JUDI ÁDÁM
2023.02.16 09:13 Frissítve: 2023.02.16 09:27

Hungarian League I: Hungarian teams spent much less money this winter than this time a year ago

Ferencváros, that is preparing for the Europa League round of 16, spent less money in the winter transfer window than last year, while rival Újpest acquired players for free. Mol Fehérvár announced on Tuesday that it had signed Áron Csongvai and Mátyás Katona from the Purple and Whites, weakening its direct rivals in the knockout stage.

Owusu Kwabena (left) joined Fradi from Qarabağ in the winter and scored against Paks – he then got injured in the derby against Újpest (PHOTO: KÁROLY ÁRVAI)

 

Let's see what happened in Székesfehérvár this winter, how the sporting director appointed in October, Roland Juhász, and head coach Szabolcs Huszti signed footballers. Two foreign players (Tobias Christensen from Norway and Deybi Flores of Honduras) seem to be reinforcements in midfield. On Tuesday, the club officially announced what Nemzeti Sport had reported days earlier: they had bought players Áron Csongvai and Mátyás Katona. The Mol Fehérvár squad now has become stronger with the two young Hungarian footballers, and also the two transfers have weakened one of the club’s direct rivals in the fight against relegation. The future of Budu Zivzivadze has also been decided, with the Georgian national team striker leaving for German second-division Karlsruhe.

Áron Csongvai was signed by Mol Fehérvár from Újpest, where he could be one of the pulling forces (PHOTO: MOLFEHERVARFC.HU)


 
In terms of the overall picture, NB I clubs spent significantly less money this winter than a year earlier. Last season, Hungarian top-flight clubs spent €6.2 million on players, but this season, according to Transfermarkt (based on the available data) on Tuesday evening, the figure is less than €3 million. And why is that the case? There are many reasons, and we can't help but start with the non-sport ones: the negative developments in the world, the energy crisis, the war, and inflation are having a major impact on football as well. There is the example of one of the clubs with the greatest history, the 14-time champion Budapest Honvéd, which has been struggling financially, has been fighting relegation for years, and could not strengthen its squad this winter because it had no money. Barna Benczenleitner arrived alone, but he returned to his parent club from ETO FC on loan and did not have to be paid.

(photo)

A PLAYER FROM THE COMORO ISLANDS
In the history of the Hungarian first-division league, 109 nationalities were represented before the start of the transfer period, and there are players from 50 countries in the OPT Bank Liga this season. Most footballers are from Ukraine (14), Serbia (12), Croatia (9) and Bosnia Herzegovina (9). Footballers have arrived in the OTP Bank League from three countries from which they have not previously come yet. Ferencváros has signed 28-year-old Surinamese Myenty Abena from Slovan Bratislava for a reported €400,000. The 28-year-old center-back has been a standout performer in the Slovakian topflight, with a score of 226 on the Instat data analysis system's performance indicator, the InStat index. The index makes him the 13th-best player in the Fortuna Liga's fall season, the most efficient (77%) in duels among those who played at least five matches and the second most efficient (85%) in tackles among those who tried scoring at least ten times. So far, we have not seen much of his playing ability in a Fradi shirt, which is due to the fact that he spent one minute on the pitch against ZTE FC. Mezőkövesd has added a Comorian player to the squad, signing Younn Zahary, who has been without a team since the summer. The 24-year-old center-back has played in twelve French top-flight matches for Caen but has only made 65 appearances in his five seasons in professional football. At first, he doesn't look like a great reinforcement, his performance was shaky against PAFC which we attribute to the lack of playing games, having previously made his appearance on May 13, 2022. Újpest has signed Tim Hall, the first footballer from Luxembourg in the history of the Hungarian National League. This is the tenth foreign club for the 25-year-old midfielder. He has most recently played for Ethnikos of Cyprus, and he had been looking for a team since the summer. He is part of the starting eleven for the Purples and has played during the entire game on several occasions this season. Head coach Miloš Kruščić still continues to have faith in him even after his own goal against Ferencváros. (L. B.)


