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Transfer Window- Premier League Review Part 1: Each team’s Best Buy, Best Sale, and position they Still Require

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The summer transfer window has passed after another hectic deadline-day. Premier League clubs can no longer buy or sell contracted players until the transfer window re-opens in January. This is a review of every Premier League club’s best buy, best sale, and the one player or position they still require, in my opinion.

Arsenal:

Best Buy- Santi Cazorla. Around £16.5 million. From Malaga. Malaga are in a difficult situation financially and Arsenal took advantage of this by signing Mr. Cazorla, a technically-gifted midfielder who has settled in rather well at the North London clubs with a few impressive individual displays.

Best Sale- Robin van Persie. Around £24 million. To Man United. Van Persie had one year left remaining on his contract and evidently wanted to leave to win trophies. Man United paid over £24 million for a player in his last year which isn’t exactly great negotiating; Arsenal performed a decent sale of a want-out, last year of contract, striker. Although van Persie was such a key player for the Gunners last year, realistically they had to sell, and they did, and pretty well. Whether they should have sold to another Premier League team is a different question.

Still Require- A forward player. Although they acquired French international Oliver Giroud from French Ligue 1 champions Montpellier, I still think they are lacking in-depth in the front line. Theo Walcott is in the last year of his contract and reportedly may be open to leaving the club but he is a tad inconsistent and massively frustrating for fans on the pitch aswell. Lukas Podolski is a very good addition in my eyes, a left-forward being able to play as a centre-forward aswell is great versatility to have, but let’s say Giroud gets injured. Podolski moves into the striker position but who replaces him on the left? An underwhelming Gervinho? A talented yet inexperienced Oxlade-Chamberlain? I think it’s a problem, but we shall see.

Aston Villa:

Best Buy- Christian Benteke. Around £7 million. From Genk. The belgian striker is a highly rated 21-year-old who plays primarily as a striker and had an impressive goal tally for Genk, scoring almost a goal every game. It will be a big step up for him in the Premier League but he is still young and he adds all-important depth in the forward position should Darren Bent succumb to injury again.

Best Sale- Nathan Delfouneso. On loan (season-long). To Blackpool. Delfouneso is a striker who has came up through the ranks at Aston Villa and is a pacey player who certainly knows where the goal is. Blackpool are a side looking to gain promotion to the Premier League after narrowly missing out last season, and with Matt Phillips and Thomas Ince possibly being sought-after come January, Delfouneso could be heavily relied upon in the second half of the season if one or both of these players depart.

Still Require- A centre-back. With the departure of James Collins, a whole in the defence was left. Although a number of versatile defenders have been brought in, and a trust in youth players is there for all to see, I still believe Villa needed to bring in a top quality, Premier League centre-back.

Chelsea:

Best Buy- Eden Hazard. Around £32 million. From Lille. Hazard was sought-after by most of the biggest and best clubs in Europe for a number of years, touted as the next big thing. Hazard eventually chose to move to the Premier League, and revealed he’s signing for the ‘Champions League winner’, Chelsea. This was a brilliant thing for Chelsea as it showed the power of being the Champions League winners and the capture of a flair player such as Hazard meant they had the perfect foundation to finally start to perform a necessary rebuild of the side and the start of a new era was born.

Best Sale- Didier Drogba. On a free. To Shanghai Shenhua. Resisting the temptation of offering Didier Drogba a lucrative contract to stay at the club because he played a massive part in winning the Champions League was necessary. If Chelsea were to rebuild their side centred around playing attractive yet successful football then the option of Drogba could not be there. If Chelsea kept Drogba it would have meant an easy way out whenever an inevitable difficult period of results started by using Drogba instead of Torres and reverting back to a more ‘grind out a result’ style of play – this easy way out has been used by the likes of Carlo Ancelotti and Villas-Boas, Di Matteo needs to be saved from such a temptation.

Still Require- A central-midfielder. After sending Josh McEachran out on loan to Middlesbrough, they lack a creative distributor in the middle of the park. Frank Lampard is still learning the role in a two-man midfield of this more expansive style, as is John Obi Mikel. Oriol Romeu has been used to the 4-3-3 formation for a long while so he has had to adapt to this new 4-2-3-1 style aswell. Raul Meireles, the fourth option to play in the two-man midfield, is perhaps the most natural playing in the two-man midfield but his match-day quality frequently fails to live up to expectations. Ramires doesn’t have good enough ball-retention nor does he have the technical ability to pull the strings of a game with his passing, so is forced to play left- or right-wing. I just feel Chelsea needed a Moussa Dembele for example, to make sure the ball is given to the likes of Hazard, Mata, Oscar et al – it’s no good having these players in the final third if you can’t get the ball to them frequently enough to cause the opposition problems. However, McEachran is massively rated at Chelsea and the Blues have to be careful not to stunt McEachran’s growth by blocking his route to the first team, something which the signing of Dembele would have most likely done.

