Profiling the Biggest Transfer Market Signings so Far
If you want a profile of the biggest transfer market signings so far, this is the article for you.
La Liga, English Premier League, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1 clubs have already made notable moves.
The futures of Loïc Rémy, Yann M'Vila, Leandro Damião, Sebastian Jung, Tom Rogić and others are still up in the air. So, only confirmed transfers at the time this article was published will be included.
Keep in mind, more transfer moves could be made after this article is published.
There will also be a slide covering notable loan deals.
Notable Loan Moves
Gallo Images/Getty Images
Ángelo Henríquez, CF, Age: 18
From Manchester United to Wigan Athletic (loan)
Bleacher Report commenter Cristian Ojeda Vergara, a Chilean football aficionado, likened Henríquez's positional play to Ruud van Nistelrooy.
Vergara also pointed out Ángelo's intangibles.
It's a smart move from United management because Wigan Athletic has a Spanish speaking clique and manager Roberto Martínez can communicate fluently with Henríquez.
The United loanee has a window of opportunity to impress since Wigan centre forward Franco Di Santo isn't that good and striker Arouna Koné has left for the Africa Cup of Nations.
Bébé, CF/RW, Age: 22
From Manchester United to Rio Ave (loan)
Modern day Ali Dia.
Super agent Jorge Mendes, the Ari Gold of football, laughed his way to the bank.
August 17, 2010: Sir Alex Ferguson describes Manchester City's transfer activity as "kamikaze spending."
The same day, Ferguson admits spending £7.4 million on Bébé, despite never even watching him—not even on YouTube or DVD.
Federico Peluso, LB/CB, Age: 28
From Atalanta to Juventus (loan)
Good ball-winner but prone to gaffes, which is an indication of low football IQ.
His positioning was all over the place when Torino put five past Atlanta. In his first game for Juve, he was one of the three centre-backs in a 2-1 loss to Sampdoria.
Typical Peluso game, because he made five tackles and cut off three passes. But, he made inexplicable defensive mistakes.
For Emmanuel Icardi's second goal, Peluso forgot to mark him and was ball-watching; Pedro Mba Obiang slipped in Icardi for what turned out to be the winning goal.
What made that play mind-boggling stupid was Icardi had accidentally bumped into Peluso which should have sent off alerts in Federico's mind: "I need to mark Emmanuel!"
Ji Dong-Won, CF, Age: 21
From Sunderland to Augsburg (loan)
May have issues trying to displace Sascha Mölders for a starting position. Ji's transitioning from the English to German lifestyle will be made slightly easier with his compatriot Koo Ja-Cheol at the club.
Johan Djourou, CB, Age: 25
From Arsenal to Hannover (loan)
Djourou leaves Arsenal for 6-month Hannover loan. H96 have made a habit of plucking unwanted EPL players. Previous success w/ Diouf & Zieler— Clark Whitney (@Mr_Bundesliga) January 5, 2013
Marouane Chamakh, CF, Age: 28
From Arsenal to West Ham United (loan)
Andy Carroll is substantially better than Marouane in the air. Carlton Cole should always start over Chamakh. Modibo Maïga can't even get a game at centre forward.
Carroll is out (for now) with a knee injury and Maïga is at the ACON. For now, Chamakh's biggest rival is Cole.
Matuzalém, CM, Age: 32
From Lazio to Genoa (loan)
One of the most gifted passers in world football. Should never have left Shakhtar Donetsk. Will add a touch of class to Genoa's midfield as they attempt to stay in Serie A.
Mitchell Weiser, RAM, Age: 18
From Bayern Munich to Kaiserslautern (loan)
Then-German U-17 national manager Steffen Freund, the current Tottenham Hotspur assistant manager, had a lethal front four during the 2011 U-17 FIFA World Cup.
Up front was the precociously gifted Samed Yeşil, whose performances were a pivotal factor in his move to Liverpool.
The attacking midfield three comprised of the skillful Levent Aycicek, the nimble Weiser on the right and the agile Okan Aydın on the left.
Also, protecting the back four was Emre Can, who dominated in the middle.
Weiser was a standout and he'll be a good addition to a Kaiserslautern slide chasing promotion back into the Bundesliga.
To throw in a random fact: Rani Khedira, the brother of Sami, made a few appearances for Freund's team.
Sílvio, RB/LB, Age: 25
From Atlético Madrid to Deportivo La Coruña (loan)
With Filipe Luís playing the best football of his life, Sílvio doesn't even bother contemplating about the left-back role.
