With 2019 coming to an end, here’s a status update on the reshaping of Palmeiras.
Zé Roberto has left the position as technical advisor. The technical advisor needs to be present in the daily life of the club, including during home and away games. After two years in the position, Zé wishes to spend more time with his family, but not detach himself from Palmeiras completely. Thus, he will instead become a Palmeiras ambassador, promoting the club through participation in official events, social activities and marketing campaigns.
Edu Dracena, the 38 years old centre-back just retired from professional football after three years at Palmeiras, takes over as technical advisor.
Omar Feitosa, during the last four years responsible for the physical conditioning of athletes, has been sacked. Replacement yet to be announced.
In relation to the squad, Palmeiras are finally promoting a decent batch from the youth divisions: Alan Guimarães, Esteves, Patrick de Paula, Gabriel Menino, Veron and Angulo will get a shot in the big league, in addition to keeper Vinicius Silvestre and Pedrão, returning from their stints at other clubs.
Apart from promoting the youngsters, there has been little movement so far:
# Fernando Prass, alongside Dudu the most important Palmeiras player this decade, did not extend his contract with the club. A melancholic farewell for the highly regarded and victorious veteran goalkeeper. Thank you for everything, Fernando Prass!
# Forward Artur, who experienced a great 2019 at Bahia, has transferred to Red Bull Bragantino for a rather hefty sum: € 6 million.
# Centre-forward Borja is heading to Junior de Barranquilla, on a one-year loan deal and with pre-defined conditions for purchase.
# Centre-back Antônio Carlos plays for Orlando City in 2020, on a one-year loan deal.
# Also centre-back Thiago Martins has been sold to Yokohama Marinos, where he has played since mid-2018.
With the aforementioned retirement of Edu Dracena, Palmeiras remain with only four centre-backs: Gustavo Gómez, Vitor Hugo, Luan e Pedrão. Coach Vanderlei Luxemburgo has signalled he might want to use Felipe Melo in centre-back instead of defensive midfield. Still, one more centre-back is likely to arrive.
Luxemburgo have no intention to keep Deyverson nor Carlos Eduardo; with Borja’s exit, a centre-forward of calibre is Palmeiras’ top priority for 2020. On the left flank, Palmeiras are bound to look for replacements for Diogo Barbosa and Victor Luis. An offensive midfielder or two might also prove necessary, as there is foreign interest in Gustavo Scarpa. Lucas Lima is another midfielder with an uncertain future at Palmeiras, and even more so Hyoran. As you notice, plenty of blanks to fill, but no indications director of football Anderson Barros is advancing position. There are only three plausible explanations: either he isn’t negotiating (bad); failing in negotiating (worse) or being extremely discrete in his handling (good). Time will tell.
Palmeiras initiate the season upcoming Monday, having one week of preparations ahead of the Florida Cup friendly tournament 13-20 January, this year composed of Palmeiras, New York City FC, Atlético Nacional (Colombia) and Corinthians.
Happy New Year, dear friends. Thanks for staying with us in 2019, hope you stick around in 2020!
SCOPPIA CHE LA VITTORIA È NOSTRA!
* image credits, Eduardo Luiz/Palmeiras Todo Dia