With reports emerging that Bale could move for a world record fee of around £100m and with Man City, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, Real Madrid and (erm….)West Ham splashing the cash already - it’s expected that this transfer window will break records for the amount of money spent (despite a relative lack of movement overall in the market so far). But not all important transfers are the ones which cost the most money – a number of clubs have already made what could be key acquisitions in preparation for the season ahead. But which new signings could outshine their more expensive counterparts in the new season?
Part of the famed Barcelona academy – Deulofeu has found his chances hard to come by at the Nou Camp thanks to the star studded midfield in front of him. Deulofeu is very highly rated at Barcelona though after scoring 18 goals for Barcelona B last season and is clearly being looked at as one for the future. He is a massive talent and Barcelona have decided that the best way of him developing further is for him to go out on loan to get some first team football. And make no mistake about it – he will be playing (as has been proven by Everton’s pre-season games). Don’t expect a massive number of goals from him – but there will be some assists. He is an exciting player – and will fit well into Martinez’s philosophy.
Wilfried Bony was linked with a number of major clubs following a highly successful spell at Vitesse Arnhem where he scored 46 goals in 65 appearances. And when Swansea jumped ahead of the rest to steal his signature – a number of eyebrows were raised. Swansea were looking for a goal scorer – and by breaking their transfer record to sign the Ivorian they have certainly signalled their intent to address that area of their team. Bony could well prove to be a massive coup for the club and a player that some bigger teams will regret not getting their hands on. Expect 20 goals and some rumours about his future next summer (I’d be interested to know if there is a clause in his contract……).
English players generally come at a premium rate – you only have to look at Carroll, Downing, Bent and Henderson to see that. But in Nathan Redmond - Norwich City have potentially made a fantastic signing for a fraction of the cost that other similar players have moved for. He is far from being the finished article – but he is a player with massive potential and under the stewardship of Chris Hughton he will be allowed to develop with patience. I think that the first couple of months of the season will show a few glimpse of what he can do – but expect him to really push forward after Christmas.
Marc Muniesa is another player that has come to the Premiership from Barcelona’s academy – but the story behind Muniesa is a bit different to Deulofeu. Muniesa was on the verge of a first team breakthrough at the start of last season but suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in pre-season which took him 6 months to recover from. He has now joined Stoke on a four year deal and expectations for the young defender are high. This is my wildcard pick. Young Spanish players have come to the Premiership before and succeeded. Others have failed. But joining a club like Stoke at this age should put him in good stead for life in the top flight. Expect a few howlers – but overall a solid first season.
Toure could well be a great signing for Liverpool and should help to plug a defence that leaked a lot of goals last season. He has top level Premiership experience, is a leader on the pitch and has the ability to handle pressure. It actually surprises me that more clubs weren’t in the hunt for his signature – especially Arsenal (who now look worryingly short in the centre of defence). There will be a number of game-saving tackles from Toure this season and he could well turn out to be a very shrewd signing.
Which player are you most intrigued by?
image: © Alfonso Jimenez