Going back to the comparison between the last transfer window and this one, Ferencváros has excelled in both. A year ago, the club paid almost five million euros for the playing rights of Marquinhos, Fortune Bassey, Anderson Esiti and Carlos Auzqui, which is 80 percent of the total spending of all Hungarian clubs together. It should be noted that a year ago, the Green and Whites sold Myrto Uzuni to the then-still-in-the-Spanish-topflight Granada, for €4 million. The defending champions have also strengthened their squad, although not to the same extent as last season. Myenty Abena arrived from Slovan for 400,000 euros, Owusu Kwabena from Qarabağ for 300,000 euros and Nikolai Baden Frederiksen was loaned from Vitesse. On the revenue side, the €2.6 million that flowed in from Union Berlin for Aissa Laidouni's playing rights looks good. This means that while last year Ferencváros's transfer spending accounted for 80 percent of its total NB I field, this year it is less than 30 percent. Fortune Bassey, who was on loan at Viktoria Plzen last season, has returned to the Hungarian capital.



But the footballer with the highest estimated market value is not among FTC’s new arrivals. According to Transfermarkt, Jonathan Levi with one cap for Sweden and Nikolai Baden Frederiksen are the frontrunners at €2.5 million: the technical and quick winger arrived at the Puskás Akadémia for €600,000 from Norrköping, while the Danish striker was acquired by Ferencváros. Third in line in terms of market price is Kisvárda's new center-back Aleksandar Jovičić (€1.3 million). If we look at the market value of last winter's new arrivals, the top three are all Ferencváros players: Marquinhos (€3.8 million), Carlos Auzqui (€3.5 million) and Anderson Esiti (€2 million) is the order.

NO SHORTAGE OF NATIONAL TEAM PLAYERS
When a club in the topflight decides to sign a foreign player, it is often in favor of a national team player. In the winter transfer window, eleven footballers who have played at least once in their national team's jersey arrived in the country: Myenty Abena (Suriname, 8 caps) for Ferencváros, Aleksandar Jovicic (Bosnia, 2) and Danijel Petkovic (Montenegro, 24) for Kisvárda, Jonathan Levi (Sweden, 1) and Karlo Bartolec (Croatia, 5) for Puskás Akadémia, and Deybi Flores (Honduras, 5) for Mol Fehérvár, 23) for Mol Fehérvár, Tim Hall (Luxembourg, 4) for Újpest, Stefan Loncar (Montenegro, 4) for Debrecen, Steliano Filip (Romania, 7), Thomas Ephestion (Martinique, 2) and Younn Zahary (Comoros, 12) for Mezőkövesd. In contrast, only two Hungarian national team players changed clubs in Hungary this winter: after his contract expired on December 31 at Bp. Honvéd, Dominik Nagy signed for Mezőkövesd, while Péter Baráth went on loan to Fradi from DVSC. Meanwhile, Norbert Balogh also joined Vasas on loan from DAC. Some national team players have said goodbye to Hungary: Tunisian Aissa Laidouni left Ferencváros for Germany's Union Berlin, Georgian Budu Zivzivadze transferred from Mol Fehérvár to Germany's Karlsruhe, and Albanian Kamer Qaka left Mezőkövesd to join Skendija in northern Macedonia. Moreover, Montenegro's Uros Djuranovics moved to Kolubara in Serbia from Kecskemét, Estonia's Märten Kuusk returned to his homeland on loan to Flora Tallinn, while Ivory Coast's Junior Tallo left Újpest on loan and is a free agent.  (L. B.)

In terms of new signings, Mezőkövesd Zsóry stood out from the rest of the clubs. The Borsod team signed ten (!) players. Among them Ilja Beriasvili and Steliano Filip have made the starting line-up, but Younn Zahary and Thomas Ephestion have also been given a chance in the spring season. In addition, Dominik Nagy, a Hungarian national team player with 10 caps, has recovered from injury and could be a significant reinforcement. The question may be how so many new players will find their common ground, but Attila Kuttor's side has made a good start to the new year, with two wins and a draw in three league games, so the big purchases seem to have worked out well.

