Turning the page on one of Boca Juniors’ most devastating defeats is tough. But one which must take place. After the departure of Guillermo Barros Schelotto to the MLS (LA Galaxy), Boca Juniors has sought after a more conservative head coach with the like of Gustavo Alfaro. Previously at Huracan, Alfaro has managed to flip a relegation side, into a Copa Libertadores side all within a year. Previous spells include a best ever at Arsenal de Sarandi where he managed a Copa Sudamericana, an Argentine Supercup, and the 2012 Clausura tournament. What exactly lies ahead for Boca Juniors in 2019 with newly hired Gustavo Alfaro? Let’s take a look.
Who is Gustavo Alfaro?
Many Boca Juniors supporters will agree that Gustavo Alfaro brings old memories of Julio Cesar Falcioni. Both prioritise a balanced side, who turns defence into attack. Alfaro’s recent sides have shown solid defences and intense midfields who work together to recover the ball. Alfaro prefers his sides to attack on through the wings because it’s always better to lose the ball out wide than in midfield.
Often, Alfaro will use a traditional 4-4-2, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Benedetto play alongside Abila, Zarate, or Tevez. Two solid strikers up top increase the chances of scoring when a cross comes in from either flank. In a 4-4-2 formation, we can expect Cristian Pavon to play as LM or RM similar to how Ignacio Pussetto played before his departure to Udinese. Of course, all of this is speculation because Boca Juniors has just begun preseason and the priority is to get the players in shape to play.
Transfer Market (Exiting Players)
The transfer market is always busy for Boca Juniors. They have received two offers from Cagliari for Nahitan Nandez (€10M & €15M) both rejected. Nandez is currently negotiating with Boca Juniors as he seeks increased wages. Boca Juniors has also received an offer from BVB for promising CB Leonardo Balerdi (€18M). Napoli has also submitted a bid for promising midfielder Agustin Almendra (€15M). Both bids are being analysed as it’s extremely difficult for Boca Juniors to reject either one. The loans for Cristian Espinoza, Carlos Lampe, and Edwin Cardona have also expired.
Transfer Market (Incoming Players)
In terms of incoming players, Boca Juniors have made their first signing. The Paraguayan international, Junior Alonso previously at Celta, has signed a loan deal with Boca after the departure of Lisandro Magallan to Ajax for a sum of $9M. Angel “speedy” Gonzalez of Godoy Cruz will likely become Boca’s 2nd signing. The pacey midfield was recommended by Gustavo Alfaro. Alexis Mac Allister, a playmaker at Argentinos Jrs. Is also rumoured to be on his way to Boca Juniors but the negotiations will be difficult. Argentinos has set Mac Allister’s price at $10M which is unheard of in the local market.
Other players rumoured to arrive at Boca Juniors are Nicolas Gaitan currently at Dalian Yifang (China). Last but not least Giorgian De Arrascaeta (Uruguayan international) currently at Cruzeiro (Brazil).
Boca Juniors has plenty of decisions to make ahead of another run at the Copa Libertadores trophy. Is Gustavo Alfaro the correct choice to lead the way? I believe he was the right choice, but only time will tell.