Last season we took to life like a fish to Lake Iseo, a very pleasant looking body of water near Brescia. Just before the midpoint of the season we hit the dizzying heights of 7th, before a fall from grace saw us finish in a disappointing, but respectable 11th place. The encouraging signs were that the xG table had us in 7th, which would’ve seen us qualify for European competition. 

Therefore, we’re clearly on the right path and with some clever additions could be in, or very close to, the top 7.

I’m going to write this as it happens, so just like you, I have no idea who we’ll be signing next and who’ll be poached by other teams.

How exciting!

Brescia Calcio Transfer Targets:

Here’s what I feel we need to sufficiently strengthen the squad with our £4.7m budget:

1 – Aerially dominant Central Defender. The data hub showed our three centre backs didn’t cover themselves in glory when it came to aerial ability. Therefore I’m on the look out for a bit of a brute and I’m willing to trade off on-ball ability for pure strength and aggression. 

2 – Creative Defensive Midfielder. On-loan Bastoni was steady for us all season, but he’s not the man to take us to the next level. 

3 – All rounder Right Wingback. Both Jallow and Paz were steady in their sharing of the position. However, I’m sure I can upgrade this position. Whilst certainly not a priority, it’s something I’ll be keeping an eye on. 

4 – Back up Goalkeeper. With Luca Lezzerini’s contract expiring and him wanting first team football, it’s only fair I let him go and bring in a new back up. hopefully someone I can develop as the heir to Herrera

5 – Back up Left Wingback. This will VERY likely be Niccolo Corrado, who was on loan last season. In the interest of due diligence, I’ll see if there’s any better options for less money available. 

Transfer activity as it happens.

Firstly, I need to point out that I’m dealing with a VERY limited scouting range. For the last two seasons I’ve only been able to scout in Italy, due to Board restrictions. At the start of the new transfer window, I’ve been allowed to scout further afield so have sent my scouts out in the hope they can bring back some swift reports which widens my net.

Any players coming in will join 19-year-old Attacker Mario Vilardi (who was released by Napoli). Ball-winning midfielder Alvaro Sanz, on an expiring contract from Mirandes in Spain and Winger Raul Moro who I signed from Lazio for £450k, who I’ll likely send out on loan in the hope he can develop enough for me to convert into a more central role. 

Player IN – Number 1 

The first signing is Niccolo Corrado and should come as no surprise. Corrado spent last season on loan with us from Ternana after a year blighted by injury. Whilst slowly nursing him back to fitness and getting his career back on track he proved to be a solid back up and displayed good creativity and crossing abilities. I activated his £1.5m loan option fee. 

Player IN – Number 2

Why not take care of the next backup role next. Joining us for what could be a bargain £650k is Goalkeeper Alessandro Plizzari. He’ll be a name most of you will no doubt have heard of, and/or signed in recent years as he’s always been full of potential. He joins from Pescara and will hopefully develop well enough to take over from Herrera in a season or two. Comparing the two, you can see he’s not too far off Herrera’s level, so with cup games and some Serie A games versus weaker opposition could give him the development boost needed. 

Plizzari vs Herrera

Player IN – Number 3

Signed Daniel Rugani from Serie B side Genoa. My powerful defender will anchor the centre of my back three for the next couple of seasons!

The 30 year old former Juventus Central Defender, fresh off the back of winning Serie B Player of the Season, had plenty of teams vying for his signature. This meant he wasn’t cheap. However, the deal which could be worth up to £11.5m should prove a sound investment. As you can see, his stats have earned him the badge of being an aggressive defender, which I felt is exactly what we’re needing. His value has already skyrocketed up to the £20m mark so if he has a good season he could be flipped for a handsome profit if the right offer comes in. 

Player OUT  – Number 1

I mentioned I might look to upgrade the Right Wingback position. Well, my hand has been forced to bring someone in as relegated Frosinone have made a loan bid Yeferson Paz. I signed him last pre-season for £2.4m from Sassuolo but his value has declined. If he can have a good season in Serie B I may be able to slot him back in as the starter next year OR get my money back for him.   

