Kaiky (def) Santos; Houboulang Mendes (def) Lorient; Arnau Sola (def) Barcelona; Nikola Maras (def) Rayo Vallecano; Martin Svidersky (mid) Manchester United; Gui Guedes (mid) Vitoria Guimaraes; Marko Milovanovic (att) Partizan Belgrade; Jordi Escobar (att) Barcelona B – end of loan;
Giorgi Makaridze (sp) (gk) Ponferradina; Nelson Monte (sp) (def) SK Dnipro-1 – end of loan; Daniel Carrico (sp) (def) Released; Aitor Bunuel (sp) (def) Released; Juan Villar (sp) (mid) Released; Javi Robles (sp) (mid) Fuenlabrada;
In what was the third year since being taken over by the Saudi Arabian Turki Alalshikh, Almeria finally achieved promotion in 2021/22.
They came up as champions, but actually weren’t even in the automatic promotion spots when stoppage time started on the final matchday. However, a goal in promotion rivals Eibar’s game moved Almeria from third to first.
So, Almeria only just squeezed into the top tier, but they do come up with a strong squad, given the amount of money that has been invested in this team. This summer, they’ve spent more money, to keep some of their top loanees and to sign talents like Kaiky, the highly rated Brazilian centre-back.
Rubi is the coach who’ll have to try to put this squad together and he should be given some time, having won promotion last season. He has experience in the top flight and has done well before when working with a quality squad, most notably during his stint at Espanyol.
Rubi’s Almeria team are very strong in defence, as they conceded the fewest goals in the second division on the way to promotion, letting in just 35 in 42 matches.
Up front they are strong too, especially with Umar Sadiq, the Nigeria international who is wanted by bigger clubs than Almeria. The team’s chances of success, therefore, could depend on whether they’re able to hold on to Sadiq through deadline day.
Survival. As is the case for every newly promoted team, the main objective is simply to avoid relegation. Almeria look the best-placed of the three promoted teams to achieve this, given the financial backing they have from their owner.