Premier League new team Cardiff City doesn’t seem content with barely remaining afloat in the top flight or returning to the Championship right away. If smashing the rest of the field by eight points at the end of the year wasn’t enough, record-breaking transfers make the Bluebirds a group to watch this year.
On Saturday, they broke their transfer record for the third time this summer by signing defensive midfield bulldog Gary Medel (whose nickname is actually “Pitbull”) from Sevilla. Before that, Malkay Mackay picked up Steven Caulker from Tottenham Hotspur and Andreas Cornelius from FC Copenhagen.
All those pick-ups have shaped Cardiff into a young team with potential to play some attractive soccer. Medel has experience in the Argentine and Spanish leagues, Caulker is very adept with his feet for an English center back and Cornelius’ size should ensure he has no problems in a physical league while he tries to best his 18-goal performance from last season.
Cornelius called the Cardiff experiment “a very exciting project,” which will take some time to take shape under Mackay. After losing out on Étienne Capoue and reportedly pursuing Jefferson Montero and Denis Cheryshev, Mackay’s desires have become clear: he wants to win, and he wants to win well.
Mackay studied under Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers early in his coaching career, when both men were at Watford. Rodgers is another coach whose teams have tried to play a free-flowing game, often with mixed results.
So many teams that make it into the Premier League play negatively all season, players fearing the drop and being right back in the Championship and managers fearing that they’ll get canned if they don’t keep the team up.
It’s refreshing to see a newly promoted team that wants to attack and wants to play attractive soccer — based on its transfers and rumored targets. It will be interesting to see how it plays out once the season kicks off Saturday against West Ham