Pedro Galván is an important player for several reasons. Attacking midfielder (central; set-piece taker (corners and free kicks); and captain. But he’s on the wane.
He’ll struggle to get through this season and certainly won’t be up to the next. Time to do something.
I doubted that I could find one player to replace him in every respect – and a preliminary search confirmed that. But I think I can replace him with two.
Enter Albano Becica, Galván’s compatriot. We had him in on trial and liked the look of him. He goes some way to replacing Galván as a midfielder and set-piece taker. But he’s obviously no leader.
Enter, on deadline day, Aykut Yenen. Not an out-and-out leader, but strong enough I think to take over the batten.
After 26 matches (i.e., after the fourteen teams have played each other twice), the Israeli Premier League splits in two. We make the cut for the play-offs for European places (finishing one point above the 7th team). We now have a further 10 matches to play (two each against the top five).
This seems a natural moment at which to do the deed. I take Pedro aside and suggest to him that it’s time for the Right Honourable Gentleman to give way. He agrees – which only goes to confirm that he’s a genuine teamster.
It gives Yenen ten matches in charge and means he’ll then be in situ to greet next season’s arrivals. By which time I hope he’ll be able to speak the lingo enough at least to say, ‘Hello and welcome’. The course we’ve sent him on cost enough!