The closing of the market winter market It was a grotesque and a disappointment for the fans of the Elche. The largest shareholder of the Elche club, Christian Bragarnik, rejected all the offers made by the sports commission and only agreed to the signing of goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga, which arrives for take over as substitute for Diego «Russo» Rodríguez, who requested his departure to return to Argentina and be able to enjoy minutes.
The decision of the Argentine investor disappointed and caused great anger among the fans, which was confident in the arrival of several reinforcements that would allow the squad to take a quality leap to try to achieve permanence in the First Division.
Bragarnik, who continues in Argentina, was not able, or did not want, to make additions and leaves the team and the club in a very worrying situation. Now he trusts everything – it is the only alternative he has left – to try to sign a footballer who is unemployed, something that is presumed very difficult to find what the French-green team needs.
The only news were the announcements of the departures of Koné, Lucumí, Sánchez Miño and “Russo” Rodríguez.
When it seemed that once the door was opened and that the signings would follow, the only novelty that came out of the Martínez Valero stadium offices was the incorporation of Paulo Gazzaniga, a 29-year-old goalkeeper, who was the third goalkeeper of the Tottenham Hotspur of the Premier League. The Argentine goal, who also has dual Italian nationality, was in the Valencia quarry and, later, has played for Southampton, Rayo Vallecano and Tottenham. His role will be secondary because, as has happened so far with “Russo” Rodríguez, he will remain in the shadow of the starting goalkeeper Edgar Badia.
The clock was passing desperately and the news was lacking by its absence. Until at 12 o’clock at night the bell rang for the closing of the market and Elche was left without more signings.
The coach, Jorge Almirón, had demanded up to six additions: a right back, a center back, a left back, two midfielders and a versatile forward. His joy has remained in the well because during the January window only Johan Mojica has produced the incorporation and, late yesterday, that of goalkeeper Gazzaniga to replace the departure of “Russo” Rodríguez.
The decision has been, unique and exclusive, Bragarnik because Elche had about three million salary limit, in addition to the proportional part of the chips that have been released from Koné, Sánchez Miño, Lucumí and «Russo».
And for lack of alternatives it has not been either. The sports director, Nico Rodríguez, and his assistants: Sergio Mantecón and Dani Carmona had put the names of numerous interesting footballers on the table for quite some time. The French midfielder James Léa Siliki, from Rennes, the Granada midfielder Ramón Azeez or the Serbian central defender from Bordeaux Vukasin Jovanovic have been linked to Elche in recent days. Also on the agenda of the French-green entity were Roma center-back Federico Fazio, Sevilla midfielder Franco “El Mudo” Vázquez or Cameroonian midfielder Stéphane Mbía, who knew the Spanish league and was free after ending his contract with Shanghai Greenland Shenhua of China.
All the cards were declined by the highest shareholder, who decided not to take any steps and leave the team without reinforcements, in a very delicate situation in the penultimate position of the classification and with the serious threat of relegation.
Christian Bragarnik’s decision not to make signings and the departure of four footballers leaves the squad with 22 players to face the second half of the championship.
But the sporty aspect is not only the one that worries. There are also many doubts about the uncertain future at the institutional level. The Argentine investor has only paid one term of the agreement that he has signed with the previous largest shareholder, José Sepulcre. His departure to Argentina 14 days ago and his failure to return to face this transfer market in the first person and the decision not to reinforce the team presage black clouds over the Martínez Valero stadium. Even abandonment is feared.
The general feeling that there was last night in the franjiverde environment, after the null movements, at the close of this winter market is that they have laughed at the sports commission, the fans and that they are not worried about a possible descent from Elche to Second Division .
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.