Mails: So, how was your club’s transfer window?

Date published: Thursday 1st September 2016 9:06

Liverpool: Losers?
Hang on, was that Transfer Window Winners & Losers or Deadline Day Winners and Losers?

Just because Liverpool got their signings sorted early doors, doesn’t make them losers. Everyone we signed is an improvement on who we had before. Mane is far better than Markovic and Ibe, Grujic is an upgrade on Allen and Alberto, Karius is surely better than Mignolet and Matip looks more accomplished than Skrtel ever did.

We cleared out some deadwood in Benteke, Balotelli, Ibe & Allen and I’m pretty sure we turned a profit over the window which is fairly impressive in itself.

Maybe we need do need a left back or maybe Klopp has plans for Gomez or Moreno in the future. All I know is, we’ve just had the best transfer window in a while. The signings we’ve made have clear direction and seem to actually fit into a clear plan (for once).
Paul (Still laughing at Everton – shambles) LFC


Okay Mr.Klopp, you’ve got your signings, you’ve had your pre-season and you’ve trained them as per your routine. You did not want a left back, you choose not a sign a defensive mid, and there’s no immediate back up for Clyne (unless one considers Milner/Henderson to be natural right backs). You had a chance to buy players, but instead made a nice little profit for FSG.

Alright then, show me what you got. I’m ready to be dazzled. All yours.
— Abhinav, Chicago, LFC.


Arsenal thoughts
I thought I’d write in with my thoughts on Arsenal’s summer businesses. I hope to see other teams’ fans do the same.

Lucas Perez: I’ll be the first to say this. This lad does not seem to be a line-leading striker despite reports to the contrary. After watching about an hour of youtube, I feel confident in saying that he seems like a left footed Alexis Sanchez at best (and that is high praise). Aerial presence and hold up play do not seem to be his strengths and I don’t see Wenger changing his 4-2-3-1 successfully given how stagnant he can be with tactics. He does seem quick, has a good left foot and finishes well. Theo, get ready for some real competition.

Shkodran Mustafi: 35 mil for a 24 year old defender seemed very impressive until I started watching this lad on youtube. Two words came to mind: Thomas Vermaelen. This guy is reasonably quick and is also good in the air. But much like Vermaelen, seems all too happy to lunge into tackles. I hope he can adapt to the prem league quickly, because the real BFG is out for a while and I reckon Mustafi will start immediately. With refs getting fussy over the new regulations, I can only keep my fingers crossed about this one.

Granit Xhaka: I think Granit could be the best bit of business by Arsenal this summer. For once, I think we’ve signed someone in midfield taller than a penguin and not made of feathers. He was captain at Borussia MGB at just 23 and god knows we could use some leadership from midfield. Also, his passing range is a major improvement over Le Coq and Elneny. My only concern is his disciplinary record but he looked all right with his tackles in the first few games this season.

Outs: Glad to see Wilshere going somewhere where he’ll play. The lad needs football more than anything else. Also, was Arteta considered for a part in the Arsenal backroom? Surely, if Pep sees something in him…
Srinivas (mildly optimistic, mostly pessimistic), AFC, USA


…and Wilshere
Long time Gooner here chipping in on our latest (temporary) departure. While it might seem at first glance like an ambitionless move down the table, I think Wilshere could do well from a season at Bournemouth. As much as it’s good to see English players challenging themselves abroad, this isn’t a Joe Hart situation where he’s likely walking into a guaranteed starting role, the guy’s had a rough few years of it injury wise and sitting on a bench while acclimating to a new language and culture isn’t what he needs right now. To show what he’s capable of he needs as much playing time as he can get. Going to Bournemouth means that he’s going to be the main man in their midfield, he’s clearly a step up in quality in the centre, someone they’re going to look to to build their attacks and keep possession ticking over nicely in the way Eddie Howe seems to want his teams to do. Say what you want about his tackling (shall we say it’s a little ‘Scholesish’?) but Wilshere knows how to make good runs on the ball, play a perceptive pass when it’s there and can finish chances too. Lest we all forget…

If Jack gets an injury-free season under his belt and plays well, maybe nudging Bournemouth towards the top half of the table while doing so, he’ll make a convincing case for a starting midfield berth back at the Arse. If, on the other hand, Wilshere decides he’s done with our cursed treatment room and wants a better shot at a consistent first team place than he’d get at Arsenal, with one year left on his contract maybe he looks for that foreign adventure and the club agrees to a sale rather than potentially losing him for nothing the year after that. I think Wilshere has a lot of belief in his talent, but knows he’s got to prove his durability in order to get another seat at the top table. Wherever that might be, spending 90 minutes on the pitch every game at a team where he can conceivably be the difference between mid-table safety and a relegation battle is going to advance that case more than a sightseeing junket where he’s just another face in a crowd of technically skilled midfielders.
Phil, NYC


Chelsea thoughts
– I like David Luiz. Was unhappy to first see him leave (despite the touted 50m we extracted from PSG). Luiz was a character, embodied an attitude of pulling his team mates, and was genuinely a good ball playing defender. At times (unlike how the media have had us believe), he resembled Gary Neville’s description of a kid playing FIFA. All of this known.

