El Centrocampista

A hive of activity in Andalucía as Granada ring in the changes

Having survived their first season back in the top-flight, it was always likely Granada CF would look to reinforce their ranks this summer, however few could have predicted what the club have experienced during the past week or so.

First up came the confirmation of a couple of loans from Udinese. Romanian forward Gabriel Torje was the first to be announced, shortly followed by Italian striker Antonio Floro Flores. Last week, they were presented in front of over a thousand fans in the amphitheatre of the Palacio del Congresso near the centre of Granada.

On Monday, it was the turn of new goalkeeper Toño to be introduced to the media. Captured on a free transfer after his contract had expired at Racing Club de Santander, Toño could prove to be a shrewd move by Granada who expect him to compete with Roberto for a place in the first eleven.

On Tuesday, the club presented two further players and both again shrewd free transfer signings. The first, Colombian full-back Brayan Angulo who reached the Segunda B play-offs with Atlético Baleares last season. Angulo has previously played for Deportivo de la Coruña and Rayo Vallecano, but was unfortunately beset by injuries. With fitness doubts apparently behind him, Angulo looks set for another bite at the big-time.

The second was Juanma Ortiz, who spent last season at Almeria on loan from Glasgow Rangers. With the collapse of the Scottish club, his contract was terminated and thus Granada bagged themselves another bargain.

After a chance to catch breath a little, on Thursday Granada CF presented their new kits for the 2012/2013 season. Having broken their ties with Italian firm Legia, the new kits are provided by Spanish firm Luanvi.

The presentation took place at the Alhambra, with a chance to show off the stylish new kits in an iconic location. First impressions of the kit are positive with a design that is modern and a quality that seems far superior than previous suppliers.

On Friday the press conference wasn’t so much about a new player, but a homecoming for Chilean forward Fabien Orellana. Excellent in the Segunda during Granada’s promotion winning campaign, he’d never enjoyed the best of relationships with former manager Fabri.

As Fabri didn’t want to include him in the plans for Granada’s first season back in Primera, he was packed off to Celta Vigo on loan. Nobody can argue with the impact he had at the Galician club though, not least the fans. Celta were keen to make his move permanent, however Granada’s new manager Anquela had already suggested he wanted Orellana in his side.

Next week, there will likely be more press conferences and player presentations to look forward to. Another shrewd signing on a free transfer, former Real Betis captain Iriney, has yet to be officially presented. Meanwhile, with just the formalities of a deal to complete, Moroccan international striker Youssef El-Arabi may also be officially presented.

Meanwhile for Granada CF, already the most active club so far in this transfer window,  there may still be a few more new arrivals yet to come. The squad is shaping up very nicely, but even though the common theme at recent press conferences has been “permanence first”, few people can be under any illusions that the Andaluz club  have higher ambitions this season.

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