25 Summer Transfers Who Will Live Up to the Hype

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentAugust 19, 2014

25 Summer Transfers Who Will Live Up to the Hype

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    Daniel Ochoa de Olza/Associated Press

    Here are 25 summer transfers who will live up to the hype right away. 

    Having subjectively selected 25 transferred players who are likely to succeed this season, they are ordered by their transfer fee from lowest to highest. 

    Honourable Mentions

    The next slide you will see explains notable transfers that have failed to make the primary list. 

Explaining Notable Omissions

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    Jacques Brinon/Associated Press

    David Luiz | Chelsea → Paris Saint-Germain: €49.5/£39.2M

    An example of what happens when management are influenced by players who want their buddy at the club. 

    Luiz wasn't signed because he is one of the pre-eminent centre-backs in the world.

    He was signed to help bolster PSG's Brazilian clique.

    He is better at being a locker room guy than a defender.  

    Forget about this season, will he ever live up to his transfer fee? 

    Eliaquim Mangala | Porto → Manchester City: €40.1/£32M

    Mangala is great at attacking floated crosses to the extent that he may be more useful in the attacking half than at the back. 

    He will switch off at the most inopportune times.

    Aside from his immense physical attributes, he is not a defender worth £32 million, especially if he is expected to be world-class this season.

    Maybe in a few years' time, but he is likely to experience growing pains in the Premier League. 

    Luke Shaw | Southampton → Manchester United: €37.9/£30M

    Have you ever taken a sick day off work even though you were fine? 

    Have you ever decided to go out instead of studying for an upcoming test? 

    It is human nature to take short-cuts and in Shaw's case, his fitness levels are below-par, per Sky Sports

    His situation is further aggravated by a hamstring injury, per BBC Sport

    Shaw needs time, so it is unlikely that he will be a star this season. 

    Adam Lallana | Southampton → Liverpool: €31.6/£25M

    Talk about a luxury buy. 

    Lallana's playing style may be likened to a Spaniard or a German, but his exorbitant transfer fee is emblematic of English players carrying a marquee price for being English. 

    Lazar Markovic | Benfica → Liverpool: €25.3/£20M

    Like Erik Lamela at Tottenham Hotspur last season, Markovic needs to settle. 

    Don't expect miracles from Markovic  this season. 

    He is a world-class talent and is one for the future. 

    Calum Chambers | Southampton → Arsenal:  €20.2/£16M

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger hinted at Chambers interchanging positions throughout the season, per ESPN

    The lack of consistency in one position means he could be Arsenal's answer to Phil Jones.

    Is a utility player worth £16 million?

    In that role, it will take several seasons to figure out if Chambers is value for money. 

    Jan Oblak | Benfica → Atletico Madrid: €15.9/£12.6M

    Is this Josuha Guilavogui all over again? 

    Oblak is one of the best young goalkeepers in the world, but Atleti offered Oblak back to Benfica, per Marca (h/t Football Espana).

    Though, Atleti "have categorically denied the claims," per Luis Aznar at Marca.

    Something is not right. 

25. Robert Lewandowski

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    Sascha Schuermann/Associated Press

    Borussia Dortmund → Bayern Munich: Free Transfer

    An early contender for the signing of the season, Robert Lewandowski is a complete centre-forward at the height of his game.

    He has three successive seasons of 20 goals or more in the Bundesliga.

    He could break the 30-goal barrier in league-play this season for Bayern. 

24. Marc-Andre Ter Stegen

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    David Ramos/Getty Images

    Borussia Monchengladbach → Barcelona: €12/£9.5M

    Marc-Andre ter Stegen is twice the goalkeeper Claudio Bravo is from a talent point of view. 

    Bravo is a mercurial goalkeeper, capable of brilliance yet also commits mind-numbingly bad plays, so he is unlikely to be Barca's No. 1 week in, week out. 

    Though, what will hold Ter Stegen back is injury, per Barca's official website.

23. Emre Can

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    Bob Leverone/Associated Press

    Bayer Leverkusen → Liverpool: €12.31/£9.75M

    What on earth happened to Lucas Leiva against Southampton? 

    He did football's equivalent of turning up to work and doing nothing. In 63 minutes, he did not make a single tackle. 

    A half-fit Emre Can would have played significantly better than Lucas.

    Can provides a big physical presence in midfield, he can play box-to-box, has scoring potential and can create.

22. Fraser Forster

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Celtic → Southampton: €12.6/£10M

    Unless you are a Scottish football aficionado, Fraser Forster flew under the radar.

    Then he appeared in the UEFA Champions League and played as if it was a cup final. 

