As the opening day of the season is a matter of days away, all teams have been busy in the transfer market, but can these summer reinforcements help loosen Basel’s stranglehold on the league? Or will they claim their fifth consecutive title?
Aarau will be looking to renew their ‘Die Unabsteigbaren’ (‘those that cannot be relegated’) nickname for the coming season making four signings; defender Bruno Martignoni from Locarno and goalkeeper Swen Konig on a free transfer from Bellinzona. Cameroonian centre forward Otele Mouangue joins on season loan from FC Wil 1900 while BSC Young Boys midfielder Alexander González will also join up at Brügglifeld on loan. Departing goalkeeper Andreas Hirzel, will move to Grasshopper Zurich after a productive loan spell last term.
Basel, chasing title number 17, have made a total of three signings for the new campaign, resigning Iranian-born Swedish international Behrang Safari (pictured above) after his season at Anderlecht in the process. Basel have also taken up the option of signing Mohamed Elneny after a successful loan period, impressing against Chelsea in the Europa League, on a 4 year contract until 2017. Promising young Serbian U19 midfielder Veljko Simic from Red Star Belgrade, completes Basel’s dealings. On the way out are the talented Jacques Zoua, who secured his move to the Bundesliga with Hamburg and defensive midfielder Cabral. Cabral will be hoping to make an impact in the Premiere League, completing his free transfer to Sunderland at the end of the last term.
Grasshopper will look to challenge Basel this year with 3 recruits to the playing squad. Goalkeeper Andreas Hirzel has signed a permanent deal from Aarau after being on loan last term. The new season will also see the return of Johan Vonlanthen to the Letzigrund after periods in Colombia and the Bundesliga. Vonlathen will be remembered for being the youngest player to score in the Euro Championships in 2004. Goalkeeper Roman Bürki makes his move from BSC Young Boys permanent after 2 seasons on loan with Grasshopper. Leaving the club this season is 21 year old Swiss midfielder Steven Zuber, who completed his move to CSKA Moscow. Talented Zuber impressed last season, scoring 7 goals and appearing for the Swiss Olympic team last season. Veteran centre forward João Paiva moves to challenge league side FC Wohlen on a free transfer and central midfielder Remo Freuler moves to FC Winterthur.
Lausanne have been one of the busier teams in the transfer market signing 7 players during the window. Notable transfers include midfielder Fabrizio Zambrella from FC Sion, centre half Adriano De Pierro and Senegalese forward Matar Coly from BSC Young Boys and striker Ohad Kadusi from Hapoel Acre FC. Congolese winger Chris Malonga will return to Monaco after a solid season with Lausanne. However, with mega rich Monaco making serious waves in the transfer market, Lausanne may be keen to resign their top goal scorer from last season, should he be surplus to requirement with Monaco.
Luzern have brought in 4 players for the coming campaign. Young striker Kevin Holz on loan from Borussia Dortmund, Goalkeeper Lorenzo Bucchi from FC Fribourg, Aussie midfielder Oliver Bozanic from Central Coast Mariners and 19 year old defender Ferid Matri from Auxerre. After finishing second in the 2011/2012 season, Luzern will be disappointed to finish 8th last season and clearly believe adding depth across the team will improve their position this time around. Returning loan players Stephan Andrist (FC Basel) and attacking midfielder Pajtim Kasami (Fulham FC) make up the notable departures for Luzern.
Transfer dealings at the Valaisan club have been a curious spectacle, after the bizarre circumstances that lead to Gennaro Gattuso’s appointment as manager to his eventual sacking (making him the 5th sacked Sion manager last season) 8 new faces have will play at the Tourbillion next season; Defender Beg Ferati from German club Freiburg; Cypriot forward Demetris Christofi from Omonia Nikosia; Midfielder Freddy Mveng from Young Boys; Ghanaian midfielder Ishmael Yartey on loan from Sochaux; Goalkeeper Mathieu Debonnaire from Lausanne; Romanian midfielder Ovidiu Herea from Rapid Bucharest; Gambian defender Pa Modou Jagne on a free transfer from St. Gallen and defender Vincent Rufli on a free transfer from Servette. However, a total of 13 players will depart Sion (including ex player coach Gattuso) many of which were regulars for the starting 11 last season. After the demotion and replacement of 8 senior players by members of the U21 side, it is clear to see why so many have opted to play elsewhere.
Notable departures include Ex-Rangers striker Kyle Lafferty, who has followed old teammate Gattuso to play for Serie B side Palermo for around €2.4m. Brazilian centre forward Danilo will join Ukrainian side Zorya Lugansk for a fee in the region of €300,000. Players such as Michael Dingsdag and Brazilians Adailton and Aislan, will leave the club as free agents. The club will also miss the services of Gelson Fernandez, who has since signed for Bundesliga club SC Freiburg.
St. Gallen made an impressive comeback to the Super League after finishing 3rd and will look to build on that success this season. New signing Alhassane Keita (pictured above) will look to plug the gap left by the departure of top scorer Ezequiel Óscar Scarione. Guinean Keita has previous experience in the Super league playing with Zurich. Other signings include defender Daniele Russo on a free transfer from Lugano; Forward Goran Karanovic on a free transfer from Servette; Syrian midfielder Matias Vitkieviez on loan from Young Boys; Macedonian midfielder Muhamed Demiri on a free transfer from Thun and midfielder Roberto Rodriguez on a free transfer from Bellinzona. As well as the departure of 15 goal Ezequiel Óscar Scarione, left back Pa Modou Jagne has joined Sion; centre forward Franck Etoundi joins Zurich and Igor Tadic joins challenge league side Servette.
FC Thun have made 4 signings for this season. Defender Fulvio Sulmoni on loan from Bellinzona; Venezuela forward Josef Martinez on loan from Young Boys; Midfielder Luca Zuffi from Winterthur and defender Lukas Schenkel from Bellinzona. Coach Urs Fischer will hope to build on a solid 5th from last season. Noteworthy exits include Macedonian midfielder Muhammed Demiri who joins St. Gallen and Renato Steffen, who links up with BSC Young Boys.
BSC Young Boys
Young Boys will be bitterly disappointed at their league position last year and will look to strengthen in order to pose a greater challenge this season. Experienced Swiss Centre back Steve von Bergen has signed from Serie B side Palermo in a deal worth around €1m. U19 Japanese striker Yuya Kubo will also play in Bern for the new season. Completing the new arrivals are Serbian midfielder Milan Gajic from Zurich and midfielder Renato Steffen from Thun. 6 players make up the egress departing from the Stade de Suisse. Swedish midfielder Alexander Farnerud will play in the serie A next season with Torino, ‘keeper Roman Burki joins Grasshopper, Alain Nef switches to Zurich and Adriano De Pierro moves to Lausanne.
Zurich have perhaps been the quietest club in the Swiss Super league, barely making ripples in the transfer market this season. 3 players will join up with Zurich for next season; Defender Alain Nef from Young Boys Bern; Israeli midfielder Avi Rikan from Beitar Jerusalem and Cameroonian forward Franck Etoundi on a free transfer from St. Gallen. Although Zurich have not seen many departures, their top scorer Josip Drmic will leave for FC Nuremberg in a deal believed to be around €2.7m. The only other notable departure is Milan Gajic who completed his free transfer to BSC Young Boys.
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