How much is too much for a Premier League Centre Back?

£40m or £50 – how much is too much? That seems to be the question plaguing Pep Guardiola and the hierarchy at Manchester City in this summer’s second most tedious transfer saga.

 

It is surely one of the most decadent and carefree transfer windows in recent memory and the value of Stones; a player with undoubted ball-playing ability but who is unproven as a defender who can defend, is a key barometer of the spiralling fees that clubs are prepared while jostling for position in England’s top flight.  Continue reading “How much is too much for a Premier League Centre Back?”

Advertisements

The Pogba sale and what it means for Serie A

In the world of crazy transfer fees and inflated values due to everyone’s seemingly bizarre obsession with all things Premier League, there lies one sleeping giant of European football that once housed Europe’s greatest. It’s Serie A.
In the 80’s it housed the likes Michel Platini, Frank Rijkaard and Marco Van Basten. Go back to the early Noughties and you had an AC Milan side that had such imperious names as Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Nesta, Cafu, Clarence Seedorf, Manuel Rui Costa, Pippo Inzaghi and Andriy Shevchenko. Juventus had Alessandro Del Piero, David Trezeguet, Mauro Camoranesi, Pavel Nedved, and Lillian Thuram amongst others. It was a who’s who of football brilliance.
Yet in recent years, perhaps rocked by the calciopoli scandal of 2006, which saw Juventus, relegated to Serie B and the the title going un-claimed. As well as the likes of AC Milan, Fiorentina and Lazio all being banned from the following season’s Champions League and UEFA Cup as well as various stadium bans and point deductions, Italian football has fallen firmly behind the likes of the Premier League, La Liga and the Bundesliga. Yet could this transfer window see a change in fortunes on Europe’s leg shaped peninsula?

Continue reading “The Pogba sale and what it means for Serie A”

What this summer says about Manchester Utd and Mourinho

Football transfers have long gone a little bit mental but this summer the Premier League has taken borderline madness into realms of just sheer hyperbolic ridiculousness. It’s the summer of the £30 million player with Manchester United more than happy to add many a name to the once revered ‘£30m plus club’.

 

It was always going to be interesting to see José Mourinho’s first transfer window. A man who’s success is so heavily built on short termism that youth falls by the wayside (at least in this writers opinion anyway) and the ability to build a dynasty as realistic as finishing a 4th season, Mourinho embodies the complete diametric opposite to the Fergie’s years. Mourinho is a trophy winning wrecking ball; Fergie on the other hand became some kind majestic perennial winner. So what does this summer say about Manchester United under José Mourinho? Continue reading “What this summer says about Manchester Utd and Mourinho”

Why is Graziano Pelle now the sixth highest paid player in the world?

You are Graziano Pelle, you’re an established Premier League striker, pretty hard to play against on form even if you do have fallow spells. You’ve just had a really good Euro 2016 at the apex of Antonio Conte’s Italy side that comfortably defeated reigning champions Spain, and a much fancied (at least at that point) Belgian side. What is your next move? Continue reading “Why is Graziano Pelle now the sixth highest paid player in the world?”

JG’s Transfer Update Pt. 1

Now that the European Championships are over and we are still weeks away from the Premier League starting, the only exciting football news right now is the transfer window.

 

It is the time for promoted clubs to sign some players to help them stay up and challenge, time for mid table clubs to add some depth to their squad and time for top clubs to trim the fat and add some extra quality as they battle amongst one another for top spot.

 

We are still six weeks away from deadline day, so there will be no rushed last minute deals done just yet, but let’s take a look at what deals have already been done and what clubs should be looking for.

 

Note – these are not extensive transfers, just what I deem significant with regards to the club and their league and cup campaign this season. A comprehensive list can be found on – http://www.skysports.com/football/transfer-deals. All information is correct as of 14th July 2016.

Continue reading “JG’s Transfer Update Pt. 1”

Mourinho lines up his first United transfer

For all of their defensive woes, one criticism no fan or pundit can have of Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United is that they concede silly goals.

With a potential Champions League place still up for grabs, Manchester United currently have the second best defence in the league, conceding only 31 goals in the process. And yet question marks still arise about the personnel in United’s back four and more pertinently how impressive David de Gea has been for the third season in a row.

No one can doubt the improvement in Chris Smalling this season who will be a certain starter this year in France for England. Daley Blind as well as seemingly adapted nicely into a deeper role in the central of defence, a position that is a key component of van Gaal’s philosophy – the ability to be able to play out of the back and have a defender who is almost a quarter back’s quarter back (if that makes sense!).

With van Gaal’s future far from certain as José Mourinho still waits in the wings, lingering like some managerial reaper, any rumour involving Manchester United can hardly be concrete with so many if’s and but’s going into the next season but one player that is supposedly catching the eye of the Manchester United hierarchy and Mourinho is Raphael Varane. Continue reading “Mourinho lines up his first United transfer”

Will Conte Return For His Man?

Previous relationships between players and managers are strange things. Pep Guardiola and Thiago Alacantra. Louis Van Gaal and Bastien Schweinsteiger. Sam Allardyce and Kevin Nolan. Some managers have their favourites and now Antonio Conte might be joining the list of acquiring a faithful lieutenant to administer his footballing instructions. Continue reading “Will Conte Return For His Man?”

Laporte and Stones set to join Pep?

In the world of expensive centre backs, Manchester City’s current crop ranks right up there with both Mangala and Otamendi costing the naughty side of £30million but neither have set the world alight with performances that match their respective price tags. Now with Guardiola arriving in the summer, and wholesale change a foot with this aging City squad, defenders are once more high on the agenda.

As Raphael Varane and Marquinhos respective stars stall somewhat, at least in the eyes of the British media, Guardiola appears to be targeting two of the brightest prospects from the ‘next generation’ of centre backs currently playing in Europe. Continue reading “Laporte and Stones set to join Pep?”

Another pricey teenage prodigy for Man Utd?

And once more Manchester United look to spend more £30million+ on a teenage sensation this summer. Long gone are the days where such money was able to buy the likes of Brazilian Ronaldo and Christian Vieri. Even one United legend in the form of Ruud van Nistelrooy came in at a paltry £24.5million. In this inflated and most bizarre world of football transfers, money seemingly has about as much value as a box of tic-tacs, frittered away like any one’s business however, it surely is only fair though to look at Sanches as a player without the eye-watering £45million price tag. Continue reading “Another pricey teenage prodigy for Man Utd?”