    He was a brick-wall, like Tim Howard vs. Belgium at the FIFA World Cup, to which Barcelona central midfielder Xavi intimated that Forster was good enough to play for Barcelona.

    "I can't say that I watch him every week, but when we have played Celtic he has shown that he is a world-class goalkeeper," Xavi said, per ITV. "From what I have seen he has everything to succeed at a club like Barcelona."

    Forster joined Southampton for guaranteed playing time. 

    Once he develops into one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League, he will look to make the next step up.

21. Dusan Tadic

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Twente → Southampton: €13.8/£10.9M

    Dusan Tadic flashed a moment of sublime brilliance with a flick to play in Southampton right-back Nathaniel Clyne who lashed a shot past Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

    Last season, Tadic created 133 scoring chances for his team-mates and registered 14 assists in the Eredivisie for Twente.

    In addition, Tadic scored 16 goals (inflated by being a penalty-taker), so you should consider him for your Fantasy Premier League team.

20. Hakan Calhanoglu

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    Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

    Hamburg → Bayer Leverkusen: €14.5/£11.5M

    On the precipice of turning into a world-class footballer, Hakan Calhanoglu made the right move.

    He was not ready to star for a major European club (yet), so Leverkusen will be a great stepping-stone for him to blossom into one of Europe's best players. 

    He is a set-piece expert, scores long-range goals and regularly manufactures scoring chances for his team-mates.

    This is why Bayern Munich tried to sign him.

    "My agent told me that Bayern wanted me as well," Calhanoglu said, per the Hamburger Morgenpost (h/t Stefan Coerts at Goal). "[But] I have the chance to play on a regular basis here in Leverkusen."

19. Alberto Moreno

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    David Ramos/Getty Images

    Sevilla → Liverpool: €15/£12M

    Glen Johnson's deterioration is epically tragic. 

    That plus Jon Flanagan not being a natural left-back and having fitness issues will elevate Alberto Moreno into Liverpool's starting XI.

    An aggressive, assertive and attack-minded left-back, Moreno can turn into another John Arne Riise. 

18. Mathieu Debuchy

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    Clive Mason/Getty Images

    Newcastle United → Arsenal: €15/£12M

    The only criticism of Mathieu Debuchy is he isn't Serge Aurier.

    Debuchy, 29, lacks the upside of 21-year-old Aurier, now on loan at Paris Saint-Germain. 

    But, Debuchy is a seasoned professional, who is a complete defender: proficient in the air, strong in the tackle and underrated at cutting off passes.

17. Fernando Reges

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    Alastair Grant/Associated Press

    Porto → Manchester City: €15/£12M

    Once Manuel Pellegrini pencils in Fernando Reges' name, the Manchester City manager won't even worry about the Brazilian. 

    Fernando plays his role to a tee in breaking up the opposition's attack. 

    He challenges, he covers and he is a passing outlet (91.4 pass completion vs. Newcastle United). 

16. Remy Cabella

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    Stu Forster/Getty Images

    Montpellier → Newcastle United: €15/£12M

    Remy Cabella will provide a spark for Newcastle going forward. 

    Everyone talks about his creativity, his sharp dribbling and his scoring, but he is a tireless runner.

    He completed 73 tackles in 37 Ligue 1 games for Montpellier last season, so he is a solid ball-winner.

    His playing style correlates with the Premier League, therefore he could be a breakout star this season. 


15. Ivan Rakitic

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    Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

    Sevilla → Barcelona: €18/£14.3M

    Ivan Rakitic is a world-class midfielder who can function as a deep-lying playmaker, a central midfielder or a central attacking midfielder. 

    His all-round playing style fits what Barca manager Luis Enrique seeks in a midfielder. 

    Rakitic will be the unsung hero supplying ammunition to Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, a trio with the potential to become a historic attacking triumvirate. 

14. Ciro Immobile

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    Sascha Schuermann/Associated Press

    Torino → Borussia Dortmund: €19/£15.1M

    Following a character-testing season with Genoa, Ciro Immobile's transfer stock escalated quickly with 22 Serie A goals for Torino. 

    Immobile is always trying to break the offside trap and is an exceptional finisher. 

    He has the capability to successfully fill Robert Lewandowski's void. 

13. Juan Iturbe

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Hellas Verona → Roma: €22/£17.4M

    Juan Iturbe, who was the driving force behind Verona's attacks while often being double-marked, still scored eight goals and registered four assists in Serie A last season. 

    He is playing on a substantially better team in Roma and will be afforded more touches. 

    He can zip past opposing defenders, he creates his own shot and is one of the most technically brilliant players of his generation. 

    Obviously failing to make an impression at Porto casts aspersions of him being a small fish in a big pond player.

    But as long as he keeps working hard and listens to management, he should develop into a world-class player.