Juanfran's steady performances at right-back have elevated him into the Spanish national team.
These two players are keeping Sílvio on the outer at Atléti hence the loan away to Deportivo.
Depor have the leakiest defence in the league, so Sílvio can't possibly make things worse.
It's a predominantly Portuguese squad and Sílvio worked under newly appointed La Coruña manager Domingos at Braga.
Yohan Mollo, LW, Age: 23
From Nancy to Saint-Étienne (loan)
Yohan was my No. 3 transfer target for Brendan Rodgers last June. With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in a form slump, Mollo could be Pierre-Emerick's Robin.
Antonio Floro Flores, CF, Age: 29
Claudio Villa/Getty Images
From Udinese to Genoa for undisclosed fee
Granada will be hoping the next time Udinese send over a player, he doesn't have the same attitude as Antonio Floro Flores.
Floro Flores didn't want to stay in Spain, and told the club he was injured for an up and coming game, so he could go skiing.
Only scored once from 26 shots this season and will be looking forward to re-uniting with Genoa.
A few years ago, he was signed on loan by Genoa during the January transfer window and netted 10 times, including goals against AC Milan and Juventus.
Alexander Merkel, CAM, Age: 20
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images
From Genoa to Udinese in co-ownership deal
Whenever Genoa have played a formation with a No. 10, Andrea Bertolacci has been given that role instead of Alexander Merkel.
Alexander has also had stints in the centre of the pitch, but he isn't a dominant ball-winner or a deep-lying playmaker like Andrea Pirlo.
Merkel has vision and ability but just hasn't gotten it together yet.
If Udinese doesn't work out, he could always head to the Russian Premier League, given that he has flirted with the idea of playing for Russia.
Italian football correspondent Adam Digby commented on Merkel's progress (via In Bed With Maradona):
Two-footed and intelligent, the German seems to have all the tools to succeed but became a victim of Milan’s cost cutting this summer. His willingness in defence and good use of the ball should be seen at a much bigger club than Genoa.
Tal Ben Haim, Utility Player, Age: 30
Ben Hoskins/Getty Images
Signed by Queens Park Rangers as a free agent
Judging by Harry Redknapp's remarks (via BBC Sport), "He's [Tal Ben Haim] not here for the money or anything like that," Tal is probably being paid peanuts compared to some of the other overpaid players in the squad.
Harry, beggars can't be choosers, because Ben Haim has been out of football for a while, and QPR are a sinking ship—fitting, isn't it?
As long as Tal doesn't make mistakes, it's a standard signing from a struggling club.
Joe Cole, LW, Age: 31
Ben Radford/Getty Images
From Liverpool to West Ham United on a free transfer
A 17-year-old Joe Cole, hyped as England's next great player, wasn't the only talented youngster Harry Redknapp had at his disposal during the 1999-2000 season for West Ham United.
There was Paulo Wanchope (23), Frank Lampard (21), Frédéric Kanouté (21), Rio Ferdinand (20) and Michael Carrick (18).
Prodigious 16-year-old Jermain Defoe had also joined the club after ditching Charlton Athletic.
Joe is back home after spells at Chelsea, Liverpool and Lille.
Injuries took their toll on Cole, who at least had a notable pro career as opposed to not having a career at all like Sonny Pike, Wayne Harrison, Billy Kenny, etc.
In his first game back for West Ham, Joe provided two assists for James Collin (out of all people) in a 2-2 draw against Manchester United.
Lewis Holtby, AM, Age: 22
From Schalke to Tottenham Hotspur on a free transfer *
Schalke's No. 10, Lewis Holtby, will be leaving the club for nothing, nada, nichts. That's right, one of Germany's brightest talents will arrive at Tottenham on a Bosman.
This follows Daniel Levy using Standard Liège as an intermediary in the Zeki Fryers deal after the Spurs chairman felt Manchester United were trying to rip him off.
Elbow from the sky! Levy strikes again.
Last season, Holtby formed a double-pivot partnership with Jermaine Jones, since Raúl was the deep-lying forward.
Lewis' 2.6 tackles and 3.1 interceptions per game proved he was an elite ball-winner, but he was prone to being caught out of position. He wasn't a natural No. 6, hence why S04 signed Roman Neustädter from Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Holtby is at his best in a more creative role as evidenced this season and when he was on loan at Mainz.
