Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Fourth Incorporation: Santiago Salcedo

Simeone demanded his arrival, River accepted his request. After a hard fought battle to bring in Santiago Salcedo, "los Millonarios" were finally able to acquire the Paraguayan forward from Newell's Old Boys.

The 26-year old has shown his talent throughout his career, but became River's main target after his successful 2007-2008 season with the "Rosarinos". He continuously scored goals for Newell's and eventually ended as the squad's topscorer. An interesting fact is that he was able to score vs. all five of the "big teams" (River, Boca, Racing, Independiente, and San Lorenzo), most notably twice vs. our arch-rivals. Being the owner of a powerful and precise shot, as well as good heading characteristics, Salcedo seems as the perfect replacement for Sebastian Abreu.

Unfortunately, for now he still isn't "our" player. Yes, he has officially joined River, yet we do not possess his transfer rights: just this last week he was bought by two businessmen for $6,000,000. Those two businessmen then decided to place him in Nuñez, where he will sport "la banda" for the next 18 months in exchange for a $1,000,000 fee. Once the loan ends, an option to purchase Salcedo for $9,000,000 will be presented.

In ways this is both good and bad. It is good in the sense that we won't have to spend a huge sum of money on him and won't be risking too much: A few years ago we spent millions on Jairo Patiño and Gustavo Oberman, though neither of the two were able to adapt to the club and were later left as free agents. The negative to this, though, is that if we do want to purchase him in the future, he will end up costing 50% more ($3 million) than his current value.

Another thing I dislike about this whole transfer is that we are once again dealing with businessmen. Instead of directly negociating with the clubs, Aguilar has had a tendency to bring in business groups and deal with percentages. In the long run this has made River lose lots of money (we barely recieved anything for Gonzalo Higuain's move to Real Madrid, we technically no longer "own" Augusto Fernandez, etc.). In fact, Mateo Mussachio -a huge prospect from our lower divisions- is close to sealing a deal with football giants Real Madrid. The defender is one of our most promising players in the position since Martin Demichelis, and already has six official games in Primera despite only being 17-years old. Unfortunately, he would be leaving in exchange for some "debt" River has with these infamous businessmen, and the club would not be seeing a single penny in return for his services.

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