Sevilla and Quincy Promes: A partnership destined to blossom?
Sevilla completed the signing of Spartak Moscow forward Quincy Promes, for a reported £17 million, on Spain's transfer deadline day. Since arriving three weeks ago, the 26-year-old has made two cameo appearances, but with time, will be expected to justify why other clubs were wrong to pass him up.
Premier League sides Liverpool and Southampton have been among the Dutchman's admirers in the past. More recently, Serie A duo AC Milan and Roma targeted his services. The Rossoneri were unprepared to meet his high wage demands, instead opting for Villarreal's Samu Castillejo. The Giallorossi turned attention toward other targets, too.
Given Promes' importance to Spartak, it's unsurprising they were reluctant to let him leave. However, owner Leonid Fedun revealed the club's financial situation forced the sale after failing to qualify for the Champions League last month.
We had to trade Promes in order to plug the gap in our finances. Being knocked out the Champions League was a considerable blow [for the club], but we picked him up for €11m and sold him for €21m - he had been personally requesting to leave and we had good offers from China and England.
Playing in the Russian Premier League doesn't carry anywhere near the same prestige as some of Europe's top leagues, so it's understandable Promes wanted a new challenge. Having already proven consistent over four seasons in Russia, as well as a previous Eredivisie spell, he must now focus on elevating his game to the next level.
Strengths in the final third
Predominantly a right-sided winger, Promes can operate across the forward line, doing so with ever-increasing efficiency in the final third.
The Amsterdam-born attacker scored 19 goals and created 8 assists in 31 appearances last season during domestic competitions. He netted twice, creating two more, against his new employers in the Champions League group stages. Neither knew it at the time, but his dazzling display there was a snippet of what was to come.
Sevilla boss Pablo Machin, who himself arrived past summer, wanted to add more quality to a Sevilla side which had finished La Liga in a disappointing seventh place. Competing in the UEFA Europa League, they'll naturally be aiming to win it for the third time in six years. Los Nervionenses are in Group J along with Akhisarspor, FC Krasnodar and Standard Liege.
Speaking at August's end about potential signings, Machin said:
Promes and Portu [Girona's Cristian Portugues] are good players and good guys always fit. If they sacrifice themselves for the team, they can fit in my side.
Can Promes perform against better opposition?
Sevilla's pursuit of Portu eventually broke down, as did their move to sign Lyon's Mariano Diaz, who returned to Real Madrid for €20 million. That may prove a blessing in disguise, given Machin already has three strikers: Milan's Andre Silva arrived on a season-long loan, joining Wissam Ben Yedder and Luis Muriel as competition up top.
With all due respect to the aforementioned trio, Promes is an immediate improvement, though he'll likely play on the flanks. That's why now is the perfect time for him to shine among better quality teammates and equally, opposition, in Spain as well as on the continent.
Promes will hope to flourish in a similar way to Goncalo Guedes during his spell at Valencia last season. The Portuguese winger proved pivotal in Champions League qualification efforts, surpassing La Liga expectations along the way. Sevilla's recent addition is certainly capable of emulating him.