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As Bleacher Report's Transfers Correspondent, I will provide you scouting reports, analysis on the latest European signings and transfer rumours.


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  • Jay Jay posted 17 hours ago

    Jay Jay

    Andy Carroll has his yearly injury. Have you seen much of Ignasi Miquel and Hector Bellerin? Would you consider Kiyotake to Hannover a coup, I'm sure half the bundesliga would've wanted him? Which bundesliga defender would you have bought at Barcelona? Jan Kirchoff would be great, but his career has stalled at the moment. What do you think of a Kroos and Modric pivot? Ironically, someone like Angel Di Maria would tear that to shreds IMO.

  • Jose Echaniz posted 18 hours ago

    Jose Echaniz

    With regards to formation many fans are calling for a switch to the 4-2-3-1 for Real Madrid. If that is the case i would have Navas in goal with a back four of Carvajal, Ramos, Varane, and Marcelo. The pivot would consist of Kroos and Modric with the Ronaldo and Bale on the wings and James in the middle as a number 10 and of course Benzema up front. However i am not convinced kroos and modric are capable enough to do enough defensive work to shield the back four. This saddens me because the 4-3-3 used last season was so balanced and effective in part because of Di Maria's tracking and creativity now I feel Madrid are going to be left exposed. Another point i would like to make is that the Spanish feel to Madrid is now over because of the galatico policy which saddens me because I am Spanish. Now instead of Isco and Alonso there is Kroos and James. However i do trust Ancelotti to find the perfect balance for Madrid like he did last season.

  • bhavik merchant posted 23 hours ago

    bhavik merchant

    Hi Allan, I was wondering where you think Isco fits best? Also what do you think of gedion zelalem? How do think Madrid will line up? You prefer Kroos to Modric? I def don't

  • Allan Jiang posted 1 day ago

    Allan Jiang

    @ Shane Heffernan: So much for a more Spanish feel to Real Madrid.

    Florentino Perez takes a beating from a transfer efficiency perspective, but he took Real to the next level from a marketing point of view.

    This is the main knock on Perez: deep down, his primary priority is furthering the Real brand, while winning trophies is secondary.

    At the rate he is going at, he has even disregarded his previous Zidanes and Pavones strategy.

    Now it is just 11 stars.

    — I was reading a few articles on Harry Shipp and apparently he is European quality, so I thought I'd ask you. Thanks for the response.

    — What is your opinion of Erick Torres?

    — Isn't crazy with social media how we know about Hachim Mastour? There are a myriad of compilation videos, articles, quotes, et al. It is so helpful for football writers and aficionados. I wonder what it would be like in 10 years' time.

    — Great insight.

    — I'm interested to see Swansea City's Jefferson Montero. When he played in La Liga, he would dribble past five players, get through on goal and either miss or have his pass intercepted. He reminds me of Denilson de Oliveira, who was one of the most gifted players I have ever seen in my life.

    — Speaking of Denilson, isn't it sad that Denilson Pereira has dropped off most people's radar? He used to be a starter at Arsenal and was one of the best Brazilians in his age group. Problem was he never progressed, like Nicklas Bendtner.

    Mind you, Denilson is still playing at the highest level of Brazilian football, unlike Carlos Alberto Gomes, who has had a Freddy Adu-like decline.

    — Adu's newest club: FK Jagodina.


    @ Jose Echaniz: 4-3-1-2? I'd have to wait until Real finalises some of its transfers. For me, Real's best signing could end up being Keylor Navas. What are your thoughts?


    @ Jay Jay: Barcelona should have signed a German centre-back from the Bundesliga to ensure there is cohesive communication with goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen. Jeremy Mathieu is overpriced because he is an OK player, but not a great defender. He needs to overachieve to justify his position. You are right, Mehdi Benatia would have been a better option.


    @ Ben Dewison: It is about conditioning your mind to a task hence Marty McFly's quote in Back to the Future: "If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything."

    I spent the latter part of my high school life wrote-learning paragraphs of text-books for hours upon hours. Nowadays, publishing one-two articles per day is tolerable. Funny, how life works, eh?

    Jerry Seinfeld once said: "Your blessing in life is when you find the torture you’re comfortable with."

    I've found that with writing for Bleacher Report.

    How's your life going, buddy?

  • Shane Heffernan posted 2 days ago

    Shane Heffernan

    Whats up Allan

    - On your James Rodriguez and Toni Kroos articles....god I swear Real Madrid is becoming boring. It is one thing to add a mega star like Zidane, Ronaldo, C Ronaldo for huge money but it is another thing to just constantly replace stars for Madrid with way over priced players. I mean you pay so much money for Illarramendi and Isco and the very next year you buy 2 players in the exact same positions.

    I mean Di Maria was probably the best center midfielder in the world last year (alongside Modric and Yaya Toure) and they look as if they are pushing him out. I would understand one of Kroos or James Rodriguez but both is silly.

    Add in the fact that the sold Mesut Ozil who was the best play maker in the world at the time to replace him with Isco only to replace Isco with the new flavor of the month.

    Heck, I did not even throw in Keylor Navas. How many keepers are they going to have. Navas better be the starter and I hope Madrid sells the others because they are to good to be on the bench.

    What bothers more is that these stupid players keep making this garbage club their "dream club" despite how poorly they treat their players.

    - On Harry Shipp, I haven't seen a lot of him as Chicago are not one of the teams I typically watch but I saw him vs the sounders and last night. He is a nice MLS player for sure. Very nimble, close control, decent pace...pretty good finisher and has good vision. Also is a set piece taker. In a team that plays link up style, he would shine. Can play wide, behind the striker or up top. Also will probably win the MLS Rookie of the year award.

