Sporting News Round-Up

So, since it’s been a while since the last Leões/Lions post (yes, it’s been a really long while) here is a round-up of all the transfers and other pre-season news so far. As you know, there is always something happening at Sporting so there is a lot to write about.

Transfers in:

Zakaria Labyad was a deal done way back during the season but he has now officially become a Sporting player. Labyad will be in London over the summer representing Morocco at the Olympics. PSV Eindhoven, Labyad’s former club, are now seeking financial compensation for the deal.

Sporting’s next signing was Gelson Fernandes on the 4th July. Fernandes came from French side Saint-Étienne after having spent the second half of 2012 on loan to Udinese. Gelson’s deal is a 4-year contract with a buyout clause of €25m.

9 days later and Sporting completed another signing by signing former Bayern München player Danijel Pranjić. The Croatian has had his injuries in recent times but will reinforce Sporting in midfield was well as occasionally on the left-hand side in defence or attack.

The signings didn’t stop there as Khalid Boulahrouz joined the club for free just 4 days after that on the 18th July. The Netherlands and ex-Chelsea defender has been at VfB Stuttgart until his contract expired. Boulahrouz can play at both right-back and centre-back and has been handed a two-year contract.

Most recently Sporting completed the signing of Marcos Rojo the Argentinian left-back / centre-back from Spartak Moscow. The former Estudiantes player had been rumoured to join Benfica months ago but in the end chose Sporting instead.

Transfers out:

As already ported on the blog João Pereira has moved onto Valencia. Ânderson Polga left the club too and is still yet to find a new team. Long-time servant Tiago also retired.

Deportivo de La Coruña signed André Santos on loan as well as being able to keep Diogo Salomão for another season. More recently both Alberto Rodríguez and Evaldo Fabiano have also joined the newly promoted Spanish team.

Jaime Valdés officially became a Parma player after he was on loan there last season.

Edgar Ié and Agostinho Cá were all set to join Internazionale last month. Indeed, the deal had been reported as completed by various media outlets. Since then it emerged that the deal had in fact not gone through and now the pair have joined Barcelona instead and will play for the B team next season.

Other Sporting players have been released and found new clubs such as Diogo Rosado (Genoa), Mexer (Nacional), André Marques (FC Sion), Mateus Fonseca (FC Chiasso), and Rodolfo Simões (Marítimo).

As well as the following players leaving the club on loan: William Owusu (Westerlo), William Carvalho (Cercle Brugge), and Miguel Serôdio (Varzim).

Pre-Season Games:

Sporting opened Pre-Season with an 11-0 win over minnows Atlético Clube do Cacém. The Sintra club were unsurprisingly soundly beaten thanks to goals from Iuri Medeiros, Filipe Chaby, Emiliano Insúa, Adrien Silva, André Martins, Ricky van Wolfswinkel (x2), Diego Rubio (x2), and Wilson Eduardo (x2).

Last Thursday Sporting ended up losing 1-0 to Charlton Athletic in a game played at the Municipal de Lepe, the home of lower league side San Roque de Lepe. A last minute goal from Johnnie Jackson game the London club the win.

Sporting’s team for the game was:

Marcelo Boeck; Bruno Pereirinha (Cédric Soares 46′), Daniel Carriço (YC) (Nuno Reis 59′), Xandão (Oguchi Onyewu 59′), Emiliano Insúa (Danijel Pranjić 59′); Fabián Rinaudo (Gelson Fernandes 46′), Adrien Silva (Stijn Schaars 59′), Elias (André Martins 46′); Jeffrén Suárez (Wilson Eduardo 46′), Diego Capel (André Carrillo 56′), Ricky van Wolfswinkel (Diego Rubio 59′)

Sporting next face Sheffield Wednesday tomorrow night with kick off at 20:30.

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Report: SPORTING 1-1 Olhanense

Sporting’s beginning to the a promising new season didn’t exactly go as many had planned at home to Olhanense. Wilson Eduardo’s superb strike against his parent club meant Sporting would have to come from behind but were unable to score until Marat Izmailov’s 77th minute goal.

The game marked the official debuts of a whole host of new signings; Alberto Rodríguez, Fabián Rinaudo, Stijn Schaars, Jeffrén, Diego Rubio, and Diego Capel. It showed too, as there was a lack of cohesion in the team going forward, for all of the Sporting possession there lacked a cutting edge. It’s a familiar theme to last season although there’s still plenty of hope for the rest of the season.

Somewhat surprising was that Domingos Paciência did not go for the 4-1-3-2 formation that had been prevalent through-out most of pre-season instead opting for 3 in midfield with Schaars the more advanced ahead of Rinaudo and André Santos.

Another surprise was that Paciência left Daniel Carriço on the bench instead choosing Ânderson Polga and Alberto Rodríguez as the centre-back pairing and meaning João Pereira captained the team.

It was 29 minutes until Wilson Eduardo’s goal put Olhanense ahead. Wilson Eduardo is one of 3 Sporting players on loan at Olhanense currently along side João Gonçalves and Mexer. There will be concerns with how Eduardo was able to get his shot away without being closed down sooner but the strike was so good that Rui Patrício, on his 62nd consecutive Liga start, could do nothing. It should be noted that Wilson Eduardo did not celebrate after scoring.

The goal was against the run of play though, Hélder Postiga was unlucky not to have scored by that point with Olhanense’s Brazilian goalkeeper Fabiano doing well to prevent a Postiga header and a Jeffrén drive.

There was a controversial moment too after Jeffrén’s well saved shot as the ball bounced back out there looked to be a hand used by the Olhanense player but the referee, Carlos Xistra, did not give a penalty.

In the second half again a Jeffrén delivery caused danger with Hélder Postiga getting on the end of it with a header but it went narrowly wide of the goal.

The equaliser came in the 77th minute with a long cross from Evaldo found Marat Izmailov at the back post who’s shot was well saved by Fabiano but the goalkeeper could only rebound the ball back in to Izmailov’s feet and then passed it calmly into the net.

In the 89th minute a Stijn Schaars strike went narrowly wide to win the game for Sporting but the game finished 1-1.

Although performance wise this wasn’t the worst for Sporting the lack of finishing may well be a concern. Sporting next face Nordsjælland away on Thursday before the next league game in Aveiro away to Beira-Mar.

SPORTING: Rui Patrício; João Pereira, Ânderson Polga, Alberto Rodríguez, Evaldo Fabiano; Fabián Rinaudo (YC), André Santos (Marat Izmailov 45′, Scored 77′), Stijn Schaars; Jeffrén Suárez (YC) (Diego Rubio 55′), Yannick Djaló (Diego Capel 63′); Hélder Postiga
Subs Not Used: Marcelo Boeck, Daniel Carriço, Bruno Pereirinha, Ricky van Wolfswinkel