The line of players leaving Málaga may be getting all the headlines but in the region of Andalusia there are other clubs suffering the same fate. In the city of Sevilla, Real Betis are expected to lose at least four of their key players this summer. With the club heavily in debt, they cannot match the wages offered by some clubs in La Liga or England and the latest two linked with moves away are José Canas and Alejandro Pozuelo.
Since January, José Canas has been rumoured to be joining Swansea. The midfielder has really shined under Pepe Mel and has caught the action of a few clubs. With his contract finishing in a few weeks, some thought that a La Liga side might try and snatch him before a Premier League club could but as with Michu, it seems that no one was interested. Canas plays in a holding role and has been key to the club’s good form and has also helped them to seal a place in next year’s Europa League. In January this year Swansea tried to sign him but Betis refused to play ball and so Michael Laudrup decided to wait. Canas has fallen out of favour with fans and recently launched a stinging attack on those who questioned his loyalty. The club offered him a new deal and even though it was more money than the League Cup champions were offering, he still chose Wales over sunny Sevilla and Swansea will be getting a real bargain but Swansea won’t be stopping there it seems.
Their attention is now turned on to another Real Betis player, Alejandro Pozuelo. The youngster can play as an attacking midfielder or forward. In the youth teams he made people sit up and watch and both Barcelona and Manchester United scouted him. Pepe Mel decided to fast track his career but it hasn’t been as successful as most would have liked. Mel had no money to buy another striker and he had hoped that Pozuelo could fill the void.
There were signs that he would make an impact. Last season against Atlético de Madrid, he started and scored the clubs first goal of the game. With Betis struggling, a win would be a huge boost to their survival hopes and confidence. Yet, less than 20 minutes later he showed why his Coach has been reluctant to play him at times as he lost his temper and was sent off. Although Betis held on and even scored again, some feared that Pozuelo wasn’t someone who could be counted on when the going got tough and so he has been used sparingly since.
With the reserve team he scored 16 goals in one season and that is the form that Swansea will be hoping that he can channel into. So far in two seasons in the top flight he has been disappointing. He has started just 14 La Liga games in two seasons and has scored three times. He has come off the bench 15 times and whilst some say he may be better as an attacking midfielder the stats don’t look good. In two seasons he has provided just two assists. In fact one of the few areas where he does go into double figures is in fouls committed.
Real Betis fans constantly whine that he is wasteful in front of goal and also that he appears to be distracted by off the field activities. A few years ago he was hyped up as the next big thing and it would appear that it might have gone to his head. A move abroad would give him a fresh start and considering that he is still only 21, he could still have a very bright future.