Friday, 7 September 2012

The Top Ten Premier League Transfers of Summer 2012

by Ben Willcocks

See also George Kimber-Sweatman's article, The Premier League Begins with a Bang!

Andy Carroll: on loan to West Ham

Since the drama of the final day of the previous Premier League season, the teams have been looking to strengthen their squad in order to improve on last year’s position. The managers were gifted with the opportunity of the Euros and the Olympics, as they could examine the scouted players on an international scale. Here I have listed the top ten transfers based on my opinions.
10) Surprisingly, Manchester City has been very quiet over the break, only signing youngsters such as Scott Sinclair and Jack Rodwell, which was primarily done to improve their squad. However, I believe that the signing of versatile right-back Douglas Maicon will prove to be very effective for the Sky Blues, as he offers strength in defensive positions as well as power and pace further forward. This is certainly a wise move whilst Micah Richards is out injured, as they are very similar in their playing styles. Roberto Mancini will undoubtedly enjoy the healthy competition in the position when Richards returns.
9) Dimitar Berbatov was a sensational striker at his prime. However, since the arrival of Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck’s increasing run of form, he has become out of favour with Sir Alex Ferguson.  Spotting this, Martin Jol knew that Berbatov would happily join Fulham for a fair price, which occurred when the clubs agreed a fee of only £5 million, £25 million less than the transfer that brought him to Old Trafford. Although Berbatov is old and doesn’t offer a lot of pace to a side, he is clever on the ball and is still one of the most technically gifted footballers in the world. I would be very surprised if the Bulgarian didn’t net at least twenty by the end of the season.
8) Former Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers isn’t making a lot of friends at Anfield after selling or loaning out a number of players and under performing in the Premier League so far.  One of his sales is Scottish midfielder Charlie Adam, who was successful at both Blackpool and Liverpool, creating many goals at the heart of the pitch. This transfer season he has moved again for the third time in three years to Stoke City, a team who enjoy creating a predominantly British team, including the likes of Peter Crouch, Ryan Shawcross and Johnathan Walters.  Personally, I can only see positives for Stoke after this move - not only will it be easy for Adam to fit in at the club, but a much needed improvement in their midfield may see Tony Pulis’ men compete for European football come the end of the season.
7) Although he is never fortunate enough to receive a large transfer budget, David Moyes never disappoints in the window. This year, he re-signed the popular winger Steven Pienaar from Tottenham for a cheaper fee than they paid for him back in 2011. Pienaar has always had an impact at Goodison Park, by assisting the likes of Louis Saha, Yakubu, or more recently Nikica Jelavic. Having him back in the squad on a permanent basis is a signing that undoubtedly excites the Toffees and their fans.
6) In my opinion, Big Sam has made the best loan signing of this transfer season with West Ham, after bringing England international striker Andy Carroll to Upton Park. Although Arsene Wenger and Brendan Rodgers enjoy using a strategy mainly based on quick and short passing, Allardyce thrives on bringing the long ball back into English football. Last season in the Championship, Kevin Nolan and Mark Noble were brilliant at finding hit-man Carlton Cole through lobbed passes and cross-field deliveries. The formation’s success was resembled through the promotion of the club, so Allardyce is trying to maintain this in the fierce competition of the Premier League. Andy Carroll is absolutely perfect for this position, because of his total dominance in the air, his determination to chase over hit long balls, and his powerful heading ability.

5) Swansea City initially signed Michu as a cheap replacement for last year’s loan star Sigurdsson. However, after the first few games Michu has become the Premier League’s top goal scorer, and thanks to his clinical finishing, Swansea have risen to 2nd in the Premier League, with an unbeaten run of form. Therefore Michu certainly deserves a high place on the list due to his immediate impact on the Premiership, especially as the Swans only paid £2 million for him.
4) Tottenham has been in need of an improvement in the goalkeeping department for many years, as Brad Friedel and Carlo Cudicini are both edging towards retirement. New manager Andre Villas-Boas has finally done this with the signing of French international captain, Hugo Lloris, who is arguably one of the best goalkeepers in the world. Furthermore, there are still potentially many years for Hugo Lloris to improve, as he is only in his mid-twenties. Although he may take a while to adjust to the Premiership like David De Gea, he promises to be one of the league’s greatest keepers.
3)  Manchester United has been searching for a striker to play in front of Rooney for many years now, and Ferguson clearly believes that Hernandez hasn’t got the quality and neither has youngster Welbeck.  Therefore, Sir Alex has splashed the cash on one of the Premierships most prestigious players, Robin Van Persie, who has been a servant for the Gunners and Arsene Wenger for almost ten years. He recorded 31 goals last season in the league which highlighted his talents as a front man, yet many thought that the Red Devils would be put off by his woeful display in the Euros. In any event, this deal is amongst the best of the season; Robin Van Persie is such a creative and clinical player which was portrayed at the weekend when he started paying back the £24 million price tag with an emphatic hat-trick against Southampton.
2)  Since the departure of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, Arsenal has lost some of their creativity in midfield and therefore this damaged results last season. In order to resurrect this, Wenger has brought in Spanish midfielder Santi Cazorla, and so far he has impressed in the Premiership, acting as Arsenal’s most important player since the exit of Van Persie. He has shown promise up to date, and in my opinion will be contending with the likes of midfield maestros David Silva and Juan Mata.
Eden Hazard: lured to Chelsea

1)  Although he cost a lot of money, Eden Hazard is one of the best young players in the world, and clearly this has caused a lot of excitement in the Premiership, especially with Chelsea, who managed to lure him to the Bridge early on in the transfer season. Recently, Chelsea has been successful with their victory over Bayern Munich in the Champions League, yet some of the older players, such as Didier Drogba and Michael Essien are moving on to pastures new, and some may say that veterans Frank Lampard and John Terry are too old and slow to play on a regular basis. Bringing Eden Hazard to the club will provide pace and skill, as well as his knack for scoring goals and setting up Fernando Torres, who has thrived recently on the service of the Chelsea midfield. I therefore believe this will prove to be the most successful signing of the transfer window, as Hazard does not only show world-class quality presently, but will also offer a lot of potential as the season continues. Could he perhaps lead them to a league title come the end of the season?

1 comment:

  1. James collingwood7 September 2012 at 16:46

    Good article. But what about podolski or giroud?


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