ARGENTINA: Players to watch in the window


With the European transfer window opening and the speculation going into overload. Peter Coates of Golazo Argentino takes a look at some of the players currently plying their trade in the Primera Division who may take the fancy of some of the teams in Europe. From some more well known names to some ones to watch in the coming years, Golazo’s fairly exhaustive list is your stop for the best talent in Argentina…..


Ruben Botta – Tigre deal agreed to join Inter Milan in June
Despite injuring his cruciate knee ligments in Tigre’s recent Copa Libertadores last 16 match, Botta’s summer move to Italian giants, Inter Milan is still on. The tricky attacking midfielder with a superb left foot has been excelling in the past year for Tigre and after not agreeing on a new deal with Tigre has found Inter Milan more than willing to snap him up. His goal earlier in this year’s Libertadores showcases the 23 year old’s talent.

Ricardo Centurion – Racing  Interested – Anzhi
Centurion was in Europe just before the start of this campaign to finalise this deal which would have been a club record for Racing but due to some medical complications it fell through. Centurion has just come back from surgery and perhaps the move will be back on again? The pacy winger was a member of the disastrous Argentinian Under 20 squad at the recent South American Championships but is still seen as one of the bright lights from that group.

Luciano Vietto – Racing Interested – Juventus
The 19 year old centre forward is without question one of the biggest talents in Argentina and his move to Europe is only a question of when rather than if. Racing are loathed to lose him in this window and would rather cash in on Centurion and Fariña but this wil surely be only temporary. A clinical finisher, he has already scored 2 hat tricks this season, the first Racing player to achieve such a feat in the short championship format. Despite also being a member of the Argentina under 20′s his record of 5 goals in 6 is impressive.

Gino Peruzzi – Velez Sarsfield Interested – Manchester City, PSV Eindhoven
The 20 year old product of Velez’s youth academy shot to fame when he marked Neymar out of the game when the sides met in 2012 Copa Libertadores quarter final. The right back started out as a right winger so is equally confident going forward which is perhaps why Manchester City have been so strongly linked, perhaps as a replacement for fellow Argentine, Pablo Zabaleta.

Fernando Gago – on loan at Velez Sarsfield from Valencia
The well known Argentine international midfield has not exactly set the world alight since signing for Velez on loan. What was seen as a huge coup for the Primera side has been very disappointing as Gago has been reduced to just 3 appearances due to injury. On his day a wonderfully talented defensive midfield player with a huge range of passing but after not settling at any side since leaving Boca Juniors in 2007 the next move for the 27 year old will be critical.

Lucas Romero – Velez Sarsfield
Another from Velez’s successful youth conveyor belt, Romero is a central midfield player whose maturity outweighs his tender age of 19. He too was a member of the Argentina under 20 squad and looks to have a bright future ahead of him.

Pablo Migliore – Free Moving to Dinamo Zagreb
San Lorenzo’s axed goalkeeper following his arrest in the Boca Juniors barra bravas murder case has been thrown a lifeline by Croatian champions, Dinamo Zagreb. The 31 year old stopper will move immediately.

Ezequiel Rescaldani – Velez Sarsfield
20 year old centre forward who has been with Velez since 2010. In Facundo Ferreyra’s absence, Rescaldani has done a good job as the focal point of Velez’s attack. At 6 foot 3 Rescaldani offers an aerial threat but is also very good with the ball at his feet and at such a young age will only improve.

Facundo Ferreyra – Velez Sarsfield
A product of Banfield’s youth system, Facundo ‘Chucky’ Ferreyra was a regular name on the score sheet despite his young age and so in the aftermath of their relegation in 2012 it was inevitable that he would interest Argentina’s top sides. It was Velez Sarsfield who won the race and since then he has scored an impressive 16 goals in 19 appearances. Last season he was the league’s top scorer and despite missing large parts of this campaign through injury he is back in the goals.

Alan Ruiz – San Lorenzo Interested – Udinese, Olympiakos
In an other wise miserable season for Gimnasia LP back in 2011 the emergence of young midfield player, Alan Ruiz provided a solitary silver lining. Amid rumours of several big transfers, Ruiz eventually found himself at San Lorenzo where he has continued to impress. Not necessarily a starter every week, Ruiz still has a huge future ahead of him.

