Wednesday, August 1, 2007

New Incorporations: Rolando Zarate and Nico Sanchez?

River Plate have officially announced the arrival of Rolando "Roly" Zarate, on loan for one year with a buying clause of $1,000,000. Although he is yet to pass the medical exams, he is pretty much with one foot in the Monumental. Now, "is this good or bad?", you may be asking. It all depends on the way you look at it: Rolando, brother of U-20 World Cup champion Mauro Zarate, has had a fantastic career, having won two Argentine titles with Velez as well as being the top goalscorer of the 2004 Clausura, and the runner-up of the 2004 Aperutra. Besides those accomplishments, Zarate has even managed to play a few matches for Real Madrid and the Argentine National Team.

Although it may sound as if we managed to make the incorporation of the year, el "Roly" hasn't been doing well as of late. In the last two years, he has been cursed with poor football and endless injuries. In fact, he only managed to score one goal in seventeen games in his last season in the Mexican league! Not only that, but his injuries have caused him to step aside for large parts of the season and not play (his last game was over 140 days ago). Either way, he is only 28 years old and has enough time to revert the situation and return to his oldself again. I wouldn't say he was the player I was waiting for us to bring in, but we could really use the old Zarate (if he ever does return).

Besides Sixto Peralta and Rolando Zarate, River are close to incorporating Nicolas Sanchez -a 21 year old central defender who plays for Nueva Chicago. Daniel Passarella has requested two players in that position, one which would be Sanchez and the other either Humberto Mendoza or Ronald Raldes. The Bolivian's (Raldes) arrival would be complicated, while Mendoza would be more accesible. Humberto is a Colombian defender, currently playing for Atletico Nacional, who has made 10 appearances for his National Team. Upon being reminded of Nelson Rivas' short period at River, the 22-year old replied that he is confident that we will have a more successful cycle if he actually does end up arriving.

We may also bring in an 18-year old Chilean foward named Alexis Sanchez. Sanchez may be young, but he isn't just anyone: the youngster is one of the most promising players in South America and already has 2 titles being a starter for Colo Colo. He been a vital part of the U-20 Chilean National Team, and has even played some matches for the top National Team. With speed, precision, and talent, he could be exactly what River is looking for. So where would we get the money to bring in this spectacular player? Well, that's the tricky part. Although there are some good chances of having him join the squad, he wouldn't become an actual River player: he would arrive on loan from Udinese, who are looking to raise his value as well as give him minutes to grow. Although nothing is confirmed yet, Sanchez and his representative have expressed their desire to locate the player in River. In my opinion, this would be the best incorporation we could make this offseason.

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