2016-17 Season Preview: Deportivo

Coach: Gaizka Garitano

Key signings: Florin Andone, Carles Gil, Marlos Moreno, Przemysław Tyton

Key sales: Cani, Oriol Riera, Stipe Pletikosa, Manuel Pablo, Luis Alberto

Last season: 15th

This season (predicted finish): 12th

When Victor Sanchez was sacked by club President Tino Fernandez in May it came after a disappointing season. Though they finished 15th the Galicians won just two of their last 22 League games, their poor run including an 8-0 loss to Barcelona in April in front of their own fans. That defeat possibly sealed Sanchez's fate and in his stead came Gaizka Garitano.

The 41-year-old is well known for his exploits with Eibar, propelling the club to a historic promotion to the top flight and resigning after suffering relegation 12 months later, before Los Armeros’ dramatic reinstatement, he won many admirers. Now he's back, after a rough three month stint at Valladolid in La Liga 2, and fans will hope he can maintain and strengthen Deportivo's status as a La Liga club.

Garitano has looked to bolster the attack he inherited. Last season Depor scored just 45 goals in the League and their ability to win games was hindered by drawing nearly half [18] their fixtures.

Deportivo's major signing has been Florin Andone from Cordoba in La Liga 2 for €4.7m, with the need for goals in mind. The Romanian's 21 strikes last season helped put his now-former into the playoffs before falling to Girona in the semi-finals. In addition, the loan signings of Carles Gil from England's Aston Villa, as well as the highly rated Marlos Moreno from Manchester City, could help improve their creativity and potency.

However, the main concern for Garitano will be to try and keep star forward Lucas Perez. The 27-year-old was the club's top scorer in the League [17] last season and the same in assists [eight], thereby being involved in 54% of their League goals. Form such as that has attracted interest from several clubs such as Premier League champions Leicester City and Barcelona, who seek to add depth upfront.

Deportivo haven't yet added any defensive reinforcements, apart from buying goalkeeper Przemysław Tyton from Germany's VFB Stuttgart, who were recently relegated from the Bundesliga. Garitano will hope there isn't a repeat of last season where they conceded 61 goals and hope to fare better against Barcelona in particular.

Depor's first five games are an excellent chance for Garitano to make his mark amongst the fans. Their opener is at home to the trainer’s old club Eibar before an away fixture at Real Betis and a daunting home fixture to Athletic Bilbao. Importantly, after facing the Basque outfit, they meet two of the promoted sides within three days – a trip to Alaves on September 18 before facing Leganes at home on September 21.

It is vital Depor start well as Garitano is a new Coach and first impressions always count. Moreover, goodwill can quickly be in short supply. Garitano will hope that is not the case.