It’s that time of year again. Superstar signings and bemused fans. Who will move where and for how much? For the last two years, all the talk has been about Fernando Torres after he joined Chelsea from Liverpool for a massive £50 million. He has since gone on to score 15 goals in 85 appearances meaning he averages out at £3.3 million per goal. He is, undoubtedly, the definition of a bad signing. But what makes a bad signing and, more importantly, what makes a good one?
All too often fans are heard slating their club’s signings, “They paid how much?” arguably the most common question each July. In this article I will be analysing what makes a great transfer and keeps fans happy.
Proven track record
Fans want to know that their team’s new signing will perform well, right from their debut and repay their price tag quickly. If the player has already played well, maybe he scored 23 goals last season in the Bundesliga, then supporters will see him as a good addition to the team. However, a slow start and fans will get on his back and demand a new striker.
A young energetic player from the lower reaches of the English leagues might occasionally come good in the top flight, however most fans would rather see a more experienced player with a couple of successful seasons in the Premier League under his belt. It will be interesting to see the impact Wilfried Zaha has on the Premiership as he is very much an unknown quantity.
So, applying this logic, who are the best and worst signings so far this season?
With 18 goals in 65 appearances for Bayer Leverkusen over two seasons (11 last season) Schurrle comes to Chelsea as one of the hottest attacking midfielders in Germany. Along with some fantastic performances for the national team yielding 7 goals, the playmaker has been on fire in the Bundesliga after completing a £6.5 million move from Mainz to Leverkusen two years ago. He should fit in nicely with Chelsea’s attacking and free-flowing style of football and will presumably slot into a forward role in a 4-3-3 formation.
Navas has joined the long list of high quality wingers at Manchester City. He will have to battle for a place in the first team with the likes of David Silva, Samir Nasri and Scott Sinclair. Navas swapped Sevilla for Manchester in a deal meaning that one of the best wingers in the world, involved in Spain’s record breaking European Championship triumph, is at Manuel Pellegrini’s disposal in his bid to reclaim the Barclay’s Premiership title for The Citizens.
Liverpool have snapped up one of the best goalkeepers in the Premiership from last season in Mignolet, in a deal thought to be worth around £10 million. He will, however, face stiff competition for a starting position next season from Pepe Reina, the club’s current number one keeper. Mignolet could play a pivotal role in The Reds’ push for Champions League football and I’m sure he will relish the challenge.
A number of Brazilians have joined Premier League clubs over the last five years with varied results: Jo and Robinho both struggled to settle in at Manchester City, whilst Giovanni Dos Santos and Heurelho Gomes never quite reached the expected level of performance at Tottenham. There have however been some success stories: despite a number of fans criticising his defending, no one can say that David Luiz hasn’t played well for Chelsea. Spurs fans will hope that Paulinho settles quickly and soon reaches the high levels that he attained whilst in Brazil.
The best of the rest
Everton have signed Arouna Kone who, after a brilliant start to life in the Premier League last season with Wigan, could be the man to end The Toffees recent struggle in front of goal.
Dutch international goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg has joined Fulham as a replacement and possibly even an upgrade on Mark Schwarzer. Stekelenburg put in some fantastic performances during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa which really made people start to take notice of him.
The move from West Brom to sign Nicolas Anelka is an interesting one. Many would say he is well past his prime and hasn’t performed consistently for years but I think that he may
just fill the Romelu Lukaku shaped hole up front for The Baggies.
Hull City have bolstered their defensive options with the signings of duo Curtis Davies and Maynor Figueroa who might just help The Tigers retain their Premier League status for a second season.
So, only time will tell who will live up to their price tag and who will fall short. Get in touch and tell me what your thoughts are.