There may still be some departures, but the transfer window has shut in the Argentina Superliga with players going back to their roots as the theme
Carlos Tevez – Boca Juniors
“I never left,” Carlos Tevez told reporters after returning for a third stint with Boca Juniors from his self-proclaimed ‘vacation’ in China. The worst kept secret in world football was finalised swiftly after Tevez’s release from Shanghai Shenhua was arranged and the 32-year-old now provides further options in Boca’s star-studded squad.
Alan Ruíz – Colón
Colón’s position in the window appeared to be one of consolidation as they kept hold of all their assets but on the final day, El Sabalero announced the spectacular return of Alan Ruíz from Sporting CP. It was the attacking midfielder’s scintillating form in Santa Fe that earned him a move to Portugal in 2016 but after struggling to consistently hold a place down, the 24-year-old is back on loan and eager to impress.
Ricardo Centurión – Racing
Returning players is something of a theme of this window and none are likely to produce more headlines than Ricardo Centurión over the coming months. The hugely talented yet troublesome tearaway was an on-off target for Boca, had a Twitter tantrum with president Daniel Angelici, was heading for Malaga, angered Genoa and eventually returned to his boyhood club for a club record fee of $4 million.
Silvio Romero – Independiente
After the sales of Nicolás Tagliafico and Ezequiel Barco, Independiente left supporters sweating over their pursuit of reinforcements but on the final day El Rojo appear to match their local rivals and secured a record signing in Silvio Romero. The former Lanús striker arrives from Club América and has everything agreed to hopefully add another goal threat to Ariel Holan’s side.
Alexander Barboza – Defensa y Justicia
While it’s fair to say that River Plate have never seen the best of Alexander Barboza, Defensa y Justicia certainly have and so the news that the big, powerful central defender is heading back to Florencio Varela on loan is a huge boost for El Halcón. The 22-year-old was outstanding during his first spell and after failing to impress Marcelo Gallardo back at the Monumental will form the cornerstone of Defensa y Justicia’s back line once more.
Lucas Pratto – River Plate
While Barboza was one of those heading out, River supporters were far more concerned with who was coming in after a disappointing 2017. Goalkeeper Franco Armani is hopefully the safe hands needed since Marcelo Barovero’s departure, Colombian Juan Fernando Quintero could be a revelation and Bruno Zuculini strengthens in midfield but the signing of Lucas Pratto for $11 million made a real statement. No transfer comes with a guarantee but Pratto’s experience, power and finishing ability make him a surer bet than almost any other striker on the continent.
Valentín Viola – San Lorenzo
San Lorenzo looked to be just concentrating on keeping their squad intact but the late movement of Ezequiel Cerutti to Ramón Díaz’s Al-Hilal for $7 million saw Los Cuervos bring in former Racing Club forward Valentín Viola. The 26-year-old has been bouncing around clubs since leaving the Cilindro in 2012 but is still young and has plenty to prove back in the Superliga.
Lucas Barrios – Argentinos Juniors
Cash-strapped Argentinos Juniors weren’t expected to make many headlines in the transfer market but the unexpected return of Paraguayan international Lucas Barrios certainly did that. The 33-year-old had just helped Grêmio lift the Copa Libertadores but amid interest from all over the Americas, Barrios went home.
Néstor Ortigoza – Rosario Central
While Barrios hasn’t played in Argentina for many years, another Paraguayan international Néstor Ortigoza made a swift return. The rotund, midfield general only left San Lorenzo six-months-ago but a brief spell at Olimpia didn’t work out and with no room back with El Ciclón, Ortigoza has reemerged at Rosario Central.
Mauro Zárate – Vélez Sarsfield
The last but by no means the least triumphant return was reserved for Mauro Zárate, who signed up for a third spell at Vélez Sarsfield to the joy of more than a thousand supporters who welcomed his arrival at the airport.
Watford caused some confusion by not confirming the loan deal prior to Vélez official presenting the striker but the 30-year-old is back and looking to add to his hero status at the club. Despite remaining in relegation trouble, Gabriel Heinze now has a talented squad at his disposal to climb away from danger.