SD Crvena zvezda - Official Thread - 2018/19
As pre-season for the players starts imminently it is time for a new thread for a new season.
I doubt anyone would have thought we'd be in this position this time last year. The club has progressed so much in the last year it's quite hard to believe. We've had a great manager come in who has worked magic and who we have managed to sign to a contract for a further two years, we're keeping together most of our squad going into this season and some early signings have already been made. Stadium improvements have happened and our youth teams all won their respective leagues.
The players will be gathering on Monday and will be in Belgrade for a few days before heading to Zlatibor on the 14th and then to Austria on the 23rd June until 3rd July. We'll play 4 friendlies in Austria before heading back and our first game in the Champions League qualifying will be either the 10th or 11th July.
Milan Borjan would appear to be staying and will remain our number 1 goalkeeper. Kahriman and Supic have had their contracts expire but Supic may stay another season. Aleksandar Stankovic, currently at Graficar, is expected to come into the first team. We have been linked with a couple of goalkeepers but nothing serious at present.
With Damien Le Tallec leaving on a free transfer it leaves us with 3 centre backs in Vujadin Savic, Srdjan Babic and Abraham Frimpong.
Our number one priority would appear to be occasional Serbian international and BATE Borisov defender Nemanja Milunovic. The clubs have agreed a fee and negotiations are ongoing. The difficulty we appear to be having is in relation to Milunovic's reluctance to come back to Serbian football. From what I've read he had problems when he played for Mladost. We should get a response from him in the next couple of days however.
Strahinja Erakovic may also get a shot. I think it's important that the club continues to blood youngsters and from what I've seen from him so far he's very imposing for a 17 year old. Definitely someone we can look to give a chance to in certain games, especially in the event of Frimpong also leaving us.
At full back we're fairly well covered with Filip Stojkovic, Marko Gobeljic, Milan Rodic and Stefan Hajdin and probably the best group of full backs we've had in a long time. Obviously we have Rodic at the World Cup so he'll miss most of pre-season and will need some time off before the qualifiers so I'd perhaps expect Hajdin to start that initial first round qualifier. Dusan Andjelkovic has retired.
Centrally we have had Mitchell Donald leave on a free following the expiring of his contract and we have now sold Uros Racic to Valencia for a nice sum of €2.2m.
I'm not too fussed about Mitch leaving, I think in some European games he appeared a bit out of his depth and was already being phased out of the side at the end of last season as Jovicic and Krsticic took the two spots in midfield. They're much more dynamic and much more of what Miloje wants from his midfielders.
Dusan Jovancic has came in on a free transfer from Vojvodina, from what I've seen he appears to be a good player and someone can definitely add to our team as a rotation player.
Otherwise we're looking slightly thin in this department and I'd hope for 1 more midfielder. We do have Filip Bainovic and Andrija Lukovic coming back from loan spells at Rad and Vozdovac respecively but I am unsure whether either of them will get an opportunity.
We have been linked to Zdravko Kuzmanovic and apparently there is interest from both sides. He's not the player he once was but he'd be a fantastic signing for us. Would undoubtedly provide us with a significant amount of experience and quality in our quest for Europe.
Expect Ivan Ilic also to get minutes are per our agreement with Man City.
In the more attacking positions we have had Luka Adzic leave to join Anderlecht for €800,000 after he refused to sign a new contract and unfortunately left under a cloud. Luka Ilic has also left, Man City deciding to send him out on loan to NAC Breda instead.
We are currently left with El Fardou Ben, Nemanja Radonjic, Slavoljub Srnic, Nemanja Milic and Nenad Milijas. Milijas will be remaining for a further season whilst Srnic and Milic have permission to leave in the event that good bids for them come in.
Dejan Meleg has been agreed and is due to be promoted on Monday and we'll also be adding Stefan Cvetkovic and Veljko Nikolic to the senior squad this season, the former who has been playing very well in Graficar.
