With the Euros now over, it is transfer talk that will dominate the pages of the football world for the next couple of months. There have already been a number of important transfers concerning the Premier League so far this summer. Here are a few of them:
Eden Hazard to Chelsea
The long drawn out public affair finally ended with Chelsea agreeing a transfer fee of £32m for the Belgian superstar. Hazard was by some distance the best player in last season’s Ligue 1. The departure of Lille’s prolific hitman Moussa Sow to Fenerbahce in the January market, looked to end any hope they had of challenging Montpellier, but Hazard stepped into the breach and became the driving force behind Lille reigniting a serious title challenge in the second half of the season, ending the season with an mightily impressive 22 goals and 16 assists.
Transfer Rating – 9/10. This is a fantastic singing in every sense. Hazard is perhaps the best player from the class of 91 and although the price tag is very high, he already has a great deal of experience for his age. Expect him to play of the left hand side of Chelsea’s attacking trident. He is an electric player to watch and if he hits his stride early on Chelsea may have the best player in the league in their team.
Marko Marin to Chelsea
Chelsea struck early with this move which surprised many. The transfer fee is rumoured to be around £6.5m. Marin is a player who was regarded as the most promising of the break-out players from this young German generation but he has to a certain extent stalled. Whereas the likes of Ozil and Reus look as though they are going to go on to become world champions, Marin has fallen out of the spot light. He’ll be hoping this move to Chelsea will be the spark to fulfill the potential. Here is our Bundesliga correspondent, Cesar Hernandez, views on the matter:
“Marko Marin, or the “German Messi.” Marin recently a signed five-year contract with recent Champions League winners, Chelsea. The “two-footed” German should be able to provide some genuine moments of genius in the midfield, but we will more than likely see him as a bench player for a while. Marin might need some time to just adjust, but has huge potential for the team.”
Transfer Rating – 6/10. The transfer price makes this a low risk deal and Marin does have the talent. He will likely be faced with very limited playing time though with the presence of Chelsea’s mouth-watering array of attacking talent.
Gylfi Sigurdsson to Tottenham Hotspur
After impressing during spells in English football with Reading and last season at Swansea, it was no surprise to see clubs falling over themselves trying to sign this player. He particularly had a habit of scoring with his head with Swansea last season, playing a starring role in securing their Premier League status in the second half of last season. Sigurdsson is joining from Bundesliga outfit Hoffenheim so here is Cesar to offer his view on the transfer:
“Sigurdsson is a great move for Tottenham. With Modric as good as out of the picture, Spurs needed to fill the immense gap in the midfield left by the Croatian star whose departure seems inevitable. Sigurdsson doesn’t have the notoriety of Modric, but if he has a season that’s on par with his performance with Swansea last year, there should be no problems. “
Transfer Rating – 6/10. A resolute signing for Spurs as Sigurdsson is a player who has shown he can excel in the Premier League. He is still young and if he continues to grow, the estimated £6.8m transfer fee could look a bargain in a few years. He doesn’t have the quality to completely replace Modric but he will neatly complement Parker or even fill in for Van der Vaart.
Shinji Kagawa to Manchester United
After Borussia Dortmund’s attempts to secure Kagawa on a long-term contract failed and with the real prospect of the player walking away on a free in one year, there was only one option left and that was to sell him. Manchester United bought him for £12m with the potential of another £5m on add-ons going to BvB later. Although Borussia will be disappointed to lose the player, especially given the circumstances, when they take into consideration that they only paid £250,000 to buy him from Cerezo Osaka, the profit percentage from the deal will console them along with the arrival of Marco Reus. Seen as Kagawa is another transfer from the Bundesliga, here is Cesar to offer his thoughts on Kagawa’s move:
“Next we have Shinji Kagawa who just signed for Manchester United. Supporters and critics are all very excited about the twenty-three year old who netted thirteen goals for Borussia Dortmund last season. United need a creative midfielder and Kagawa is a perfect fit for this role. He might prove to be one of the better signings of the Summer. “
Transfer Rating – 8/10. Kagawa offers the intricacy and dynamism that Manchester United have been lacking for a few seasons now. What I find to be the most intriguing aspect of this transfer is not so much Kagawa himself, but the impact that he will have on Rooney. Kagawa operates as a central attacking midfielder and that may mean Rooney will be moved in to a more orthodox centre-forward role given the limitations of both Wellbeck and Hernandes. Rooney, if he continues to play in the same role as he did last season, will often find himself stepping on the toes of Kagawa. United moved in for this deal at the perfect time and Kagawa is another exciting talent to add to the EPL viewing spectacle.
Olivier Giroud to Arsenal
To be honest, I struggled to see Arsenal fitting in both Giroud and Van Persie at the same time successfully. One would have to give and move to a wider role. It is therefore not absurd to believe Giroud was signed knowing full well Van Persie’s full intention not to extend his contract with the club. Giroud is an all round striker, he can be physical with central defenders and he can be neat in one touch passing moves. One of the biggest assets of Giroud is the technique of his shooting. He is a very clean striker and holds a high chance to goal ratio.
Transfer Rating – 7/10. The £13m price tag is a fair one. Giroud arrives coming off the back of his best ever season to date. He is a very pleasant and humble character, something the Montepellier chairman took in to serious consideration when Arsenal came knocking. Out of respect for Giroud and his achievements for Montepellier, he accepted their bid even though he believed he could be sold for more. If Van Persie does leave this summer, it will be unfair to place the responsibility of replacing him solely on Giroud’s shoulders. The responsibility to replace such an important player should be taken up by every player collectively. Many players have come from Ligue 1 and settled instantly into their stride of English football. This is a promising deal for Arsenal, one which will thrive even more in the absence of Van Persie.
Lukas Podolski to Arsenal
This is another deal that looked as though Arsenal were prioritising areas of their team in the market when there were other more pressing positions in the side that needed urgent strengthening. Now that the Van Persie news has broken, this also feels like a deal that was made with that in mind. The philosophy seems to be that instead of buying one player to replace Van Persie, you instead strengthen the whole attack and his absence is diminished through that. Once again, since Podolski comes from the Bundesliga, Cesar Hernandez shares his thoughts on Podolski’s transfer:
“The Gunners signed Lukas Podolski early in the summer, no drama, no long talks, a great relief for fans. The forward will be a great addition for Arsenal, with a great showing at the recent Euro tournament, the German will provide great experience which is currently imperative for the squad. Arsenal will be able to utilize all of their attacking talent, while being able to give some players a rest.”
Transfer Rating – 8/10. This transfer has been made without a great deal of fuss but I think it has been a tremendous piece of business by Arsenal. Podolski scored 18 goals in 31 appearances for Koln last season, a team that were eventually relegated. He is also the type of player Arsenal have been lacking for a while. How many times do you watch Arsenal try to pass the ball in to the net? Sometimes it is spectacular but it also can be frustrating. Podolski adds that cut-throat coldness they have lacked and will score goals from wide positions, something Gervinho desperately lacked last season. A solid move by Arsenal.