Posts Tagged ‘Transfer’

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The season starts in less than 10 days time; let’s take a look at reigning European champions-Chelsea’s challenges and preparation for the 2012/2013 season. Chelsea had been one of the busiest clubs around this summer carrying out some major signings/changes in the squad. Last season comprised of breaking strikers and parting managers resulting in a 6th place finish in the premier league to a defensive winning performance in the Champions league backing Roberto Di Matteo’s evolution mantra.

Keeping up with high hopes of Chelsea fans this season it’s been a high spending transfer window so far. As last season’s big guns like Didier Drogba, Jose Bosingwa, and Salomon Kalou have all left the club, Di Matteo’s chances of succeeding have certainly been boosted by Abramovich’s clear backing in the signings of Marin, Hazard and Oscar. Don’t be surprised if at least two further signings this window is made to strengthen the areas such as right back. So far Chelsea has focused only on adding to the attack. The main focuses of the club this summer seems to be finding younger, more versatile players.

Signings to watch: Eden hazard Ligue 1 Player of the Year signed for Chelsea after a long drawn out game of £32million. He’s one of the elite young talents in Europe, and it’s certainly possible that he will adapt quickly. It is highly expected that he would immediately play a pivotal role and will be a constant player in the first team.

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Next up we have Oscar,an attacking midfielder formerly of Brazilian club, Internacional, he finished last season with 13 goals and assists, proving that he can finish as well as create. With his recent star performance in Olympics 2012 he has certainly shown his football maturity, technique, pace, passing ability, movement and bravery.

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Marko Marin is a player who is only 23 years old with considerable playing age ahead of him and he is hungry to prove himself. A ‘smart’ signing for Chelsea at 6.5m pound price. He promises to excite the supporters with many moments of genuine magic thanks to his skill set.

Assets from past : Apart from the new signings assets like Frank Lampard a penalty kick specialist, could suffer from serious rotation due to his age but not to be written off. The club’s greatest athlete and Player of the Year last season, Ramires is naturally a dynamic central midfielder offering Chelsea a unique tactical option. Mata is expected to be significantly more creative than last year’s backing a more of assisting role.

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Fernando Torres will be Chelsea’s focal point. His late season resurgence and Golden Boot winning showing at Euro 2012 has certainly returned the much needed confidence. Carrying forward the legacy of Drogba will be the ultimate test of Torres, who has not reached his incredible, prolific and big-game (scoring openers) exploits since his twenty-two goals in thirty-two matches for Liverpool in 2009/2010. If he continues his performance from the Euros into the premier league, he could have that awesome 20+ goal season he is in dire need of.

The ‘new look’ Chelsea is looking very promising and new signings will prove to assist Chelsea in their quest for sustainability. They have replaced their more physical players with small players with good passing and agile ability; possibly we could see a new Chelsea mentality playing tika taka football this season. Previewing where Chelsea will finish in the Premier League is a real paradox, with Chelsea have yet to gel in the pre-season – they lost to the MLS All-Stars as well as to AC Milan. Chelsea certainly seems to prove a tough test for the top teams this year with new faces filling up the vacant position fronting well organised, dynamic and resilient picture.Image

Likely XI: Cech; Ivanovic, Luiz, Terry, Cole; Mikel, Lampard, Ramires, Mata, Hazard; Torres

Highly unexpected that RDM will stick with this line up much often, look out for frequent rotations as he showed in the previous season.

A manager’s or a Club’s worst nightmare  is the essential bi-annual drama, the transfer window which never goes away quietly and this summer was no exception like the seasons gone by. If a sound of ripping has been overheard near certain Premier League clubs in the last few days, it should be no surprise .Don’t get me wrong it’s not  Arsenal alone!!Plans have been hastily torn apart, new ones formulated in double-quick time, gambles taken and money diverted around the division at surreal speed. So  here is take on the summer transfers made by the Premier league teams-who did good business and who did not.

The Winners

So  what better place or team to begin with –It has to be the defending champions and the most popular football club on the planet Manchester United.

Manchester  United

When you think  that the United  team which won the Premier league last season were the so called worst United team to have won the title  in the Premier league era then surely the omens do not look good for the rest of the  league because the champions have taken their squad to a new level.

Sir Alex Ferguson will be extremely pleased with the signings of Ashley Young and Phil Jones who have fitted in well at Old Trafford. In goal, David de Gea made a shaky start but it’s still early days and he is already showing improvement.The jury remains out though.My personal opinion is that he has got it in him to be the United and Spain number 1 for the time to come.No more signings were needed as Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck have showed rapid improvement following their loan spells last season, but Ferguson will be slightly disappointed he couldn’t sign Dutch maestro Wesley Sneijder to replace the retired Paul Scholes-the best central midfielder United ever had!With just fringe players leaving, a trip to Old Trafford looks an even more daunting trip this season – just ask the north London neighbors.

Manchester City

They were the noisy neighbors till last season (then also they ended up winning the FA cup and making it into the Champions league),but not anymore now,now they are serious title contenders and by serious I really mean serious. City are always expected to be among the big winners in transfer windows these days, but to say they had a perfect summer would not be stretching the imagination.

Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri have already slotted in seamlessly while the defence has been strengthened with the arrivals of Gael Clichy and Stefan Savic. Owen Hargreaves will be a handy back-up player to cover injuries (providing he doesn’t get one himself!) and act as a replacement for Yaya Toure during the African Nations Cup.

The majority of the players who were surplus to requirement have left but one of the biggest stories was who didn’t leave.Unsettled Carlos Tevez looked set for an exit, but he will be at the Etihad Stadium until at least January after failing to find a new club. Overall the Citizens look in great shape to challenge for trophies on all fronts.

Liverpool

After the disappointment of finishing 6th last season which was decent considering where they were languishing when  Kenny Dalglish took charge again after 1989.He took it upon himself to reinforce every position including bringing in a cluster of new midfielders and overseeing the return of Craig Bellamy.Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing have all made positive starts, although it remains to be seen how the team will shape up once Stevie G returns from injury. Dalglish showed the exit doors  to Roy Hodgson flops Joe Cole and Paul Konchesky and was happy to let a certain Raul Meireles join Chelsea – a player who was  voted the Premier League Player of the season by the Anfield faithfuls.

It needed to be a busy summer if Liverpool were to have a chance of re-establishing themselves in the top four, but fans can be happy that King Kenny has them pointing in the right direction.

Stoke city

The Potters did some shrewd business this season .By bringing in  Jonathan Woodgate, Peter Crouch and Wilson Palacios, they have signed three players who played in the Champions League  last season. Palacios who loves a fight  will thrive in the midfield battles, while the lanky Crouch will have no shortage of supply from wingers Jermaine Pennant and Matthew Etherington ,not to forget  the non stop supply of throw ins from Rory Delap!With Cameron Jerome and Matthew Upson also arriving, the squad now has plenty of depth – crucial for juggling the team for the domestic and European campaigns.

An added bonus is no first-team players exited the club, pointing towards a side that has gone from prime relegation candidates three years ago, to one that can realistically aim for a strong top 10 finish.

Queens park rangers

If the Hoops go down this season it won’t be because of Neil Warnock being shy in the transfer market. On the final day of the window he approached just about everyone he could to join his side at Loftus Road.

Joey Barton, Armand Traore, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Anton Ferdinand were  some of the late deals and have added some crucial Premier League experience.Keeping hold of Adel Taarabt has been a huge boost and QPR now in look great shape to ensure their Premier League return after 15 years away isn’t just a one-season stay.