The European season has arrived. Most of the leagues will be kicking off over the next 2 weekends. Its a good time to preview the upcoming season for our Mexicans in Europe.

  • Tecatito Corona: This is a make or break season for Tecatito. His contract runs through 2020 and he has had an up and down tenure at Porto. He still starts most of their games but rarely plays more than 65 minutes. He will need to improve his offensive output if he wants to keep his spot on the wings for club and country.  He turns 26 during the January Transfer Window and Porto might start to feel out the market for him if they don’t plan on extending his contract. Stat: Minutes, Mins per app, G+A/90 and SOT/90 have all gone down in each of his 3 seasons at Porto (League).
  • Hector Herrera: There is still time for him to move but a contract extension is more likely at this point. He has said he will not force a move and will only leave if Porto want to sell him. Porto’s manager has been high on HH since he got the job last summer. He asked to keep him last season and undoubtedly, did the same this summer. Look for him to be one of the first players on the team sheet every week this upcoming season.  Stat: Nearly doubled his league minutes played from the 16-17 season.
  • Omar Govea: He had a really strong showing last season in the Belgium first division. Osorio even gave him his senior national team debut but Porto do not have him in their plans this season. The Portuguese giants want to loan him out to another first division club to continue his development.  The 22yr old has a contract through 2020. Similar to Tecatito, he needs to show improvement this season for them to extend. Stat: 32 starts and 4 goals last season.
  • Joao Maleck : After appearing in over 40 games for the U19 squad last season and scoring 21 goals, Maleck is moving up to Porto B. His loan was extended another year from Santos. Unless he flops hard this season, I think Porto will buy him from Santos next summer. Stat: Averaged a goal every 147 minutes.
  • Antonio Briseno: It took a while for him to break through and see minutes but he managed to get a foot hold in the rotation. He has followed that up with a strong pre-season that has seen him start most games and even score a couple of goals in recent friendlies. The season for Feirense has started with a play-in game to get into the group stage of the Portuguese cup and Pollo played all 90 minutes in the win. He is still only 24. Stat: 1,354 minutes last season
  • Hirving Lozano: He came, he saw, he conquered. And it appears he will be back for a second season in the Netherlands but with the added bonus of being in the Champions League. Lozano did everything he could last season and at World Cup to show everyone he is for real. Staying another season at PSV isn’t the worst situation since they will be in the Champions League this year. If he continues dominating the league, a big enough offer that PSV cannot refuse will come in. Something to keep in mind, he just turned 23 this summer. To think its too late for him to make the league to a bigger league is foolish. Luis Suarez left Ajax when he was 24 after being there for 3.5 seasons.  Stat: Top 5 in Eredivisie in Rating, Goals, SPG, MoTM Awards, Key Passes, Crosses, and Fouls suffered. (WhoScored rating)
  • Uriel Antuna: Signed and loaned out by Manchester City last summer but arrived at FC Groningen late and missed pre-season. This will be year 2 of the loan and if pre-season is any indication, he will receive much more playing time this season. This purchase by City has the makings of a buy low and sell at a profit type of transfer. Either way, a strong season in the Eredivisie will be sure to draw suitors or at least a loan at a stronger club. Stat: Averaged 1 key pass per 90mins last season but only saw 11 appearances for 438mins in the Eredivisie.
A month before he had back surgery  (Confederations Cup)
  • Marco Fabian: Marquito was riding into last season on a really strong finish to the season before. All signs pointed to a good follow up season but back surgery in August derailed nearly all of last season for him. A new manager awaits Fabian this season but so will more opportunities to play. The Frankfurt midfield suffered a few departures and will look to a healthy Fabian to lead the way. He has returned from his post-World Cup break and started the last few friendlies. Stat: Finished 3rd among Bundesliga midfielders in goals during the 16-17 season and averaged a goal or assist every 187 minutes. 
  • Carlos Salcedo: Completed a full transfer to Eintracht earlier this summer after playing last season on loan from parent club, Chivas. Like I said in the Fabian preview, there is a new manager but Salcedo’s flexibility allows him to fit into either of his preferred formations.  Whether it’s on the right side of a 3 man back line or as a traditional centerback, Salcedo should have no problem seeing the field this season. Stat: 6th among Bundesliga defenders in accurate long balls.
