Independiente sign Medel, and Gorosito chooses an interesting captain…

Gary Medel - soon to be an Independiente player
Gary Medel - soon to be an Independiente player

Independiente have pulled off a bit of a transfer coup by signing promising young Chilean midfielder Gary Medel from Universidad Católica. Medel, aged 21 and looked on for some time as one of the bright young things of the South American game, makes the trek across the Andes with around US$2.5 million going in the other direction. River Plate manager Néstor Gorosito, meanwhile, has announced his new captain, and it’s an interesting choice given some of the player’s words to the fans in 2008…

Independiente manager Miguel Angel Santoro wanted two midfielders in as reinforcements for the Rojo squad, and Medel should prove a pretty tasty addition to a side determined to improve on their showing from the 2008 Torneo Apertura. Medel is the most visible of a crop of exciting young Chilean talents, and scored twice – one a spectacular chilena, appropriately enough – on his debut for the national team last year as they beat Bolivia 2-0 in the World Cup qualifiers.

Independiente have agreed to pay in the region of US$2.5 million for 50% of Medel’s registration, and have secured the Chilean Footballer Of The Year in spite of rival bids from the likes of River, Bayern München, Villarreal and Mexican side Atlas. It should give Medel something to cheer up about, too – he was involved (without serious consequences) in a car crash a couple of weeks ago. Porto midfielder Mario Bolatti is also set to join the Avellaneda side, with final details on his loan contract still to be agreed with the Portuguese champions.

Gorosito’s new captain will be Oscar Ahumada, the man who looked like he was going to be forced out of the club following comments aimed at the fans after the side were eliminated from the Copa Libertadores last year. Ahumada stayed in the end, of course, and now the new boss is giving him his reward for having been one of the side’s few truly consistent performers over the last twelve months.

‘I knew I could do this,’ Ahumada told journalists as the announcement was made. ‘One always wishes to give the best to the group, and receive the same from one’s teammates. I’ve been with the club for many years, and I know what this team needs.’ He might not have made himself too popular with certain sections of the stands during the Clausura last year, but Ahumada will be a vocal leader if nothing else.

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6 thoughts on “Independiente sign Medel, and Gorosito chooses an interesting captain…

  1. I think Ahumada is a great choice. If some fans can’t take it, screw ’em, they were probably the ones throwing corn.

  2. Do the teams in general in the Torneo de Verano put out reserve sides and do they care about winning the games?? is it a pointless tournament?? Will boca put out a strong team against San Lorenzo and vice versa??

  3. Murt…it is a pointless tournament. It always has been and it’ll always will.

    All you get from Torneo de Verano matches are:

    1. Horrible football (due to the teams being in the middle of pre-season trainings and not match-fit).

    2. Nasty injuries (like the one promising Racing youngster Lihué Prichoda sustained against Independiente, breaking a bone in one foot and probably out of the Clausura -or at least a big part of it-).

    3. Violence in the stands. Violent fans are at it because they know it’ll be very very unlikely for their teams to be deducted points and because security controls are not so rigorous.

    All in all…a complete waste of time. A tournament that’s only there because of the money coming from television.

    If only the AFA had the brains to create a Cup competitions say from Mid-January till late February and involve more than the Big5 teams in an official and relevant tournament….

  4. Murt… what Seba said, really. You can get an indicator of a competition’s importance from the amount of attention it gets in terms of match write-ups on here, and you may note that I’m only doing two or three short paragraphs per game for the Torneo de Verano.

    It did give me the chance to see my first clásico (River vs Racing in Mardel two years ago), but other than that I don’t have an awful lot to say about it…

  5. Krupoviesa and Noir are both in the starting lineup tonight for Boca against San Lorenzo. I thought both were gone, Noir to Porto Alegre, and Snoopy, to I forget where. Strange, no ? I’m guessing both are leaving, and both on loans, otherwise they wouldn’t be playing tonight. Or, they aren’t leaving ?

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