World Football Transfer Talk: The Latest Moves Shaping the Sport
As teams all over Europe begin their campaigns in their respective leagues, owners and managers alike still scour the transfer market for positive additions to the lineup.
With the window closing quickly, clubs will be more desperate to make swift moves.
Here are some of the latest significant moves in Europe.
Craig Bellamy, Manchester City to Cardiff City (Loan)
Amidst talks of his retirement, the 31-year old Bellamy was loaned out to Cardiff City in the Championship Division in England.
The Welsh captain was amongst a group of Manchester City players required to move elsewhere, and his transfer out opens room for Italian striker Mario Balotelli.
Despite the perceived demotion to a lesser league, Bellamy said he would love to catapult the club into the Premiership.
Though he may have demonstrated an angry demeanor, his performances for City were more than acceptable. Cardiff gets an aggressive playmaker with pace and one with loads of experience at the highest level, though he's shown signs of selfishness.
Clearly his services are of top quality, or his transfer would have been more than a loan.
Moussa Dembélé, AZ Alkmaar to Fulham
Fulham quietly continues to build a formidable squad to put on the pitch, and the recent addition of Dembélé from Dutch side AZ Alkmaar to Craven Cottage does just that.
Though he will compete with the likes of Bobby Zamora and Andy Johnson for a first choice selection in the final third, he can bring a spark to a Fulham side that hasn't be spectacular in the past few seasons.
His pace, one-touch scampers and skillful finishing are a plus for a club that netted just 39 goals last year.
Ramires, Benfica to Chelsea
Dubbed by some to be the transfer steal of the first window, the reported £17 million deal that saw the Brazilian international Ramires move from Benfica to Chelsea will garner plenty of attention.
Like most Brazilians, his light touch on the ball combined with the composure and confidence stemming from first-team selections makes for another dangerous option at Stamford Bridge.
Modeled similarly to Florent Malouda, Ramires brings a finesse and skillful style of play to the Premier League champions.
Carlo Ancelotti will have his hands full when deciding a top 11 to put on the pitch.
James Milner, Aston Villa to Manchester City
Milner scored his last goal for Aston Villa over the weekend.
His transfer to Eastlands was an anticipated one for last few weeks, but a short and abrupt deadline given to City from Villa ultimately saw the deal into fruition.
For Villa, it cripples a midfield that can only boast Ashley Young as a star player. Milner brought strength, power and fluidity between defensive and offensive sets.
He's followed in Gareth Barry's footsteps as another top midfielder to make the move from Villa Park to the City of Manchester Stadium.
Milner's arrival will force Roberto Mancini to shift more pitch time around a cast of excellency in the middle third.
Stephen Ireland, Manchester City to Aston Villa
In what is essentially the second part to the Milner deal, Ireland leaves Manchester City bound for Villa.
The Irishman fell far behind in Roberto Mancini's plans, mostly due to injury, although his abilities simply cannot compete with the likes of the superstar talent at Eastlands.
Nevertheless, Villa gets a quality midfielder in return for the departed Milner. Ireland's control and intelligence on the pitch are attributes to praise, but lacks the flair and intangibles a manager craves of a world-class player in the middle third.
Ireland's role for a changing Villa team could be critical this season if they are to avoid a bottom of the table finish.
Brad Jones, Middlesbrough to Liverpool
Own goals are bad, but giving away points to top-tier opponents like Arsenal is unacceptable, especially in the Premiership.
Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina did just that and scored no brownie points with his new manager, Roy Hodgson.
In comes Jones from Championship-side Middlesbrough on a reported £2.3 million deal, and his services may be realized very soon.
After a disappointing finish last season for the Reds, only the right moves will see the club back to prominence in the top league in England.
Mario Balotelli, Inter Milan to Manchester City
Perhaps one of the most followed negotiations in this first transfer window, Balotelli finally made the move to Manchester City from Inter Milan, yet another deal that exposes the seemingly endless pockets of City's owner Sheikh Mansour.
Many in Italy have criticized his personality and behavior, but few dispute his abilities on the pitch.
The strength and power he brings to Eastlands will fit snuggly into the English style of play, and it is only a matter of time before Roberto Mancini delivers the opportunity.
Call it an Italian connection.
Mesut Özil, Werder Bremen to Real Madrid
Özil's transfer to the Spanish giants Real Madrid produced plenty of chatter leading up its completion, but manager Jose Mourinho landed another young stud to add to his roster.
If it is his plan to load up the bench with super-subs, he is doing just that as the world witnessed his skills playing for Germany in South Africa.
Özil offers a skill-set of tricky moves and maneuvers, and can push easily into the final third to deliver into the box or create his own chances.
Make no mistake, though. It will be hard for the 21-year old to press for a top spot in the midfield with the supreme talent at the Santiago Bernabéu.
It is likely he will settle into a super-sub role, but with the plethora of games on Real Madrid's schedule, between domestic and international fixtures, the German starlet will get his chances.
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