GABRIEL MURESAN – CFR Cluj
- Dan Alexa – FC Timisoara
- Gabriel Giurgiu – Otelul Galati
- Sorin Paraschiv – Unirea Urziceni
- Costin Lazar – Rapid Bucharest
My view: Yes, Muresan deserves to be up there, but Alexa doesn’t! The holding role is/should be much more than just sitting in front of the back four and winning balls, such a limited player isn’t useful to a winning team anymore. And when you have one pure anchorman on the pitch, adding another one (Bourceanu) when playing at home should be classified as attempted murder on football, a crime that brought punishment on a decent person, but a coach that still needs to develop, like Ioan Ovidiu Sabau. Sorry, got a bit carried away with this ).
Back to our top: consistent season from Giurgiu, who also got a couple of important goals and was labelled by some as the best defensive midfielders in the league, but I cannot understand how a massive midfielder like Ousmane N’Doye could have missed the top five. Anyway, he’ll compensate this by getting the first place when we get to the nightclub performances section!
My choices: Already said enough about N’Doye (btw, the guy is the leader when it comes to taking out opponents!), let’s include here Ionut Neagu, who was playing until the winter for the bottom placed in the second division, CSM Ramnicu Sarat, and is another nice coup from Marius Stan and Dorinel Munteanu. Also, it was an excellent first season in Liga I for the Japanese Seto Takayuki, while Timisoara’s Bourceanu would have been higher in the standings if he would have played in his natural role, as he often had to drift wide on the left flank, in a very unconfortable position for this workaholic central midfielder.
Note: the top five is taken from Gazeta Sporturilor, a newspaper that uses the service of Digital Soccer Project. These results are based on a series of specific criteria for each position, include only players that have collected at least 1.200 minutes on the pitch in the past season and the only subjective part of the analysis consists in the average marks received by the newspaper’s writers.
- Tempted to move away this summer, Muresan agreed to a new deal with the champions that will expire in 2015! The anchorman played a key role in CFR’s first eleven since his arrival from Gloria Bistrita, showing excellent work ethic, leadership and quality on and off the pitch. Paid until now with 80.000 Euros per season, almost five times less than what Sixto Peralta was getting for playing as a rotation midfielder, Muresan probably will receive a salary in the region of 150.000 Euros (a couple of good offers from abroad paid dividends), but the official details of his new contract have not been released.
- Unirea Urziceni signed the veteran full-back Petre Marin, from Steaua Bucharest, who gets a two years long deal, in spite of his age! The 36 years old leaves the red and blue outfit after six years of consistent performances and basically gives the green light for Pablo Brandan‘s move away from Urziceni. Marin will be followed to Urziceni by his former colleague, Adrian Neaga, who terminated his contract with Neftci Baku and was also recommended to Ronny Levy by Mihai Stoica.
- Astra Ploiesti made the first two signings of the summer, showing that Steaua’s former manager, Mihai Stoichita, is really close to take over from Marin Barbu. Pierre Ebede, a 30 years old keeper from Cameroon, has been transferred from AEL Limassol, while the Bulgarian Atanas Bornosuzov comes from Litex Lovech to strengthen a team that will aim to finish in the top half of the standings next season. According to several press reports, the two should be followed in the next few days by the likes of Zhivko Zhelev (released by Steaua this summer), Mihaita Plesan (out of favor at Steaua, available for 100.000 Euros) or Stelios Parpas (available for 100.000 Euros)
- Surprising announcement from the Brazilian forward, hours ahead of FC Vaslui’s chance to get a trophy and finally repay Adrian Porumboiu’s financial efforts – the Romanian Cup final against CFR Cluj. Wesley said that his agent has five offers ready for him, three from Romania (definitely, one should be from CFR!) and two from abroad, and is looking to move on at the end of the season. Very poor timing, in my opinion, from the 30 years old, but this is what happens when the agent is there for a player just to move him from one club to another…
- Francisco Molinero has been released on a free transfer by Dinamo, after the Red Dogs aquired the Brazilian Helder, on loan, from Nancy. It seems that the 25 years old, who played in the past for Atletico Madrid, has some personal problems and asked for a two months long break from the club, but the Bucharest side was happier to get rid of him rather then support him in these difficult times, saving the 360.000 Euros that should have been paid until June 2012, when Molinero’s contract would have expired.
- Apparently Napoli expressed interest in Lacina Traore, but my guess is that this report only tried to speculate Roberto De Zerbi’s presence on loan at CFR Cluj, a player that the Romanian champions would like to have next season as well, so the press imagined a possible deal involving cash and a player exchange. Rubbish!
- CFR’s anchorman Gabriel Muresan will be watched tonight from the stands by two members of Dynamo Kyiv‘s staff. The 28 years old has been monitorred by Dynamo for a long time and is yet to find an agreement with CFR to extend his contract. Currently earning 80.000 Euros (a joke, considering he’s been vital for the club, yet he gets almost five times less than Peralta!), Muresan could use the Webster law in the summer and leave the club for a ridiculous sum!
A strong challenge for the ball during a recent training session, which could have got striker Florin Bratu injured, plus the diallogue that followed questioned once again Ousmane N’Doye‘s future with the Red Dogs. This time, in a moment when his impressive recent performances had erased his agitated nightlife and got him close to landing an extension to the current deal, thich will expire in the summer.
In fact, www.gsp.ro talks today about a possible exchange between Dinamo and CFR Cluj, involving the clubs’ best anchormen, N’Doye-Muresan. Personally, I doubt it and it’s pure speculation. If CFR wants N’Doye, then it’s enough to make him an offer he can’t refuse , what’s the point in giving up a national team player, a good professional and decent character, not to mention offering him to a rival club? But this is a nice headline for the masses, right?
Anyway, as good as he is – by Liga I standards – N’Doye should be offloaded by the Red Dogs, as their biggest problem is the lack of professionalism and the bad atmosphere from the locker, not the players’ and team’s quality and potential.
- After a turned down offer from the Ukraine Football Federation, Mircea Lucescu has been also offered the chance to become Russia’s national team coach. “Il Luce” has a contract with Shakthar Donetsk until June 2011, but missing the title at the end of the current season could determine the Romanian coach to take up a different challenge, after five years spent at Rinat Ahmetov’s club.
- Ousmane N’Doye (31) says he would agree to extend his current deal with Dinamo, which is due to expire at the end of the season. Read more…