NS EXPTER: PÉTER PAUNOCH, PLAYER AGENT
I thint that clubs are more deliberate in their transfers than before. Most clubs have only announced one or two new players, such as Vasas, ZTE or Honvéd. Whether this is for financial or professional reasons, I don't know, but it is worth noting that the January market is much smaller than the summer market, so it is more difficult to find a player who can be immediately available, can be acquired for free and who is also a good reinforcement. Apart from some players in the spring-fall league matches, the only players who can be signed for free are those whose contracts have been terminated for some reason, which, let's face it, is not a good reference. I am still saddened to see that Hungarian clubs rarely pay a transfer fee, which is a way of signing quality footballers - clubs prefer to shuffle players around in the summer when there is more choice to choose from. The prestige of the Hungarian league is rising, and its image is improving, but only top performers can still be sold abroad from the OTP Bank Liga.

The replacements of Áron Csongvai and Mátyás Katona are a big question at Újpest, while striker Ognjen Mudrinski, who scored in the derby against Ferencváros, seems to be a good choice. Tim Hall has not convinced the fans so far, the Luxembourg defender arrived as a free agent, as did Peter Ambrose. Former Greek U21 center-back Georgios Antzoulas has arrived from Asters but has not been given many opportunities so far. Of course, the club did not pay any transfer fee for the new arrivals, but the question is whether this squad will be enough to keep the club in the competition.

WINTER TRANSFER MOVEMENT AT BUDAPEST HONVÉD
Arrived: –
On loan: –
Back from loan: Barna Benczenleitner (ETO FC Győr)
Youth players recruited/signed a professional contract: –
Picked out: –
Left: Dominik Nagy (Mezőkövesd, as a free agent), Kristóf Polyák (Kecskeméti TE), Boubacar Traoré (Mali, US Monastir, as a free agent)
For loan: Milán Horváth (BFC Siófok)
Return from loan: –
Could transfer/are interested in them: –

WINTER TRANSFER MOVEMENT AT DEBRECENI VSC
Arrived: Stefan Loncar (Montenegro, Novi Pazar – Serbia), Antonio Mance (Croatia, NK Osijek – Croatia), Hamzat Ojediran (Nigeria, KF Egnatia – Albania), Okan Aydin (Germany-Turkey, Hartberg – Austria)
On loan: –
Back from loan: Szabolcs Sipos (Szeged-Csanád GA)
Youth players recruited/signed a professional contract: –
Picked out: Kevin Varga (Hatayspor – Turkey)
Left: Charleston Silva dos Santos (Brazil, contract terminated, free agent), Hrabina Alex (Nyíregyháza Spartacus, free agent), Karim Lukili (Morocco, Karmiotissa – Cyprus, free agent), Dávid Gróf (Levadiakos – Greece)
For loan: Nimród Baranyai (Mezőkövesd), Balázs Rácz (Szeged-Csanád Grosics Akadémia), Saná Gomes (Guinea-Bissau, PFK Beroe Stara Zagora – Bulgaria), Péter Baráth (Ferencváros), Sámuel Major (Pécsi MFC)
Return from loan: Krisztofer Horváth (Torino – Italy, from there Kecskeméti TE)
Could transfer/are interested in them: –

WINTER TRANSFER MOVEMENT AT FERENCVÁROS
Arrived: Myenty Abena (Suriname, Slovan Bratislava – Slovakia), Owusu Kwabena (Ghana, Qarabağ – Azerbaijan)
On loan: Nikolai Baden Frederiksen (Denmark, Vitesse – Netherlands), Péter Baráth (DVSC), Simone Trimboli (Italy, Sapmdoria – Italy)
Back from loan: Fortune Bassey (Nigeria, Viktoria Plzen – Czech Republic)
Youth players recruited/signed a professional contract: Balázs Manner, Dániel István Radnóti, Zétény Varga
Picked out: –
Left: Dominik Csontos (After loan in Soroksár, Mezőkövesd, then ETO FC Győr), Aissa Laidouni (France-Tunisia, Union Berlin – Germany), Rasmus Thelander (Denmark, Aalborg BK – Denmark, free agent)
For loan: Roko Baturina (Croatia, Racing Santander – Spain, last loan NK Maribor – Slovenia)
Could transfer/are interested in them: Franck Boli (Ivory Coast)

