Steven N'Zonzi to Sevilla: Capture of Stoke City player proves Sevilla can rival Atletico Madrid for transfer nous

Having lost key players, the Spanish club are going about filling the gaps

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The Independent Football

Sevilla’s signing of Steven N’Zonzi from Stoke City for £7m shows again what has been clear for a while: that they are almost as good as Atletico Madrid at recruiting and refreshing their squad while maintaining their same distinctive, successful style of play.

Both Sevilla and Atletico suffer from being a Spanish side outside the ‘big two’, and yet they have both played the transfer market with imagination, buying and selling well while keeping the team stable.

This was always going to be a crucial summer for Sevilla, who have qualified for next year’s Champions League having retained their Europa League title in May. They have, as ever, lost players to bigger rivals: Carlos Bacca has gone to Milan, Aleix Vidal to Barcelona while Grzegorz Krychowiak could come to the Premier League.

No worry. Sevilla have tied up Yevhen Konoplyanka on a free transfer from Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, ahead of interest from Galatasaray and Porto. Today they have added N’Zonzi.  There will be a replacement for Bacca yet to come. The football food-chain is unforgiving, but some teams, like Sevilla, manage to subvert it.