The transfer window has been flung open by Monaco and this summer could be spectacular for player movement given the number of high profile clubs that have changed manager or who are coming off perceived down seasons. Over this summer, I will be explaining and analysing the major moves around and giving each one of them a grade.
Carlos Tevez – Man City to Juventus (£8m)
What’s the deal? Tevez has been agitating to get out of Manchester to be nearer to home. So obviously, he moves further east.
Is the price right? It’s a huge bargain for Juventus who seem to have finally signed a player worthy of Alessandro Del Piero’s number 10 shirt. City are saying that they sold him so that they could save £17m in wages and bonuses in order to help their FFP balance sheet. But that’s because they wasted £34m on Fernandinho.
Why sign him? Juventus needed a ‘number 10′ type striker to partner new signing Fernando Llorente. A new Del Piero and Trezeguet.
Why sell him? To get rid of the headache.
Will it work? Yes. Serie A is much slower paced than the Premier League so his relative speed will be a real asset. He is what they need to add sparkle to a hard working and determined Juventus team that lacked a Plan B last season.
Grade: A Incredibly good value for a really good player in a position they needed. This is how to do it. Only question is where his head is.
Erik Pieters – PSV to Stoke (£3m)
What’s the story? Pieters has wanted to test himself in the Premier League for some time and Stoke didn’t own a single full back capable of adding width in attack.
Is the price right? Excellent value assuming he can regain fitness having only been fit for about two months of the last twelve.
Why sign him? Stoke desperately needed width and overlapping from their full backs. Last season Tony Pulis used two very defensive players at all times, often using them as wingers which meant the team played with at least three defensive full backs on the pitch at once. Pieters gives a genuine different dimension.
Why sell him? Pieters’ time injured meant he lost his place to youngster Jetro Willems.
Will it work? Yes. He’s only 24, has good physical qualities and fills a massive need.
Grade: B+ Really good business for Stoke who can now focus their attentions elsewhere. Just a concern about him staying fit having been injured for so long.
Benat – Real Betis to Athletico Bilbao (£8m)
What’s the story? Benat is one of the top playmakers in Spain and is a Basque. Bingo for Bilbao.
Is the price right? Yes. Probably spot on. Bilbao had £35m in their pocket from selling Javi Martinez so could afford it. Betis are not in great shape financially.
Why sign him? They needed to replace the calm passing of Javi Martinez. They really missed Martinez last season as they struggled to keep up the momentum built over recent seasons.
Why sell him? They needed the money really and he was Betis’ only salable asset.
Will it work? Yes. Potentially spectacularly as well. Bilbao have the frenzied pressing and passing that Dortmund and Bayern have utilised but couldn’t do it properly last year without a proper string puller.
Grade: A Another good bit of business. They’ve replaced Martinez which could make them a serious force in La Liga again.
Dries Mertens – PSV to Napoli (£9m)
What’s the story? Mertens is pretty much the only one of the star Belgians not in the Premier League.
Is the price right? It certainly is. If anything it’s quite cheap. Mertens scored 16 and made 17 goals last season. Even in the Eredivisie it’s an impressive strike rate from the left wing.
Why sign him? Napoli want to win Serie A and they’re not a million miles away. However, last season only Cavani and Hamsik got to double figures. He’d either make for a potent front three with Cavani and Insigne if the Uruguayan stays or be the first step in replacing his output.
Why sell him? Mertens had said he wanted to test himself in a bigger league and PSV could afford to sell in order to move quickly for Adam Maher.
Will it work? It really should do. His pace will be rare in Serie A. The possible worry is whether the tactical nature of the game in Italy will shackle his natural game. However, Napoli have good counter attacking personnel which would compliment him.
Grade: B+ Not a massive need and unproven in a defensive league however, he possesses game changing skill and speed and gives them consistent attacking menace to add to what they have.
Adam Maher – AZ Alkmaar to PSV (£7m)
What’s the story? Maher is considered the elite Dutch prospect and PSV have done amazingly to get him.
Is the price right? I don’t understand how this has gone through unopposed. Tom Ince is getting bids of £8m which shows the insanity of some English clubs. This is a really cheap price for such a talent.
Why sign him? They needed to replace Mertens’ offensive production and getting the chance to sign such an incredibly talented player so quickly means they shouldn’t experience any real drop off in their attacking play.
Why sell him? AZ are in bad financial shape at the moment and Maher wanted to test himself in Europe.
Grade: A+ Could end up trebling their money in a few years.