Player OUT – Number 2

Ahh, the wonders of the off-season. There’s always twists and turns which we not expected in the slightest. 

In this case, it’s Attacking Midfielder Alex Bermejo. As it’s a player I didn’t want to lose. A £2.5m signing last summer from La Liga 2 team Burgos, he came in and performed impressively, scoring 9 goals and assisting 3 times last season. However, he came to me demanding a new contract which would DOUBLE his weekly wage and see him classed as a Star Player

There’s no way this was going to happen, so I offered him out to other teams and Granada swooped quickly to take him back to Spain. The £5.75m deal means I more than doubled what I paid for him. Good business TC, good business. 

However, I’m now in the predicament of needing to fine replacements in both Defensive Midfield AND now Attacking Midfield. On a very limited scouting range. 

Player OUT – Number 3

This one isn’t a biggie. Thankfully. Back up striker Gabriele Moncini wanted first team football, no one came in with an acceptable offer so I’ve sent him on loan to Serie B side Padova. He did well for me in Serie B so I’m expecting a good season out of him. 

Player OUT – Number 4

Oh blimey.

Another player who I didn’t want to lose, nor did I expect to, has left Brescia for pastures new. 

And what ghastly pastures they are too….!

As far as I was concerned, Andrea Cistana was MR BRESCIA! Having spent his entire career at the club (aside from a loan season in his youth) he’s made 219 appearances in the blue, white and gold of Le Rondinelle. 

However, completely out of the blue (and white, and gold) came a bid from none other than BITTER RIVALS Atalanta!!

Relax, there’s no way a club stalwart and vice-Captain would want to join THEM. Eugh!


His agent was quick to inform me that his client would become unsettled if I didn’t allow him to leave. 

What’s happened to loyalty!?!?!

With his release clause set at £4.6m I was delighted to be able to get a deal worth £5.25m, which could rise to £6.5m, agreed. 

Goodbye Andrea, you’re dead to me now. The Tackle Harder instruction is definitely being applied next time we meet. 

Luckily, I’d been scouting Central Defenders when bringing Rugani in, so I have a shortlist already drawn up and on that list is our ex-player and ex-wonderkid Andrea Papetti who left us for Bayer Leverkusen for £7.75m a year ago but has barely played…. An offer has gone in. 

Player IN – Number 4

Dammit – Papetti, who would’ve been the perfect (and an improved) replacement for Cistana chose to move to Stade de Reims in France rather than return to us. They were one of many clubs who placed a bid for him and were able to offer him £5k per week more than we could.

Therefore, arriving instead is Houboulang Mendes from Almeria in Spain.  

Joining for £2.4m, he’s a perfect “tweener” player – I’m not sure I’d play him as a Central Defender in a back 4, and he doesn’t really have the speed and agility that I’d want from a marauding wingback in this current system… but he’s perfect as a Wide Central Defender. Or so I hope.

As you can see from the comparison below, he’s better on the ball than Cistana, but doesn’t give much drop off defensively. 

Cistana (BOOO!) vs Mendes

Player IN – Number 5

I have to make an admission here… this isn’t a player I’ve extensively scouted, nor do I have an Analyst Report to verify it’s a good move. 

It’s a player I know of and have been impressed by in the real world.

Due to the limited scouting pool, I did some browsing of Ligue 1 teams to see if anyone interesting was available for transfer or loan.

And there sure was!

Following the sacking of Franck Haise, RC Lens bought in new Manager Luka Elsner, who switched to a 4-3-3. This meant there was no room for a technically gifted, creative Central Attacking Midfielder. As such, David Pereira Da Costa only made 6 appearances last season. 

A very cheeky bid was lodged and surprisingly I was able to negotiate a deal worth just £3.2m! 

Unfortunately, he joins one day before our final pre-season friendly, against Novara. I would’ve liked him to spend more time settling into the tactical system if he’s going to play the key role of Advanced Playmaker.

However, he should already be used to a 3-4-3 as he played the same system under Franck Haise.

Speaking of which, say hello to my new Assistant Manager!

