JG’s Transfer Update Pt.2

Here we are with pt.2 of JG’s transfer round up and its full of the big hitters. It’s L to W, taking in the likes of Liverpool, United, City and Spurs and the newcomer who loves being linked with the big names – Middlesbrough.

LIVERPOOL

Manager: Jurgen Klopp

Confirmed

In – Loris Karius (Mainz, £4.7m); Sadio Mane (Southampton, £34m); Joel Matip (Schalke, Free)

Out – Jordan Rossiter (Rangers, Free); Martin Skrtel (Fenerbahce, £5m); Joao Teixera (Porto, £250k); Kolo Toure (Released)

What/Who should they buy? – No-one really, just need to find a working formation with the serious quality they already have.

Liverpool’s best signing so far may be that of Jurgen Klopp’s contract extension. At £34m, Sadio Made seems an expensive luxury, but he may bring the best out of the young team. The Anfield club have a lot of talent in their squad, so signing any new players now may seem a bit of a pointless exercise. Offloading some fringe players should be Klopp’s main concern.

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MANCHESTER CITY

 Manager: Pep Guardiola

Confirmed

In – Ilkay Gundogan (Borussia Dortmund, £20m); Nolito (Celta Vigo, £13.8m); Oleksandr Zinchenko (FK Ufa, Undisc)

Out – Martin Demichelis (Released)

What/Who should they buy? – Defenders, John Stones, Cedric Soares or Joshua Kimmich. Winger, Leroy Sane or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Another transfer window, another manager, another tonne of money for Manchester City to bolster their squad to challenge for everything available. The appointment of Pep Guardiola may be the most exciting signing, but unfortunately he can’t score the goals himself. Having already tied up Ilkay Gundogan and Nolito, City are rumoured to be interested in Italian defender Leonardo Bonucci and seem set to sign youngster John Stones for a titanic sum of money. It will be interesting to see if Pep can get the best out of England flop Raheem Sterling, or if he will be seen as surplus to requirements after Leroy Sane looks set to put pen to paper and join City.

 

MANCHESTER UNITED

Manager: Jose Mourinho

Confirmed

In – Eric Bailly (Villareal, £30m); Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Paris St-Germain, Free); Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Borussia Dortmund (£26.3m)

Out – Victor Valdes (Released)

What/Who should they buy? – A midfielder that doesn’t pick up a lot of injuries and/or suspensions, Paul Pogba or Blaise Matuidi

Since Mourinho’s arrival, the Red Devils have been linked with everyone under the sun. Having already signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and seemingly ready to pay £100m for Paul Pogba, United fans are allowed to be excited about this season. However, this is the same team that signed Angel Di Maria and Memphis Depay in recent years, only to be more excited by youngster Marcus Rashford. It is hard to suggest what United need this season, as no-one knows what formation Mourinho is going to play, let alone what players make the cut.

 

MIDDLESBROUGH

Manager: Aitor Karanka

Confirmed

In – Marten de Roon (Atalanta, £12m); Bernardo Espinosa (Sporting Gijon, Free); Viktor Fischer (Ajax, £3.8m); Jordan McGhee (Hearts, Loan); Victor Valdes (Free Agent), Antonio Barragan (Valencia, undisclosed)

 

Out – Jonathan Woodgate (Released)

What/Who should they buy? – Central Defender, Neven Subotic. Striker, Robin Van Persie or Negredo

A sentence no one would expect to hear… “Victor Valdes has signed for Middlesbrough”. A fantastic coup for the newly promoted team and surely a statement of intent that they are not planning on going straight back down. Other ambitious rumours include the name Robin Van Persie, but they seem to have disappeared as quickly as they arrived. Karanka may look to enhance his defence as he currently only has six out and out defenders, none of whom are household names.

 

SOUTHAMPTON

Manager: Claude Puel

Confirmed

In – Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg (Bayern Munich, £13m); Nathan Redmond (Norwich City, £11m)

Out – Kelvin Davies (Retired); Juanmi (Real Sociedad, Undisc); Sadio Mane (Liverpool, £34m); Graziano Pelle (Shandong Luneng, £12m); Gaston Ramirez (Released); Victor Wanyama (Tottenham Hotspur, Undisc)

What/Who should they buy? – Squad players, maybe a goalkeeper if Fraser Forster picks up another lengthy injury, Asmir Begovic is used to playing a secondary role by now.

And so the Southampton cycle begins again. Lose manager to a ‘bigger club’, sell players in the meantime – mainly to Liverpool, appoint a new trendy manager from abroad, sell more players, buy relatively unknown players, finish in Europa league places, hear people say “that’s as far as they will get”. Saints fans must let out an audible groan when it gets two years into a new managerial career. Seeing some of their best players – Lallana, Schneiderlin, Clyne and Shaw to name a few – must hurt a little less when they keep competing with the big boys after signing new players. This year, some big names such as Victor Wanyama, Graziano Pelle and Sadio Mane have left for pastures new, to be replaced by Norwich’s Nathan Redmond and the young Danish player Hojbjerg. Looking at their squad, Southampton don’t have any immediate cause for panic, but a few more squad players should cover them in the case of a long term injury.

 

STOKE CITY

Manager: Mark Hughes

Confirmed

In –

Out – Peter Odemwingie (Released); Steve Sidwell (Brighton, Free)

What/Who should they buy? – Central Midfielder, Moussa Sissoko had a good audition in the Euro 2016 final.