Leonel Galeano – Independiente Interested – Parma
Should Independiente end up being relegated Leonel Galeano will certainly be one of the players attracting interest. The 21 year old centre back already has a great deal of experience with the Avellaneda giants, rapidly closing in on 100 appearances and a key member of the Copa Sudamericana winning side in 2010. Galeano has also been called up for Argentina when the squad was comprised of domestic players.

Lisandro Ezequiel López – Arsenal
Still only 23 years old, Lopez is a big, aggressive centre half whose strength in the air makes him an asset at both ends. His impressive return of 15 goals from 90 appearances displays just how dangerous he is when venturing into the opposition penalty area. A key member of Arsenal’s Clausura winning side in 2012 and now a campaign in the Copa Libertadores to add to his experience only boosts his potential value.

Ignacio Scocco – on loan at Newell’s Old Boys from Al Ain
Probably the stand out player in the Primera Division and still only 27 years of age is bound to attract interest from elsewhere. Last season’s top scorer and leading the charts again this term as well as playing an instrumental role in Newell’s current Libertadores campaign the pacy front man has consistently proven his eye for goal. Equally comfortable out wide or through the middle Scocco has scored goals everywhere he has played – in both spells with Newell’s, in Mexico with UNAM Pumas, in Greece with AEK Athens and in the UAE with Al Ain.

Eder Alvarez Balanta – River Plate Interested – Inter Milan
The success story of this year’s Clausura, River Plate had to act quickly to tie their young centre back to a deal as reportedly Inter Milan were ready to swoop after his eye catching performances. The 20 year old was fast tracked into the River first team despite not yet signing a professional deal and his 2 goals and solid defensive displays caught the eye of a number of clubs. River have sensibly now got him under contract and would demand a fee in excess of €12 million to prize him away.

Ezequiel Adrián Cirigliano – River Plate
Not a regular in River’s side but undoubtedly one of their brightest academy products. The diminuitive midfield player is a tenacious tackler but with a good eye for a pass and so has previously been linked with some of Europe’s biggest sides. He has been limited to only 5 appearances in this year’s Clausura but still has a crucial role to the future of River.

Rogelio Funes Mori – River Plate Interested – Barcelona, Napoli
Funes Mori rose to prominece by winning a deal with FC Dallas as part of TV show Sueño MLS but thankfully for River Plate this didn’t come to fruition and Funes Mori moved to Argentina and signed professional papers. The skillful front man is not the most prolific striker but will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of former team mate, Erik Lamela.

Juan Ignacio Cavallaro – Union Interested – Anderlecht
Union are undoubtedly going to be relegated to the Nacional B but 18 year old midfielder Juan Cavallero may well be playing elsewhere. The number 10 who has also represented Argentina at Under 20 level has scored 2 goals for Union for this campaign, in what will be the last in the top flight for now.

Walter Kannemann – San Lorenzo
Another of San Lorenzo’s youngsters to feature Walter Kannemann is a left back whose ability both offensively and defensively can see him operate on the left of the midfield and even at centre back.

Leandro Navarro – San Lorenzo
21 year old play-maker Leandro Navarro has made quite an impact since appearing for San Lorenzo. His stunning free kick against Arsenal earlier this season highlights his talent and no doubt put him in the shop window.

Gerardo Martino – Newell’s Old Boys Interested – Malaga, Real Sociedad
Following the departure of Pellegrino, the now vacant manager’s position at Malaga is reportedly being lined up for Newell’s 50 year old boss. Currently top of the table and still in the Copa Libertadores, Martino still has work to do but the former South American Manager of the year (2007 – when in charge of Paraguay) may well be tempted to head to Spain.

Manuel Lanzini – River Plate Interested – Roma
River’s current number 10 is the talanted Manuel Lanzini. Small in stature and still only 20 years of age, Lanzini is known for his dribbling skills and ability to open defences. There is reported interest from Roma, following their successful purchase of Erik Lamela but Lanzini could cost upwards of €10 million.

Leandro Gonzalez Pirez – River Plate Interested – Roma
River Plate’s young centre back has represented Argentina at every youth level and with his regular performances for River and reported interest from Roma it would be no surprise to see him go on to play for the full side. Not the tallest centre half but a good reader of the game and strong in the tackle, River have him under contract until 2016 with allegedly a buy out clause of €15 million.

