30 Bold Predictions for the 2014 Summer Transfer Window

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentFebruary 4, 2014

30 Bold Predictions for the 2014 Summer Transfer Window

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    If you want 30 bold predictions for the 2014 summer transfer window, then continue reading.

    Here are 30 speculative transfer predictions which have not been regurgitated by the football media.

    The point of this slideshow is to inundate you with deals which you may not have thought of.

    Please note, these are speculative predictions, so do not take them seriously. Feel free to comment below with your own transfer prognostications.

30 and 29. Luke Brattan and Tom Rogic

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    Bold Transfer Prediction: Heracles Almelo sign Brisbane Roar central midfielder Luke Brattan and Celtic central attacking midfielder Tom Rogic.

    Why It Could Happen: Eredivisie clubs have extensively scouted Australian A-League players.

    2014: PEC Zwolle signed Trent Sainsbury from Central Coast Mariners.
    2013: AZ signed Eli Babalj from Melbourne Heart.
    2010: Utrecht signed Tommy Oar, Adam Sarota and Michael Zullo from Brisbane Roar.
    2009: AZ signed James Holland from Newcastle Jets.
    2009: Twente signed Nikita Rukavytsya from Perth Glory.
    2006: PSV Eindhoven signed Archie Thompson on loan from Melbourne Victory.

    Brattan has yet to embark on an ambitious journey abroad despite being one of the classiest midfielders in Australia.

    He controls the tempo of play and is an active ball winner.

    His excellent goal against Wellington Phoenix indicates there is potential for him to expand his game.

    "He's [Brattan's] very intelligent, he's intuitive, he can score goals, he can make goals, he can defend," Roar manager Mike Mulvey said, per Dejan Kalinic at Sportal.com. "His biggest challenge is challenging himself in his mind as to how far he wants to take his ability."

    With regards to Rogic, he was on the outside looking in at Celtic hence the loan to Melbourne Victory.

    He was lively in the 1-1 draw against Perth Glory, hitting the crossbar with a thunderous shot from 30 yards out and being a creative influence.

    He is Australia's most technically gifted player: He has represented the Australian national team in both futsal and football.

    He should be playing in Europe, so an attack-driven league like the Eredivisie should enhance Rogic's game.

    Heracles, a team that are 11th in the Eredivisie, represents a logical steppingstone for Brattan and could help revitalise Rogic's career.

    Their fellow Aussie, Jason Davidson, is an established starter at left-back for Heracles, so he can ease Brattan and Rogic into life in the Netherlands.

28. Nemanja Gudelj

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    Bold Transfer Prediction: West Bromwich Albion sign AZ central midfielder Nemanja Gudelj.

    Why It Could Happen: West Brom need a high-quality backup to Claudio Yacob and Youssouf Mulumbu in the scenario that one of the two suffers a long-term injury—Gudelj is an ideal target.

    He is tall, possesses extensive passing range and is a box-to-box runner, so these attributes will assist him greatly in the Premier League.

    In the past, West Brom have monitored AZ players leading to the signings of goalkeeper Brian Jensen in 2000, centre-back Joost Volmer in 2003 and centre-back Ryan Donk on loan in 2008.

27. Josip Drmic

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    Bold Transfer Prediction: Bayer Leverkusen sign Nurnberg right-winger/centre-forward Josip Drmic.

    Why It Could Happen: Leverkusen right-forward Sidney Sam will depart for Schalke in the summer transfer window, per Dw.de, so targeting Drmic is common sense.

    Nurnberg's plan is pretty simple: Pass the ball to Hiroshi Kiyotake, hope he evades several opposing defenders and then hit a perfect incisive pass to an onrushing Drmic from the right wing. 

    Drmic's first touch takes him past the majority of defenders in the Bundesliga.

    Since he is so calm in front of goal—10 goals from 33 shots—he converts his chances without needing to take three or four shots per game (he averages 1.8 shots per game, so he's efficient).

