Blog by: TRP
The English Premier League has been the highest spending league in the world this season, with net expenditure standing at £500 million as of 28th August. While Manchester City were the initial players in the market with their £100 million splash on four players, other low key teams in England have gone against the tide to pay high sums for good talent.
As a result, the English League has become more diversified in every possible sense. As we enter the final week of the transfer window, few transfer sagas have taken the limelight and are filling every page on every tabloid out there.
Suarez, Rooney, Bale and Mata being the central to all those stories. It seems as though Suarez and Rooney have patched things up with their respective clubs and are looking at another two seasons before moving anywhere. The unending stories on Juan Mata, moving to every possible big club in the world, have left every Chelsea fan baffled, bringing into question the integrity of the modern day sport journalism.
Such methods have been frustrating the fans of almost every club, though some find it amusing. Moving on to business, Spurs have announced the signings of Erik Lamela and Vlad Chiriches and are still in the market for another winger, Christian Eriksen being linked strongly.
The dominating headline last week, has been the transfer of Brazilian attacker Willian to England from Russian outfit Anzhi Makachkala. Going by the story, it was a case of classic revenge between the owners of Chelsea and Spurs, where Roman Abramovich had some scores to settle with his London counterpart.
Willian, who landed in London ahead of signing for Spurs, had a medical with them, which was made public by the club. But before Spurs could go any further with the formalities, Chelsea jumped in and grabbed Willian from right under their noses. Willian was supposed to be the replacement for the outgoing Gareth Bale, and Chelsea didn’t let that happen.
The signing of the Brazilian was announced by the West London club yesterday after his work permit was approved, with the fee rumored to be around £33 million. This move from Chelsea forced Spurs and AVB to look elsewhere, and Ajax winger Christian Eriksen was their next choice.
According to some journalists, the two clubs have agreed on a fee and the transfer is in the advanced stage. Eriksen had two trials at Chelsea during his career but was rejected on both occasions owing to his lack of physical strength to play in the Premier League.
That was almost a decade ago, when the primary selection parameter was physicality. With the biggest transfer in football history about to go through in the next 12 hours, almost all teams are looking to wrap up the deals and avoid any final day panic signings or inflated transfers. We take a look at the most recent transfer activity in England, mostly London.
With the Rooney saga coming to an end following the 48 hour ultimatum of Jose Mourinho after the match at Old Trafford on Monday, Chelsea were left to seek options elsewhere. Samuel Eto’o was kept on hold for almost a week, in case anything positive developed in the Rooney front.
Once, that was cleared, Eto’o became the next option. The decorated Cameroon international arrived in London yesterday and will be announced as a Chelsea player later today. He is reportedly moving on a free transfer and is taking a massive wage cut from his record breaking £350,000-a-week at Anzhi to £115,000-a-week at Chelsea on a one-year-contract with an option to extend it further by a year.
Samuel Eto’o will be the final signing of Chelsea this summer, with the last piece of the puzzle falling into place. This transfer though, will force Chelsea to offload one of its non-homegrown players, most possibly Demba Ba, on a temporary basis, in order to comply with the league registration rules.
Eto’o, a four time African Player of the Year, is a natural goalscorer, and brings in vast amount of experience, something Chelsea has been lacking after the departure of Drogba. The Cameroonian’s ability to find the net on regular basis will boost the lackluster striking department of Chelsea. His goal record is matched only by a select few and top flight clubs will have a tough time containing Eto’o.
Another Chelsea acquisition, which we already talked about, was Willian Borges da Silva. The agile and pacy Brazilian winger is all what Chelsea don’t need at the moment. With that particular department overflowing with talented players, Willian’s addition was completely unnecessary.
But hey, when you have egotistic owners, such things are bound to happen. On the plus side, Willian will make the currently strong Chelsea team, a much more complete outfit, giving the manager a lot of selection headaches. Willian has shown what he could do on the pitch during his time at Shakhtar Donetsk.
In him, Chelsea has gained another defense unlocker and a clinical finisher, probably better than Hazard and Mata. Time can only tell. He also brings in reasonable amount of physicality, making him an ideal winger by EPL standards.
Spurs were the center of attraction even before the transfer season started. Gareth Bale was touted as the next big thing in world football after Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar. The Welshman was always bound to be linked with the ‘big’ teams, thanks to his heroics which helped Spurs get a Europa League berth.
Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, was renowned to play hardball when it came to selling his players. Real Madrid and Manchester United were the only realistic destinations for Bale, and it was the Spanish who took the lead.
With the world record transfer getting its final polishes, Spurs went out and staked their claim in the market. AVB, with his previous scouting experience brought in six players for a combined fee of £95.7 million. The latest of those being Erik Lamela and Vlad Chiriches.
Erik Lamela was one of the exciting prospects in Italian football last season. He was bought by Roma in 2011 from Argentinian club River Plate, where he also had his youth career. He has the ability play anywhere in the attack line and is blessed with natural pace and skill. One can compare him to the likes of Eden Hazard or Neymar. Where he would fit in the Spurs team is a big question, putting the future of Aaron Lennon in doubt.
The sale of Steven Caulker to Cardiff and the release of William Gallas on free transfer meant they needed a decent cover at center-back position. Vlad Chiriches of Steua Bucharest was seen as a viable option. AVB could be in the market for another defender, as going into the season with four center-backs is a risky proposition.
All in all, Chelsea and Spurs were the front runners in the transfer market, acquiring some good talent and making the English League richer with quality players. It was London that was the destination for many footballers new to the Premier League, with Arsenal yet to start spending on players.
Few of the other transfers that have the chance of going through before the window shuts close on September 2nd are:
1) Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini to Manchester United
2) Christian Atsu to Chelsea, Victor Moses and Demba Ba out on loan.
3) Christian Eriksen to Spurs
4) Martin Demicheles to Man City
5) Mamadou Sakho to Liverpool