Andy Diouf (mid) (r), loan move made permanent, Mohamed Zeki Amdouni (att) (k), loan move made permanent, Tim Spycher (gk), loan expired, Yacobo Djiga (def), loan expired, Sayfallah Ltaief (mid), loan expired, Tician Tushi (att), loan expired, Felix Gebhart (gk), loan expired, Finn van Breemen (def), transfer from ADO Den Haag, Thierno Barry (att), transfer from Waasland-Beveren, Jonathan Dubasin (mid), transfer from Albacete Balompie.
Tim Spycher (gk), loan to FC Baden, Darian Males (mid) (r), loan expired, Kasim Adams (def) (r), loan expired, Andi Zeqiri (att) (r), loan expired, Hugo Novoa (mid) (sp), loan expired, Mamadou Kaly Sene (att) (sp), transfer to Lausanne Sport, Andy Diouf (mid) (r), transfer to Racing Club Lens, Andy Pelmard (def) (sp), transfer to Clermont Foot 38, Sayfallah Ltaief (mid), loaned back to FC Winterthur for another season.
An almost heroic interim managerial spell for Vogel ended in disappointment when his team was defeated by ACF Fiorentina in the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa Conference League. Still, against the odds, he managed to just about steer his team into European football for the campaign ahead before stepping aside for Timo Schulz to take the reins. It’s difficult to have an opinion as to how well Schulz will do in this role, predominantly because it’s become very clear over the years that the position of manager is not the problem at this club anymore. The club bins managers off far too quickly, which is their fault, but they have to constantly reinvent themselves every season (usually more than once per season) which naturally makes them disjointed, ineffectual, and frankly quite disappointing.
Let’s be honest for a second here - aside from their magnificent European campaign (which came from absolutely nowhere), last season was a disaster. Pure blind luck saved them at the end of the season; nothing more. The only good things from their last campaign were the emergence of Amdouni and Diouf, and they’ve already lost the latter, albeit for a tidy profit. Following his superb displays for Switzerland U21, it seems unlikely that Amdouni will stay at FC Basel for long; they’ll be lucky if he’s still at the club come wintertime. Neither of those players can be replaced by anyone in this squad, for context - and both carried the team throughout 2023.
To be fair to FC Basel, they have been quite busy in the transfer market, although I would cynically point out that they really had to be, given that they lost Zeqiri, Adams, Diouf, and Males - and are expected to lose Amdouni too. With that in mind, one could make the argument that the arrival of striker Barry and winger Dubasin aren’t really enough. Their midfield looks short on creativity, they don’t have enough players that can play at wing-back (assuming Schulz keeps that formation), and their centre-backs (other than Comas) are a disaster. It made for good PR to give 15-year old Akahomen his debut but really it shows just how bad their defensive situation is. Djiga is back from loan - still highly erratic, and simply not good enough. Pelmard - only good in spells; that’s why he ended up getting pushed into midfield or as a full-back so often - and he’s signed for Clermont Foot 38 now anyway. They might throw van Breemen in at the deep end, which is risky. I daresay they’ll shove Frei and/or Xhaka in at centre-back sometimes, which is not ideal for a plethora of reasons. The cherry on the cake would be if Amdouni left because unless Augustin remembers he’s a good player, or Fink rapidly matures overnight, they’re crossing everything they’ve got that Barry carries them. There’s also talk of Ndoye leaving; another substantial problem if he does as he’s their best dribbler by far.
To summarise, this team looks weak - really weak. They have some superb individuals but lack direction, continuity, and cohesion. They’re going to concede far too many goals, they’re not going to control games well enough, and they’re going to find it hard to create chances. Although they’re undeniably still one of Switzerland’s biggest clubs, they’re nowhere near good enough to be considered a genuine title contender in the Super League anymore, much as though they delude themselves into thinking otherwise. Likely to start their campaign slowly, and prioritise Europe. Rumours circling that they'll make a late bid for Jashari from Luzern - and they need him.