26. Takashi Inui

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    Bold Transfer Prediction: Hellas Verona sign Eintracht Frankfurt left winger Takashi Inui.

    Why It Could Happen: Inui has not scored or created a league goal this season.

    What makes his performances even worse is that he does not contribute defensively (averages 0.7 tackles per game).

    Last season, Inui scored six times, created five goals and had impactful performances for Eintracht Frankfurt.

    A change of scenery could spark some life back into Inui.

    Hellas Verona gambled on bringing in Juan Iturbe from Porto, who was only loaned out because he could not make the first team on a regular basis.

    Like Iturbe, Inui is a nippy, technically-astute and dynamic game changer.


25. Fabian Johnson

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    Bold Transfer Prediction: Liverpool sign Hoffenheim left-back Fabian Johnson.

    Why It Could Happen: Johnson would be a free transfer as his contract runs out at the end of the season.

    Like Aly Cissokho, Johnson has some flaws in his positional sense, but he adds an X-Factor charging forward.

    If Cissokho's loan is not renewed, then you can see why the Reds would sign Johnson, who will compete with Jose Enrique and Jon Flanagan for a starting position.

24. Jonathan Viera

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    Bold Transfer Prediction: Everton sign Valencia deep-lying forward/left-attacking midfielder Jonathan Viera.

    Why It Could Happen: Viera has flown under the radar on loan at Rayo Vallecano and he would be an ideal Everton target as major European clubs are not likely to bid for him.

    This was Swansea City's thought process when they signed Michu from Rayo and he went on to score 18 goals in his debut Premier League season.

    Viera has scored and created 11 of Rayo's 21 league goals.

    He excels in an unrestricted role centrally, so Everton manager Roberto Martinez could see Viera as an alternative to Ross Barkley.

    If Barkley is in the line-up, then he will play behind the centre-forward and Viera can slot in as an inverted right-footed attacking midfielder on the left-wing.

23. Patrick Ebert

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    Bold Transfer Prediction: Wolfsburg sign Real Valladolid right-winger Patrick Ebert.

    Why It Could Happen: The relationship between Ebert and Valladolid management is irreconcilable.

    Ebert recently skipped a game because he didn't feel like playing.

    "I will not accept blackmail," Valladolid president Carlos Suarez said, per Inside Spanish Football. "I'm sick and tired of this new agent he has."

    Wolfsburg need a right-attacking midfielder to compliment central attacking midfielder Kevin De Bruyne and left-attacking midfielder Ivan Perisic—Ebert could be a viable candidate.

22. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting

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    Bold Transfer Prediction: AC Milan sign Mainz left-attacking midfielder Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.

    Why It Could Happen: Choupo-Moting has scored four goals as a super-sub, so Milan could utilise his immediate impact off the bench.

    He is an agile 6'3" forward blessed with an immaculate first touch and has the ability to take on opposing players.

    If Milan are going to sign Adel Taarabt, who went goalless in 12 Premier League games, the Serie A club should keep tabs on Choupo-Moting.

21. Jonathan Schmid

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    Bold Transfer Prediction: Newcastle United sign Freiburg right-winger Jonathan Schmid.

    Why It Could Happen: In 2012, Newcastle signed Freiburg's most potent attacking weapon at the time in Papiss Cisse, so why not go for Schmid?

    With the departure of Yohan Cabaye, what Newcastle should do is move Moussa Sissoko, who has predominantly played on the right wing, to a deep-lying forward role.

    This leaves Hatem Ben Arfa, who has only started in 55 percent of Premier League games that he has been involved in this season, on the right wing.

    So Newcastle will need a viable right-wing alternative to Ben Arfa.

    Schmid, who has a higher amount of chances created per game (2.8) than Ben Arfa (1.1), could be that man.

20. Vincent Aboubakar

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    Bold Transfer Prediction: Borussia Dortmund sign Lorient centre-forward Vincent Aboubakar.

    Why It Could Happen: Robert Lewandowski, Dortmund's current No. 9, will be moving to Bayern Munich in the summer transfer window, per Bayern's official website, therefore Aboubakar should be in the running to replace Lewandowski.

