Picking a Summer Transfer Window Best XI

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistSeptember 2, 2013

Picking a Summer Transfer Window Best XI

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    The summer transfer window saw plenty of superstars swap clubs, but who are the best 11 summer signings when put together in a single squad? 

    That is the difficult task that I have taken on.

    With a plethora of players on the move, it was hard to narrow down the squad to just a starting lineup, but here is how the transfer window's best 11 ended up.

Formation: 3-4-3

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    To be able to include the wide range of attacking players who signed new deals this summer, moving to a 3-4-3 was mandatory. 

    The lack of world-class defenders also played a role in this formation. 

    If put on the pitch, this attempt at putting three defenders at the back will hopefully perform like a Juventus defensive trio rather than the poor attempt by Roberto Mancini and Manchester City last season. 

GK: Simon Mignolet

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    From: Sunderland

    To: Liverpool

    Quite a few quality goalkeepers moved around, but the one with the most promise out of that group is Liverpool's new No. 1, Simon Mignolet.

    Mignolet replaced Pepe Reina (loaned to Napoli) as the club's starter on the first day of the season, and the Reds have already seen an improvement in goal.

    Just like many of the signings that were made by manager Brendan Rodgers, the Mignolet one is for the future. 

    At just 25, the young Belgian has the potential to be the top goalkeeper at Anfield for close to a decade given the longevity of keepers in the beautiful game. 

CB: Angelo Ogbonna

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    From: Torino

    To: Juventus

    Angelo Ogbonna is a perfect fit for this hypothetical side not only because he will play in a three-man defence at Juventus, but because he is also one of the better defenders in Serie A. 

    Ogbonna spent the first six years of his career at Torino and is looking to take the next step into stardom with the Old Lady of Italian football.

    The 25-year-old Italian international will have to fight for playing time in Antonio Conte's lineup, but once he makes a permanent mark on the squad, he should end up being one of the best signings in Serie A this summer. 

CB: Toby Alderweireld

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    From: Ajax

    To: Atletico Madrid

    Toby Alderweireld is one of three players in this squad who made a last-minute move to his new club. 

    According to John Edwards at the Daily Mail, the 24-year-old centre-back was signed by Atletico Madrid as a replacement for Manchester City-bound Martin Demichelis. 

    With his move to Spain, the Belgian with 24 international caps becomes the second powerful central defender to leave the Dutch giants in two years. Last season, Jan Vertonghen left Ajax for Tottenham and was one of the best defenders in the English Premier League.

    If Alderweireld properly performs, look for the two to partner at the 2014 FIFA World Cup for a Belgian defence that no attack will be eager to go up against. 

CB: Sokratis Papastathopoulos

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    From: Werder Bremen

    To: Borussia Dortmund

    Why have just two strong centre-backs when you can have three? 

    That is the philosophy that was followed by Borussia Dortmund as they locked up the signature of Sokratis Papastathopoulos in July. The Greek defender has been a bit of a vagabond at the club level in recent years, with spells at AC Milan, Genoa and Werder Bremen. 

    Despite his failure to find stability at the club level, Papastathopoulos has turned into a solid defender at the age of 25. And if Mats Hummels or Neven Subotic are to go down for any reason, Papastathopoulos will be a strong replacement. 

LM: Gareth Bale

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    From: Tottenham

    To: Real Madrid 

    It took long enough for his transfer to become official, but Gareth Bale is a Real Madrid player at the steep cost of €100 million ($132 million), according to CNN.

    Bale showed last season at Tottenham why he is one of the best players in the world with his game-changing abilities. 

    It will be interesting to see how Bale will combine with Cristiano Ronaldo for Los Blancos, but one thing is for sure: He should start out on the left wing, which is exactly where he takes a place in this team.

    Bale has a tremendous left foot that can be utilized on any set piece within 30 yards of the goal, and he also has dynamic dribbling skills that can put himself or his teammates in great positions to score. 


CM: Mesut Ozil

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    From: Real Madrid

    To: Arsenal

    Bale's arrival at the Bernabeu made Mesut Ozil expendable, and by the time the window shut, the German international was an Arsenal player. 

    Ozil's move to the red half of North London came at a club-record £42 million fee, according to the Daily Telegraph. Ozil is being heralded as a game-changer at the Emirates, where he will link up with Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey in the Gunners midfield. 

    The 24-year-old can play in a variety of positions, but he thrives most when he is lined up in the center of the midfield. 

    Ozil's all-round skills are what make him one of the best, and there is no doubt that Arsenal fans will enjoy seeing him constantly create in attack this season. 

CM: Etienne Capoue

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    From: Toulouse

    To: Tottenham

    With the 3-4-3 formation comes a need for a defensive-minded midfielder. The player who best fits that bill is Tottenham's Etienne Capoue, who joined the White Hart Lane outfit from Toulouse in August. 

    Capoue has been a dominant force in the Spurs midfield since his arrival, and he has taken the defensive pressure off offensive star (and fellow new signings) Roberto Soldado

    With plenty of impressive attacking talent in front of him at Spurs, all Capoue has to do is be a brick wall in defence and start a plethora of counterattacks that will lead to goals. 

RM: Jesus Navas

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    From: Sevilla

    To: Manchester City

    Jesus Navas decided that spending a decade at Sevilla was enough for him as he joined Manchester City in early June. 

    The 27-year-old Navas has vast experience of the top-flight level in Europe, and he brings that, along with a deadly right foot, to Etihad Stadium.

    Navas is the perfect type of winger to join a squad that possesses plenty of aerial targets like Yaya Toure and Edin Dzeko.

    The passing on the ground by the Spanish winger is also a welcome addition to a team that is hungry to take back the Premier League title from Manchester United. 

LF: Neymar

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    From: Santos

    To: Barcelona

    Before Bale stole every headline the last several weeks, Neymar was the prized possession of the offseason.

    After a duel with Real Madrid, Barcelona scooped up the signature of the Brazilian playmaker. After he signed with Barca on June 3 for a fee of €57 million, Neymar went on to star at the FIFA Confederations Cup in his home country. 

    On his way to the tournament title with Brazil, Neymar further validated the hype by scoring four goals in the process. One has to imagine that playing with the likes of Lionel Messi, Xavi and Andres Iniesta will make him an even more dangerous player.

ST: Radamel Falcao

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    From: Atletico Madrid

    To: Monaco

    Radamel Falcao was also one of the prized assets out on the market this summer who was swept up relatively early. 

    The 27-year-old Colombian was poised for a big move after two impressive seasons at the Vicente Calderon with Atletico Madrid. Instead of joining a big spender like Chelsea, Manchester City or Paris Saint-Germain, Falcao opted to join newly promoted, tax-free Monaco. 

    With a chance to be the superstar at a club looking to get back to prominence (though the recent drama surrounding tax and political issues has to be concerning), Falcao will continue to play in relative obscurity in Ligue 1. But expect him to put in another astonishing season in the goal department. 

RF: Edinson Cavani

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    From: Napoli

    To: Paris Saint-Germain

    Filling out the star-studded attack lineup is Edinson Cavani, who made the leap north from Italy to France.

    Paris Saint-Germain broke their club-record transfer fee—quite the common occurrence in the past few transfer windows—to sign the Uruguayan forward. That club-record fee was €64 million, and it hands Cavani the opportunity to play up front with one of the deadliest forwards in the world, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

    With his ability to shift out to the right side of the pitch, Cavani is a perfect complement to Ibrahimovic, who is more of a traditional forward. 

    Who would you put in your summer transfer window best XI? 

    Comment below or leave me a comment on Twitter, @JTansey90.