Rodrigo De Paul – Racing Club
A regular in the Racing side despite being only 19, De Paul has impressed this season with his direct dribbling and shooting ability. This was evident by his stunning strike earlier in the season against San Lorenzo.

Guido Pizarro – Lanus
Defensive midfielder, Guido Pizarro was one of the main reasons for Lanus’ great start to the season and why they are still challenging for the title. An almost ever-present in their midfield, 23 year old, Pizarro’s passing game starts many of the Lanus counter attacks as well as contributing to their tight defence.

Adrian Fernandez – Independiente
Paraguayan Adrian Fernandez came to Independiente from Cerro Porteño in 2011 and has now established himself as one of the players to watch in the Primera. His pace and trickery cause opposition defences no end of trouble and his wonderful 40-yard lob earlier in the season against Tigre illustrates his instinctive finishing.

Duvan Zapata – Estudiantes
After impressing in his native Colombia for America de Cali and at the Under 2o championships in 2011, Zapata was signed by Esudiantes for a fee in the region of $120,000. A big and powerful centre forward who has 6 in 13 this season in a poor Estudiantes side looks a good prospect as he is still only 22.

Juan Sánchez Miño – Boca Juniors
Sánchez Miño’s fantastic engine and great left foot have converted him pretty successfully from left wing to left back but he is comfortable in both positions. An elegant mover with the ball with bags of energy he has started to appear more for Boca as he was injured earlier in the campaign and could now challenge the aging Clemente Rodriguez.

Lucas Santiago Melano – Belgrano
20 year old striker currently playing in Cordoba for Belgrano but also a member of Argentina’s under 20 squad. He is playing on a regular basis for Belgrano and has scored 2 goals this season.

Carlos Carbonero – on loan at Arsenal from Estudiantes Interested – Chievo
Another Colombian on the list, 22 year old Carlos Carbonero maybe familiar with regular Golazo readers after his sensational 40-yard volley against Argentinos Juniors won February’s goal of the month. Already with a full cap to his name for Colombia, Carbonero is beginning to attract interest.

Dario Benedetto – Arsenal
Another of Arsenal’s attacking threats with a an eye for the spectacular. Dario Benedetto has scored 5 goals this term and they always seem to be great goals. Still only 22 Benedetto has plenty more goals in him.

Nicolas Aguirre – Arsenal
The third Arsenal player and also 22 years old. His 2 goals from 9 league appearances shows how desirable goal scoring midfield players can be.

Brian Sarmiento – All Boys
Talented foward Brian Sarmiento is no stranger to complicated transfer sagas when as a 16 year old he was involved in a bitter row between parent club, Estudiantes and Spanish club, Racing Santander. Due to the matter going to court, Sarmiento was unable to play for Santander for a year. After several loan moves and then transfers to Racing and Arsenal, Sarmiento is now playing regularly for All Boys. Still only 23, Sarmiento will be hoping that the stability can get his once much-hyped career back on track.

Santiago Montoya Muñoz – All Boys
Another young Colombian playing regularly in Argentina, Santiago Montoya Muñoz is a clever passer of the ball, comfortable in the playmaker role, on the left or even as a second striker.

Luis Fariña – Racing Club Interested – CSKA Moscow
Rumour has it that Racing could cash in on 22 year old Fariña with CSKA Moscow keen. The attacking midfielder has scored 6 goals in his career at Racing and is apparently the subject of a struggle between Paraguay and Argentina as to who he will represent. The child of Paraguayan parents but has represented Argentina at youth levels has a present left his options open.

Juan Manuel Iturbe – on loan at River Plate from Porto
The hugely talented but at times hugely frustrating Iturbe continues to impress and dismay in equal measure at River. Small, fast and with incredible dribbling abilities he drew earlier comparisons to Lionel Messi when lighting up the Copa Libertadores with Cerro Porteño but after a big move to Porto, his career has stalled somewhat. The loan move to River has seen him playing fairly regularly once again and it will be interesting to see what happens at the end of this agreement.

Lisandro Magallan – Boca Juniors Interested – Roma, Manchester City
19 year old centre back, Lisandro Magallan started his career at Gimnasia LP before Boca spent $1.4 million for 80% ownership. Not a regular in La Bombonera at present, Magallan is seen as one for the future but with some of Europe’s big boys taking an interest it remains to be seen if his future is with Boca.


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