We have also been linked with Milan Jevtovic and personal terms have been agreed but his club isn't letting him go cheaply and we may have to wait a bit before he joins.
With Radonjic also at the World Cup it really does leave us a bit thin in these positions and so I'm sure we'll be seeing another signing or two. Marin was an option but Oly had some big offers from China and he's going over there.
Aleksandar Pesic and Dejan Joveljic remain from last season whilst Nikola Stojiljkovic will be signing from Braga on loan with an option to buy at the end of next season. Pesic will still probably leave if we can find a suitable striker, who will most likely be foreign.
Expect Joveljic to get more opportunities this season. We also have Milan Pavkov returning from loan but looks like we'll be selling him shortly.
Therefore the squad at present looks like this:
GK: Borjan, Stankovic, Supic
DEF: Savic, Babic, Frimpong, Stojkovic, Rodic, Gobeljic, Hajdin, Erakovic (?), ?
MID: Krsticic, Jovicic, Jovancic, Radonjic, Ben, Milic, Srnic, Meleg, Nikolic, Cvetkovic, Bainovic (?), Lukovic (?)
ATT: Pesic, Stojiljkovic, Joveljic, Pavkov (?)
A very heavy focus on domestic players, which I like and I'm sure if the right foreign player is found then we'll go in for them. A few have been mentioned but nothing concrete as of yet.
Must also be worth mentioning that we got 5% of the Spajic transfer to Krasnodar, that we'll get 5% of any Luka Jovic transfer to Eintracht (or anyone else) and also some amounts whilst Radonjic and Rodic are at the World Cup.
As mentioned, our opening game will be either 10th or 11th July, and so slightly later than last summer with a mostly formed squad and new signings essentially being with the club from the start of pre-season.
Due to years of poor performance in Europe (last season excepted) we'll only be seeded in the first round of qualifiers.
There are the teams we can play in the first round:
-F91 Didelanž (Luksemburg)
-Spartak Trnava (Slovačka)
-La Valeta (Malta)
-Vikingur Geta (Farska Ostrva)
-Krusajders (Severna Irska)
-Olimpija Ljubljana (Slovenija)
-Liliputanci iz preliminarne faze (Santa Koloma; Linkoln; La Forita; Drita)
-Sutjeska Nikšić (Crna Gora)
-Suduva Marijampole (Litvanija)
-Spataks Jurmala (Letonija)
-Kork Siti (Republika Irska)
-Flora Talin (Estonija)
-Torpedo Kutaisi (Gruzija)
Pre-season started today and here's a clip:
Interview with Terza and Miloje:
Dejan Meleg is already there:
Uros Racic passed his medical in Valencia today...looks like the fee is €2m + 20% of the next sale which really is a great deal for us.
We've also sold Frimpong to Ferencvaros for €300,000.
We're looking at bringing in 2 foreign centre backs and a Serbian midfielder. I wonder whether the midfielder is Kuzmanovic.
Great summary Dule.
I can't remember the last time we were this organized, this early in the summer mercato. We are clearly trying to push for the Champions League given our approach, and I believe we are targeting at least 2-3 more signings if no one leaves. We need to get 1-2 center backs depending on how much we will entrust Erakovic, 1 winger dependent on departures, 1 midfielder and 1 striker (if we sell Pesic).
I think we have a great spine and I'm really happy we are retaining the defensive shape of the squad which is our biggest strength. Retaining Borjan, Stojkovic, Savic, Babic and Rodic is just huge. The same goes for Krsticic and Jovicic. In terms of attacking options I just want us to retain Radonjic, which would be huge.
In terms of players we're targeting, I'm perfectly fine with anyone, as it's clear we have a strategy in place, and I'm starting to trust the process.
The current depth chart assuming 4-2-3-1; players in bold & italics are players likely to leave or be loaned out.
