Thomas Leemon's Top 20 Transfers of the Summer
The transfer period is over, for now. This summer saw some of the most shocking transfers yet; and some that were just a steal.
Here's the top twenty transfers that made headlines this summer (all fees are rounded off):
From Chelsea back to AC Milan
After two disappointing seasons at Chelsea, Shevchenko is going back to his true love, AC Milan. This is a gamble for Milan, they've been without a great striker since, well, Andriy Shevchenko. Hopefully, he'll find his scoring form and prove that he still has it in him. If he doesn't, I know a few teams that would love him in MLS.
19. Júlio Baptista
From Real Madrid to AS Roma
9 million Euro ($12.7 million)
At some point, Baptista has got to find a club that will keep him. In the past three seasons, he's been to three different clubs in three different countries. Now 26, Baptista hasn't been able to find the form that saw him become a star in Sevilla four seasons ago. He had a decent beginning in Madrid, but was replaced by more capable players. If he gets a start in Roma and is able to keep his starting position, he could become a star once again.
18. Seydou Keita
From Sevilla to Barcelona
15 million Euro ($21.1 million)
At the time of his arrival he was the best signing Barcelona had made this season, particularly in light of the way their soft underbelly was exposed on the road last year. With him partnering Yaya Touré in the middle, it will ensure that the likes of Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi don't get bullied, and also get the full license to thrill.
17. Ezequiel Garay
From Racing Santander to Real Madrid
12.5 million Euro ($16.9 million)
Barcelona were so close to capturing the young Argentine defender, but they hesitated too long and Real Madrid ended up getting him. Madrid are hoping that he'll end up like another Sergio Ramos, or even better. He's going to have to wait to show Madrid what he can do though—the club have loaned him back to Racing for the season.
From Barcelona to Chelsea
10 million Euro ($14 million)
Deco, who's past 31, looks like he's also past his prime. However, upon closer inspection, that's far from the truth. Sure, he won't score many goals like Lampard, but he's everything Lampard isn't—creative, a winner, and performer. With Essien, Joe Cole, and Ballack as his teammates, Chelsea's midfield looks anything but awful.
From AS Roma to Inter Milan
12.5 million Euro ($17 million)
Jose Mourinho is looking to get some fresh blood into Internazionale, and it looks like he made a good call by bringing in Mancini from Roma. The aggressive winger will be given a license to thrill, just like Robben did at Chelsea. However, if he wants to impress the "Special One," he'll have to get his consistency problem into check—or else.
14. David Bentley
From Blackburn to Tottenham
44.8 million Euro ($63.3 million)
The Bentley transfer was a win situation for everyone involved. Tottenham got a young, talented winger to add to their young, ambitious squad; Blackburn got rid of a player unhappy at the club; and Bentley got his wish to play for someone else. If Bentley's anything like Jesus Navas, he'll be a success; or at least he has the potential to be, especially since he'll be playing along side Giovani Dos Santos and Luka Modric.
13. Robbie Keane
From Tottenham to Liverpool
25.3 million Euro ($40.6 million)
I think Keane is a great player, but I think that Liverpool paid a few too many euros for this guy. Sure, he'll score 20-some goals and will complement Fernando Torres' 25-30-some goals nicely; but that's all he'll do. Then again, maybe paying a few extra euro was okay. Many are saying that this Keane-Torres link will help Liverpool win it all, I don't know about that. At any rate, Keane finally gets to play for his boyhood dream club, so I guess that's all that matters.
From CSKA Moscow to Manchester City
26.9 million Euro ($38 million)
Even before Manchester City brought in Robinho, change was in the air at the club. Jô was the club's first signing of the summer. The Brazillian has already made an impression at the club and will be looking to make a bigger impression. Before Robinho joined the club, Jô was the club's biggest buy in its history. Look out Manchester United, there's a rumbling in the force, and its name is Manchester City.
11. Vincent Kompany
From Hamburg SV to Manchester City
City were active this summer. After they had brought in Jô, they brought in Belgian defender, Vincent Kompany. Just two days after being signed by the club, he made his debut against West Ham United and was named Man of the Match. Things look very promising for Kompany and City.
10. Dani Alves
From Sevilla to Barcelona
30 million Euro ($42.4 million)
Chelsea, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Manchester United—these are just some of the clubs that have queued up for him over the last 18 months or so. However, it is Barcelona who landed the Brazilian, after some difficult negotiations with Sevilla. He's perhaps a bit overpriced at 30 million euros, but then again, he is the best attacking full-back the world has seen since Roberto Carlos.
