Argentina Primera Division: End of Season Review Part Three

San Lorenzo’s season was a bit of a rollercoaster. San Lorenzo struggled for goals after the winter period as their top scorer, Martin Cauteruccio, left El Ciclon for Cruz Azul in Mexico. Left back Emmanuel Mas and attacking midfielder Sebastian Blanco also departed in the winter break. Uruguayan coach Diego Aguirre was on the brink of being sacked after a disappointing start to their Copa Libertadores campaign and poor form in the league. However, the club stuck with him. After not winning any of their first three games in the Copa Libertadores, San Lorenzo needed a miracle to go through. And that miracle actually happened as San Lorenzo topped their group, winning all of their last three games. The future looked bright at San Lorenzo and the decision to stick with Diego Aguirre looked like the right one.

However, the season didn’t end on a positive note as the club and the fans hoped as San Lorenzo failed to beat Talleres on the last day. They only won 2 out of their last 5 games prior to that which saw them drop to 7th place. A position that only allows them to play in the Copa Sudamericana next year. However, there still is a chance to play in the Copa Libertadores next season. In order to qualify, San Lorenzo will need to win this year’s edition of the Copa Libertadores.

A side that did qualify for the Copa Libertadores was River Plate. River Plate, as expected, had a good season. Forwards Sebastian Driussi and Lucas Alario netted a total of 29 goals and Gonzalo Martinez was excellent in midfield. River Plate will be disappointed with themselves as they had the chance to overtake Boca Juniors at the end of the season but failed to do so. Finishing in 2nd position behind arch rivals Boca Juniors will be frustrating for the fans but they can look back to a positive season. River Plate are still in the Copa Libertadores as well where they will face Guaraní from Paraguay.

A downside to success for Argentine football clubs is the fact that multiple European clubs will come in for their players. It’s no different at River Plate. Sebastian Driussi has moved to Russian club Zenit ST. Petersburg for 15M. There is also interest in Lucas Alario and Alexander Barboza, who will come back after a successful loan spell at Defensa y Justicia. River Plate are pretty busy with buying players themselves too. Ignacio Scocco (Newell’s), German Lux (Ex-Deportivo La Coruna), Enzo Perez (Valencia) and Javier Pinola ( Rosario Central) are all confirmed signings. It will be interesting to see if River Plate can top the Primera División next year!

Rosario Central struggled this season finishing in 12th position, just outside of the spots that give you a ticket for continental football. The departures of Giovani Lo Celso, Franco Cervi, Marcelo Larrondo and Walter Montoya didn’t help the Canallas either. Signing Teofilo Gutierrez disappointed this season and has already left the club for Junior FC in Colombia for a 4M fee. With the departure of Javier Pinola, Central will have a huge gap to fill at the back as well. An important transfer window coming up, that’s for sure!

We won’t see Sarmiento Junin in the Primera División next season as they finished bottom of the Promedio. They finished in 26th position with 28 points which gave them an average of 0.986 points per game. The lowest amount of all teams.

Temperley were lucky to not go down as they secured safety on the last day of the season with a draw away against Velez Sarzfield. They may have stayed up this year, but they will need to pick up points next year or they could follow Sarmiento Junin next season to the Primera B.

Talleres de Cordoba can look back on a first season as they picked up 42 points this season, finishing exactly in mid-table. Attacking midfielder Emanuel Reynoso was one of their better players. As he’s only 21, he’s one to look out for!

Union and Tigre finished 23rd and 24th respectively. Tigre’s main man this season was 35-year old forward Carlos Luna, who scored on 12 occasions. Both sides sit in 17th and 18 position in the transicion, the average point table. They could be in danger next year, as there will only be 28 teams in the Primera División. One thing is sure, improvement is a must for both of these sides as they will be looking to maintain their spot in the Primera Divisíon next year.

San Martin finished one spot above Union de Santa Fé and two above Tigre. Just like both of these sides, San Martin could be in relegation trouble next year. They currently sit in 20th place in the Promedio with 1.223 points on average.

We end this season’s recap with Velez Sarzfield. Velez finished In 19th position with 37 points. El Fortin are still not a shadow of their past. They have picked up 10 titles and played in the Copa Libertadores numerous of times. However, the future doesn’t look bright. Velez are 21st in the Promedio and could be in some real relegation trouble next season. Marco Pavone was Velez’s best player this season with 13 goals. He scored almost half of Velez’s total goals (42%).

That’s it then, the 2016/2017 edition of the Primera Divisíon is over. Boca are crowned champions but River Plate will be eager next year to win the title. You can look forward to more updates and articles on this beautiful league next season from me, @Winkveron and @tomrobbo89. See you then!

About the Author

Vincent van Raam
South American football enthusiast covering Argentina for @ByFarBlog.