Big Six transfer merry-go-round: One player per club that should have signed for a rival

Will Ford

Why did they go there and not there? All aboard the transfer merry-go-round. We’ve picked one player who moved to a Big Six club this season who should have gone to another Big Six club, with each of them giving up and receiving a player.

We were going to do it for the whole of the Premier League but didn’t want to play fast and loose with our sanity. Anyway, here goes…


Marc Cucurella to Manchester City
Manchester City were keen but not keen enough to go above £40m for Cucurella in the summer, which on current form would be about £35m too much. The £60m Chelsea spent now seems insane. Hope that Graham Potter – whom Cucurella was superb under last season – could spark him into good form following Thomas Tuchel’s sacking have since been dashed by some truly horrendous performances.

But Pep Guardiola has now got rid of Joao Cancelo, who wasn’t really a left-back anyway, and is now forced to play Nathan Ake in that position, with summer signing Sergio Gomez apparently not up to scratch. And you’ve got to wonder how much better Cucurella would be were he not playing for a club where everything has gone to sh*t.


Christian Eriksen to Tottenham
An excellent Manchester United signing, but Tottenham need him more than they do, for the sake of those watching as much as anything. As it turns out, watching Tottenham play without anyone in the middle of the pitch is incredibly dull, with Antonio Conte generally relying on set pieces or individual brilliance on the counter-attack.

Spurs still haven’t filled the playmaker role Eriksen vacated when he moved to Inter in January 2020. To be fair he can probably stay where he is and provide assists for Harry Kane in six months’ time.


Kalvin Phillips to Chelsea
‘Just what we need,’ the Chelsea fans cry, an apparently overweight midfielder to join the other good-for-nothings signed this season. But crucially, Chelsea don’t have Rodri, so Phillips would have been playing, certainly considering their injuries in that area for much of the season.

There’s less of a need for Phillips now they’ve spunked £100m on Enzo Fernandez, but he would definitely be getting more of a look-in at Stamford Bridge than the Etihad.


Richarlison to Manchester United
What Kleberson says, goes. The United hero’s compatriot has started just seven Premier League games since his £50m move from Everton and is yet to score a goal in 17 appearances for Spurs.

And any thoughts that he may not have been worth the money were pretty well dispelled through his stunning goals at the World Cup for Brazil. For some reason it’s far easier to imagine him scoring acrobatic efforts for United than Spurs.


Fabio Vieira to Liverpool
Jurgen Klopp needs all the midfielders, with his current crop either really young, or now a bit sh*t.

Vieira almost certainly wasn’t counting on Granit Xhaka being quite so good for Arsenal, limiting him to just three Premier League starts. And that must be particularly difficult to accept given he’s looked pretty classy when he has been given the opportunity.


Cody Gakpo to Arsenal
The arrival of Leandro Trossard has alleviated some of the pressure on Mikel Arteta’s forwards, but they will surely sign at least another one in the summer. This amount of football isn’t sustainable.

And the benefit of Gakpo is that he can operate both from the left wing and down the middle. Admittedly that doesn’t particularly help Bukayo Saka, who must be entirely pooped, but Martinelli or Trossard could venture over to that side on occasion.