This summer we have seen unprecedented levels of spending, however like all good- and somewhat crazy- things the transfer window has come to end.
Now that silly season is over it is time to analyse the last few months in Football transfers and hand out awards to those transfer miracle workers and to those who need a miracle after their poor showing. Be prepared to see the good, the bad, and the down right ugly.
We start with The ‘Pinto Da Costa’ award
This trophy is handed to the team that has proven, in the midst of much chaos, to be most transfer savvy. This year’s award goes to…
Two words; transfer perfection. The Bianconerri have laid the blueprint for how every major club should conduct business during the summer window. Director of Football, Giuseppe Marotta seemingly took a page out of Bayerns’ book this window and managed to strengthen the Turin clubs squad whilst simultaneously weakening their Serie A title rivals.
Two notable examples of this particular strategy took place when the club secured the signings of Miralem Pjani? and Gonzalo Higuain from Roma and Napoli respectively. The arrival of last year’s Capocannoniere in particular caused quite a stir. Not only was the direction of strikers move controversial due to apparent treachery but the final fee also caused much hoopla. Admittedly 76m is a hell of a lot of money but the Argentinian has proven to be a prolific goal scorer wherever he has been and has shown on more than one occasion that he is capable of netting 20 plus goals a season.
On another positive note la vecchia signora were able to get rid of much of the dead wood that had been gathering at the club (see overview). The most high profile departure was of course Paul Pogba. The Frenchman may have been a vital cog in a team that has secured five straight league titles but Juventus’ transfer pragmatism meant the midfielder’s departure to Old Trafford did not feel like much of a loss. Elsewhere Real Madrid exercised the £25million buyback clause to bring Alvaro Morata back to the Bernabeu for a second stint.
In: Gonzalo Higuaín (S.S.C Napoli); Miralem Pjani? (AS Roma); Marko Pjaca (Dinamo Zagreb); Medhi Benatia (Bayern Munich); Dani Alves (Barcelona)
Out: Paul Pogba (Manchester United); Alvaro Morata (Real Madrid); Simone Zaza (West Ham United); Roberto Pereyra (Watford Fc); Mauricio Isla (Cagliari Calcio)
The ‘Julien Faubert to Real Madrid’ award
Our next award, as you may have guessed by its title, is given to the team that has conducted the worst transfer activity this summer. There were many candidates but there was one team that reigned supreme. This year’s award goes to…
We all know that the Wearsiders have a penchant for signing Manchester United rejects. However the Black cats took that long and heralded tradition one step further this summer by appointing former Red Devils Manager, David Moyes. The Scot took the job after Sam Allardyce decided to up sticks and take the England managers job. Since his appointment Moyes has unsurprisingly stuck to the ‘if they are not good enough for Man Utd, they are good enough for us’ motto that has brought so much success to Sunderland in the past. In have come defenders Paddy McNair and Donald Love as well as attacking midfielder Adnan Januzaj.
The Black Cats have not fared much better in the outgoings department. Not only have they let experienced centre back Younes Kaboul join relegation rivals (Moyes’ words not mine) Watford, they have also allowed Emanuele Giaccherini leave for Napoli for a measly €2m. When you consider the absurd amounts being paid in this window, coupled with the Italians spectacular performance at Euro 2016, you cannot help but feel that Sunderland may have misjudged that one big time.
In: Papy Djilobodji (Chelsea Fc); Patrick McNair (Manchester United); Donald Love (Manchester United); Steven Piennar (Everton Fc), Javier Manquillo (Atlêtico Madrid); Adnan Januzaj (Manchester United); Didier Ndong (Lorient); Jason Denayer (Manchester City)
Out: Younès Kaboul (Watford Fc); Emanuele Giaccherini (S.S.C Napoli); Liam Bridcutt (Leeds United); Jermain Lens (Fenerbache S.K)
The ‘Iceland 2 for a £1’ award
The recipients of this gong will have demonstrated an appreciation for a transfer bargain. This year’s top three are…
Joël Matip: FC Schalke 04 to Liverpool Fc- Free Transfer
Ok ok Matip may have been technically signed back in January but we will allow it. After it became clear that the Cameroonian would not be extending his contract with Schalke Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool pounced quickly to secure the signing of the Cameroonian. And what a signing! The 6ft 5in giant has already impressed in his few outings in a Liverpool shirt. It is hoped that centre back can solve some of the defensive problems that have plagued the Merseysider’s of late.
Adriano: Barcelona to Besiktas- £500,000
Experienced, versatile and successful. These are the three words that best describe Adriano. Admittedly the Brazilian has spent most of his career- especially at Barcelona- being used as a utility player but you cannot argue with his trophy cabinet. The left back can boast two Champions League medals and countless La Liga titles. If Liverpool struck gold with Matip, they definitely missed a trick not signing the Brazilian. The former Barcelona man would have been the perfect short-term back up for Alberto Moreno. Liverpool’s lose is Besitkas’ gain.
Nani: Fenerbache S.K to Valencia CF- £7.25m
Nani has been enjoying a bit of a career renaissance of late. After a successful loan stint with former club Sporting the Portuguese moved to Turkey to play for Fenerbache. After once again impressing there, the mercurial winger then went on to win a European Cup. Not bad for a supposed has been. In the last few years, and especially this summer, Nani has been displaying the level of performance that at one time made him one of the worlds most sought after player. Lest we forget that Nani can add a Champions League victory and countless Premier League medals to his solitary European Cup win. And just to think that Valenica are getting all that experience for less than half the price it cost Everton to prize Yannik Bolassie away from Crystal Palace. Craziness!
The ’35p curly wurly award’
The penultimate award rewards signings that are marred by inflation. Lets be honest these moves represent everything that is wrong with modern day football. Unsurprisingly there were many to choose from. We could have gone with Paul Pogba’s world record move to Manchester United or even Moussa Sissoko’s deadline day move to Tottenham but instead we went with an even more absurd transfer. This year’s winner is…
John Stones: Everton Fc to Manchester City- £55m
Lets be clear, no one is disputing the boys quality and potential, but 55m, really!?! You would think that for that kind of money Manchester City would be buying the finished package and not an unproven 22-year-old. As of now John Stones has zero career trophies to his name and is yet to be an undisputed starter, at both at club and international level. One can only imagine what Paolo Maldini must be thinking!
The ‘Brexit’ award
The final category; this award is given to the transfer that came out of nowhere to shock us all. This years ‘Brexit’ award goes to transfer that waited until the last possible second to leave us speechless. This year’s winner is…
David Luis: Paris Saint Germain to Chelsea- £34m
It is scarcely believable that a man of Antonio Conte’s discipline and rigour would sanction a move for the PSG defender, but somehow it has happened. Yesterday’s confirmation that the Brazilian has indeed moved back to Stamford Bridge has left everyone in the footballing world shocked. It is barely explainable and for that reason I will not try. We leave you with this nugget; the centre back has throughout his career accumulated £100m in transfer fees. Bonkers!
What do you think of the winners? Do you agree? Has football gone crazy? Leave your comments below.