What has been going on in LaLiga this past week? The top stories this week include some good and bad news for Luis Suarez.
Barcelona sacks Ernesto Valverde; appoint Quique Setien
It’s been a tumultuous few weeks at the Nou Camp.
Despite sitting on top of La Liga and advancing to the next round of the Champions League, the club has parted ways with Ernesto Valverde and wasted little time in announcing his appointment – former Real Betis boss Quique Setien.
The club was openly looking to entice legend Xavi Hernandez to take over, though this bid was unsuccessful.
Luis Suárez has knee surgery
The Barcelona striker underwent surgery this weekend to repair the external meniscus in his right knee. The operation was a success, but the Uruguayan now faces four months out, a big blow to his side’s title chances.
Suarez, LaLiga Santander Player of the Month for December
One of the reasons why Luis Suárez’s injury will be such a blow for Barcelona is the fact that he’s been in such top form recently. He picked up the December Player of the Month, scoring three goals and chipping in with another six assists to help Barcelona finish 2019 at the top of the table.
Ramos and Marcelo close in on Gento
Sergio Ramos scored the winning penalty for Real Madrid in this weekend’s Super Spanish Cup final, handing him his 21st trophy with the club. Brazilian full-back Marcelo reached that same milestone, with the two club stalwarts now closing in on Paco Gento’s club record of 23 trophies.
Raul de Tomas signs up for Espanyol’s survival bid
Optimism abounds around the RCDE Stadium this week after Espanyol brought in frontman Raul de Tomas from Benfica as major reinforcement in their battle to avoid relegation. The Catalan side find themselves bottom of the table but with new coach Abelardo picking up a creditable draw against league leaders Barcelona in his first game in charge, RDT’s signing could potentially signal the start of a resurgence. The Spanish striker scored 14 LaLiga Santander goals for Rayo Vallecano last season; if he can produce something similar for Espanyol, they’ll feel confident of staying up.
Markel Bergara says his goodbyes at Getafe
33-year-old Markel Bergara is hanging up his boots due to injury and has already said some of his goodbyes at Getafe. The Basque midfielder has also handed over his number 5 shirt to new signing Oghenekaro Etebo, who has joined club on loan from Stoke City until the end of the season.
Chimy Ávila’s record first half of the season
We now sit at exactly the midway point in the LaLiga Santander season and Osasuna’s Argentine striker Chimy Avila has scored nine goals, more than any other player for the club this century at this stage of the season.
More kick-off times are released
The kick-off times have been released up to Matchday 23 which will take place over the weekend of February 7th, 8th and 9th. The fixture list sees Real Sociedad host Athletic Club in a Basque derby and Real Madrid play away at Osasuna on the Sunday afternoon before Barcelona visit Real Betis on Sunday night.
Sebastián Cristóforo is back in LaLiga
Eibar have signed Sebastián Cristóforo, who arrives on loan from Fiorentina until the end of the season. The Uruguayan midfielder has enjoyed success in LaLiga Santander before, having previously played for Sevilla and Getafe. Eibar will hope he can turn in the kinds of performances that will help the Basque side push on up the table.