During his spell with Die Nullfünfer, along with Ádám Szalai and André Schürrle, Holtby was a part of the Bruchweg Boys.
Chelsea would have signed Holtby for £10 million and succumbed to United's demands for Fryers.
The Blues need to make more smart footballing decisions in the transfer market (granted Demba Ba is a step in the right direction) like Levy.
* Holtby will play out his contract with Schalke and join Spurs in the summer.
With Levy holding all the cards, Sky Sports are reporting that Schalke are willing to sell Lewis this month to Tottenham for a derisive transfer fee.
Does Holtby want to give up UEFA Champions League football? Nope.
What Schalke are doing right now is beseeching for help from Levy.
Will he pay when he just needs to wait a few months to get Holtby for free? Wait, why is that even a question? Of course not, we are talking about Daniel Levy.
Tommaso Rocchi, CF, Age: 35
Feng Li/Getty Images
From Lazio to Inter Milan for €300,000 [£243,000]
Miroslav Klose's 3.1 shots per goal is one of the best conversion rates in Europe's elite leagues.
The aging Tommaso Rocchi didn't get much gametime, nor will he have much success at Inter Milan.
It's kind of the like the Gabriel Batistuta deal when he arrived from Roma on loan, because both signings are short-term with no-strings attached.
Gabriel returned back to Roma knowing his top flight career was over. Tommaso is only on a six-month contract with the Nerazzurri.
What will be Rocchi's next move? MLS? A-League? Retirement?
Daniel Carriço, CB/DM, Age: 24
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
From Sporting Lisbon to Reading for £609,000 [€750,000]
Daniel Carriço was set to join Sevilla in the summer but decided to stay, therefore logic dictated that he would extend his contract with Sporting.
He didn't (don't blame him since Sporting are a running joke among Porto and Benfica fans this season), and Sporting panic-sold him to Reading for essentially nothing.
Daniel was included in the 2007 Euro U-19 Team of the Tournament. If you look at that team, you'd probably think, "Wow, what a weak tournament class."
Well, not really.
There were notable omissions who've had better careers up to this point: Mesut Özil, Javi Martínez, Benedikt Höwedes, Jerome Boateng, Max Kruse, Dusan Tadić, Miralem Sulejmani and Marko Arnautović.
10/10 deal for Reading because a few years ago, Manchester United were interested in signing Carriço.
Chelsea, Manchester City and several La Liga clubs were also closely monitoring Carriço's performances.
For Daniel, it's a step-down, because he's so calm on the ball, reads the game well, leads by example and you would have thought by now he'd be considered an elite or even a world-class midfielder.
Injuries, internal disputes within Sporting and the club not being relevant in Europe have hurt Carriço's stock.
He's a good defender, but he could be a great midfielder due to his composure and positional discipline.
Raúl Bobadilla, CF, Age: 25
Harold Cunningham/Getty Images
From BSC Young Boys to Basel for €2.9 million [£2.4M]
Everytime I see Raúl Bobadilla, I think back to when he assaulted Sérgio Pinto, which is unfortunate because Raúl is a technically brilliant footballer.
There was the hat-trick against Udinese and the brace of assists vs. Liverpool.
Back to him being a hothead, it took him six minutes to get red carded against Lausanne last November.
He had scraped Guillaume Katz's head with a hammerfist, forcing referee Sascha Kever to dish out the red, to which Bobadilla demonstrated his anti-refereeing vocabulary to Kever.
Thankfully for Guillaume (who still acted as if he had been punched in the gut), it was a half-hearted swipe from Raúl, who then earned a lengthier suspension from the Swiss FA for his verbal assault on Kever.
If Basel qualify into the UEFA Champions League group stages and Bobadilla can showcase his talents like he has in the UEFA Europa League, he'll be earning a move to the Premier League.
Mathieu Debuchy, RB, Age: 27
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images
From Lille to Newcastle United for £5 million [€6.2M]
Danny Simpson is out with a broken toe, is in a contractual dispute with Newcastle and the club just signed French international Mathieu Debuchy.
Danny is pretty smitten with singer and X-Factor judge, Tulisa, who is based in London, so maybe Simpson might be moving to a London football club in the summer.
Debuchy is an upgrade from Danny since the Frenchman has better pedigree.
The Frenchman's performances in the UEFA Champions League have been sub-par.
Left several gaping holes in the shock loss to BATE Borisov.
Committed more fouls than tackles against Valencia.