    Aboubakar is having a breakout season in Ligue 1, scoring 12 times and registering five assists for Lorient.

    What makes Aboubakar's achievements more impressive is that Lorient are ranked 10th in Ligue 1.

    He has put Lorient on his back and is carrying the team just like Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang did at Saint-Etienne. Dortmund signed Aubameyang in 2013.

19. Oliver Baumann

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    Bold Transfer Prediction: Borussia Monchengladbach sign Freiburg goalkeeper Oliver Baumann.

    Why It Could Happen: With Gladbach set to lose No. 1 Marc-Andre ter Stegen to Barcelona, per Mundo Deportivo (h/t Football Espana), Baumann is a tried-and-tested replacement.

    Yes, he attracted negative headlines for making three blunders in a 3-0 defeat to Hamburg, but he also leads the Bundesliga in saves made (101).


18. Felipe Gutierrez

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    Bold Transfer Prediction: Manchester United sign Twente central midfielder Felipe Gutierrez.

    Why It Could Happen: United need a commanding midfielder and Gutierrez fits the build.

    He is an all-action midfielder whose prominence in Twente's engine room is why the club are still in the running to win the Eredivisie (just four points behind Ajax).

    His leadership has been key in teammates Kyle Ebecilio and Shadrach Eghan playing invaluable roles for the club. 

    Gutierrez is the type of midfielder United must target in the summer transfer window. 


17. Hiroshi Kiyotake

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    Bold Transfer Prediction: Mainz sign Nurnberg central attacking midfielder Hiroshi Kiyotake.

    Why It Could Happen: Seventh-placed Mainz are an upgrade over 15th-placed Nurnberg.

    Kiyotake would be linking up with his compatriot Shinji Okazaki at Mainz.

    Okazaki has scored nine times without Kiyotake, so can you imagine how many goals that pairing could produce?

    Kiyotake leads Nurnberg in assists (five), chances created per game (2.5) and dribbles per game (3.3).

    He and Josip Drmic, who has scored 10 league goals, are the reason why Nurnberg are not bottom of the Bundesliga.

16. Oliver Sorg

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    Bold Transfer Prediction: Arsenal sign Freiburg full-back Oliver Sorg.

    Why It Could Happen: Arsenal need to cover themselves in the event that Bacary Sagna decides to leave on a free transfer, per Jeremy Wilson at the Telegraph.

    Sorg is a resilient defender who has played 72.7 percent of his games this season at right-back and the other 27.3 percent at left-back.

    He has completed 60 tackles in return for just 14 fouls, so he is an effective tackler.

    He can compete with Carl Jenkinson for the right-back spot, should Sagna say au revoir.

15. Johannes Geis

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    Bold Transfer Prediction: Liverpool sign Mainz defensive midfielder Johannes Geis.

    Why It Could Happen: The summer signings of Luis Alberto and Tiago Ilori prove Liverpool are planning ahead, so securing the playing rights of Geis, one of the Bundesliga's brightest midfield prospects, could be a possibility.

    He has played beyond his years in midfield under Thomas Tuchel.

    Geis has made the most tackles (64) and has registered the most assists (four) at Mainz. He is a player to keep an eye on. 

14. Vito Mannone

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    Bold Transfer Prediction: AC Milan sign Sunderland goalkeeper Vito Mannone.

    Why It Could Happen: Milan need to think about a contingency plan in moving away from the Christian Abbiati era, so his replacement could be Mannone.

    He came up big with penalty saves to deny Adnan Januzaj and Rafael which were the reason why Sunderland reached the League Cup final after a shoot-out win over Manchester United.

    Mannone's saves per goal conceded (5.2) is substantially higher than Abbiati's (1.0).

13. Rafa "Rafinha" Alcantara

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    Bold Transfer Prediction: Bayern Munich sign Barcelona wide-forward/centre midfielder Rafa Alcantara, also known as Rafinha.

