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That’s enough, Milan
Can we just ban AC Milan from making anymore acquisitions this summer; they are seriously beginning to frighten me.
Bonucci or Walker?
Seriously, the overpaying by Premier League clubs this transfer window has gone crazy. I think the rest of the Europe must be looking at us like we look at the Chinese clubs, essentially laughing at the silly, unrealistic and unwarranted transfer fees they seemingly feel obliged to pay.
I will just take one example.
Leonardo Bonucci has won seven Serie A titles and six cups, played in two Champions League finals, took Italy the final of the Euros 2012, was a key part of the Juve team that went the season unbeaten, has 70 caps for Italy and is generally regarded as one of the best defenders of his generation. Bonucci has just got sold to Milan for around £35m.
Kyle Walker has won nothing, to my knowledge never played in any final, played three times in the Champions League, has 27 England caps at a time when there has been the worst set of English full backs for a generation, and according to my Spurs friends (and the Spurs manager towards the end of the season) was not even the best right-back at the club never mind best defender at the club, best defender in the country or best defender in the world a la Bonoucci. Walker got sold to Man City for around £45m.
And yes, I know Bonoucci is a whopping three years older and plays as centre back as opposed to Walker at right back, but this just surprises me further. Generally centre backs are more expensive than full backs and centre backs tend to play top-level football until an older age, in the case of Italian centre backs well into their late 30s. In fact, I’d be happy to put a bet down that Bonoucci will still be getting caps for Italy after Walker has received his final one for England.
I know Man City always over pay especially for defenders (Mangala, Otamendi, Stones etc.) but the Walker example is just so much more pronounced especially through the prism of the Bonocci deal.
Paul K, London
On Chelsea’s transfer dealings
With the transfer window finally well and truly under the way, Chelsea’s signings have made me think a fair deal in the past few days.
1) Rudiger – have not seen him play much, but whenever I have I got the feeling he shows maturity beyond his years. A good option in defense, will allow a lot of flexibility in defense with Azpilicueta slotting in at CB and wingback. Wonder how Christensen will slot in the team. I believe Zouma will be leaving on a loan deal.
2) Bakayoko – I know Chelsea fans are very excited about his arrival but I wonder if he is too similar a player to Kante. Matic proved to be a good partner to Kante, with his more restrained play and positional discipline he allowed Kante to roam around and be Kante. Wonder if a midfield of Kante and Bakayoko will leave them exposed at times.
3) Costa situation – The relationship between the player and the manager seems to have broken beyond repair, and for once who can blame Costa. Probably a little premature by Conte, and considering there haven’t been too many concrete links to top strikers I wonder who they’d go for. Morata and Aubameyang seem the obvious options but again lack of concrete links as of now (Conte seems to like a big man up front more rather than a pacy mobile striker though).
4) Caballero – not a bad option for a back-up keeper specially on a free transfer. Decent bit of business done fast.
5) Where’s the youth? With Chalobah, Loftus-Cheek, Ake and Solanke being farmed out (three on permanent deals) the team seems to be lacking seriously in youth. Also seemingly low on English players (Cahill only? Probably won’t be in first-team picture much this season).
Do Chelsea fans agree?
Fine with Spurs inactivity
I totally can’t understand some the frustrations on 365 over Spurs lack of transfer activity. I’m happy with our squad as long as certain key players stay. Walker has flaws and I think Trippier is potentially much better. Dier…to be honest I’ve never liked him and if Man U want to chuck 50mill at us then happy days. Maybe add a couple of decent back-up players and Bob’s your uncle. So what if our rivals are buying all and sundry. It has the potential to weaken their squads in the short term. COYS
A good Hart these days is hard to find…
The imminent Joe Hart loan move to West Ham is interesting on a number of fronts.
Most directly, it means Adrian’s time at the club is probably up. Before last season, the advanced stats had him regularly among the league’s top shot-stoppers, but he started the year poorly and lost the job to Darren Randolph. The club exercised a two-year extension option in May, but they wouldn’t have gone after Hart if they thought Adrian might regain top form. The logical next club for him would be Crystal Palace, or maybe Newcastle.
Also, this reads like a statement signing. Adrian and Randolph are both perfectly good keepers, so the squad’s biggest needs are elsewhere. We know the club wants to step up in class, and Hart is a high-profile figure with plenty of good years ahead of him. All reports say West Ham will have an option to buy, and the fee that’s being quoted, around ₤12m-15m, is absolutely cut-price.
Finally, this suits the club’s current policy of using free transfers and loans. Presumably City will pay some of Hart’s salary, so it’s a relatively low-risk transaction. A bonus is that it reunites Hart with free transfer Pablo Zabaleta, who will hopefully form part of the back line.
West Ham haven’t exactly been top of the charts in transfer success lately, but at first blush this looks like a winner. Here’s hoping Hammers hit home. (Yes, apologies for that.)
Peter G, Pennsylvania, USA
Tipping the Winks
I assume the reason Harry Winks was not included in your ‘Outsiders to make WC squad‘ article is because you think he’s already a cert?…
I can see him playing a lot of games for Spurs this season and, helped by the fact he plays in a position we’re currently very weak, think he has a really strong chance of making the squad. 4/1 looks great value
U OK, Hun?
Seriously what is the point of weekends without football. I hate the summer; it’s pointless. And before the moral high ground junkies come back at me… I feel sorry for you. That you bother to read this site but football actually doesn’t really matter to you.
That is all.
Ben the Baggie
An extra from Twitter
I can't believe you missed Arouna Kone signing for Sivasspor tbh. Sent waves accross the footballing world
— Mark K (@Mark_K1988) July 17, 2017