Javier Aguirre has run the rule over his new Espanyol squad and is satisfied with the club’s efforts in the transfer market.
On a restricted budget, Los Pericos picked up the likes of Gabriel Torje, Jhon Cordoba, Alex, Pizzi and David Lopez this summer, whilst selling Mubarak Wakaso, Juan Forlin and Jordi Amat.
“I am grateful for the effort made in a sporting direction and to our President,” Coach Aguirre commented today.
“We have a competitive squad and one that is in line with the budget. We have lowered the payroll a lot.
“The salaries are now in line with the reality of Spanish football and there is a lot of competition in the squad.
“I think that we will be competitive, fight well. I hope that we can be a surprise. From sixth place down to 20th is open in the League. The top five are a step up, designed for Europe.”
Aguirre reflected on the comings and goings this summer.
“When I went on vacation earlier this summer, I asked the club for two players, one was Pizzi, and we have brought him in.
“And the other was a centre-forward. My first choice for this position was Manucho [of Real Valladolid], and the second was Braian Rodriguez [now at Real Betis].
“The club knew more about [Jhon] Cordoba than me, and the economic conditions were such that he arrived. He has a low wage.”
The Mexican also admitted to looking for a replacement for Mubarak Wakaso, who joined Rubin Kazan this summer.
“First we wanted Christian Atsu [then at Porto], who was the closest thing to Wakaso, it went strange, and then Chelsea beat us. Then, I wanted Bruno Gama [then of Deportivo], but he went to Ukraine.”
Gabriel Torje is a promising addition from Udinese, having spent last season on loan at Granada.
“Udinese behaved well in the operation. He is a player who knows the League, and he can play on either flank.”
Sergio Tejera was seen as on his way out of Cornella-El Prat, having been told he was out of Aguirre’s first-team plans, but he has remained on the books.
“He has not gone and I do not know why. The situation has not changed, it is still very difficult for him to play.
“We have five midfielders, he is the fifth, but I will not marginalise him. He is one more, and he is an extraordinary person and well liked in the dressing room.”