Posted on: 13 August 2010 – 16:50
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It has perhaps not been the most exciting transfer window in recent history, with more speculation than action taking place since it opened on July 1st. However, it is certainly an exciting time in the summer, as many Premier League teams are lacking in certain departments and there are less than three weeks left with which to fill these gaps; for example, Liverpool could be bolstered by new investors in time for a summer splurge; Arsenal are still lacking a lot of depth in their defensive realm, Chelsea and Manchester United could do with an extra quality multi-million pound star each and Manchester City… well, they’re just enjoying playing with their monopoly money. The last week of the transfer window customarily brings with it the tension and pressure for clubs to add players at the last minute, so the transfer fun is by no means over yet. Sport.co.uk meanwhile takes a look at who have been the most impressive players signed so far this summer.
1. David Silva to Manchester City
The talented former -Valencia winger had been coveted by Europe’s richest and most successful clubs for at least two years prior to this summer and in July he opted to sign for Roberto Mancini’s Citizens for a somewhat expensive fee, accompanied by somewhat ridiculous wage demands. But City can afford it, and are not the first club in England to use their financial muscle as an effective bargaining tool; Valencia themselves as a club are buried in debt. Either way, Silva joins a star-studded team, and adds some real genuine attacking options, being able to play majestically out on the wing, in attacking midfield or as a supporting striker.
2. Marouane Chamakh to Arsenal
Price: Free transfer
Chamakh refused to re-sign his contract with his former club Bordeaux in order to fulfill his dream of playing in England, and that dream was sealed even before the transfer window had opened when Arsenal put forward an offer to the Moroccan’s agent. There was small talk of the talented striker moving elsewhere in England, but Arsenal is where he wanted to go and the club to which he is suited best; for his pace and excellent awareness of players around him, combined with a sublime heading and finishing ability are exactly the kind of qualities needed in Arsenal strikers who have to follow in the footsteps of legends like Henry and Bergkamp. It shall be an interesting season for the Moroccan, let us hope that no Eduardo-esque leg-breaking ruins his campaign.
3. Joe Cole to Liverpool
Price: Free transfer
Position: Winger, attacking midfielder
In a somewhat surprise move this summer, Joe Cole decided that enough was enough at the west London club and that it was time to move to one that would play him more regularly than the latest multi-million pound new signing. Although not part of an official swap deal, Yossi Benayoun moved the other way and in essence, Chelsea have replaced a 28 year old English international with a 30 year old Isreali, who is by no means untalented, but most people would generally agree that Liverpool have got the better end of this deal. Joe’s talent is unquestionable, with his general form and medals at Chelsea testament to that fact and if he can stay uninjured and fit, he will add to Hodgson’s Liverpool squad a very useful and much needed set of skills.
4. Ramires to Chelsea
Position: Centre midfielder
One of the few Brazilian stars to emerge from the World Cup squad in any kind of positive light, Ramires is on the cusp of sealing a deal to the world’s richest league and is keen to step into Chelsea’s central midfield with more dominance than predecessor Deco, who never really made much of an impact at the club. Ramires has been dubbed the “new Gerrard” but that remains to be seen, but there will undoubtedly be a bedding in period for this wiry Samba star. Whether he can adapt to the physical nature of the English league is a key issue, but in terms of technical ability, one can see where the resemblances to Gerrard have been drawn from, for he possesses a lethal shot on him and has an eye for a great long pass too.
5. Yaya Toure to Manchester City
Nationality: Ivory Coast
Position: Defensive midfielder
Yaya Toure’s 24 million pound move from Barcelona to Manchester City has seen the Ivorian become the highest paid footballer on the planet, above the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Linking up with his brother Kolo, Citizens boss Roberto Mancini is accumulating an excellent blend of attacking and defensive players to mount a serious challenge for the title this season, and with weeks left in the transfer window, who knows who else could be added to this ever-increasing team. Yaya Toure is a defensive midfielder renowned for coupling great physical power with good technique and has been part of Barcelona’s medal-rich squad since 2007, granting him some hugely valuable experience.
6. Laurent Koscielny to Arsenal
Position: Centre back
Having disposed of the temperamental, yet talented William Gallas this summer, Arsene Wenger approached the start of the transfer window with only one truly skilled centre back, in the form of Belgian Thomas Vermaelen and with only Johann Djorou to back him up and thus Wenger’s first priority this transfer window was to purchase a defender. It is unusual that Wenger pays double figures for any footballer, let alone a defender, however, Laurent Koscielny cost the stingy Frenchman 12 million euros and came highly recommended from FC Laurient with that French connection that Arsene so admires. A tall and dominating centre back, Koscielny has Polish roots too, but has still not decided on which country he would represent should he be called up for international duty for either Poland or France.
7. Dan Gosling to Newcastle
Price: Free transfer
Caps: 2 (U21)
Position: Centre/defensive midfielder/ right back
One of the most peculiar cases this of the summer, the Gosling saga has seen one of Everton’s brightest youth academy products in recent years slip right out of the Liverpool club’s hands into the squad of newly-promoted Newcastle, who were only too keen to snap him up. It was reported initially that Everton had failed to extend the player’s contract due to an administrative error, but Everton have recently stated that the player had “in theory” signed on for the next two seasons with a “handshake agreement” but the player had exploited this legal loophole in order to seal a move away from the Toffees. Either way, Newcastle United fans will be most pleased to have a young and extremely versatile English talent in their squad as they prepare to survive a new Premier League campaign, for Gosling can be played in both central and right midfield and defence.
8. Aleksander Kolarov to Manchester City
Position: Left back
After three seasons of impressive performances at Lazio, Kolarov started to attract the attention of many of Europe’s top clubs, and given Roberto Mancini’s past experience in Serie A, he was one of the first top managers on the scene when Kolarov’s agent stated his client wanted a move to a bigger club. Arriving in Italy to oversee the deal, Mancini had his man one week and £19 million later. The physical, strong left back can also play in left midfield if required and is renowned for his frequent left wing excursions and a venomous shot. With only one medal under his belt (the Italian Cup), Kolarov will be keen to be part of any title ambitions that Mancini has for the 2010/2011 campaign.
9. Nikola Zigic to Birmingham City
Standing at 6ft 7.5 inches, Nikola Zigic has become the tallest player in the English Premier League by half an inch ahead of Peter Crouch, so there will be no doubt as to Alex McLeish’s tactics when starting this Serbian striker upfront. He was seen as the key to Valencia’s revival after a barren La Liga stretch of performances following Rafa Benitez’s exit from the club, but the tall Serb netted only five goals in 28 appearances for Valencia in three seasons marred by injury. However, during a loan spell at Santander prior to his move to Birmingham, he scored 13 goals in 19 appearances. It is up to McLeish to revive this form, especially in a league where physical attributes such as height are key to players’ success.
10. Thomas Hitzlsperger to West Ham United
Price: Free transfer
Position: Left/ central midfielder
Villa fans will know the name and so should any fans of the Premier League who were around in early 2000, for Thomas Hitzlsperger’s first ever senior club was the Villains, where he spent five years and made 99 appearances. Since he left Aston Villa in 2005, he has played at Stuttgart and Lazio, before Avram Grant singled him out as his main signing this summer, and considering Thomas has played more than 50 times for his country, he will bring some much needed experience to a West Ham squad lacking in depth and players of high quality. One thing is certain though- his central midfield partnership with Scott Parker will be a highly productive aspect of West Ham’s formation next season.
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