July 7, 2012 by Saikat Chatterjee
With the Euro 2012 coming to an end after having provided the football fans with some respite since the domestic season ended, the monotonous drill of counting the days has begun. However, every cloud has a silver lining and that’s where the Transfer window comes in. The thought of clubs acquiring superstars and strengthening their squad is a huge allurement for the fans. While every club in every league is busy plugging their leaks we take a look at the significant transfers so far in La Liga, a league that epitomises the beautiful game like no one else.
Probably one of the best signings this summer, the Catalan giants have secured one of the most promising young footballers of the world for a fee of €14 million which might very well prove to be a fantastic bargain with time. The Valencia fullback was a target for a host of clubs including the English giants, Manchester United before he finally decided to return home to Barcelona.
The former Barcelona youngster has been a revelation since last season as he helped Valencia finish third in the league and then guided his national team to European glory. Alba was one of the most consistent players throughout the UEFA EURO 2012 and was rightly named in the ‘Squad of the tournament’. The Spanish fullback ended his perfect season with a goal in finals of European championships thus demonstrating his unquestionable ability and justifying his move to the best club team in the world.
With the kind of acumen Barcelona possess in midfield and attack, the prospect of facing Alves and Alba on either sides of the defence must be a terrifying thought for the defences in La Liga.
Transfer Rating: 9/10.
Valencia ended their longstanding interest in the Dutch fullback Gregory Van Der Wiel as Los Che splashed out €3.6 million to secure the services of the 28-year-old Portuguese international after an impressive season for the Portuguese outfit, Sporting Lisbon. Pereira moved to Lisbon in 2009 having spent a couple of years at Sporting Braga where he was a key figure for his team.
The Portuguese fullback carried his impressive form onto the international stage as he guided his team to the semi-finals of the tournament after a string of impressive displays.
Pereira is the kind of player who is expected to fit into Mauricio Pellegrino’s setup pretty easily especially given his style of play. The Portuguese fullback is a good player going forward and works hard tracking back and will add some necessary solidarity to the Los Che’s defence. And the fact that he is playing at his peak, the price Valencia are paying for him looks like a real bargain.
Transfer Rating: 7/10.
The Villarreal veteran is one of the first big names to be making their way out of the sinking ship. The former Real Madrid goalkeeper has signed for Sevilla for a fee of €3.5 million following the relegation of the club where he has spent five long years. Diego Lopez has been a crucial player for the yellow submarines and would have been a key figure in Villarreal’s journey back to the top.
As for Sevilla, the Los Rojiblancos have bought themselves an experienced and proven cover for their ageing captain Andres Palop for what seems to be a nominal price.
Transfer Rating: 7/10.
The Basque giants have re-signed the experienced Spanish striker who has returned to San Mames after a short but unsuccessful stint at Mestalla. The former Bilbao man joined Valencia back in 2010 scoring 21 times in over 80 appearances for the Los Che.
The Spanish striker will now return to Athletic for a third spell, having played for Bilbao earlier in 2002-03 and again between 2006 and 2008.The 31 year old striker is expected to add experience and depth to the shallow strike force of the Los Leones. With his wealth of experience at the topmost level, the reported transfer fee of €2.5 million might not be much afterall.
Transfer Rating: 6/10
Valencia have replaced the outgoing Adruiz with the highly-rated Spanish Under-21 striker Jonathan Viera from second division outfit Las Palmas for a fee of €2.5 million.
The 22-year-old came into limelight after a successful stint at Palmas where he scored eight times in 27 games for the Spanish outfit. Viera has signed a five-year contract with Los Che after reported interest from Barcelona and sure looks like a promising capture for Pellegrino and the club for the future.
Transfer Rating: Very talented but one for the future.