The Transfer Market

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Firstly, we’d like to issue an apology to our fan following for our state of dormancy, because doing the IB takes its toll, Kim Jong Un will confirm.

Games may come and games may go, but transfers go on forever. That certainly seemed to be the case this window, as one by one, big names transferred in and out of their respective clubs. Many new talents had burst onto the scene, owing largely to the World Cup in Brazil (James and Medel, yes) and many of them found a place in star studded line ups, come the beginning of the season.

So we decided to review the transfers made over the summer window, the big names, the shocking names, the not so big names and the ones who surprised us all.

There are leagues where you have heavy spending and there are leagues where you have smart spending.

Take Bayern Munchen for example. For a total of 26 million pounds, they bought Robert Lewandowski, Mehdi Benatia and Xabi Alonso, while Toni Kroos went the other way to Real Madrid for 25 million pounds, taking their net spending to 1 million pounds.

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Was it really worth it? The answer is, yes. After Bayern’s collapse at the hands of Real Madrid, a defensive shake up was required and Mehdi Benatia is a great signing. He is a natural leader and will bring back the stability they so sorely need. Xabi Alonso replaced the man he would have been partnering at Real Madrid, and has been pivotal for the German giants, and has had a major influence, settling in very well and replacing the man he thought he’d be paired with. 3 Man of The Match Awards in his first 3 appearances, most passes, most distance covered, all at the age of 31 mind you. The former Liverpool star has become a fan favourite already. Heil Xabi.

What about Bayern’s immediate rivals, Borussia Dortmund? They lost Lewy to Bayern and Marco Reus, Mats Hummels were constantly linked with moves aboard. Luckily for them, nothing materialised and they ended up buying Lazio and Italy striker Ciro Immobile, but he is a good enough replacement? After seeing his recent performances, no. However, their marquee signing so to speak was the return of the prodigal son: Shinji Kagawa. After a dismal time with Manchester United, where his quality was not appreciated, he returned for a fee of 12 million euros and he has never seemed happier. Already flourishing in his favourite #10 position, Kagawa coming home is certainly looking like things going back to normal and will look to push them forward

There is one league where some clubs do their business smartly and quietly, some clubs snap up the biggest talents, because they can and some clubs have their transfer ban lifted and then applied again, just after they do their harried business. Welcome to the transfer market of the Liga BBVA.

The Royals of Madrid were again decisive, flamboyant and very direct in their dealings. They were linked with a player and a few days later were unveiling him. Their players were linked with other clubs and were signing with them a few weeks later. James Rodriguez signed after his superb World Cup with Colombia and Toni Kroos also came in from Germany. It seemed like a good window for them until the very end. Xabi Alonso left for Germany and now Kroos would be part of a midfield 3 of Modric-Kroos-Isco which would leave Madrid defensively exposed. Keylor Navas signed for the club and Diego Lopez left, quite the musical chairs, while Iker Casillas kept his place.

Every car needs an efficient engine, Real Madrid sold theirs. Angel Di Maria left for a British record fee of 59 million pounds to Manchester United, because James took his place. Real Madrid were linked with Falcao also, and after letting Alvaro Morata go to Juventus, they were left with only Karim Benzema. So Falcao seemed destined to sign, but he went to Manchester United, so in came the Mexican Javier Hernandez and he seems like an excellent signing.

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The defending champions of the La Liga, Atletico Madrid. They did their business quietly and extremely efficiently. They lost Diego Costa to Chelsea, and bought Mario Mandzukic from Bayern Munich; efficiently played, as they acquired the services of a top quality striker. Felipe Luis is gone to Chelsea, as has Diego Costa. Enter Antoine Griezmann. Atleti have snapped up great talents like Jimenez and Moya, but will they be able to repeat the Herculean feat and retain the La Liga?

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Now, the Catalans. Their transfer story is very very interesting, and when Messi’s team is involved, and FIFA is involved, the media talks and usually controversy follows. This time was no different. Barcelona lost the services of Tata Martino and in came Luis Enrique, an ex player. Funnily enough, they were banned from investing in new players, so everyone thought they would be stuck with their subpar defence. But no, the ban was lifted and Barcelona would be allowed to buy players. In came goalkeeper Andre Marc ter Stegen from Borussia Monchengladbach on a free transfer and Claudio Bravo, who was impressive in the World Cup, 2 more than able replacements for Valdes. They bought Ivan Rakitic and sold Cesc Fabregas, a straight swap, so that’s all good, but in our opinion, Fabregas is better and he’s proving his worth in the Blue of half of London this season. Their biggest signing, and probably the most eye-raising one was the £75m capture of Luis Suarez. Banned until October 26th, he will be watching from the sidelines, but the idea of Messi-Suarez-Neymar is mouthwatering and nail biting. Even Vermaelen and Mathieu joined as defensive cover, but skepticism has still followed, even from us.

The best part about their window? They were banned immediately after spending the bucket load of money. It is almost as if FIFA said, buy your players and then we shall ban you, enjoy.

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Now the big spenders, the members of the Barclays Premier League.

There was a serious overhaul needed after Manchester placed 7th last year. With David Moyes present, it was obviously the red half of Manchester. This year, with the arrival of Van Gaal, former coach of the Dutch National Team, the team’s spirits seemed to be lifted. But after a dismal start, everyone began doubting him too especially since he had spent £155m on Shaw, Herrera, Blind etc. That being said, his dismal performances came before he signed Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao, and since, United have done well and shot up to 4th place.