Lovely narrative!

There is a statement you may have noticed on the Da Costa signing screenshot which is a valid point: How many midfield orchestrators does  one squad need?

Due to my limited scouting pool, I was finding it tough to bring in anyone suitable. Any targets were either too expensive or wanted too much in wages.

As a result I’m going to move Donny Van de Beek back into the creative Defensive Midfield slot. My coaches are confident he can do well there so we’ll give it a go.

Player IN – Number 6

Talk about cutting it fine. On the day of the first game of the Serie A season, we’ve bought in Almeria right Wingback Marc Pubill. A £4.5m signing for the Spanish team last season, he was sent out on loan to Stade de Reims where he made just 7 appearances. He’ll play second fiddle to Jallow but will get plenty of opportunities throughout the season. There’s a £5 million option to buy as part of the loan. 

You can see that overall, he’s a better player than Jallow. Now it’s up to him to prove it on the pitch. 

Pubill vs Jallow

Player OUT – Number 5 & 6

The first of the final players to leave is youngster Patrick Amoako Nuamah who joins SPAL on loan. I’d planned to keep him around but decided he’d be better off getting regular football.

The final departure is Andrei Motoc, who joins Benevento for the remainder of the season. 

Both players left on Transfer Deadline Day and have been set performance targets of achieving a 7.00 average rating over the course of the season. 

The Season Commences

After a pre-season blighted by injuries I’m not entirely happy and settled heading into the season. Players from the U18 squad were relied on way too much and Vasilis Zagaratis missed all friendlies due to a twisted ankle. 

Our open game, three days after the reserves beat Pro Sesto in the Coppa Italia, came against Salernitana who finished in 9th last season. With Fabbian missing with a fractured arm, this meant Sanz could receive his debut alongside Rugani, Mendes and Pereira Da Costa. Despite the visitors being rampant throughout the second half, we were able to pick up a 2-0 win thanks to goals from Corrado and Rugani.

The Rivalry

The second game of the season is rivals Atalanta, who swooped in to take Cistana away from us as part of their £49m spending spree following Scamacca’s move to Tottenham. They have a new manager too, brining in none other than Robbie Keane after a successful spell in charge of Maccabi Tel Aviv!

We went 0-2 down within 16 minutes due to goals from Zappatta and De Roon, but pulled one back from Besaggio after a nice flick on from Pereira Da Costa and then pulled it level at 2-2 with the Corrado to Rugani combination from a corner working again. Well on top, I thought if anyone was going to win it would be us, however they won a penalty on the 83rd minute which Lookman scored to give them a 2-3 advantage.

We carried the good Atalanta performance into game 3, a home tie with Bologna – victims of a 5-1 thrashing towards the end of last season. Despite Pereira Da Costa and Bisoli going off injured in the first half we pulled off a 4-1 victory thanks to a great return to the first team by Zagaritis, picking up a goal and two assists.

The Final Squad

With very good depth in defence and I’m happy with the defensive midfield, despite the Van de Beek experiment.

The Attacking Midfield could be interesting to watch develop. I feel it’s a downgrade on last season, due to Bermejo leaving and Van de Beek moving positions. I have high hopes for Pereira de Costa and am pinning my hopes on Besaggio continuing his promise from last season and hopefully getting double figures when it comes to goals. Behind them I have Olzer and the youngster Vilardi who I’m hoping can develop well.  

The next update will likely happen at the closure of the January transfer window. Who knows what state the squad will be in. I’ve got quite a few wanting their Serie B level contracts improving and a few clubs are circling around Fabbian and Van de Beek…. 

I’ll see you there!


  • ThrowingCopperFM

    ThrowingCopperFM is known for unraveling complex FM strategies, often using Girona FC as a canvas to illustrate his tactical theories. Whether it's penning down comprehensive guides on mastering promotion in FM or sharing bargain player finds, ThrowingCopperFM's content is a treasure trove for aspiring managers. His active Twitter engagement further demonstrates his enthusiasm for football discussions beyond the virtual realm, making him a well-rounded and appreciated contributor in the FM community.

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