GK: Borjan, Supic, Stankovic
DR: Stojkovic, Gobeljic
DCR: Savic, Erakovic
DCL: Babic, Ze Marcos
DL: Rodic, Hajdin
DMC: Jovicic, Ilic, Bainovic
MC: Krsticic, Jovancic, Milijas
AMR: Srnic, Milic, Gojkov
AMC: Ben, Meleg
AML: Radonjic, Lukovic
ST: Pesic, Stojilikovic, Joveljic, Vucicevic
- Back-up GK: Is there any rumours here? Manojlovic, Nikolic or Radunovic on loan?
- Third CB: Perhaps Petar Golubovic who plays in a team that got relegated from Serie B or Vukasin Jovanovic on loan?
- AM/Winger: Marko Marin is maybe unlikely? What about Cavric?
With one player on these three positions and the departures you listed the team would be complete.
First and second round draws today:
Teams we can play in the first round:
- Spartaks Jūrmala
- Flora Tallinn
And the 2nd round:
First round I’d like to avoid the Slovaks, 2nd round id prefer to play Sheriff, Astana or Apoel who all seem to be seeded based on previous accomplishments rather than their quality in the present day.
No one to fear there though, even the stronger sides.
Milan Jevtovic and Goran Causic should be finished shortly.
Spartaks Jurmala from Latvia it is. Good draw, away game first.
Decent, next draw follows within the hour I believe.
You got your wish Dule, APOEL it is. Sure they are a decent name, but not one we should fear by any means.
Home game first btw.
Relatively happy with that, given that there’s no real easy side as we’re unseeded then it’s a tie I think we can get by.
Also from what I’ve read if we get past them we’ll take their seeding into the third round and so will be seeded for that tie essentially.
I’m sure we’ll be fully prepared for them with the coaching staff we have. If not, then we have the fall back option of the Europa League.
Quite excited about this now!
Milan Jevtović is our new player, as is Zoran Popović who comes in as back up to Borjan.
Goran Causic is also close whilst we are apparently looking to bring in another Knindza in Milo? Degenek.
Must say that it’s great to see us doing all of this so quickly this summer.
It’s quite evident there’s a plan in place and we’ve been working on bringing the players we have this summer well in advance.
It’s always felt we’ve taken whoever comes along and have often went through transfer windows with taking whatever we can get. It’s great to see that this has changed.
Damien Le Tallec by the way has joined Montpellier. Fair play to him and all the best in Ligue 1.
All excellent news. We really could not have gotten a better draw.
Causic has fallen through, we couldn’t agree a deal with his club.
Zoran Popovic has signed today. A Goalkeeper amongst information that there are Premier League clubs showing serious interest in Borjan. Whether he goes or not will probably depend on the offers and whether we make Europe or not.
In addition to this we’re due to bring in Rashid Sumaila, an occasional Ghana international that hasn’t had any European club experience yet.
We’re also in talks with Apoel with regards to their former Ajax midfielder Lorenzo Ebicilio.
Don’t know anything about these two really.
Ebicilio due to arrive tomorrow, Degenek on Friday.
Believe it or not that’s our transfer business practically complete but for any replacements for Pesic if/when we sell him.
Srnic seems close to La Liga outfit Huesca.
Ebecilio was never particularly good at Ajax but seems to have reached some sort of maturity in his game at APOEL, however, I haven't seen him properly in five years time so it's not ok to judge him. I wonder how his defensive game is looking these days though because he seems to contribute with enough from an attacking point of view.
As for Sumaila: only saw him briefly in a friendly for Ghana against Turkey during a similar time (circa 2013) so obviously can't judge him.
Degenek never impressed at the clubs he played for in Europe in all honesty. Seems to have done a decent job at Yokohama though. He can play in several positions though, a bit like Le Tallec so there's a good thought behind that signing.
Goran Bunjevcevic, our former captain has passed away today at the age of 45.
Neka mu laka crna zemlja :frown2:
Really sad news, 45 is nothing :( RIP
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