He and Franck Beria were mainly culpable in the 6-1 humiliation to Bayern Munich.
Ivan Perisić, LAM, Age: 23
Ian Walton/Getty Images
From Borussia Dortmund to Wolfsburg for €8 million [£6.5M]
When Ivan Perisić was given a chance in BVB's starting XI (which wasn't often), he took his chance, i.e. a brace in the 3-2 loss to Hamburg, two assists vs. Kaiserslautern and a headed goal against Borussia Mönchengladbach.
He was a good impact sub, and there was that perfectly executed volley against Arsenal last season.
Good move from Wolfsburg.
Makoto Hasebe doesn't offer that much on the right. Ivica Olić averages 1.4 more fouls than shots created.
So, Perisić should walk into the starting XI on either side.
He'll form a creative combination with Diego, who looks like the Werder Bremen Diego.
Demba Ba, CF, Age: 27
Julian Finney/Getty Images
From Newcastle United to Chelsea for £7 million [€8.6M]
The law of averages dictated that the Blues would make an economically efficient signing.
Demba Ba is Fernando Torres' moment of truth.
Have a confident forward up front like Ba with Chelsea's astonishingly talented (and expensive) midfield, and see how many goals he can score.
It took him 35 minutes to do what Torres couldn't do in 903 minutes for CFC—score.
Romelu Lukaku must feel so confused, like Kevin De Bruyne.
Chelsea used to have a reputation as a club that didn't bring in young players. Now the club is stockpiling the best available young talents, but they don't know how to nurture them.
Giuseppe Rossi, CF, Age: 25
Giuseppe Bellini/Getty Images
From Villarreal to Fiorentina for €9.5 million [£7.7M]
Fiorentina are tough negotiators as is evident with the Rui Costa, Gabriel Batistuta, Francesco Toldo, Felipe Melo and Matija Nastasić sales.
However, Fiorentina rolled over to Villarreal in handing €9.5 million for a striker that had two ACL injuries and was on the books of a Segunda División club. It should have been €5 million or lower.
He has great balance, has a wonderful football IQ, possesses nifty foot work and is a technician. He's a footballer first, athlete second, so he should be able to bounce back from his horror injury spell.
Daniel Sturridge, CF, Age: 23
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
From Chelsea to Liverpool for £12 million [€14.8M]
Daniel Sturridge was sharp when he scored eight times in 12 Premier League games on loan for Bolton Wanderers whilst Fernando Torres scored once in 18 games for Chelsea.
The Blues will regret letting Daniel go, because he has the upside to be a prolific goal scorer in the Premier League.
Sturridge has that "it factor," and the most frequent criticism he receives is actually a trait of a centre forward—selfishness.
He didn't look that good against Mansfield, but he scored.
To segue into another topic, it was a clear handball from Luis Suárez and he took advantage in scoring. Was it intentional? No. How did he have time to react?
Was he going to admit he handled the ball like Miroslav Klose?
No. It's not up to Luis to be a gentleman (something that he isn't), it's up to the linesman and the referee to make the right call.
The Suárez witch-hunt by portions of the football media is embarrassing.
Alexandre Pato, CF, Age: 23
Claudio Villa/Getty Images
From AC Milan to Corinthians for €15 million [£12.2M]
Perhaps one of the reasons why Alexandre Pato succumbed so many times to a thigh injury is because he played with a thigh injury when he "recovered" from a thigh injury.
In an insightful article at the Daily Mail (no, this isn't a typo, it's actually a good article) by former Dutch international, Edgar Davids, he talked about how he and most footballers played through the pain barrier:
I think more than 70 percent of players play with injuries.
I remember at Ajax getting a kick in my face and when I touched my mouth for the first time I couldn’t feel any teeth. I had almost about 40 injections and braces and the next day I went in for training.
I can’t even remember playing a game without pain. People don’t see the determination behind getting on the pitch every week.
The manager wanted me back the following Sunday and that was it. Get on with it. If your manager needs you to play it’s like: 'Yes sir, I will play.'
Pato is a world-class finisher and people shouldn't be too concerned if he loses the rapid acceleration.
Remember, those were the same doubts people had over Ronaldo, when he endured injury after injury at Inter Milan.
Instead of being a dominant dribbling goal scorer, the Brazilian re-modelled his game to become a lethal goal poacher, and won the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
The move to Corinthians makes sense for Alexandre, because he wants to be in contention to play for Brazil at home during the 2014 World Cup.
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