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Razvan Marin joins Standard Liege. A good move for everyone involved!

January 20, 2017 Leave a comment

Fans of Standard might know little about him, but what’s important from them is that the club’s board made a smart, justified (it was about time, right?) move by going for his signature. Marin is the brightest and most consistent young player in Liga 1, is younger and a lot cheaper than Anderlecht’s huge transfer from the same competition six month ago (Stanciu going at 23, with less re-selling potential for an absurd transfer fee) and will find in Belgium a competition that will challenge and help him develop.

Linked previously with clubs like Zenith, Roma or Fiorentina, Marin will find with Standard the much needed playing time at this age and in his first adventure abroad and I have a feeling that everyone involved in this deal can look back smiling to this very moment in a couple of years.

razvan-marin

Having just lost Trebel (25), Standard nailed a central midfielder with a rather similar profile, who can add more going forward, but who needs to progress physically and mentally to reach similar levels in the defensive phase of the game, especially if Standard will continue to use a 4-4-2.

Ideally suited for a 4-3-3, Marin can adjust to a midfielder pairing in a 4-4-2 or in a 4-2-3-1 with a physically strong number 6 able to allow him the freedom to move forward and also protect the back four. Just to be clear, the Romanian international shows good work ethic and will play his part defensively, being quite a tireless runner and showing discipline in tracking back, pressing and cutting off passing and running channels in his own half, but he’s not the most aggressive tackler you’ll meet and in terms of vigour and ability to make successful challenges defensively 1v1, well, there’s some homework for Standard’s coaching staff right there…

If allowed to express himself, Marin will prove quite influential in developing attacks with his passing and movement range and you’re in for a surprise when you’ll see this guy take his chance on goal from long range… I won’t spoil it for you. Erm, ok, maybe just a little bit 🙂

To conclude, Standard gets a 20 years old with a lot of first team experience,who has made an impact in Romania’s senior national team and has every reason to add caps to his name with consistency, who is already on the radar of some big clubs and who was signed at a realistic price, which ensures quite a big margin for profit if Marin does impress.

Marin, on the other hand, has no reason to be down for missing out on the speculated transfers; he takes a step forward, will play in a league that posed problems to fellow internationals Chipciu and Stanciu at Anderlecht, both more experienced than him, and won’t need to fight the same level of doubt when scouts will be sent to (re)asses his level and potential.

He’ll get to learn, to play and to taste football abroad with all the challenges that have seen similar Romanian talents waste important years in bigger leagues and clubs. He has the mentality and ability to see this through and be more prepared for what everyone thinks is his future.

We should see some more happy faces in Constanta, where Hagi just nailed the biggest transfer fee received for a single Academy product. Leaving aside the much needed cash, which is in the region speculated even if Marin would have really gone to the above mentioned clubs from Italy or Russia, he desperately needs a player to go from Viitorul and succeed abroad. Having done some business with Italian clubs, trying to place youngsters in their Primavera sides, he saw Chitu return from Valenciennes, Iancu come back from Turkey (after an initial bad spell with Steaua), Manea on the sidelines in Mouscron. In Romania, he can only get some cash from Steaua, so he could do with some sort of proof that his players are ready for the next step and can do it away from the best setup and facilities that youngsters can find around here. I surely wish that for he’ll find the means and motivation to keep on working just as before at his Academy, just as I wish we finally see more Romanian players make it abroad, away from a league that’s slowly dying…

Comeback

August 23, 2014 Leave a comment

Toyed with the idea of letting this go, as the blog’s domain was about to expire, but the passion for writing is still there. So is the will to share info and thoughts on Romanian footie, which lots of you appreciated over time, so here I am. Back on the road, scouting, back on the blog, writing.
Let’s talk some football here, on Twitter (@rbaicu) and Facebook.

Best of 2011

December 31, 2011 Leave a comment

Best day: January 20, 1.802 visitors.