12. Mario Mandzukic

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    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Bayern Munich → Atletico Madrid: €22/£17.4M

    Diego Costa's departure to Chelsea coupled with young gun Leo Baptistao regressing forced Atleti to make a relatively safe investment in Mario Mandzukic.

    In successive seasons, Mandzukic has scored 15 goals or more in the Bundesliga, despite not even starting 30 games in either campaign. 

    He is arriving at Atleti from Bayern, one of the best clubs in Europe.

    He has been there, done that when it comes to playing with high-level expectations. 

    A dominant presence in the air, Mandzukic can also play in his team-mates, so his all-round playing style will soften the blow of losing Costa.

11. Toni Kroos

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    Stu Forster/Getty Images

    Bayern Munich → Real Madrid: €25/£19.8M

    Toni Kroos masterminds his team's midfield, dictates the tempo and is one of the most superlative passers in football. 

    2013-14 SeasonPasses Per GamePass Completion %
    FIFA World Cup86.489.9
    UEFA Champions League95.394.2

    One of Kroos' best attributes is his decision-making.

    "Toni Kroos' performance was perfect [against Sevilla]," Real manager Carlo Ancelotti said, per Goal. "He was quick and clear in everything he did."

    Like compatriots Bernd Schuster and Paul Breitner, Kroos dons the No. 8 shirt at Real, per Pablo Polo at Marca.

    Signing Kroos, a World Cup winner, for €25 million is value for money.

10. Dejan Lovren

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    Sergei Grits/Associated Press

    Southampton → Liverpool: €25.3/£20M

    Dejan Lovren is an experienced Croatian international who has moved on from his Lyon misery.

    He got off to a rough start and never recovered, per Paul Doyle at The Observer (h/t The Guardian):

    I hadn't even arrived [at Lyon] and they [critics] were talking bad about me just because of the amount they paid for me—€10/£8 million for a 20-year-old.

    I didn't speak French for one and a half years.

    I didn't understand anything and they didn't have the time to wait for me. 


    The perception of him [Lovren] did not really change even as he became a regular at the heart of Lyon's defence.

    And referees evidently took a dim view of his [Lovren's] tackling: seven red cards in three years even led him to doubt himself.

    "I was thinking: 'Oh my God, what am I doing?'" he says.

    While Lovren claims his tackling style has not changed, he is more refined and makes less knee-jerk decisions. 

    For extended periods of last season, he was arguably the best centre-back in the Premier League.

    It is a testament to Lovren's character. 

    There were times at Lyon where Lovren's tackling was as inept as an Iago Aspas' corners.

    Lovren is an example of how grit, resilience and trust pays off.

    Yes, there is the worry that he may revert back to the Lyon Lovren, but he has started his Liverpool career excellently. 

    He completed 96 percent of his passes, registered four interceptions and made 11 clearances in a 2-1 win over Southampton.

9. Filipe Luis

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    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    Atletico Madrid → Chelsea: €25.3/£20M

    Filipe Luis is physically impressive, made 131 tackles and averaged 40.8 passes per game for Atleti last season. 

    Instead, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho ruined 11.1 percent of Fantasy Premier League teams which had selected Luis, arguably the world's best left-back.

    Luis watching Cesar Azpilicueta start at left-back against Burnley should be an anomaly.

    It is inconceivable that a player of Luis' stature will continue to warm the benches. 

    Once he gets an extended run, he will lock down the left-back slot. 

8. Antoine Griezmann

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    Andres Kudacki/Associated Press

    Real Sociedad → Atletico Madrid: €30/£23.7M

    After successive seasons of double-digit goals, Antoine Griezmann is on track to develop into a world-class footballer. 

    Atleti signed him on the rise as a 23-year-old with immense potential.

    If he can emulate Gareth Bale's 2012-13 output at Tottenham Hotspur, Griezmann will be a target for Europe's wealthiest clubs. 

    This means Griezmann has a high probability of turning into a profitable saleable asset to Atleti.

7. Cesc Fabregas

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    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Barcelona → Chelsea: €34.1/£27M

    For eight successive seasons, Cesc Fabregas has registered 10 or more assists in league-play.

    He is money when it comes to facilitating goals for his team-mates. 

    He has a No. 1 option in Diego Costa, who scored 27 goals for Atletico Madrid last season. 

    Fabregas' crisp passes—two assists—in Chelsea's 3-1 win against Burnley were of the highest quality. 

    Fabregas can be the difference-maker and play a big role in Chelsea mounting a campaign to win the Premier League and UEFA Champions League. 

6. Romelu Lukaku

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    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Chelsea → Everton: €35.3/£28M

    Romelu Lukaku has posted consecutive seasons of 15 goals or more in the Premier League. 

