He’s 27. In terms of goals scored last season and proven quality. Otherwise, he’s 31 years old. Which spells “he’s past it”, for those who look at the Romanian league generally to find that player that could generate a nice profit in the next two or three years. But Welsey’s performance doesn’t deserve to go un-noticed. Just like his club, FC Vaslui, which every single season managed to finish in a better position than in the previous one, the Brazilian forward offered more with every year spent in Romania, to live up to the expectations that come with one of the highest wages in Liga I. In 2009, he had 7 goals, adding another 12 in his second season, while in the third he scored 13, just like Galatasaray’s 6 million Euros buy from January 2011, Bogdan Stancu, and the current player/coach of Universitatea Cluj, Claudiu Niculescu.
In the last campaign, though, finished by FC Vaslui in second spot, a single point behind the champions from CFR Cluj, Wesley found the net 27 times (5 times from the spot) becoming only the second player in the past 5 years to score more than 20 goals during one season after the 2nd best all-time scorer in Liga I, Ionel Danciulescu (21 goals in 2007/2008).
Currently on vacation, the goalscorer used by Viorel Hizo, one of Vaslui’s former coaches, even as a defensive midfielder!, is now battling through the media with the owner Adrian Porumboiu. He speaks of the need for a new challenge, with Steaua banging on the door and, apparently, willing to offer more than a joke of a contract like a while ago, when Gigi Becali thought that the club’s name is more important than any installment fee, monthly wage or winning bonuses. That (still) works these days only for young Romanian players and Romanian coaches of all ages… Maybe someone in the club will find the courage to inform the mighty owner that last season Wesley scored more than Raul Rusescu (13), Mihai Costea (6), Leandro Tatu (3), Stefan Nikolic (2) and Florin Costea (1). Even if you add all their goals…
The problem is no other club from Liga I can afford Wesley. Wages aside, the player cannot be allowed to move without a decent transfer fee and leaving aside some interest from Turkey – which I’m personally aware of – nobody seems willing to pay more than 1,5 million Euros in the first season for a proven, mature & quality player with, unfortunately, only two or three decent years ahead of him. If Wesley is wise enough to accept this, he can go on to be not only one of the best (if not the best) paid footballers in Romania, but also remain for a very long time the most efficient foreign goalscorer in Liga I. He’s at the 59 goals mark and hopefully we’ll keep on counting.
PS Oh, and speaking of a new challenge, FC Vaslui will play in the preliminary rounds of the Champions League…
Trashed by Rapid Bucharest in the opening round of the new season, FC Vaslui got the needed wake-up call ahead of its debut in the Champions League’s preliminary rounds. Against a direct 4-3-3 deployed by former national team coach Razvan Lucescu, Hizo’s men often struggled and the defense simply failed to protect a young keeper who looked as a liability whenever he was in goal, in place of the more experienced Dusan Kuciak.
The club’s owner, Adrian Porumboiu, says that the players were already thinking of Tuesday’s game against Twente, and you could see that in the performances of two key players, Wesley and Adailton. The problem is that, even if the two Brazilians will play closer to their potential tomorrow, the back four and the central midfielders will be under pressure to deliver a more focused and effective performance. Or maybe that’s why Porumboiu “would accept even a loss in the first leg, as long as we manage to score.”
Twente are favorites, agreed, but I expect a better game from Vaslui, who last year created enough problems to French champions Lille. They’ve played for more than a year with pretty much the same team, so Friday’s loss might have been just the worse we’ll see from this team during the current season. I expect a game with goals at both ends, with the experience and quality of the offensive trio formed by Sanmartean, Wesley and Adailton to create a lot of problems for Twente, who should be really careful not to give away too many free-kicks in their third…
His decision to leave Unirea Urziceni, after he managed to break Romania’s record of points collected by a club in the Champions League’s groups stage and ahead of a challenging double with Liverpool, was considered at least strange. And certainly money-orientated, as Kuban Krasnodar was ready to spend millions on wages and transfers, in its attempt to achieve promotion in Russia’s first division. My bet is that Petrescu knew what was going to happen to Unirea, felt disappointed by the Ferderation’s choice to appoint Razvan Lucescu in charge and would have have had a difficult time topping what he achieved with a small club, if he was to take over another Romanian team.
It all began in the summer, when the wealthy former international referee Adrian Porumboiu decided to dig deeper in his pockets and ensure he’s done everything in his powers to help his club, FC Vaslui, not just make a nice impression in Europe, but also to mount a very serious title challenge. Finishing third, just behind CFR Cluj and Unirea Urziceni, was an outstanding feat for such a small club, but not enough for its proud and ambitious owner.
With the likes of Kuciak, Gladstone, Sanmartean or Wesley, the team had already a solid back-bone, so Porumboiu thought that offering a quality roster to a quality coach and his professional staff should solve most of the on-the-pitch problems, his past and current influence in Romanian football ensuring the vital protection in a title race that was expected to get ugly, given Bucharest’s problem in regaining its supremacy. He went for a certain Juan Ramon Lopez Caro, recently released from Spain’s U21, who also had an eye-catching and respect-imposing spell at the helm of the mighty Real Madrid. Read more…
Of all the top clubs, only two will attack the next season with the same coach. Mandorlini‘s double with CFR Cluj and Levy‘s abilty to continue Dan Petrescu’s outstading work for Unirea Urziceni offered them the chance to stay put and enjoy the results of the previous campaign.