– So, re-signing him for 32m seems ok given our desparate need in defense and how silly Napoli have made us look (though I have a feeling they’re butt hurt we didnt sell Chalobah to them). In a normal market, 32m for Luiz at 29 would’ve been ridiculous given there is no evidence to prove his defensive focus has improved, but in a world where John Stones goes for 50m, Jordan Ibe for 15m (no, not counting Pogba, even 5 years back his price was worth it) and the lack of good defensive targets, 32m is par

– We’ve re-signed Matic, Luiz. Bid for Lukaku and failed (and I wont be surprised if Jose gets him next summer). Does this mean (a) our talent recruitment was fantastic in the first place and were fools (aided by Jose’s mistrust for technically proficient players) to let the likes of Matic, Luiz, Lukaku, DeBruyne et al. leave? Or are we intelligent for realizing the mistakes and getting them back? One mistake is fine (like Pogba), but repeating the same again tells a different story. Lack of stable leadership in the board!

– Who controls the footballing side of Chelsea? Emenalo? Granovskia? Whoever it is, there is an idiot in our board. In the winter of 2014 (January), we arguably had the best squad in England. Oscar, Hazard, Mata, Matic, Luiz, Willian, DeBruyne, Lukaku. All we needed was a world class striker (costa was coming anyways in the summer). Some sense was needed at the managerial/board level to realize what potential we were selling (that too for peanuts, Luiz aside).

– We have easily taken 1 step forward long term, 3 steps back long term, 1 step forward short term in a loop since 2011. It has to stop. If Conte doesnt finish top 10 I dont care, he is a gem and needs time, resources and support.

– Yes, I could definitely be another keyboard warrior here lambasting the board for their decisions, but even when Jose was winning us the titles and selling players, I never felt good about selling of DeBruyne and Lukaku in particular. Fortunately for Chelsea, we still have some elite young talent left on our roster – Christensen (defender), Musonda (midfielder), Solanke (forward) and many more.. I hope we dont let them off for peanuts and buy another legendary Djilobojil.
Aravind, Chelsa fan


Last week someone wrote in expressing disdain about Chelsea’s inability to secure a top class center back this summer. The contributor then offered a (potential) solution such as converting Matic to a center back.

The contributor should be proud of himself. His mail was obviously read by Conte before the purchase of Brazilian attacking midfielder David Luiz today… seems like Matic really will be the only center back option available to Chelsea under the age of 900
Emad MUFC Boston

Ps: Jack Wilshere to Bournemouth… can’t decide if the deal is better for Arsenal, Wenger or the Cherries. Also, cue the outrage when Wilshere stays injury-free for his entire loan spell before snapping both knees as he shows up at Arsenal for preseason 2017.


Chelsea’s transfer department has to be the busiest and “shady_est”. How many players on loan? Sold Matic to buy Luiz, buys Matic back, sells Luiz and buys him back again. Surely there should be some investigation? And how can you even loan Cuadrado out for 3 years? 3 years?

I’m just scared for my beloved club. I know they’ve been circumfrencing around the law for a bit since the days of Kakuta… but surely they’ve broken some kind of law somewhere with all these ones.
Victor, Nigeria. (Surely Top Four is sealed now!!! I can boastfully say that.)


Oh, Daniel Levy
Seriously? £30million for Sissoko?

Hahaha hahaha hahaha.

This beats getting £35mill for Carroll. At least he tried when he wasn’t injured.

Sissoko will have a great debut then slowly turn into The Invisible Man.

Daniel Levy’s reign as the Great Negotiator is officially over.
Tom (Geordie in Toronto)


Other things Daniel Levy could have bought:

2 and a bit Nolito’s
0.9 of a Sadio Mane
1 and a half Mario Gotze’s
Infinite Mario Balotelli’s

And here’s the kicker…

1 whole Ngolo Kante

Oh Danny boy…the price, the price is galling
Banjo, Prague


Man City and loans
Dear Ed,

Nasri – £25m
Bony – £25m
Mangala – £42m
Hart – £600k but valued at £20m

Allowed to walk out the door on loan, deemed surplus to requirements by Man City.

