FC Winterthur

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Season Guide
2023/2024

FC Winterthur

In


Randy Schneider (mid), transfer from St. Gallen, Carmine Chiappetta (att) (sp), loan move made permanent, Alexander Jankewitz (mid), loan from Young Boys Bern, Aldin Turkes (att), free transfer, Silvan Sidler (def), transfer from Arminia Bielefeld, Basil Stillhart (def/mid), transfer from St. Gallen, Luca Zuffi (mid), transfer from FC Sion, Samuel Ballet (att) (sp), loan move made permanent, Sayfallah Ltaief (mid), new loan from FC Basel, Nishan Burkart (att) (r), loan move made into a permanent move.

Out


Hekuran Kryeziu (mid) (sp), mutual termination, Timothy Fayulu (gk) (sp), loan expired, Sayfallah Ltaief (mid) (sp), loan expired, Joaquin Ardaiz (att) (k), loan expired, Eris Abedini (mid) (sp), transfer to Neuchatel Xamax.

Having just about managed to keep them up, boss Bruno Berner jumped ship almost immediately when Grasshopper Zurich came knocking, a solution which suited both club and manager really. Interestingly, FC Winterthur opted for Patrick Rahmen as his replacement, who had a disappointing spell in charge of FC Basel before landing the Switzerland U21 job. It’s hard to imagine this appointment going well but it’s understandable why FC Winterthur made the decision that they did. His Assistant Manager, club legend Dario Zuffi, pulled a rabbit out of the hat pre-season by convincing his son, former FC Basel midfielder Luca, to join the club following FC Sion’s relegation. It’s a magnificent signing for a team that did struggle to control games toward the end of last season. It’s hard to be optimistic about FC Winterthur’s chances of avoiding relegation this season though. Let’s be honest - if FC Sion had a modicum of togetherness, then they’d have stayed up last season, and it would have been FC Winterthur that were consigned to a relegation play-off instead. I think they did the best they could in the circumstances, given that they’d prepared for a campaign with Frei in charge before FC Basel poached him just before the start of last season. They’ve not got any excuses like that to fall back on this season, however… Ultimately, they lack quality. When they lost Lekaj to injury last season, gone were their hopes of keeping a clean sheet again, and for a team that defended first before attacking, that was a huge problem. I really don’t believe that the arrival of Stillhart from St. Gallen is the solution, either. They also started to struggle up front for a variety of reasons, and are likely to struggle again as their best striker Ardaiz (despite only being there for a few months on loan) has left, as did both Ltaief and Burkart - all three of them returned to their parent clubs, although the latter duo ultimately returned to FC Winterthur just before the commencement of the league. Ramizi is still great but has trouble not being suspended, and Di Giusto has impressed too much by now; other clubs are watching him. They have signed Ballet and Chiappetta, both of which have a lot of potential, but how ready they are is another matter. Ballet looked particularly good last season before his bad injury; he wasn’t the same player after that. Questions do exist for their wide game though, not to mention the goal-scoring area with Buess clearly not favoured anymore. They’ve signed towering Turkes to replace Ardaiz but how fit he can stay nowadays is anyone’s guess. The return of Ltaief and Burkart are substantial boosts, though - they should have enough to steer clear of the relegation places. Fortunately, the arrival of both Schneider and Jankewitz should provide a better balance in central midfield than they had last season. They now have natural playmakers, assuming they both settle. Sidler’s arrival strengthens them significantly at full-back so it’s not all doom and gloom. It’s just whether their new manager can recover enough from his ill-fated spell at FC Basel mentally to get the best out of this group, and I have my reservations about that. I think they could struggle to score goals this season, and it might just see them relegated. They’re in big trouble if they lose Lekaj, Ramizi, Di Giusto, or Zuffi. The return of Ltaief and Burkart - if they stay fit - could be the difference for them this season.

Target


Aiming to finish: 9-7 Likely to finish: 10-8

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