WINTER TRANSFER MOVEMENT AT FEHÉRVÁR FC
Arrived: Tobias Christensen (Norway, Valerenga - Norway), Áron Csongvai (Újpest FC), Deybi Flores (Honduras, Panetolikos - Greece), Mátyás Katona (Újpest FC)
On loan: –
Back from loan: Levente Szabó (Kecskeméti TE)
Youth players recruited/signed a professional contract: –
Picked out: –
Left: Funsho Bamgboye (Nigeria-Hungary, Rapid Bucuresti – Romania), Budu Zivzivadze (Georgia, Karlsruher SC – Germany)
For loan: Bence Kovács (Kazincbarcika)
Return from loan: Bohdan Lednev (Ukraine, Dinamo Kyiv – Ukraine, loan contract expires), Ákos Szendrei (DAC 1904 – Slovákia, then on loan to ETO FC Győr)
Could transfer/are interested in them: Claudiu Bumba (Romania, is in NB III/2), Artem Sabanov (Ukraine, is in NB III/2), Yevhenii Makarenko (Ukraine, Ordabasi – Kazakhstan)
 
WINTER TRANSFER MOVEMENT AT KISVÁRDA
Arrived: Enes Alic (Bosnia Herzegovina, NK Domzale – Slovenia), Aleksandar Jovicic (Bosnia Herzegovina, HNK Gorica – Croatia), Daniel Petkovic (Montenegro, free agent, last time Angers SCO – France), Milos Spasic (Serbia, Radnik Surdulica – Serbia)
On loan: –
Back from loan: –
Youth players recruited/signed a professional contract: Nazar Ponomarenko (Ukraine-Hungary)
Picked out: –
Left: Jasir Asani (Albania-North Macedonia, Gwangju – South Korea), Andrei Peteleu (Romania, CFR – Romania), Slobodan Simovic (Serbia, FK Kolubara – Serbia)
For loan: –
Return from loan: –
Could transfer/are interested in them: –
 
WINTER TRANSFER MOVEMENT AT KECSKEMÉTI TE
Arrived: Milán Májer (Zalaegerszegi TE FC), Tamás Nikitscher (Pécsi MFC), Kristóf Polyák (Bp. Honvéd)
On loan: Krisztofer Horváth (Torino – Italy, last loan Debreceni VSC)
Back from loan: Valentin Hadaró (Pécsi MFC)
Youth players recruited/signed a professional contract: Áber Győri, Szabolcs Major
Picked out: –
Left: Uros Djuranovic (Montenegro, FK Kolubara – Serbia), Milán Sági (Kozármisleny, free agent)
For loan: Pejovic Danilo (Serbia-Hungary, Pécsi MFC)
Return from loan: Levente Szabó (Mol Fehérvár FC)
Could transfer/are interested in them: –  

WINTER TRANSFER MOVEMENT AT MEZŐKÖVESD
Arrived: Ilja Beriasvili (Georgia, FC Telavi – Georgia), Dominik Csontos (Ferencváros, last loan to Soroksár), Thomas Ephestion (Martinique, RWD Molenbeek – Belgium), Steliano Filip (Roman, free agent, last time at Dinamo Bucuresti – Romania), Attila Márkus (Hungary-Norway, Nyíregyháza Spartacus), Dominik Nagy (Bp. Honvéd, free agent), Nikolai Prudnikov (Russia, free agent, last time FK Orenburg – Russia, Younn Zahary (Comore Islands-France, free agent, last time Stade Olympique Choletais – France)
On loan: Nimród Baranyai (Debreceni VSC), Roland Lehoczky (MTK Budapest)
Back from loan: –
Youth players recruited/signed a professional contract: –
Picked out: –
Left: Dominik Csontos (ETO FC Győr), Márk Madarász (Gyirmót FC Győr), Richárd Rabatin (FC Ajka), Remzifaik Selmani (North Macedonia, Partizani – Albania), Dániel Vadnai (MTK Budapest)  
For loan: Dávid Bobál (MTK Budapest)
Return from loan: –
Could transfer/are interested in them: –