    - Man I am excited for this friendly tonight that is going to be on tv. AC Milan vs Olympiakos. I sure hope I get to see Hachim Mastour play.

    - On BPL transfer news,

    - Chelsea has been by far the best in this window. To get Fabregas for that little who IMO is the best play maker in the world especially when James Rodriguez just cost so much is incredible. Then you add in a very good striker although I still prefer Lukaku and the best left back in the world right now alongside Ricardo Rodriguez and you are doing pretty good. Bringing Courtois back as well, they will be a force. Add the dumb fee they got from PSG for David Luiz and they are the clear winners of this transfer window to date.

    - Arsenal's has been alright so far. Alexis Sanchez is pretty much a better version of Gervinho and fits what Ozil needs which is a runner. Still am disappointed that Vela did not return who I rate higher and can play the #9 role.

    Debuchy did not excite me at all. Why not Seamus Coleman, why not Aurier, hell I would have been more excited to see Yedlin signed.

    They still have the biggest holes to fill as well which is at defensive mid and striker.

    - Liverpool - In someways I like what they have done but I felt this would be the year they could push forward with a top class talent but they have just brought in top class youngsters and lost their mega star. Remy is a good signing for depth in all competitions but not sure they have gotten better.

  • Jose Echaniz posted 3 days ago

    Jose Echaniz

    Allan so just imagine you are carlo ancelotti for a moment what formation and players would you start with at madrid and what tactics would you employ at the club?

  • Jay Jay posted 5 days ago

    Jay Jay

    I agree with you on Debuchy, it's a very anti Wenger deal, considering the price tag and the fact he turns 29 soon. Aurier has much higher upside and he is thought to be a cheaper option. What do you think of Porto's business so far? It's unusual that they've acquired players who have a lot of hype around them. Are Barcelona really going to pay 20 million for Jeremy Mathieu? That would make the Chugrynskiy deal look like a master stroke. Shouldn't they be chasing Mehdi Benatia?

  • Ben Dewison posted 6 days ago

    Ben Dewison

    It's possible to take 3-5 subjects at A-Levels, but they always advise you to take four and drop one after the first year. Students only usually take five if there's one they intuitively know and don't have to study much for, like a language you were brought up with.

    With the level of depth, it must have been debilitating to study for those. I also remember you telling me that you picked chunks out of textbooks and tried to remember them. I don't know how that's possible when you have so much to study for, but it's helped you to become an honest, eloquent and informative writer. More importantly, it's helped you get the qualifications, necessary for this job and potentially others in the future.

    I'll ask him. He'll be pleased you asked and I'm sure he'll endeavour to contact you back.

  • Allan Jiang posted 6 days ago

    Allan Jiang

    @ H L: Thanks for being a long-time reader :).

    — Luciano Narsingh had to contend with Zakaria Bakkali's rise and then when the teenager petered out, PSV Eindhoven signed Bryan Ruiz on loan, who was productive in spurts.

    Theo Walcott has also had seasons where he has been a let-down. He bounced back, so it is up to Narsingh to rebound.

    — Why not have both Tonny Vilhena and Jordy Clasie? If we are looking long-term, then I'll bet on Vilhena, who is still 19 years of age.


    @ Jose Echaniz: Another Galacticos era.

    — How about keeping Angel di Maria? Real Madrid don't even care about the UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations, so forget about balancing the books and go all out. That is Florentino Perez's motto.

    Jose, I agree with your view of Di Maria playing an invaluable role for Real.

    — Ideally, a midfield destroyer. Like you suggested, Lars Bender is a natural target.

    But Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger will always tinker with tactics.

    He may opt to play two box-to-box midfielders even though it seems tactically left-field.

    Then again, switching Thierry Henry from a winger to a centre-forward was at the time perceived to be a risk.


    @ Ben Dewison: In my final year of high school, I studied ancient history, English, modern history, information and technology and political and legal studies.

    I studied psychology in my first year of university, but I asked myself: is this really the career I want to do for the rest of my life?

    The answer was no.

    Instead of dropping out, I changed courses and enrolled in journalism and professional writing.

    — Does Jerry have an email? Tell him I said hi and was wondering what he was up to.


    @ Jay Jay: Matthias Ginter has real high upside, but he tends to have lapses in concentration at inopportune moments.

    — Stefan Mitrovic, an underrated centre-back, is an example of Freiburg's scouting system which has seen the club have quality players such as Admir Mehmedi, Cedric Makiadi, Jonathan Schmid, Max Kruse, Omer Toprak, Papiss Cisse, Sebastian Kehl, et al.

    — No, Mathieu Debuchy was the safest option, but not the best option. Serge Aurier should have been signed.


    @ Peter Parker: Smart! German clubs tend to make shrewd signings.

    — Looking forward to watching Hertha Berlin again.

    — How is Alexander Baumjohann going? If not for injury, I felt he would have had a solid season for Hertha.

    — Genki Haraguchi was always rated quite highly, but I did not watch much of him last season, so I have no idea what type of form he is in.

  • H L posted 8 days ago

    H L

    Hi Allan,

    Been reading your content pieces for a while now, enjoying all of it. Most people know that you love to rave about Firmino, and for good reasons. But back in the day you use to rave about Luciano Narsingh, I even think you called him a potential upgrade over Walcott(being he had a higher football IQ). So after falling your stuff for a while now, I can't remember the last time I saw any mention of him. So what's happened to him at PSV, he can't even get regular starts?

    And a while ago I suggested Tonny Vilhena for young ererdivisie players, 17 at the time. So after a few years over development, who would you rather have for a 5 year plan. Vilhena or Clasie? I know Clasie is the almost the finished product now, but I think over 5 years that Vilhena would be the hotter property to have.


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