Everton:

Best Buy- Steven Pienaar. Around £4.5 million. From Tottenham. Everton sold Pienaar to Tottenham in January 2011 but the South-african couldn’t force his way into the first team under Harry Redknapp. Pienaar returned to Goodison on a six-month loan deal in January 2012, a year after he left them for Spurs. Pienaar seemed to just return to his best in the loan spell and eventually re-signed for Everton in a permanent deal this summer, and I think he’ll be just as vital as he has always been for the Merseyside club.

Best Sale- Jack Rodwell. Around £12 million. To Manchester City. Rodwell had struggled with injuries at Everton even though he was rated very highly by all that knew of him. An assured, technically-sound central midfielder is what Manchester City have bought in Rodwell and he could be a very, very good player if injuries stay away but receiving £12 million for a recently injury-prone player is not bad business at all and freed up funds to buy other targets.

Still Require- A back-up striker. If Jelavic were to succumb to an injury that could keep him out for a couple of months, Everton still seem quite weak in the centre-forward position. Denis Stracqualursi may be capable but I feel they need a bit more depth – Michael Owen on a free, perhaps? Who knows. But I feel they could have strengthened their centre-forward area.

Fulham:

Best Buy- Dimitar Berbatov. Around £5 million. From Manchester United. Berbatov had fallen further and further down the pecking order for some reason at Manchester United but for a team like Fulham, for just 5 million pounds, is an absolute steal. Berbatov’s first touch is enough to mark the rebirth of Gary Neville’s famous score-gasm – a first-touch which is simply sublime. He is an established Premier League goalscorer and with the loss of Pogrebnyak after he finished his loan and chose to move to Reading on a permanent basis this summer, along with Clint Dempsey’s strike which forced a move through to Tottenham Hotspur, means the Premier League experience of Berbatov is invaluable to make sure Fulham keep their goal tally up.

Best Sale- Moussa Dembele. Around £15 million. To Tottenham. Dembele was always going to leave Fulham and he could have went on a free next summer, something Dembele was reportedly content to do as he would liked to have stayed an extra year in order to repay Jol’s glorious impact on his career due to changing his position, which has worked wonders. Dembele is a class act and is a great buy for Spurs, but Fulham will be happy getting the sum of money they have (reportedly the release clause).

Still Require- A central-midfielder. With the departure of Dembele so late in the transfer window, Fulham didn’t have enough time to line-up a suitable replacement. The departure of veteran Danny Murphy could also be felt later on in the season. I feel Fulham are currently lacking a creative central-midfielder, preferably with Premier League experience. For now though, they will have to make do – and there’s always someone better off thaaaan you. Sorry, listening to Stiff Little Fingers.

Liverpool:

Best Buy- Fabio Borini. Around £10 million. From Roma. Fabio Borini is a natural finisher and was a striker who used to be on the brink of the Chelsea first-team a few years ago under Carlo Ancelotti. He made the move to Italy, and to Parma, before having a successful loan at Roma, and then moved back to England to move to Liverpool under Brendan Rodgers; a manager he knew well from being at Chelsea in his earlier days and from when he was at Swansea on loan, a loan spell prior to his move from Chelsea to Parma.

Best Sale- Jay Spearing. On loan (season-long). To Bolton. Jay Spearing has had his position filled by Joe Allen and Nuri Sahin alike and so was down the pecking order. Spearing now has a chance to work under Owen Coyle at Bolton in the Championship, a club he hopes to get regular first-team football at I’m sure.

Still Require- a centre-forward. After the shambolic deadline-day just gone, Liverpool find themselves in a bit of bother in the striker position. Andy Carroll was allowed to leave on loan to West Ham a few days prior to deadline-day, enough time to bring in a replacement or two. However, linked-with options Daniel Sturridge and Clint Dempsey did not make a move to Anfield; Sturridge stayed at Chelsea and Clint Dempsey made the moved to Tottenham instead. Rodgers recently spoke of his regret of loaning out Carroll before bringing in a replacement. Michael Owen has been linked with a return to Anfield now as a rescue option from a nightmare deadline-day; Owen of course allowed to sign for whoever he pleases as a free agent.

Manchester City:

Best Buy- Maicon. Around £4 million. From Inter Milan. Maicon was linked with the likes of Chelsea and PSG earlier in the summer but eventually completed a move to Man City on deadline-day. The Brazilian provides depth in the full-back position and is a perfect option if they are to play with wing-backs, which they have done in pre-season and the start of the Premier League. Although 31 years of age, Maicon still has the power and threat to be a coup for Man City at just £4 million.

Best Sale- Stefan Savic. Player Exchange. To Fiorentina. Savic was vulnerable at centre-back in his time in the Premier League and City will be pleased to see that he has left as part of a player exchange that has seen them bring in Fiorentina’s Matija Nastasic – a player who is rated highly and compared to the Nemanja Vidic – we’ll see if this is a fair comparison in the years to come when this 19-year-old matures and develops.