    Since Bayern's right-back is Rafinha, this slide will refer to Barca's Rafinha as Rafa to avoid confusion.

    Why It Could Happen: How loyal is Rafa? He went from being a Spanish youth international to a Brazilian youth international (his father, Mazinho, won the 1994 FIFA World Cup with Brazil).

    Rafa's buyout clause is €30 million, per Barca's official website, which is reasonable when you consider his world-class upside.

    Barca underestimated Rafa's career projection because he has been elite on loan at Celta Vigo: He has three assists in his last four games. He scored a brace against Real Sociedad. He created four goalscoring chances in the 3-0 defeat to Real Madrid. He averages more tackles per game (2.3) than Alex Song (2.1) and Gerard Pique (1.9).

    Rafa is a complete footballer which is the primary trait Bayern manager Pep Guardiola wants in his players.

    With Rafa's brother, Thiago, starring for Bayern, it would be lovely to see the two brothers combine.

    One miscellaneous note is: With Rafinha playing at right-back for Bayern, will Barca's Rafinha want to be known as Rafa?

    Name changes do happen.

    Ronaldinho was known as Ronaldo before he hit the big-time and made a conscious decision to change his name to Ronaldinho in order to distinguish himself from Ronaldo Luis.

12. Ivan Rakitic

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    Bold Transfer Prediction: Monaco sign Sevilla midfielder Ivan Rakitic

    Why It Could Happen: Rakitic could be Monaco's response to Paris Saint-Germain signing Yohan Cabaye.

    Rakitic has been a holding midfielder, a box-to-box midfielder and a central attacking midfielder in several formations: 4-4-2, 4-2-3-1 and a 5-4-1.

    He is a set-piece specialist, has vision and would add class to Monaco's midfield.

11. Timo Werner

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    Bold Transfer Prediction: Arsenal sign Stuttgart left-attacking midfielder/centre-forward Timo Werner.

    Why It Could Happen: Arsenal transfer target Julian Draxler could be headed for Bayern Munich in the summer transfer window, per a tweet via former footballer Jan Aage Fjortoft (h/t Daniel Jones at the Metro), so an alternative to Draxler could be Werner.

    He is an explosive footballer who scored 31 goals in 34 games for the Stuttgart under-17s and 24 goals in 23 games for the Stuttgart under-19s.

    He was elevated into the first team and has already scored four times and created four goals in the Bundesliga as a 17-year-old.

    He has started 10 games on the left wing, but his goalscoring prowess at junior level suggests he will make a transition into a No. 9, a position he has already played at top-flight level in spurts.

10. Matthias Ginter

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    Bold Transfer Prediction: Barcelona sign Freiburg centre-back/defensive midfielder Matthias Ginter.

    Why It Could Happen: If Barca sign goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen from Borussia Monchengladbach, per Mundo Deportivo (h/t Football Espana), wouldn't it make sense to have a German centre-back playing in front of ter Stegen?

    Ginter averages 53.2 passes per game and completes 85.9 percent of his passes, so he fits into Barca's possession-based philosophy.

    He can play at the back or in midfield.

9. Roberto Firmino

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    Bold Transfer Prediction: Sevilla sign Hoffenheim central attacking midfielder Roberto Firmino.

    Why It Could Happen: In slide 18, there was the hypothetical scenario of Sevilla selling Ivan Rakitic to Monaco, therefore his replacement should be Firmino.

    Like Rakitic, Firmino can play multiple positions in different formations.

    If you have never seen Firmino, think Mousa Dembele.

8. Vincent Enyeama

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    Bold Transfer Prediction: Manchester City sign Lille goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama.

    Why It Could Happen: A club of City's stature needs to have two No. 1s given Joe Hart's hit-and-miss form throughout the season.

    Enyeama has accumulated 14 clean sheets from 23 league games, averages 2.5 saves per goal and would give no leeway for Hart to mess up.