Says to me a couple of things.

1. £89.3m for Pogba makes perfect sense if Utd keep and play him.
2. Stockpiling of players, not just kids, is an appalling way to ruin the competitiveness of football.
3. How awful were City last year and how good must they be this year that they can ditch that list of players.

Lindsay Bell, Dublin.


Transfer lunacy
Well that was madness, ludicrous and frivolous. Obscene cash being thrown around and the orange anchors of Sky there to bring it to you live. Let’s cross over to another reporter standing outside a stadium…

My team contributed to the it by bringing back Luiz. Fun guy and looks like he enjoys what he does: tick. Defender: cross. We needed CB cover but went out and bought a fun nutter. Hopefully Conte can tame that crazy or get him on some stablizers.

At least we got a LB so Cesar can finally replace Ivanovic in RB. Hopefully Ivanovic can be moved to the bench. I lost confidence in his ability to defend ages ago even before the last premier league title where his goals contribution masked his weakness.

It all got out of hand last night like waking up next to a regrettable shag and a massive hangover.

How many teams broke their transfer records in this window!?! Gluttonous stuff. It’s like an exorbitant month long holiday where you realise you are in permanent shit on the last day but instead of slamming the brakes you put your foot down and say ”might as well go out with a bang!”
Jay all day


Torino? Madness
A very ‘meh’ Deadline Day as usual, although Sissoko to Spurs looks like a good piece of work.

But I digress. I want to talk about Joe Hart.

What happened? I understand Pep wanting rid, he doesnt fit in the team, sweeper keeper etc etc.

But what happened to Englands number one? He is a top quality goalkeeper and yet he cant get a game in the Premier League so has to go to Torino.


When did he become such a poor player that he needs to move abroad to a lesser team? The press arent responsible, no witch hunt there. So who decried he was so poor? He’s one of the best goalkeepers in the world and he has to slink off to Italy to get a game.


I cant make head or tail of it. Someone tell me when he became such a poor goalkeeper???
Stu (Bony will score goals at Stoke) AFC Wrexham


A tribute to Keano
Last night the Aviva stadium waved goodbye to Ireland’s most capped player and record goalscorer. In a grand total of 146 caps, 72 of these as captain, Robbie Keane has amassed 68 goals for his country. Despite this record, and the fact that he has typically received regular praise in the UK, he has often been a divisive figure in this country’s footballing community, particularly when compared to the greats such as his namesake Roy, Paul McGrath, Johnny Giles and Liam Brady.

This negativity initially seemed to surface in the ill-fated Steve Staunton era, where Keane was made captain. That campaign was one of the worst in many Irish fan’s recent memory and, culminating in an abysmal 5-2 defeat at the hands of Cyprus, Keane was one of the main recipients of the media backlash that ensued. He also came in for regular criticism in the monotony of the Trappatoni era, where the manager, welded to his 4-4-2 system even against the five man midfield of Spain, chose to ignore some justifiable calls to drop his captain. Without the ability to drop deep and create, perform as a target man and showing clear signs of losing his pace, many in Ireland felt that he had become a liability (sound familiar?!).

This was perhaps the main issue that Keane suffered from in Ireland; despite the goals, people judged him on qualities that he never had and was never going to have. He was always a player who benefited from having quality around him, such as peak Damian Duff or Dimitar Berbatov. In an Ireland team that seemed to fear having possession under Trappatoni, Keane was always going to have difficulties. Despite this, he still managed 12 goals in qualification campaigns for South Africa 2010 and Euro 2012. Although many highlighted his “cannon fodder” record against weaker teams, the reality is that Ireland have never genuinely been an internationally feared team in his time, and he was never the player to make us become one on his own.

In spite of this, he still managed goals against Holland (2), Sweden (2), Spain, France, Russia, Czech Republic, Croatia and, of course, Germany. Although only the tender age of 11, I will never forget that balmy June afternoon in 2002 as an entire primary school collectively lost its mind two minutes into stoppage time against the Germans. Afterwards, it was outside to practice cartwheel and tumble celebrations. A truly blissful time. Ultimately, I’ll remember him not only for that wonderful childhood memory, but for giving his absolute all to Ireland and for an unwavering commitment, even when many would just be happy to relax in LA, he made the journey knowing he was likely not going to play. He also seems like a genuinely lovely guy, and has done great work in raising money for Crumlin Children’s Hospital in Dublin. A fantastic player for Ireland and one who’s profile we currently do not possess, he is more than deserving of our gratitude and appreciation, possibly even to be looked back upon as an icon of this country’s footballing history.
Conor (Look at these scenes! Just look at these scenes!) Drogheda



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