Still Require- A centre-back. Bringing in Nastasic from Fiorentina is more of a long-term deal than short-term deal, it seems. He will take time to settle in to life in the Premier League, so he may not be relied heavily upon this season by Roberto Mancini. This means Man City are left with these natural centre-backs when discluding Nastasic: Vincent Kompany (the captain, and a great defender), Joleon Lescott (England international, a very good defender) Kolo Toure (experienced, but not of the highest quality) – I think they needed to buy another reliant centre-back in the transfer window, as I fear for City if Kompany sustains a lengthy injury; playing a flat four in defence may not be possible if this happens, which may not be a major problem if they with wing-backs however.

Manchester United:

Best Buy- Robin Van Persie. Around £24 million. From Arsenal. Although I think United severely over-paid for Van Persie, there is no denying he is of the highest quality – as his hat-trick against Southampton in just his second start for Man United shows. Van Persie will take the responsibility of goals off Wayne Rooney’s shoulders which can only be a good thing for United and Rooney himself.

Best Sale- Fabio. On loan (season-long). To QPR. Fabio will probably get the invaluable experience of regular first-team football at QPR if he impresses early-on and this is great for his development. QPR will most likely be fighting against relegation this season and so as a defender he will be tested week in, week out, which will make him learn a lot about that side of his game.

Still Require- A full-back. I still think Man United lack depth in both full-back positions, especially now with the departure of Fabio to QPR on loan. Indeed, United signed left-back Alexander Buttner from Vitesse Arnhem for around £4 million, but is he good enough to come in if Evra gets injured or needs a rest? Maybe. Right-back is the position I think they could have done with adding to. Rafael can be impressive in certain aspects of his game but some can be naive; such as pushing too far forward or trying to go on a bursting run when a simple pass could be just as effective. Phil Jones and Chris Smalling can do a job playing there but one can tell it’s not their natural position, so I feel United would have benefited with a bit more depth at right-back, but there we go.

Newcastle: 

Best Buy- Vurnon Anita. Around £7 million. From Ajax. Anita is what some would describe as a ‘neat little player’. Someone like Jamie Redknapp, I reckon. He may be what some would call ‘Antina’ by mistake as well. Jamie, I’m looking at you again pal. Anita is a ‘neat little player’ in the fact he receives the ball, plays a simple pass, moves into space – football’s quite simple really. Ajax are a club that pride themselves on playing football and Anita has evidently got their philosophy drilled into his game and I feel he will bring something different yet effective to Newcastle United.

Best Sale- Leon Best. Around £3 million. To Blackburn. Best was simply the (don’t worry, I won’t) player that some fans couldn’t understand why he didn’t play more at times. Many clubs have that sort of player; they do pretty well when they come in to play, but for some reason the manager just doesn’t seem to fancy them on a regular basis. Usually it’s something to do with a few injury problems aswell – like Best. Leon Best scored a few goals for Newcastle in a decent run of games in the early months of 2011, getting 6 goals in 10 starts but again an injury scuppered his chances of continuing this form. Best now has the chance to put injuries behind him and succeed in the Championship at Blackburn and Newcastle will be happy about getting a fairly decent fee of around £3 million for him.

Still Require- A centre-back. In my eyes Newcastle still require another established Premier League centre-back to challenge Steven Taylor, new signing Curtis Good and Mike Williamson for a starting place next to Fabricio Coloccini. Coloccini has developed into a great centre-back but Newcastle could do with a high quality centre-back next to him – which I don’t think they currently have.

Norwich:

Best Buy- Michael Turner. Undisclosed fee. From Sunderland. Norwich have been a bit weak in defence in my opinion for the last year. I believed they needed a player or two in defence in the summer transfer window to really tighten up their defence if they were to survive relegation again this season. The bought Michael Turner from Sunderland and I think this could be a Premier League status-saving signing. Turner is a solid centre-back with vital Premier League experience and I think he has good leadership qualities – just how well he performs for Norwich this season I think will determine whether Norwich stay up or not.

Best Sale- James Vaughan. On loan (season-long). To Huddersfield. Vaughan was low down the pecking order at Norwich and moving down to Championship club Huddersfield Town will give him the chance to play regular football and he may have added responsibility now Jordan Rhodes has swapped Huddersfield for Blackburn.

Still Require- a centre-back. Despite the signing of Michael Turner, I still think Norwich needed to bring in another centre-back near Turner’s level of quality. They haven’t. I think this could be costly but we shall see – they certainly have goal threats in Grant Holt and Robert Snodgrass but I think they could leak goals, even though Chris Hughton likes to have his team organised in defence.

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Written by Josh Robinson

September 3, 2012 at 4:58 pm

One Response

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  1. Reblogged this on Chelsea Headache.

    GaryCRobertson

    September 7, 2012 at 10:30 am


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