Summer transfers – The good, the bad, and the ugly

Posted on September 1, 2010

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Tim Harris explores the bargain buys and the silly signings of the transfer window.

INEVITABLY, every year the transfer window will throw up some shock surprises, impressive coups, and of course, some fully questionable acquisitions.

So with the window now firmly shut, and using the wonderful gift of hindsight, we can all sit back and dissect the aftermath.

Alexander Hleb is set to rejoin the Premier League

The Good
Barce-loan-a
Alexander Hleb (Barcelona – Birmingham City) – (loan)
Following a less than inspiring start to their season, Birmingham City have successfully recruited a fantastic new asset in former Arsenal midfielder Alexander Hleb. 

 The Belarus winger struggled to find first team football at the Nou Camp, and now returns to the Premiership to perform his skills at St Andrews.  Birmingham, who have already shown indications of missing their loan hero of last year (Joe Hart), might have a new star to worship.

Ghanan guile
Asamoah Gyan (Rennes – Sunderland)
Unfortunately, Asamoah Gyan will be best remembered for the penalty that failed to punish Luis Suárez for his disgraceful World Cup handball.

 Nonetheless, the former Rennes ace did showcase his skills very successfully in South Africa.  Injuries have hindered his football in recent campaigns, but should he remain fit, Sunderland’s new striker is certain to be on the score-sheet this season.

Super Mario
Mario Balotelli (Inter Milan – Man City)
Who’d have thought Manchester City would be involved in a big money signing this summer.  The Italian front-man is believed to have arrived at Eastlands for a fee in the region of £24 million; hardly small change.

Mario Balotelli - Worth the millions?

And for such an absurd amount of money, the City supporters will hungrily expect goals from their new player.  At only 20 years of age, the young forward comes with a San Siro pedigree.  Balotelli has impressed in Serie A, but he wouldn’t be the first player to arrive in the Premier League from a Milan club and disappoint…

The Bad
Roy’s ploy
Paul Konchesky (Fulham – Liverpool)
Alex Kacaniklic (Liverpool – Fulham) (player exchange)
It is no secret that Konchesky was top of Roy Hodgson’s wish-list for some time; the new Liverpool manager was keen to link up with the full-back once again.

There is no doubting Paul Konchesky is a talented football player.  However, the underlying truth remains that Konchesky is 29 years of age, has only 2 England caps to his name, and both of which have arrived during meaningless friendlies.  He might do a job at Liverpool, but he won’t win them any silverware.

That said; Fulham have probably received the raw end of this deal.  In exchange for Konchesky, through the gates of Craven Cottage has walked Alex Kacaniklic.  You are forgiven for not recognising the name.  The young Swedish talent has been playing his football in the Liverpool academy for the past few years.  Kacaniklic might turn out to be the next boy wonder.  But no, I haven’t heard of him either.

Blunderland
Kenwyne Jones (Sunderland – Stoke City)
Danny Welbeck (Man United – Sunderland) – loan
Had the Black Cats not secured the services of Asamoah Gyan on deadline day, Steve Bruce might have looked rather foolish offloading Kenwyne Jones to Stoke, only to fill the void with Welbeck on loan the following day. 

The Manchester United forward doesn’t have many goals to his name, or appearances for that matter.

Kenwyne Jones has swapped one red and white striped kit for another

Mouyokolo at the Molineux
Steven Mouyokolo (Hull City – Wolves)
It makes sense that Mick McCarthy might want to add numbers to his defence to raise the chances of a Wolves survival this season.

However, what makes no sense whatsoever is this purchase.  Mouyokolo and Hull provided a master-class last season in how not to survive relegation, letting in 75 goals – the second most prolific conceders in the Premiership.  Maybe Mick knows something we don’t. 

The Ugly
Let’s keep this short; no need to dwell.

James Milner (Aston Villa – Man City)
The transfer that took far too long, and cost Villa a player, a manager, and maybe a season?

Jason Scotland (Wigan Athletic – Ipswich Town)
Another piece of evidence that a prolific Football League striker can very easily fall flat in the Premiership.

Craig Bellamy (Man City – Cardiff City) – (loan)
Putting Bellamy’s personal reasons aside, don’t expect him to be the last big name star to feel forced out of Manchester City.

Some potential to watch:
–          Marouane Chamakh (Bordeaux – Arsenal)
–          Ramires (Benfica – Chelsea)
–          Raul Meireles (Porto – Liverpool)
–          Sébastien Squillaci (Sevilla – Arsenal)
–          Hatem Ben Arfa (Marseilles – Newcastle) – (loan)
–          Jean Beauejour (Club America – Birmingham City)
–          Eidur Gudjohnson (AS Monaco – Stoke City) – (loan)
–         Aleksander Kolarov (Lazio – Man City)
–         Javier Hernández (Chivas de Guadalajara – Man United)
–         Winston Reid (FC Midtylland – West Ham)

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