A belated preview, part 1: A look into Almería

The 2022-23 LaLiga season is well underway with seven weeks of domestic football having already been played.

Fortunately for us, the international break in October gives us the perfect chance to peek at the three promoted clubs from last season’s Segunda División that replaced Levante, Deportivo Alavés, and Granada.

UD Almería, Real Valladolid, and Girona earned back their place on the Spanish top flight, and they will get to tangle with the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, and other LaLiga heavyweights.

Let us take a look at the Andalusian club in the first of this three-part series.

How did they get here? 

Almería secured promotion with a late equalizer on the final day.

Managed by Rubi, Almería ended their seven-year exile from the top flight in 2022, thanks to a dramatic final day where they, Valladolid, and Eibar were in a three-way battle for those two automatic promotion spots. Despite a 2-2 draw against Leganes, the Rojiblancos took their maiden Segunda title.

It was a dream come true for Almería’s Saudi owner Turki Al-Sheikh, who took over the club three years ago. His aim was to get into LaLiga and stay there.

Key player: Largie Ramazani

Almería are in need of goals right now after Nigeria’s Umar Sadiq bolted for Real Sociedad at the deadline as a response to Alexandre Isak’s move to Newcastle. Before his departure, he already scored twice in his final three appearances for the Rojiblancos, including the winner in their Andalusian tiff against heavyweights Sevilla.

That means the scoring chores fall into the feet of the 21-year-old Belgian, who has found the net twice in the league this season. Ramazani was a perfect partner to Sadiq, as he scored eight goals in their Segunda title-winning campaign.

As a secondary to Ramazani, Almería tapped El Bilal Touré to shore up their attacking line, despite the fact that he was unproductive in his five appearances with Stade de Reims at Ligue 1.

Their season so far

As is the case with every newly promoted club, Almería are finding it hard to keep in step with the big dogs. They only have four points in their first seven matches.

However, this is a long season, so there is still time for the Andalusian outfit to adjust to the top flight.