Riquelme says “no” to Flamengo, exposes team weaknesses

Zinho in Flamengo’s press conference

We’ve been following Flamengo’s transfer saga in this international transfer window since the month began. Unfortunately for them, it hasn’t been much of a success as they saw Wolfsburg saying “no” to their loan bid to get attacking midfielder Diego, and long-time idol and center-back Juan, previously on Italian side Roma, chose Internacional instead of his childhood club also putting the blame on Flamengo’s board to his decision. And their (sad) story doesn’t end there.

Last Wednesday night, Flamengo received Corinthians at Engenhão for a primetime match. In the stands, Flamengo’s president Patrícia Amorim and football director Zinho were watching the game along with Juan Román Riquelme, who said after Boca Juniors defeat in the Copa Libertadores final this month that he wouldn’t stay at the club. After missing on Diego, Riquelme was Flamengo’s plan B.

But Patrícia and Zinho didn’t count on a poor performance by Flamengo’s lads, where they lost the match 3-0 in a pretty bad manner. And it could’ve been worse if Emerson (who is a declared Flamengo supporter) hadn’t lost the penalty kick he won after a stupid foul by a Flamengo defender.

Yesterday, Zinho went on to the media to announce that Riquelme wouldn’t join the team. According to him, Riquelme said he wouldn’t join Flamengo due to “footballistic matters”, but Zinho claimed instead that the player couldn’t handle the pressure to be the team’s “savior” in a season that looks to be already lost. Reports also said Patrícia Amorim tried to change Riquelme’s mind by offering more than the €200,000 wages offered initially, but it didn’t attract the player.

That leaves Flamengo’s current coach, Joel Santana, in a pretty bad scenario. Poor showings and the perspective of not getting any reinforcements over the season unless he calls youngsters from youth ranks don’t make his case to stay at Flamengo’s helm any easier. Along with that, count on Adriano’s absent at Flamengo’s trainings this week, whereas his agents decided to discontinue his injury recovery at the club due to the bad press his attitude was getting. Also, the team didn’t confirm if they’ll be offering Adriano a contract after his recovery, so that was the best for him.

Flamengo has some options right now, but they’re shorthanded: they could raid the national market and look for reinforcements, even though it’s pretty unlikely they’ll be getting any quality players inside the country that would be willing to move to the team in this high pressure scenario; or look for their youth talent. That could work, as it has been a trend for Fluminense recently and they have some players with great potential like Adryan and Luiz Antônio. But youth also means inconsistency and immaturity, and Flamengo’s environment isn’t the best around for those young players. Relying on them to save the club, unless they’re pretty, pretty good like Neymar, is too much of a risk.

We’ll see the results as the season goes by. As it stands, Flamengo’s scenario isn’t much bright.

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Filed under Flamengo, Transfer rumours, Transfers

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