    At 21 years of age, Lukaku possesses tremendous upside, especially from a physical point of view (6'3" and 207 pounds). 

    Lukaku lacked the intangibles to succeed at Chelsea, according to his former manager Jose Mourinho, per Martin Lipton at the Daily Mirror

    But Mourinho never loved Lukaku.

    This is different under Roberto Martinez, who cares about Lukaku.

    That was why Lukaku opted to demand a move to Everton, rather than stay at Chelsea, or try his luck at another big European club. 

    Martinez's trust in Lukaku will be key to the Belgian international living up to his transfer fee.

    He should accumulate 20-plus goal campaigns for the next five years. 

5. Ander Herrera

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    Uncredited/Associated Press

    Athletic Bilbao → Manchester United: €36.6/£29M

    Ander Herrera's best trait is his vision and ability to thread a defence-splitting pass.

    Naturally you presume he will accumulate 10-plus assists in the Premier League this season. 

    Defending in the Premier League has dramatically declined with teams adopting hyper-attacking methods in order to attract worldwide interest. 

    It is so open in the Premier League and when you have a player with Herrera's skill set, he should cash in. 

    Though, a concern is he wasn't even the best Ander at Athletic Bilbao.

    His then-team-mate Ander Iturraspe was Bilbao's backbone.

    While Herrera flashed world-class brilliance, he was not exceptional week in, week out. 

4. Diego Costa

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    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    Atletico Madrid → Chelsea: €40.4/£32M

    Diego Costa scored more league goals for Atleti last season (27) than Fernando Torres has in his career for Chelsea (20).

    Injuries and a confidence crisis debilitated Torres' ability to perform. 

    Costa plays with a zeal reminiscent of Luis Suarez.

    Torres lacks the fight and the passion to be great because he knows his days of dominating opposing defenders are over. 

    Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was deprived of a world-class No. 9 last season, whereas this season, Costa can spearhead the Blues to glory. 

    His goal against Burnley is just another day in the office for one of the best centre-forwards in the game.

    The only red flag is Costa hitting a wall with injuries toward the end of last season. 

    If he suffers multiple injuries, could he turn out to be another Torres?

3. Alexis Sanchez

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    Clive Mason/Getty Images

    Barcelona → Arsenal: €44.2/£35M

    Alexis Sanchez gives Arsenal added edge going forward as he is a one-man counter-attack. 

    He is most comfortable when he is allowed to interchange across the front line.

    In Arsenal's 2-1 win over Crystal Palace, his set piece led to Arsenal centre-back Laurent Koscielny scoring a pivotal equaliser. 

    Alexis led Arsenal in key passes (five). 

    His piece of show-boating in stoppage time—trapped a long-pass with his chest—demonstrated how gifted a player he is. 

    The only knock on Alexis is he could never sustain world-class play throughout the entirety of a season during his Barcelona career. 

    However, he can have a bigger influence at Arsenal as opposed to the Lionel Messi-centric Barcelona system.

2. James Rodriguez

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    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    Monaco → Real Madrid: €80/£63.4M

    James Rodriguez joins Thomas Muller, Miroslav Klose and Ronaldo Luis as FIFA World Cup Golden Boot recipients since 2002. 

    • Muller is a German superstar with back-to-back campaigns of 20 goals or more for Bayern Munich.
    • Klose is the all-time World Cup leading scorer.
    • Ronaldo scored over 350 career goals and is one of the greatest No. 9s ever. 

    Point being: James is the real deal.

    The only scenario of him not living up to his transfer fee is if he suffers a Kaka-like injury-riddled spell. 

    James led Ligue 1 in assists last season (12). 

    With Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema spearheading Real's attack, James has the capacity to accumulate 20 assists in La Liga this season.

1. Luis Suarez

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    Emilio Morenatti/Associated Press

    Liverpool → Barcelona: €81/£64.1M

    Suarez combining with Lionel Messi and Neymar will be an upper echelon triumvirate.

    Last season, Suarez scored 31 goals and registered 12 assists despite missing five Premier League games. 

    What will hold Suarez back is not his production (he will score and create with regularity), it is him sitting on the sidelines suspended after committing another barbaric, knee-jerk and stupid act

    The Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld Suarez's four-month ban from competitive football.

    But one slight alteration was made, per a CAS media release: "The four month suspension will apply to official matches only and no longer to other football-related activities (such as training, promotional activities and administrative matters)."

    Instead of spending the start of his Barca career in isolation, Suarez can learn manager Luis Enrique's system and be primed to go once the suspension expires. 

    Suarez has always thrived on playing with a chip on his shoulder and when adversity comes his way, he bounces back. 



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