From FC Porto to Inter Milan
30.6 million Euro ($43.3 million)
Occasionally compared to his compatriot, Cristiano Ronaldo, Quaresma has skills. One of the longer and more boring transfer sagas of the summer, it seems as though Ricardo Quaresma has finally made his move from Porto to Inter. A class act at domestic level for years, the Portuguese international still has much to prove in Europe, particularly in light of the fact that his time with Barcelona was deemed a failure. Nonetheless he brings with him considerable talent and pedigree. His price tag—30.6 million euro—is on the high side, but he is nonetheless a fine acquisition for José Mourinho's side. Remember—he's still only 24.
From Arsenal to Barcelona
14.7 million Euro ($20.8 million)
A very shrewd buy, and what could very well turn out to be a stroke of genius from Barcelona. With Lionel Messi expected to run the show, what they needed was not a Ronaldinho, but a tireless, no-nonsense attacking midfielder to offer support from the other flank—without hogging possession or the limelight. And they got him on the cheap too. A true critics' player, in that while fans rave about others, he runs away with the technical plaudits.
From Spartak Moscow to Tottenham
17.4 million Euro ($24.6 million)
I originally had Flamini (from Arsenal to Milan) at No. 7. That was before the Roman saga was over (yes, I've been working on this for some time). But since this saga is over, Roman gets the spot. Pavlyuchenko had a terrific career at Spartak and is hoping to make an impression with Spurs. Tottenham are quickly filling up with young talents—one has to wonder if, with all these young players, they'll do any good this season.
6. Samir Nasri
From Marseille to Arsenal
14.9 million Euro ($21 million)
This is one player that I had a fantasy of seeing at Manchester United. He did make it to the Premier League this summer, unfortunately he went to Arsenal. The highly rated French international is the latest to join the clan of young Gunners. Many view him as a replacement for Aliaksandr Hleb, while others go a step further and call him the next Zidane. He has had some problems with injuries, but let's hope those were exceptions as opposed to the rule.
5. Luka Modrić
From Dinamo Zagreb to Tottenham
20.8 million Euro ($29.4 million)
The hottest young Croatian was snapped up by Spurs despite the interest of clubs such as Barcelona and Chelsea, and what a signing he has already turned out to be. Looks set to become the jewel in Juande Ramos' midfield next season. He makes it to the top five of my list.
From Real Madrid to Manchester City
40.5 million Euro ($57.2 million)
The young Brazillian was hoping to make it big at Chelsea, instead, he's becoming big at Manchester City. Robinho has unquestionable talent, yet he also has controversy. When ADUG paid the record fee for him on the final day of the transfer season, they were making a statement: "We can buy the best." There are big questions with Robinho in Manchester. Probably biggest of all, can Mark Hughes and the Blues tame this loose cannon? If not, who knows what will happen.
From Hamburg SV to Real Madrid
9 million Euro ($12.7 million)
I have no idea how Madrid managed to get a hold of van der Vaart at this kind of price. A guy like this, who is one of the best playmakers today deserves a better price, say 20 million euros. This is probably the best steal of the summer and just the guy who can replace Robinho. He'll most likely be one of the players people will be talking about this time next year.
From Tottenham to Manchester United
38 million Euro ($53.7 million)
This had to be one of pointless sagas of the summer. Berbatov was clearly going to United, what took so long for him to get there, I have no idea. A proven scoring machine, he has everything Fergie was looking for—a good striking foot, quickness, and smarts. However, with a countless number of goal machines at United, does Fergie have room for him?
From Barcelona to AC Milan
21 million Euro ($29.7 million)
After a season of unhappiness at the Camp Nou, Ronaldinho got his wish and moved away. After some heavy heat from Manchester City, he moved to AC Milan. We've already seen that Ronaldinho is happy at the club. With Kaka' and Ronaldinho there, Milan are hoping to re-emerge as champions. While this transfer is clearly a gamble, I trust that Ronaldinho will find his former skill and excel in Milan. If not, there's always Manchester City or Chelsea for him.
That's it folks, my top twenty transfers of the summer. Throw in a few gambles, a few steals, and a few boring sagas, and you got yourself another exciting summer. Who do you think was the top transfer of the summer? Think about it, and let me know.
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