The Merry-go-round 1
Right, regular updates. Going straight in with an idea I had seconds after publishing my plea for help.
Every week, let’s make it early evening time on a Friday or Saturday I’ll have a run through a few of the transfers going around the English Premier League in the previous seven days, some that have been wrapped up, some at the accepted offers stage and some interesting rumours going around. Maybe even a personal transfer wish that probably will never make it to reality, but will make my posts a bit different from all the others.
Getting right into it:
Gonzalo Higuain; Real Madrid – Arsenal. £22m
Another centre forward supposedly coming to Arsenal.
Looks like Arsene is doing the right thing in trying to bring in big money names, but it seems as though they have enough through the middle.
Lukas Podolski is a centre forward and should be given a chance next season there. Olivier Giroud scored a lot of goals for his limited game time, and Theo Walcott seems to mope and twine when he doesn’t get to be a striker.
Higuain is a quality player and may well get 25-30 goals a season if he plays regularly, but the strikers already at the club will be concerned about their own future if he signs.
Arsenal don’t have many worries up top or on the wings, perhaps a solid defensive midfielder a la Vieira required. Much strengthening needed at the back though.
Pepe Reina or Rafael Varane would be better targets for Arsenal in my opinion.
Thiago Alcantara; Barcelona – Man Utd. $18m
Agents are meeting, United have allegedly met Thiago’s buy-out clause, a deal is close to being done, and Thiago might be announced as a Manchester United player by the time this post goes live.
I’m not sure if he is the answer to United’s central midfield needs, but he’s skilful and has played for the best club team in the world. Plus, he’s only 22, so could be a good bet to give that area of the pitch some creativity that was lacking last season.
Barca failed to fulfil the requirements that would raise his buy-out clause to $90m, so $18m could be a bargain for an obviously talented player.
I still think putting Kagawa in a more central role would cure the need to hunt out a quality playmaker, but having a Barca graduate couldn’t hurt.
David de Gea wrote a little ‘Welcome to Manchester’ message on the midfielder’s matchball after his hattrick in the European U21s, so the deal might have been close for a while now.
Fernandinho; Shakhtar Donetsk – Man City. £30m DONE DEAL
Quick mention of City’s first mark of intent for the coming season, signing Fernandinho for a massive amount of money.
First thought, a man who has only played in the Brazilian and Ukrainian leagues, is not a proven talent at European or international level and is not exactly young at 28 is not worth anywhere near £30m.
He’s only played five times for Brazil, and seems to have garnered a lot of hype. Obviously City think so or they wouldn’t have parted with so much money.
Can’t see him clawing too many points back for City this season. Jesus Navas looks like the better piece of business, and one of the better signings so far this summer. City starting this window with a lot more conviction than last year.
Ever Banega; Valencia – Southampton. £7.6m
What a buy this would be for Saints. Champions League experience and 17 Argentina caps at 24.
I like Banega, he has pace, strength and is a great runner on the ball. The biggest worry with him is with injuries. He missed the entire 2011-12 season through injuries, including running himself over with his own car.
He also failed to integrate into the Atletico Madrid side he joined on loan in 2008, so attitude could be a problem. He did alright at Valencia though with 118 appearances in three full seasons. Eight goals in that time is a pretty poor return for a number ten, but he is the driving force in the midfield and focusing on goals per game isn’t very fair.
Overall this looks like a decent price for a very handy player, Southampton fans should be thrilled if they snap him up. The Saints are reported to have made a bid of £7.6m.
The Wishlist! Axel Witsel; Zenit to Man Utd
My first piece of wishful thinking involves my team Manchester United, they won’t all be geared towards United though, don’t worry.
Axel Witsel is another player from Belgium’s golden generation, and I think he could become the next Mauro Fellaini in the Prem. He already has the build, the afro and the Belgian.
He is only 24, a big unit at 6′ 1″, versatile across the midfield and could be used as a target man if Moyes sees it in him. I would go for him over Fellaini, but with Fellaini having obvious ties with Moyes, this could be unlikely.
Also with the earlier assumption that the Thiago deal is close, United may look to strengthen other areas. Fingers crossed here though, we have been reportedly interested in him for a while, though that can be said for just about any up and coming or established talent in football.
Plus, Axel is such a cool name.
Have a nice day, bang bang! – Cactus Jack