Real Sociedad’s €30m problem putting lid on potential

Real Sociedad look primed for another European finish this season, and having made the knockout stages of the Champions League, it has to be regarded as a reasonably successful campaign. After finishing in the top four last year though, and struggling in the second half of the season again, there is some frustration in Donostia-San Sebastian.

Not least at the sharp end of the pitch. Since Alexander Isak left for Newcastle United for €70m, La Real have struggled for consistent number nine play. The Swedish was streaky himself, and Alexander Sorloth had a decent campaign last year, but all three of their natural strikers have struggled this time round.

Umar Sadiq was ruled out for almost all of last season after arriving, while Carlos Fernandez has been hampered by injuries on a consistent basis too. Loan signing Andre Silva has been a far from success amid fitness problems as well.

On their current trio of strikers, La Real have spent €30m, and in the space of seven seasons at the Anoeta, they have 12 goals between them. The one saving grace has been captain Mikel Oyarzabal, who has often played through the middle, but suffered his own anterior cruciate ligament problem in 2022.

This season Oyarzabal’s output has returned to similar levels to previous seasons, after scoring just four times last year. He is currently on 14 goals with 6 games to go, his joint-second best season. Their next best goalscorers this season are Mikel Merino, Brais Mendez and Takefusa Kubo, all with seven, which are all good contributions, but does not ease the feeling that the Txuri-Urdin would be able to reach for more with a clinical forward again.

It is not yet clear whether La Real will stick with Sadiq, or seek to address the position this summer. However it appears the one position they have struggled with outside of Isak, despite playing some of the best football in Spain over recent seasons.

Tags Andre Silva Carlos Fernandez Mikel Oyarzabal Real Sociedad Umar Sadiq
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