50 Best Deals of the 2014 Summer Transfer Window

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentSeptember 3, 2014

50 Best Deals of the 2014 Summer Transfer Window

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    Welcome to Bleacher Report's 50 best deals of the 2014 summer transfer window. The imperative word being best, not biggest. 

    This slideshow will inundate you with transfers you may not have noticed.  

    Have Augsburg signed an elite left-back? Do Porto have another cash-cow centre-forward who will be sold for €38 million/£30 million plus in several years' time?

    Which German club not named Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have a future world-class No. 10? 

    Honourable Mentions

Notable Omissions List

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    In order to find quality transfers, deals valued at €20 million/£15.8 million plus were EXCLUDED. 

    This list subjectively ranks the transfers on three points:

    • Transferred player's ability. 
    • How big of a transfer steal is the deal? 
    • Does the transfer have a high chance of a profitable resell?

    Here are explanations for notable transfers costing €20 million/£15.8 million or less that were not selected for the primary list. 

    Jeremy Mathieu | Valencia → Barcelona: €20 million/£15.8 million

    Big, physical presence, swift passer, seasoned professional, but not a €20 million defender.

    There is no resell value as a 30-year-old. 

    Before you talk about Jeremy Mathieu's near-flawless game against Elche, it was a total mismatch. 

    He came up against Jonathas who has scored three league goals in his last three seasons.

    Jonathas' career has nose-dived, and at the rate he is going, he will be joining his compatriot Vitor Saba Down Under in the A-League.

    Against better opposition in Villarreal, Mathieu was less dominant and at times looked suspect in defence. 

    Instead of signing Mathieu, Barca should have taken a calculated gamble on a young German centre-back (Antonio Rudiger, Niklas Sule, Robin Knoche, Tony Jantschke, et al.) which would have complemented Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

    Thomas Vermaelen | Arsenal → Barcelona: €19 million/£15 million

    An exorbitant fee for Barcelona to pay when Thomas Vermaelen was an injury-prone back-up defender at Arsenal.

    It is as if Barca signed him only on name recognition. 

    His nonexistent form and his noted fitness problems were all reasons for Barca not to sign him.

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

    Despite being a once-in-a-generation talent, Atleti attempted to sell Jan Oblak back to Benfica, according to the Portuguese club's president Luis Filipe Vieira.

    However, Atleti refuted Vieira's statement. 

    Luis Aznar and Kike Sampedro at Marca claim the Oblak saga reflected "the animosity stirred up in Lisbon following a summer of wrangling between the two clubs."

    When you factor in the lack of chances Josuha Guilavogui and Toby Alderweireld received, there seems to be a disconnect between the front office and Atleti manager Diego Simeone.

    If there is a power struggle, then Oblak could be caught in the middle, thus keeping him on the bench.

    Xabi Alonso | Real Madrid → Bayern Munich: €6.3 million/£5 million

    Gianluca Gaudino, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Sebastian Rode provide ample cover in midfield. 

    Signing Xabi Alonso for €6.3 million/£5 million plus his estimated €6-10 million salary is wasteful.

    Gaudino and Hojbjerg are world-class prospects, so they should not have their paths blocked. While Rode's last season was mediocre, he used to be one of the most dominant midfielders in Germany. 

    Bleacher Report Spanish football writer Guillem Balague speculated that Alonso is preparing for a move into coaching: "In my opinion, Alonso will become a coach in the future, and he wants to learn from the very best—and they don't come any better than [Bayern manager Pep] Guardiola."

50. Bryan Cristante

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    AC Milan → Benfica: €6 million/£4.7 million

    Bryan Cristante is a smooth passer, a languid dribbler and has big potential as a 19-year-old. Milan management should have insisted on a loan deal instead of outright selling Cristante.

    Benfica will increase Cristante's transfer stock and then sell him for a sizeable profit, like Axel Witsel, Javi Garcia, Manuel Fernandes, Nemanja Matic, Ramires, etc. 

    Those are just the central midfielders.

    Benfica have one of the best scouting systems in the world, so it is an ominous sign for Milan.

    Cristante could be to AC Milan what Andrea Pirlo was to Inter Milan.

    Why isn't Cristante ranked higher?

    There is a big risk attached to paying €6 million for a teenager with three Serie A appearances.

49. Shinji Kagawa

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    Tony Ding/Associated Press

    Manchester United → Borussia Dortmund: €8 million/£6.3 million

    Shinji Kagawa's dream to play for Manchester United turned into a nightmare. 

    Being played out of position, Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement and United starting a rebuilding phase would have left Kagawa miffed.

    Kagawa is returning to an environment that will allow him to find his identity again. 

    "He's [Kagawa is] an offensive midfielder with one of the best noses for goal I ever saw," Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp said, per Donald McRae of The Guardian. "He now plays 20 minutes at Manchester United on the left wing. My heart breaks."

    When Nuri Sahin returned to Dortmund, he was a substitute in six of his first eight Bundesliga games, so it may take a while before Kagawa rediscovers his form which paved the way for a move to United. 

48. Ashley Cole

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    Chelsea → Roma: Free Transfer

    Ashley Cole was faultless against Fiorentina in a game remembered for Joshua Brillante being tactically subbed out after 35 minutes because he was a liability. 

    Cole believes he still is top-flight quality hence why he took the challenge to play in Serie A.

    When he was at Chelsea, he lost his starting place to a makeshift left-back in Cesar Azpilicueta, who was signed as a right-back. 

    If it makes Cole feel any better, Azpilicueta has kept world-class left-back Filipe Luis out of Chelsea's starting XI in the Premier League thus far.

