Getafe Season Preview: Will Getafe struggle with European football?  
Jaime Mata of Getafe (Getty Images/Manuel Quelmadelos Alonso)

Getafe Season Preview: Will Getafe struggle with European football?  

European nights back at the Coliseum, but can they cope domestically?

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Campbell Finlayson

The 2018/19 season saw Getafe qualify for the Europa League group stages, their first European qualification since 2010/11, after an impressive fifth place finish in La Liga.

Balancing European football with La Liga could be a challenge for the Madrid side but they’ll feel confident that it is doable in what is sure to be an exciting season at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez.

Transfer Business Overview

The fantastic form of Angel Rodriguez, Jaime Mata and Jorge Molina saw Getafe score plenty of goals last season but that didn’t stop them splashing the cash in attack over the summer with Enric Gallego joining after impressing for relegated Huesca while Scotsman Jack Harper was also snapped up from Malaga, although he has been sent out on loan to Albacete for the season.

Faycal Fajr returns to Spanish football too after a spell in France with Caen while Raul Garcia joins from Girona, Allan Nyom is in at the other side of defence from West Bromwich Albion and Marc Cucurella has joined on loan from Barcelona.

Few players have left the club, with Gaku Shibasaki heading to Deportivo La Coruña and a couple of loans all there is to report.

Manager: José Bordalas

Despite guiding Alaves back to La Liga in 2016, José Bordalas was sacked by the Basque club but that turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Three months later he was appointed manager at Getafe in the Segunda where he got the side promoted at the first time of asking before finishing eighth in their first season back in La Liga.

Last season saw Getafe become a surprise package, playing entertaining football that saw crowds at the Coliseum grow and teams begin to take note at just how good a side Getafe were to watch. Bordalas had imprinted his style onto the team and got them back into Europe. This year will be a real test of his credentials as a manager with Getafe fighting on three fronts, but if he can keep them performing the way they did last season, it will be another joy to watch.

Player to Watch: Jaime Mata

With a front two of Angel and Molina, it would be hard to break into that right away but that’s exactly what Mata did. Getafe’s free-flowing football of last season meant that whoever was upfront was always going to get plenty of goal-scoring opportunities and more often than not, Mata would take them.

A total of 16 goals and six assists in all competitions for Mata last year was more than impressive and he’ll surely aim to beat that tally this season.

One for the Future: Hugo Duro

At 19, Hugo Duro is the youngest player in the Getafe squad but he’s also extremely highly thought of at the Coliseum. Despite the young forward being behind Mata, Molina and Angel in the capital, he still managed to make 11 appearances in La Liga.

With Gallego and Harper when he returns also likely to be ahead of Duro in the pecking order, first-team opportunities will be limited for the next season or so, so a loan spell might be on the cards but he certainly has what it takes to start for Los Azulones and could be one of the first names on the team-sheet a few years down the line.

Predicted Finish

The main challenge for Getafe this season is going to be how they manage the squad given the extra pressures of European football but if they can do that then they certainly have the quality to finish high up the table.

Playing Thursday-Sunday on at least six occasions will have an effect on the squad and a cup run would only add to this, however, Getafe has a big enough squad to cope and would no doubt settle for a top-half finish at the end of the season.

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