  • Hector Moreno: Last summer, Moreno was being unveiled as Roma’s newest defender. This summer, he was rumored to nearing a move to MLS. Luckily the move fell apart and he will play the upcoming season in La Liga with Real Sociedad. Stat: Has 124 career La Liga starts (116 with Espanyol, 8 with Real Sociedad)
Favorite Principito Assist last season
  • Andres Guardado: Lead Real Betis to a Europa League spot last season before having a “minor” surgery before the World Cup. He met all expectations with his new club and Betis hope he can lead them to a deep Europa League run. He will turn 32 in September and his manager will need to try and spot him to keep him fresh and injury free throughout the season. He is slowly working back into match fitness after his World Cup break. Stat: Finished 9th in assists in La Liga. Has accumulated 26 league assists in last 3 season (2 in Eredivisie, 2 in La Liga)
  • Miguel Layun: This is Layun’s 3rd club since January. The former Club America player left Porto in January on loan to Sevilla but Spanish club did not use their buy option. Fortunately for Layun, Villarreal came through with an offer about $4.6mil and kept him in La Liga. Layun’s versatility should keep him on the field for los submarinos. Villarreal is in the Europa League group stages this year and always take that competition seriously. There will be plenty of opportunities for Layun to see the field.  Stat: Across 6 competitions and 2 clubs, he scored 4 goals in 1,786 minutes last season.
  • Nestor Araujo: Injuries kept him out of the World Cup but did not derail a move to Europe. He has been starting nearly every friendly for Celta Vigo and appears to have won a starting spot. I’m excited to see how he does in Europe and has the added benefit of playing for a coach (Turco Mohamed) who has seen him perform up close in LigaMX.  Stat: Has over 200 starts in Mexico across all competitions
  • Oswaldo Alanis: Signed with Getafe this summer but might already be on his way out? Yup. The club President signed him but the manager says he has enough defenders. Alanis has said he wants to stay in Europe even though Chivas would love to have him back. Turned down 6 Mexican clubs and 1 MLS club to stay in Europe. Will it be the right move? Depends on how often he gets on the field this season. Stat: May or may not be related to Mat Hummels
Right Place, Right Time
  • Chicharito: An injury coupled with a manager change derailed the Little Pea’s season in England. He was starting nearly every game for the Hammers until he suffered a minor injury that kept him out a few weeks but he came back to a new manager. Moyes famously relegated Chicharito to the bench in his only season in charge at United before he got fired and the same story kind of played out here. Chicha’s playing time dried up once Moyes took over and now Moyes has been let go. West Ham’s new manager says he has Chicharito in his plans this season. Time will tell if that is true but with Lanzini out for the whole season, West Ham will need all the attacking help they can get. Hopefully Jack Wilshere will be able to find Chicharito in the final third. Stat: Scored 8 EPL goals in 1,544 minutes
Hoping to see this celebration in England
  • Raul Jimenez: He is finally free of Jona’s shadow in Benfica. He just had to go to England to get away. Raul will be given every chance to prove himself for the newly promoted Wolves. Many are predicting he will start the season as their top striker. He has produced in Benfica but there is a big difference in coming off the bench and scoring goals in Portugal than being a #1 striker for a club in the Premier League. The loan features a buy option that is reported to be around $38mil.  Stat: Averaged a goal or assist every 97 minutes last season for Benfica across all competitions. That number jumped to 1 every 74mins in the league.
World Cup Memo in Belgium
  • Guillermo Ochoa: Had a strong season in Belgium with Standard Liege and is currently fighting for a Champions League group stage spot. However, his future may be in another country before the window closes. Several outlets are reporting his deal with Napoli is sealed and will go through after the home and home with Ajax for the Champions League spot. Assuming he goes to Napoli, he will be the front runner to start and will fill their last non-EU spot. Stat: 3rd highest rated keeper at World Cup, tied for highest number of saves
  • Jorge Enriquez: In a surprising move, ala Pollo Briseno signing with Feirense last summer, Chaton has signed with AC Omonia Nicosia. He has featured heavily in their preseason games and should feature at least in their rotation if not start.  Stat: Chaton hasn’t played over 800 league minutes in a season since the 2013-2014 season with Chivas
  • Diego Reyes: His contract with Porto expired in June and he has been able to sign a pre-contract since January but he still has no job. Rumors have swirled all summer long but still no contract has been signed. Stat: see below

Is there any player you are looking forward to watching on el “viejo continente” ?