In a previous post, I had anticipated an agitated summer in this field, but my expectations were exceeded by the decision of two coaches that could have stayed: Sabau (FC Timisoara) and Lacatus (FC Vaslui), both leaving their clubs for personal reasons; Sabau - for his inability to connect with Timisoara’s football-loving fans, Lacatus - following the disappointing ending of a solid season.
With so many ambitious clubs looking for good coaches, it’s been more interesting looking for the moves in this area, rather than “buying” the rumors sold on a daily basis by the sporting newspapers regarding the players that might come to Romania this summer. Dinamo went for their old player and coach (although he’s still quite young), Ioan Andone, who was replaced at Rapid by the former Gloria Bistrita manager, Marius Sumudica. Sumudica, an icon in Giulesti, will get a lot of help by Rapid’s new and old president, Dinu Gheorghe. With Steaua still pushing for a deal with Victor Piturca, who, for the past two or three weeks, has arranged transfers and even decided who will be the club’s president!, FC Vaslui was the club that managed to go for something new and very exciting indeed: a staff lead by Lopez Caro, who had the chance to work with the likes of Guti and Zidane and now will try to teach Burdujan that football is a team’s sport and that it’s okay to pass the ball every once in a while, even if the game is indeed decided by goals.
If the move becomes official today, as announced, Vaslui’s owner, Adrian Porumboiu, shows once again that he cares about his investment in football and that he knows very well what he has to do in order to continue the impressive development of his club. He keeps going forward, while “the big guns” from Bucharest are chasing their tales, looking back at their last moments of triumph and hiring the guys that managed to deliver…
- The Brazilian Leonardo Henrique Veloso (22) has failed to agree terms with Dinamo, who offered him 10.000 EUR per month, until June. Apparently, he is earning 300.000 EUR in Holland, at Willem II, but his contract will run out at the end of the season. There’s still a chance for the left sided player to come to Romania, after CFR Cluj decided to offer him a trial right away.
- Steaua just added another name to a long list of wanted players: Boubacar Diarra. The 30 years old defender had a solid career in Germany, at SC Freiburg, and is currently under contract with Luzern, in Switzerland, but should catch the final days of Steaua’s training camp from Turkey. So far, Steaua managed to agree terms only with Stelios Parpas, but couldn’t sign the likes of Gora Tall, Edwin Ouon, David Lopes, and is looking very weak at the back.
- The Brazilian forward Wesley Lopes da Silva (29), who has been impressive since he moved to FC Vaslui from Leixoes in 2009, reacted surprisingly after he was denied a move to Al-Wasl, from Dubai. He demanded a bigger contract than the 200.000 EUR he gets per season right now or he’ll never step foot on the pitch again, for his current club. A discussion with wealthy club owner Adrian Porumboiu will probably take place soon, as Wesley is a key figure at Vaslui, in an excellent season indeed, but, on the other hand, Porumboiu is too experienced to accept a negotiation under these terms.
- Pablo Daniel Brandan (26) stated today in an interview that he has lost motivation at Urziceni and that he has been treated unfairly by the club. The Argentinian defensive jolly was very close to a move to 1. Bundesliga this winter, but Unirea refused 1,3 million euros, although the player had arrived in Romania on a free transfer back in 2007.
- A target for both Steaua Bucharest and FC Vaslui, Edwin Ouon (29) has very slim chances to come and play in Romania this year. The defender’s agent, David Lasaracina, admitted that FC Vaslui’s president, Adrian Porumboiu, was a man of honor and had presented an official offer like the one discussed over the phone (a transfer fee of 700.000 EUR), but the player wanted Steaua instead. Here, the negotiation reached a dead point when Steaua offered 200.000 upfront to AEL Limassol, plus an extra 600.000 EUR in the summer, in case the Bucharest side will go on and win the title, and started to curse everyone in the room when he realized that he cannot find an agreement.
- FC Timisoara’s owner Marian Iancu announced the end of negotiations with the Armenian twins, Arman and Artavazd Karamyan, whose contracts will expire in the summer. And, unlilke other clubs, Timisoara won’t send the pair to the club’s reserve team until then as punishment for not signing an extension, instead, offered them the chance to find a mutual agreement with the club to cease the current deals right now and look for another team. It’s a nice approach, that repays both players. Artavazd played 92 matches for Timisoara, scoring 10 goals and often wearing the team’s armband, while his brother Arman collected 50 matches in the Viola shirt and scored 16 goals.
- FIFA agent Florin Manea has been promised a 100.000 EUR bonus in case Rapid Bucharest wins the title, to repay the work done in this mercato period without any comissions. Florin Manea is the son of current Rapid coach Nicolae Manea and helped the club negotiate with the likes of Edgars Gauracs from Ventspils and Ilie Iordache, from AEK Athens.
- Dinamo Bucharest is trying to convince Ousmane N’Doye (31) to extend the current deal, which should expire in the summer. The strong left footed midfielder left a solid impression in Romania both at FC Vaslui and Dinamo and looks to be better than most of his opponents even without trying too hard on the pitch. It seems that the Senegalese has already been contacted by Neuchatel Xamax and that Dinamo is facing a real struggle to keep hold of the player.
The surprise of the first half of season signed another important player, after Lucian Sanmartean (29): Bulgarian right back Zhivko Milanov (25) signed a contract with the club owned by former international referee Adrian Porumboiu. The defender comes from Levski Sofia, where he collected over 120 appearances in the league, and is a Bulgarian international, with 14 caps. He signed a three years long contract and FC Vaslui apparently paid 350.000 EUR for his transfer.