The team with more Champions League winners than Manchester City, Stoke City have been relatively quiet this window, but fans may still be revelling over the signings of Bojan, Joselu and Shaqiri in the previous year. Supposedly interested in recent European Championship winner, Nani before his move to Valencia, as well as the divisive character that is Saido Berahino, Hughes could be building a really good team here. Similar to a lot of clubs this season, there is no immediate need to panic buy, but Stoke will be hoping to build on last season and attempt to finish above ninth for the fourth consecutive season.

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SUNDERLAND

Manager: Sam Allardyce

Confirmed

In –

Out – Wes Brown (Released); Steven Fletcher (Sheffield Wednesday, Free); Danny Graham (Released); Steve Harper (Released)

What/Who should they buy? – Probably a new manager.

Big Sam is the bookies favourite to take over the national team, but his current concern is creating a Sunderland team that will not be in a relegation scrap by the time April comes around. New deals for Patrick Van Aanholt and Jermain Defoe are reassuring and Emanuele Giaccherini had an encouraging international tournament, whether the latter will still be a Sunderland player by August is a different question. There is a worrying lack of serious quality in this squad, which may be why they find themselves in the same position every year, so an addition of some talent will do wonders in their upcoming campaign.

 

SWANSEA CITY

Manager: Francesco Guidolin

Confirmed

In – Leroy Fer (QPR, £4.75m); Mike van der Hoorn (Ajax, Undisc)

Out – Eder (Lille, £3.4m); Alberto Paloschi (Atalanta, Undisc)

What/Who should they buy? – A Striker, bring back Eder? Christian Benteke or Saido Berahino are other options

A Swansea reject wins the European Championship for Portugal. Who saw that coming? Selling Eder will not be a decision that Swansea bosses will lose sleep over, as he failed to even have a shot on target in 13 appearances. The addition of Leroy Fer and Mike van der Hoorn will help build the Swans as they look to pursue another season in the premiership. However, Francesco Guidolin may look to recruit some more clinical finishers, as midfielders Andre Ayew and Gylfi Siggurdson were top scorers ahead of striker Batafembi Gomis.

 

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

Manager: Mauricio Pochettino

Confirmed

In – Vincent Janssen (AZ Alkmaar, £18.6m); Victor Wanyama (Southampton, Undisc)

 

Out –

What/Who should they buy? – Squad players for a vital European campaign. Cover for central defence and wingers.

With the arrival of Vincent Jansenn recently announced, we are likely to expect the departure of some fringe players at Spurs, such as Ryan Mason, DeAndre Yedlin and academy product Alex Pritchard. The signing of Wanyama is an interesting one, as he will not be first pick unless Eric Dier or Moussa Dembele pick up a long term injury or, perhaps more likely, a long term suspension. Gone are the days of Daniel Levy bringing in 7 players on a whim – Soldado, Stambouli and Chiriches ring any bells? Spurs will need to sign squad players this window, not superstars, as they look to mount a Champions League campaign.

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WATFORD

Manager: Walter Mazzarri

Confirmed

In – Isaac Success (Granada, Undisc); Christian Kabasele (Genk, Undisc); Jerome Sinclair (Liverpool, Undisc)

Out – Jose Manuel Jurado (Espanyol, £2.1m)

What/Who should they buy? – A marquee signing to make a statement. It doesn’t matter what position, just splash some cash.

Similar to Hull City, Stoke City and Sunderland, Watford have been relatively quiet so far this window. The signing of youngster Isaac Success and Belgium’s Christian Kabasele has been joined by Troy Deeney signing a new deal. Should Odion Ighalo find his shooting boots again, then Watford will be fine, however if he goes missing again then they may struggle. The Hornets finished 13th last season after a bright start, but they will look to build on this and should try to find some serious talent to compete with the top half of the table.

 

WEST BROM

Manager: Tony Pulis

Confirmed

In – Matt Phillips (Qpr, £5.5m)

Out – Victor Anichebe (Released); Anders Lindegaard (Preston, Free); Stephane Sessegnon (Released)

What/Who should they buy? – Central Midfielders, the quality of which will be largely decided by the price tag put on Berahino.

Will he? Won’t he? Is he even worth it? All questions directed towards Saido Berahino. The youngster scored 14 goals in the 2014-2015 season and was set for a £20m move to Spurs. However, the deal was never done and personal issues got in the way, leading to Berahino scoring just 4 goals in the league this year. The Baggies will probably do well to make £15m off him, and should invest that wisely in some quality midfielders for this season. The linkes of Fletchers, Gardner and Brunt do not quite cut it for the top flight.

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WEST HAM

Manager: Slaven Bilic

Confirmed

In – Sofiane Feghouli (Valencia, Undisc); Manuel Lanzini (Al Jazira Club, £9.4m); Toni Martinez (Valencia, £2.25m); Havard Nordtveit (Borussia Monchengladbach, Free); Domingos Quina (Chelsea, Free); Gokhan Tore (Besiktas, Loan)

Out – James Tomkins (Crystal Palace, £10m)

What/Who should they buy? – They’ve done it all already!

Slaven Bilic has added some serious quality to his already impressive team. The permanent signing of Manuel Lanzini, alongside the re-signing of Aaron Cresswell, Michael Antonio, Cheikhou Kouyate and superstar Dimitri Payet is as good as any new signings the Hammers could ask for. Bringing in the Norwegian midfielder Havard Nordtveit will add some solidity to the team, and Sofiane Feghouli will add even more flair. With Diafra Sakho potentially moving away, Bilic may look to sign a striker to compete with Andy Carroll and Enner Valencia.

JG, The Sweeper Football Blog

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