Fans of Samut Prakan City were greeted to devastating news earlier this week, as they learned that club captain Peeradol Chamratsamee and vice-captain Jakkaphan Praisuwan were leaving to join league giants Buriram United and BG Pathum United respectively.
Peeradol has been the beating heart of the side since he joined them (back when they were Pattaya United), first on loan from Muangthong in 2015 and permanently two years later. The midfielder is a stylish playmaker who links up his team and is capable of playing the killer pass to break down any defence. His importance to the Sea Fang was highlighted during an injury absence in 2019, where the side’s points per game dropped from 1.76 with him in the squad to 0.66 without him – the difference between competing for a top four spot and fighting relegation. He is arguably Buriram’s biggest local signing in recent memory, and his playmaking prowess will likely make a major difference to the side who in the hunt for their first Thai League title since 2018.
Meanwhile, center-back Jakkaphan’s profile has risen significantly over the past two seasons due to his excellent performances with Samut Prakan City. He is similarly known for his incredible passing range and willingness to carry the ball out from the back, which has been utilised to devastating affect by his coaches on many occasions. His ability to pick out the right pass from defence caught the attention of new BG Pathum head coach Aurelio Vidmar, who is looking to mould his side into a more expansive, possession-based outfit for the upcoming season.
The two are also likely to be joined in the exit hall by striker Teeraphol Yoryoei, who has also been linked with a move to Buriram.
Worryingly for Samut Prakan, the side only recouped 5 million Baht for Jakkaphan and 10 million for Peeradol – for the latter, that fee only makes up a third of what they paid for him back in 2017. The pair would have been able to leave for free by the December transfer window due to the impending expiration of their contracts, forcing the club to sell them on cut prices after failing to agree new deals with them.
Samut Prakan now face a major rebuild, as Jakkaphan and Peeradol made up the core of their squad, both spiritually and tactically. In terms or new arrivals, the side have already signed winger Chaiyawat Buran from Chiangrai United and left-back Kittipong Sansanit from Muangthong this transfer window. They also refreshed their foreign quota, adding Japanese winger Daisuke Sakai from Oita Trinita and Brazilian target-man Eliandro, who spent the latter half of last season at Chonburi.
How the side respond to this latest development remains to be seen. Without the budget to recruit top talent in the transfer market, the side will likely depend on shrewd scouting and youth development in hopes of replicating their impressive 6th place finish last season.