Arsenal Have Done The Best Business In La Liga

With last season's entire top seven likely to import from Spain this summer, Tim Stannard picks out the good business from the less so. Let's hope he wears a tin hat...

Last Updated: 21/07/14 at 08:35 Post Comment

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Once again the charity and bulging purses have seen the Premier League keeping La Liga afloat with their abundant transfer fees. The fun part of all this, of course, is that those Spanish clubs then go on to use the cash to whip their English counterparts in Europe with the four finalists of last seasons Champions League and Europa League finals hailing from the Land of Ham.

There has been a fair amount of bustling, buying activity so far this summer, especially with José Mourinho bringing in Atlético Madrid's squad for a Chelsea quick fix. Here's a snuffle at some of the biggest moves....and a bargain.

The Prime Pick: Alexis Sánchez - £35 million (Arsenal)
Arsene Wenger has finally pulled it off. As it were. The young-promises addict has finally gone against his grain and brought in a ready-for-eating, world-class quality player who can deliver the holy trinity for Arsenal fans - score over 20 Premier League goals in the season, withstand the physicality of the Premier League, and last the entire season without succumbing to an attack of the vapours like Mesut Özil.

The Chilean forward was never a Barcelona reject, but instead a valuable asset traded to pay for Luis Suárez. Like his South American counterpart - cue required pun - Sánchez has bite to his game with the forward being a direct, thrusting type, with a boxer's frame and strength allowing the striker to smash his way into the box and go for goal, from his preferred position on the right-hand side of a front three. Proven potency in both Italy and Spain is enough evidence that Wenger has very much done the business in an increasingly impressive attack at the Emirates.


The Gamble: Diego Costa - £32 million (Chelsea)
There is something not quite right about Diego Costa, despite the ton of goals scored by the forward for Atlético Madrid last season. This niggle comes from having watched the footballer for many years plodding about at clubs such as Valladolid and Rayo Vallecano.

There is certainly enormous quality in the bones of the Brazilian-Spaniard but the feeling that this is a one season wonder that José Mourinho has landed cannot be shaken, rather than a world class striking talent Chelsea fans will be hoping for.

That is indeed the feeling in Spain, even from those of the Rojiblanco persuasion, who were reasonably chuffed with the transfer fee received, although the club will only pocket 50% of the money, due to the complex terms of the player's ownership.

Chelsea fans will enjoy the commitment that Costa will offer. Rival supporters are going to hate the incoming striker within seconds due to Costa's tendency to both dive outrageously and throw out the sly elbow in a set-piece melee. He is a bag of fun though.

Without being too Negative Nigel, Diego Costa could be a stormer in Premier League, especially if a good relationship can be built with Cesc Fabregas. After all, many a defender in La Liga has said that Chelsea man is a nightmare of a footballer, but one you want on your side.


The Overpriced: Ander Herrera - £28.4 million (Manchester United)
Persistence has seen Manchester United snag the former Athletic Bilbao midfielder at the second attempt after an aborted bid last season. With the money shelled out on the Spaniard, the assumption must be that Louis Van Gaal is looking towards the 24-year-old to run a new-look midfield.

Herrera has certainly got the attitude to succeed. The footballer can certainly look after himself on the pitch and has admitted in 2010 that he would have been "a good Ultra" for his beloved Real Zaragoza, had he not been out on the pitch, rather than in the stands.

The niggling part is Herrera's lack of experience in top, top, top, top football. The midfielder was the driving force in the recent magnificent Athletic Bilbao side that took apart Manchester United in the Europa League and battled through to the final. Herrera also helped lead Athletic to the Champions League qualifying rounds last season, but he has limited experience at the highest level, currently far from the Spanish squad. However, all that could change at Old Trafford, if the pressure on Herrera's shoulders is not too overbearing. There is all the will in the world for him to succeed.


The Bargain: Willy Caballero - £4.4 million (Manchester City)
Finally Big Willy has got the move he deserves after many years of penance at the topsy turvy world of Málaga. Manuel Pellegrini has not forgotten the quality and reliability of Caballero and has finally brought the keeper in from the cold from the Costa del Sol. Caballero is the player who does the day-to-day stuff between the sticks without any kind of fuss, but is also able to pull off the "saving the day" moments on a regular basis.

Argentina fans will argue nearly to a man and woman that Willy should have been another World Cup goalkeeping star between the country's sticks if it wasn't for Alejandro Sabella having a weird mental block with his charge. All in all, the purchase of the Argentinean is wonderful news for City fans, but very bad indeed for Joe Hart.

Tim Stannard - follow him on Twitter

@fictionalemu> Torres scored 15 goals in 40 appearances for Athletico during his last season, while he scored 33 goals in 46 appearances for Pool in his first season in the PL.

I never claimed he wasn't a good player or a good goal scorer, just that he used to spurn as many chances as he scored in Spain and nobody expected him to be a 25-30 goal striker. Instead he took to the PL like fish to water and overnight became one of the best strikers in the world.

- Synergy

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