Middlesbrough have been one of the busiest clubs in this summer’s transfer market and now manager Aitor Karanka is making changes off the pitch as well as on it.
Boro have signed seven players since they were promoted to the Premier League back in May, including ex-Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes and Uruguayan playmaker Gaston Ramirez.
Deals for Valencia striker Alvaro Negredo and Borussia Dortmund defender Neven Subotic also appear close to completion, yet Karanka has also brought in a new Chief Analyst ahead of the new campaign.
An impressive CV
Juanjo Vila has an impressive CV, having worked previously at Deportivo La Coruna, Valencia, Spartak Moscow, Real Mallorca and Torpedo Moscow, and will replace fellow Spaniard Ivan Perez Munoz in the role.
Vila arrived at Boro’s training ground, Rockliffe Park, last week and has since flown out to Marbella with the team, who are currently on a pre-season training camp in the Spanish city - where they will also play three friendly matches.
Karanka acts quickly to get Vila on board
Vila recently became available after leaving his role as a technical consultant for the Spanish FA.
He has also worked in the Spanish Football Federation’s youth set-up and was part of the backroom staff who oversaw the national side win the European under 21 Championships in Denmark in 2011 and Israel in two years later.
Boro’s new analyst also lectures on video and data analysis in sport, and has previously examined real time in-game analysis of opposition strengths and weaknesses.
Vila’s predecessor Munoz was a former teammate of Karanka at Real Madrid and arrived at Boro in June 2014.
Boro prepare for thier first match in Marbella
Boro play their first game in Marbella tonight when the take on La Liga side Real Betis - who are managed by former Sunderland boss Gus Poyet.
The match could see Valdes and new right back Antonio Barragan make their first appearances for the Teessiders; however captain Grant Leadbitter and defender Daniel Ayala will both miss the game with hernia and ankle injuries respectively.