Jorge Meré ~ Sporting Gijon to 1.FC Köln ~ £6.4m
For a team whose success, or any success they hope to garner, is built around solidity at the back, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the most anticipated signing at the RheinEnergieStadion this summer is Spanish youth international Jorge Meré.
For manager Peter Stöger—a man so reliant on his side being a well-drilled unit, especially in defense—Köln’s solid back line since returning to the Bundesliga has seen the club finish sixth, fourth, and fifth in the league’s goals conceded charts in the past three seasons. Questions will remain if the purchase of Jhon Córdoba from 1.FSV Mainz 05 will be sufficient enough to replace the invaluable Anthony Modeste, but few if any will question the purchase of a Spanish center-back whose burgeoning reputation began creeping across international borders.
Highly valued by the Spanish U19 and U21 sides despite now being twenty years of age, Meré, by the end of last season, already made fifty-six La Liga appearances for his former club. It is undoubtedly a transfer coup by Stöger, with some considering the native of Oviedo to be one of the brightest young players on the continent currently. Given his profile, it is unlikely that he will remain at Köln long, barring his performances. But for the fee paid, a defense featuring Meré, Frederik Sorensen, Jonas Hector, and the highly-touted Lukas Klünter should easily continue Stöger’s Modus operandi.