    One of the reasons why Hart's form has fluctuated is there not being a backup who can legitimately be a No. 1 (backup Costel Pantilimon did not play a Premier League game for two straight campaigns prior to this season). 

7. Tom Cleverley

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    Bold Transfer Prediction: Hull City sign Manchester United defensive midfielder Tom Cleverley.

    Why It Could Happen: As Hull spent a combined £14 million on stock-standard centre-forwards in Nikica Jelavic and Shane Long, per the Telegraph, how much would they be willing to spend on Cleverley?

    Given the inflated price English players garner, if Hull lodged a £12-15 million bid, United should take the money.

    Cleverley is a tidy midfielder, who completes 90.1 percent of his passes, but he lacks the incisive passing Paul Scholes had.

    This is why Cleverley's chances created per game is 0.4.


6. Rio Ferdinand

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    Bold Transfer Prediction: Al-Gharafa sign Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand.

    Why It Could Happen: "A contract offer from United is unlikely," per Mark Ogden at the Telegraph, so Ferdinand is on the open market.

    Al-Gharafa, a wealthy Qatari club that have had illustrious players such as Juninho Pernambucano, Lisandro Lopez, Marcel Desailly, Nene, Ze Roberto, et al. on the payroll, could throw money at Ferdinand.

    Last March, he filled in as a football pundit in Qatar, per BBC Sport.

5. Jordy Clasie

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    Bold Transfer Prediction: Wolfsburg sign Feyenoord central midfielder Jordy Clasie.

    Why It Could Happen: The idea of having a workman-like midfield destroyer in Luiz Gustavo and a midfield orchestrator in Clasie will increase Wolfsburg's chances of being relevant.

    Clasie can effortlessly loft accurate cross-field balls, he can make plays and he does not shirk his defensive duties (has made 60 tackles in 20 games).

4. Nemanja Vidic

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    Bold Transfer Prediction: Borussia Dortmund sign Manchester United centre-back Nemanja Vidic.

    Why It Could Happen: Vidic's agent revealed his client could exercise his Bosman rights which will enable him to sign with another team on a free transfer, per Radio Crc (h/t Jamie Jackson at the Guardian).

    Dortmund have two Serbians at the club: centre-back Neven Subotic and Milos Jojic.

    From Dortmund's perspective, they receive Vidic, who will either be a starter or a quality backup in case the club go through another injury crisis next season.

3. Shinji Kagawa

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    Bold Transfer Prediction: Real Sociedad sign Manchester United central attacking midfielder/left-attacking midfielder Shinji Kagawa.

    Why It Could Happen: After United signed Juan Mata, could Kagawa return to the Bundesliga? Nah, that would be too mainstream.

    How about La Liga?

    It would be a calculated risk to sign with Sociedad considering the language barrier, new culture and different style of football.

    Ultimately the latter point suits the way Kagawa plays.

    La Liga is more open and played at a slightly slower tempo than the Premier League which gives Kagawa more time on the ball.

    There is an opening in the No. 10 position as Xabi Prieto and David Zurutuza are not world class.

    Neither have accumulated five league assists despite having weapons all over the field: Antoine Griezmann on the left, Carlos Vela on the right and Imanol Agirretxe leading the line.

2. and 1. Ben Davies and Aaron Ramsey

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    Bold Transfer Prediction: Real Madrid sign Swansea City left-back Ben Davies and Arsenal centre-midfielder Aaron Ramsey.

    Why It Could Happen: Real signed Pepe, Ricardo Carvalho and Fabio Coentrao for Cristiano Ronaldo, so management should sign a couple Welsh footballers for Gareth Bale.

    Ramsey has been Rambo-like breaking from midfield to score eight league goals, creating for his teammates (six assists) and disrupting play (66 tackles in 18 league games).

    His transformation has been remarkable, so he is an obvious target.

    Davies is an underrated left-back who could serve as an alternative to Marcelo.

    Essentially Davies replaces Fabio Coentrao should he leave in the summer transfer window. His mooted January transfer to Manchester United was blocked, per Ben Jefferson at the Express.



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