Angel Di Maria is a terrific signing, as are the others, but van Gaal hasn’t spent where required. He’s made his attack as strong as his defence weak and that is never good, we got proof when United lost to Leicester 5-3.  United lost Vidic, Ferdinand and Evra, and replaced them with Blind, Shaw and Rojo, they have lost leaders and have been unable to replace them.

However, what surprised us most was how van Gaal decided not to invest in defence and play with youth, while at the same time let Welbeck go to Arsenal, and Chicharito to Real Madrid. Baffling.

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The team that did the best business all summer, whose transfer window ended on 19th July: Chelsea Football Club. They bought who they wanted and for bargain prices, notably Diego Costa who is been in sparkling form. 9 goals in 7 games in the league is a brilliant return for a 40 million investment. Secondly, Arsenal’s blue eyed boy, Cesc Fabregas came to the blue side of London after a sorry time at Barcelona and has been the driving force in the midfield, a fair replacement for the departed Frank Lampard. But, Mourinho’s genius lay in the one piece of business that stunned fans and critics alike; the transfer of David Luiz. Paris $aint Germain paid a whooping 50 million in British Sterling for the Brazilian who was laughed at during the World Cup, and given they were under FFP restrictions, spending 50 million is a sin, and it seems to big a risk given the player is David Luiz. Felipe Luis joined from Atleti and Didier Drogba came back for one last fairytale. Chelsea’s £50 million failure also left for AC Milan, good riddance?

Chelsea are now 5 points clear at the top and look well on course to dethroning Manchester City in order to claim the Premiership title.

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Liverpool did a Tottenham this market. They sold their best player to a Spanish team and tried to replace him with 4-5 average players and are now paying the price. Champions League football was received with uproar, as were Lazar Markovic and Divock Origi..who, right? Anyway, Lallana, Lambert were good additions as was Emre Can. They also bought the bad-boy Balotelli, but Liverpool don’t seem to have a bite in their attack and are slipping to many defeats. Ironically enough, Southampton is doing far better than them.

The 4th team of the BPL we shall speak about is of course, Arsenal. They bought David Ospina, but he’s warming benches. They bought Alexis Sanchez and he seems to be doing alright. They brought in Daniel Welbeck from Manchester United after Olivier Giroud got injured and a Cavani deal didn’t materialize. Not bad. Welbeck wasn’t loved, and now he is, but fair play to Wenger, he bought a quality player with lots of potential. Cheap business, but, they still need a central midfielder.

Last, but certainly not the least, Manchester City. They kicked off the window by buying Bacary Sagna for free, and then bought Malaga’s Willy. Lampard came in fron New York City FC for a loan deal while Fernando joined from Porto as did  Mangala for a record £32 million. Stunning buys, but the funniest of them all, they let go of Alvaro Negredo to Valencia, which we found, odd. All said and done, Manchester City seem stronger than last year, but will struggle to overcome Chelsea.

QUOTE OF THE WINDOW – Brendan Rodgers about Manchester United’s absence in Europe: “The best players want to play in the best competition. Any club will suffer the same when they’re not in there. It will hurt you, but they (United) will know that.”


FOOTBALLSTOYOU VERDICTS

Dr. Joe N.H. –

Best Signing – Xabi Alonso

Worst Signing – David Luiz

Worst Sale – Angel Di Maria

Best Sale – Tom Cleverley

Luxury Signing – Falcao

Bargain Signings – Frank Lampard

Value For Money Signings – Diego Costa

Overpaid Signings – Luke Shaw

FootballsToYou Signing – Nicklas Bendtner

Best Goalkeeper Signed – Claudio Bravo

Best Defender Signed – Mehdi Benatia

Best Defensive Midfielder Signed – Cesc Fabregas

Best Attacking Midfielder SIgned – Angel DI Maria

Best Attacker Signed – Diego Costa

Biggest Winners of the Window – Jorge Mendez, Chelsea, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

Biggest Losers of the Window – Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint Germain.

Best Deals – Robert Lewandowski, Fernando, Toni Kroos, Daley Blind, Ivan Rakitic

Aaron Johnson –

Best Signing – Xabi Alonso

Worst Signing – Divock Origi

Worst Sale – Xabi Alonso

Best Sale – David Luiz

Luxury Signing – Falcao and Suarez

Bargain Signings – Frank Lampard, Siem De Jong and Fernando

Value For Money Signing – Shinji Kagawa

Overpaid Signings – Luke Shaw, James Rodriguez and Ander Herrera

FootballsToYou Signing – Nicklas Bendtner

Best Goalkeeper Signed – Claudio Bravo

Best Defender Signed – Mehdi Benatia

Best Defensive Midfielder Signed – Xabi Alonso

Best Attacking Midfielder Signed – Gerard Deulofeu

Best Attacker Signed – Robert Lewandowski

Biggest Winners of the Window – Jorge Mendez, Chelsea and Bayern Munich.

Biggest Losers of the Window – Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint Germain.

Best Deals – Robert Lewandowski, Toni Kroos, Daley Blind and Ivan Rakitic

Chelsea's Diego Costa Xabi-Alonso_3204014 DMaria MBenatia

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