Despite that, he hasn't scored too many goals since he arrived at the club in January.
- Mauro Rosales: The ex-Newell's Old Boys player is great and changes the teams game tremendously, but he isn't the goleador type of foward.
- Ariel Ortega: "El Burrito" is pretty much in the same situation as Mauro Rosales.
- Alexis Sanchez: The Chilean is similar to Rosales and Ortega in the goal aspect. Who knows, he could cause a surprise, though: he scored 3 goals vs. Caracas in the Copa Libertadores 2007, the same team that eliminated us in the group stage!
- Radamel Falcao Garcia: The Colombian promised to take care of our goal-needing offense when he first debuted, but was never able to get his swagger back after his injury. Ever since he came back, he misses even the easiest goals.
- Rolando Zarate: The 29 year old used to be the exact definition of a "goaleador", but was punished with injuries and loss of gameplay. For now he doesn't excite me too much, but we will have to wait and see how he evolves.
- Federico Higuain: Gonzalo's older brother had been on loan with Nueva Chicago for the last 2 years and scored plenty of goals. Still, Daniel Passarella doesn't seem to like him too much, making it is very likely that he won't receive too many chances.

Behind all these fowards we also have several promising youngsters such as Andres Rios and Sebastian Sciorilli. For now our offense, despite lacking usual goal scorers, looks very promising. I do not want to get as excited as last pre-season (..we all know how that ended), but the team does look a bit better than previously. Hopefully the players will be able to reincarnate my hopes.

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