February 2015 Malmö FF Additions and Subtractions
The Swedish transfer window doesn’t close until March 31, so there could still be tons of changes. In fact, I’m so unimpressed with the additions so far that I’m not doing predictions. Despite my apathetic mood toward the additions, the reality is that the transfer dealings are not that different than the last couple of years. There are two major differences. First, I was excited for Molins and Mehmeti to come back to the club. Second, the money MFF got from selling players this winter has been much higher than in the past.
2015 Additions So Far
By way of comparison to previous transfers, the Eikrem transfer is a bit like the Hammar transfer in 2013, though Hammar did come through the MFF youth system. Eikrem is a name I remember from his Manchester United days, but he never made a first team appearance for United. In fact, he only made 3 in the first part of the season for Cardiff City. Hammar was even more of a no name, having only made 6 appearances for Stockport County – who played in Conference North in 2013.
2013 saw many more youth team players promoted than thus far have been promoted, but often these guys get promoted during the season, so I’m not going to say MFF has lost their way with youth development.
Tobias Sana seems like an impressive signing at first, but then you realize he was playing for Ajax reserves, not Ajax. Of course, if they can flip in like they did Thelin, then it will be good business. Also, Sana may well be a good Allsvenskan player, but Ajax did not qualify for the group stage of the Champions League. Sure, they qualified for the Europa League and MFF did not, but surely their reserve team players are not the route to Europa League qualification.
Yoshimar Yotún has been playing for Peru and while they aren’t great, they did beat Bolivia and Paraguay in World Cup qualification. He even scored in a World Cup qualification match, though by that point it was already certain that Peru was not going to the World Cup.
2015 Subtractions So Far
While the additions are not inspiring, the subtractions are downright depressing.
Ricardinho is leaving it seems. He just became a Swedish citizen in October 2014, so why leave in December 2014? He doesn’t have a club yet, so maybe he can be persuaded. It sounds pretty done though.
At least Halsti joined my local club, DC United. It’s good business for DCU to get him on a free, but surely Malmö should have tried harder to get something.
Again, I am bummed about Simon Thern, especially since it was a free.
It looks like MFF got decent prices for Forsberg and Thelin. I’m not impressed with the Eriksson money though.
Concha (retirement), Malm (no team currently), Nilsson (Malta), and Petter Thelin (Swedish 3rd Division side) don’t warrant more than this mention. Blomqvist, Fadi, and Mohlin were all loaned to Swedish sides.
While it’s typical for MFF to not reinvest all of their money in players, so far this season seems particularly low. Last year they spent ~5.0M SEK on Adu and this year they haven’t spent more than ~1.5M SEK for a player and the money from transfers out is higher than usual. Now, some players might be in for wage increases, but you’d have thought some of those guys are now out the door. This makes me think they have something big in the works.
MFF has a habit of bringing back old players. Daniel Larsson would be a top pick of mine. He’s currently on loan though, so that might be tough. Rantie would be another consideration.
Sebastian Larsson might be tempted by champions league, particularly if Sunderland ends up getting relegated, but considering the amount of time left on his contract, he is probably prohibitively expensive.
MFF also has a history of bringing in players from the Allsvenskan. Ricardo Santos might be a good pickup. Åtvidabergs FF is not a rival, so for the right price they might sell. MFF is losing the 5th highest scorer in the Allsvenskan (2nd leading scorer on the team). They are also losing the two players tied for third in scoring on the team, so they’ve got to find someone up front. Alhassan Kamara might also be an option since Örebro SK is not a rival.
While they will need something up front, Ricardinho and Halsti leave some holes in the back. Of course, Johannson, Hammar, and Helander can all play CB and Johannson can fill in Halsti’s role in the midfield. Yotún looks to be a direct replacement for Ricardinho. Basically, CB and midfield depth are the only real issues outside of scoring.
It’s possible someone could step up from the youth team and that would be enough to retain the Allsvenskan title. If they want another run in the Champions League, they’ll need to bring in reinforcements.