Bogdan Stancu signs from Galatasaray and a comparison between Lacina Traore and Bogdan Stancu, written in November 2010, before their moves to Russia and Turkey, respectively, gets a lot of attention especially from Gala’s fans. The surprise came when Traore moved to Kuban Krasnodar for less money than what CFR Cluj was hoping to get, while Stancu’s deal demanded a fee that can be explained only by the Becali’s involvement and their understanding with both Steaua’s and Gala’s boards.

And, while Traore is a hit under Petrescu’s strict command, Stancu failed to cope with the pressure and the controlled chaos that Galatasaray seems to enjoy living in every single year, and is now playing with some success on loan to Orduspor.

Search terms: “scouting Romania” and my name occupy the first two places, with Marius Niculae in third spot. The top five is closed by “Wesley Vaslui” and a certain Cristiano Ronaldo. Don’t worry, the only thing to blame is a photo of the guy taken while Niculae was playing alongside him for Sporting Lisbon. The all time leader remains Gabriel Torje!

Most clicks: The Scouting Network, one of the companies I used to work for, followed by my Twitter feed, where I’m very, very close to 3.000 followers.

Best referrers: The Almost 3.000 are the ones that get credit, with Twitter sitting comfortably in 1st place. The Guardian helped to finish the year in style, the blog’s presence in “Our favorite things this week” column brining in a lot of (quality) traffic.

I would like thank each visitor though and wish you all a great 2012!, I hope to see you back here next year as well, because I’m not going anywhere :-). I leave you with the top three articles in 2011:

1. Unirea Urziceni no longer exists as a professional football club

2. The story of Juan Culio, the Argentinian midfielder bought by Galatasaray from CFR Cluj

3. Otelul Galati, before their Champions League debut disaster.

Round 32 – live

May 10, 2010 1 comment
  • International Curtea de Arges – Ceahlaul 2-0 (Apostu 15, 81)
  • Astra Ploiesti – Otelul Galati 0-3 (Giurgiu 45, Costin 60, Antal 87)
  • Unirea Alba Iulia – Dinamo 1-2 (Fl. Dan 28 / Andrei Cristea 45 pen, 69)
  • Universitatea Craiova – CFR Cluj 2-3 (Piturca 12, M. Costea 21 / Traore 63, Bud 85, Cadu 90 pen)
  • FC Timisoara – Gaz Metan Medias 0-2 (Eric 33, 83)
  • FC Vaslui – Steaua 2-1 (Burdujan 68, Papp 82 / B. Stancu 45)
  • Rapid – Pandurii Targu Jiu 1-0 (Sapunaru 86)
  • Politehnica Iasi – FC Brasov 0-0
  • Gloria Bistrita – Unirea Urziceni 0-0

Liga I - Standings

Next round (15-17 of May): Gaz Metan Medias – Unirea Alba Iulia, CFR Cluj – International Curtea de Arges, Gloria Bistrita – Politehnica Iasi, Otelul Galati – FC Vaslui, Unirea Urziceni – Ceahlaul, Steaua – Universitatea Craiova, FC Brasov – Rapid, Pandurii – FC Timisoara, Dinamo – Astra Ploiesti.

Kick off

January 4, 2010 Leave a comment

Became a “Romanian football observer” in 2003, when I got the chance to work for Bayer 04 Leverkusen (forever grateful to Ilja Kaenzig, Tor Kristian Karlsen and Fernando Troiani for the opportunity and guidance). Even though I’ve changed clubs and also worked for different companies involved in the beautiful game, travelling and scouting live on almost every continent, I never took my eyes away from the always intriguing and surprising Romanian football.

Through this blog, I’ll try to provide the daily important information and some insight as well, for all those fans or professionals interested in a player, a club or anything related to Romanian football. So do not hesitate to forward me your questions, requests or thoughts!

Oh, and please accept my appologies for any mistakes in English! Thanks! 🙂

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