With eight players coming in and seven going out, Malaga sporting director Mario Husillos estimates that the club had been negotiating “a deal every 48 hours” during the January transfer window.
The Argentinian offered his reflections on a busy winter at a press conference at La Rosaleda last Friday where he accepted the responsibility for “all of the signings made”.
He added: “Of course some of the players are known to the coaches. Míchel worked with Alberto Bueno and he [José González] chose Isaac Success and Brown Ideye, but both were on our shortlist already.
“We knew where we needed to strengthen so at the end of the day, the change in coach didn't alter our recruitment plans.”
Husillos admitted that “all sporting directors think about change when they arrive at a club”, but denied that what was happening at Malaga could be described as a “revolution”.
“I still think that the base I inherited is good enough. Those who have arrived will help them.
Problems attracting players
Husillos acknowledged that with the club sitting bottom of the table, and a very modest budget of just 1.6 million euros, attracting players was a difficult task: “The idea was to take a step forward and be in a stronger position than we were before January. Only results will show us whether our squad is any better now.”
Asked about the link to former players Jérémy Toulalan and Sandro Ramírez, Husillos said: “I spoke to him [Toulalan] and the answer was 'no'. I spoke to Sandro an endless number of times but his club wouldn't let him leave so it was almost impossible.”
Despite these setbacks, the sporting director believes that the club have pulled off something of a coup by signing up Maxime Lestienne, 25: “Just looking at his age, the teams he's played for and the money that's been spent on him, it's obvious that there's talent in there. We hope to be able to give him an opportunity and some stability so that his development can continue.”
Despite the majority of the new recruits finding first-team football hard to come by, “all of them had been training with their teams,” Husillos insists. “I wasn't at their medicals but I know that they are in shape.
“Some will play more than others and that is normal. What we want overall is for the level of quality in the group to be raised.”
“We have hope and we've made a big effort [in the window] because we believe we can get out [of relegation trouble]. A lot of people believe in us so we have to fight to the death,” he concluded.