WINTER TRANSFER MOVEMENT AT PAKS
Arrived: Attila Haris (Soroksár), Alen Skribek (Puskás Akadémia)  
On loan: József Balázs (MTK Budapest)
Back from loan: –
Youth players recruited/signed a professional contract: –
Picked out: –
Left: –
Return from loan: Gergő Rácz (MTK Budapest)
Return from loan: –
Could transfer/are interested in them: Bálint Szabó (Antalyaspor – Turkey)

WINTER TRANSFER MOVEMENT AT PUSKÁS AKADÉMIA
Arrived: Karlo Bartolec (Croatia, NK Osijek – Croatia), Jonathan Levi (Sweden, IFK Norrköping – Sweden)
On loan: –  
Back from loan: –
Youth players recruited/signed a professional contract: –
Picked out: –
Left: Skribek Alen (Paksi FC), József Urblík (Slovakia, free agent)
For loan: Balázs Bakti (Budafoki MTE), Jevgeniy  Kichun (Ukraine-Hungary, Gyirmót FC Győr), Marcell Major (Nyíregyháza Spartacus)
Return from loan: –
Could transfer/are interested in them: –

WINTER TRANSFER MOVEMENT AT ÚJPEST FC
Arrived: Georgios Antzoulas (Greece, Asteras Tripolis – Greece), Tim Hall (Luxembourg, free agent, last club Ethnikos Ahnas – Cyprus), Ognjen Mudrinski (Serbia, Lamphun Warriors – Thailand, free agent)
On loan: –
Back from loan: Kovács Dominik (Kolorcity Kazincbarcika)
Youth players recruited/signed a professional contract: –
Picked out: Ivan Fiolic (Croatia, NK Osijek – Croatia)
Left: Miroszlav Bjelos (Serbia, FK Mladost Lucani – Serbia, free agent), Áron Csongvai (Mol Fehérvár), Mátyás Katona (Mol Fehérvár), Junior Tallo (Gadji Celi Carmel Junior Tallo, Ivory Coast, contract termination, free agent)
For loan: Dzenan Burekovic (Bosnia Herzegovina, Spartak Subotica – Serbia), Märten Kuusk (Estonia, Tallinna FC Flora – Estonia), Matija Ljujic (Serbia, Sabail Futbol Klubu – Azerbaijan), Radosevic Ognjen (Serbia, Szentlőrinc)
Return from loan: Jack Lahne (Zambia-Sweden, Amiens SC – France, from then IK Start – Norway)
Could transfer/are interested in them: –

WINTER TRANSFER MOVEMENT AT VASAS FC
Arrived: János Hegedűs (Diósgyőri VTK, free agent)
On loan: Norbert Balogh (DAC – Slovakia)
Back from loan: –
Youth players recruited/signed a professional contract: Boldizsár Rab
Picked out: József Urblík (Slovakia, free agent, last time Puskás AFC)
Left: –
For loan: Krisztián Géresi (Szeged-Csanád Grosics Akadémia)
Return from loan: –
Could transfer/are interested in them: –

WINTER TRANSFER MOVEMENT AT ZALAEGERSZEG
Arrived: Bence Balabás (Austria Wien – Austria)
On loan: –
Back from loan: –
Youth players recruited/signed a professional contract: –
Picked out: –
Left: Milén Májer (Kecskeméti TE), Erik Németh (after loan at Szentlőrinci, to Soroksár)
For loan: –
Return from loan: Diego Carioca (Diego Silva Nascimento Santos, Brazil, Kolos Kovalivka – Ukraine)
Could transfer/are interested in them: –

*The players listed are those who have played a competitive match for the first team of the club.

Translated by/fordította: Orosz Vanda

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