Gerry Johnston speaks with Levante fan, @GranotaDean about the season ahead, their transfer targets and more.
Levante returned to La Liga at the first time of asking. How important was it for the club to get straight back into the top division?
Financially, it was very important to return to Primera. The financial assistance given to relegated teams dwindles year after year and the way TV money in the Primera is distributed now, Levante stands to be in a very good position to be close behind Villarreal and Málaga, and considerably well in front of clubs with lower attendance, such as Éibar and Las Palmas.
Juan Muniz done a great job in winning the Segunda last season but do you think he is the man to keep the club up?
When Levante have had stability in coaching, the team has performed. Muñiz has a very calculated and collected management style. I think he is working very well and hope to see him stay on for many more seasons. His personality meshes well with our club, in a way Capparrós or Alcaraz did not.
Levante have brought a few players in so far but the biggest transfer news has been Victor Camarasa leaving. What are your thoughts on him leaving and what do you make of the new arrivals?
Camarasa needed to go. This season was so successful in part because of a healthy locker room environment and great chemistry. Camarasa had made a monumental effort to upset fans and club to force his way out. Losing him is addition by subtraction. As far as new signings, Antonio Luna is the most interesting signing. Initially linked with Sevilla, Levante were able to swoop in and sign him. Coupled with Campaña, there is now a pair of ex-Sevilla players that elevate our squad.
Are there any areas in the squad that you think need to be improved on this summer? Has anyone been linked to fill those positions?
We have added a striker in Alegría. I would still like to see a centre forward who can sit behind Roger and link the attack to midfield. Also, a defensive midfielder is essential even though we have two great players in Lerma and Campaña. Both had injuries last year and a third option is much needed.
If you were allowed to make one realistic signing for the club who would you bring in?
I would love Amath Nadaye, on loan from Atleti. After Tenerife stayed down, it could be a great chance for him and a great piece for our attack.
Is there anyone in the squad that you are concerned might be tempted to move away from Levante?
I don’t get the sense that any major players are pushing for an exit, although previous seasons should be an omen. Come August, someone always tries to force their way out. Jason made some strange comments lately alluding to putting off contract negotiations and loving Depor. So, you just never know!
What are the clubs plans this summer? Do they have any tours or training camps planned?
Offseason plans are mostly a repeat of last year. Many games right at home in the Comunitat Valenciana. In my opinion, playing the types of teams we need to play. Elche and Villarreal will be fun!
Are there any youngsters at the club who you think could make the breakthrough into the first team this season?
Pepelu is our pearl, though a loan is best for him right now. I understand Hércules is interested. Shaq is a personal favourite of mine that I could see breaking into first team action this year. He is only our second player from my native USA, after the great Giuseppe Rossi.
What are Levante’s targets for next season?
I think middle of the table should be our target. Though the official club goal will be avoiding relegation.
Source: La Liga News