47. Josip Drmic

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    Martin Meissner/Associated Press

    FC Nurnberg → Bayer Leverkusen: €6.8 million/£5.4 million

    Josip Drmic scored 17 goals for relegated FC Nurnberg last season, so he can score with limited service. 

    Not only is he a lethal No. 9, but he can play out wide. 

    With the exception of Hiroshi Kiyotake's angled passes, Drmic had limited service and worked hard for his goals. 

    While his move to Leverkusen is excellent on paper, is he going to get regular playing time?

    Stefan Kiessling is still contributing as the centre-forward while Karim Bellarabi and Son Heung-min have the right and the left flank covered, respectively. 

    Then, there is Julian Brandt, an 18-year-old wunderkind, who will be utilised in the super-sub role.

46. Muhamed Besic

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    Ferencvaros → Everton: €5.1 million/£4 million

    The next time you make a mistake in five-a-side or on FIFA 15, just remember Muhamed Besic's error was worse. 

    In an all-time great Premier League game against Chelsea (the Blues won 6-3) that was ebbing and flowing, Besic was subbed on and gave away possession with a pointless backheel.

    Chelsea substitute John Obi Mikel sprinted to claim the loose ball and then pulled off a backheel assist to Chelsea centre-forward Diego Costa.

    The 43.1 percent of fantasy Premier League managers who started Costa: Thanks, Besic—you're the real MVP.

    Look, Besic is better than that. 

    He has world-class technique, is an audacious dribbler and a rough tackler. He was one of the most impressive midfielders at the FIFA World Cup. 

45. Jeremy Menez

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    Paris Saint-Germain → AC Milan: Free Transfer

    Milan replaced a troubled star in Mario Balotelli with another troubled star in Jeremy Menez.

    His nonexistent relationship with PSG manager Laurent Blanc facilitated a Bosman transfer to Milan, a club with a skint transfer policy. 

    Menez is off to a good start after converting a penalty against Lazio.

44. Filip Kostic

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    Groningen → Stuttgart: €6 million/£4.8 million

    Filip Kostic can mimic Arjen Robben when cutting in from the right wing, which was demonstrated with goals against Ajax and NAC Breda.

    Last season, Kostic led Groningen in total dribbles (97) and dribbles per game (2.6).

    He has been used by Stuttgart as a super-sub thus far but has been unable to beat out Martin Harnik (right attacking midfielder) and Alexandru Maxim (left attacking midfielder) for a starting position. 

43. Benjamin Stambouli

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    Lionel Cironneau/Associated Press

    Montpellier → Tottenham Hotspur: €5.9 million/£4.7 million

    Benjamin Stambouli offers additional squad cover at Spurs. 

    He is a dynamic defensive midfielder who can fill in at centre-back and left-back. 

    This season, Stambouli has completed 86.7 percent of his passes, so he will fit into Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino's plans.

42. Hiroshi Kiyotake

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    Clive Rose/Getty Images

    FC Nurnberg → Hannover 96: €4.3 million/£3.4 million

    If you talk about pure passing talent, you have to include Hiroshi Kiyotake in the conversation. 

    He has a Zvjezdan Misimovic-like knack of splitting open opposing defences with a slick pass. 

    When Kiyotake finds himself on a team with a prolific finisher, he could accumulate 15-20 assists in a league season. 

    His problem is he will make several great passes and then be anonymous for the majority of the game. 

    He must improve his consistency if he wants to transition into a world-class player. 

41. Vicente Guaita

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    Valencia → Getafe: Free Transfer

    It is approaching four years since Vicente Guaita pulled off a "marvellous" display against Manchester United, per Simon Hart of UEFA.com.

    Instead of going forwards, Guaita's career went backwards. 

    The move to Getafe is designed for him to start week in, week out. He will rebuild his confidence, make many saves and open up doors to bigger opportunities. 

    He has the characteristics of a top goalkeeper.

40. Admir Mehmedi

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    Dynamo Kyiv → Freiburg: €4 million/£3.2 million

    Admir Mehmedi scored 12 goals on loan at Freiburg last season. 

    After extending his loan into a permanent deal, Mehmedi will push on. 

    His first step and his quick feet inside the box help him get clear sights on goal. This season, he has the capacity to be as prolific as Papiss Cisse was for Freiburg during the 2010-11 season.

39. Dusan Tadic

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    FC Twente → Southampton: €13.8 million/£10.9 million

    Dusan Tadic is averaging 2.7 key passes per game, and he will be afforded more space if Sadio Mane emulates his take-on prowess in the Premier League.

    Last season, Tadic created 14 goals for his team-mates and accumulated 133 key passes.

    Tadic is crucial to Southampton achieving their objectives this season. 

38. Adrian Ramos

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    Hertha Berlin → Borussia Dortmund: €9 million/£7.1 million

    Adrian Ramos is the back-up centre-forward at Dortmund despite scoring 16 goals and registering five assists for Hertha Berlin last season.

    He is an exceptional dribbler who will make the right play rather than go for glory.

    If Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang continues to play upfront, then Ramos' chances are limited. 

    Though, his goal against Augsburg is a timely reminder of his abilities to Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp.

37. Grzegorz Krychowiak

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    Stu Forster/Getty Images

    Reims → Sevilla: €5.5 million/£4.4 million

    Grzegorz Krychowiak is a commanding defensive midfielder who led Reims in headers won per game (3.1) last season.

    He completed 94 tackles and intercepted 96 passes in 34 Ligue 1 games. 

    To quote French football journalist Jonathan Johnson: "Glad Grzegorz Krychowiak is starting to get credit he deserves with Sevilla. Was superb for Reims. One of Ligue 1's most underrated talents."

    Krychowiak has started both of Sevilla's La Liga games and forms a double-pivot partnership with Vicente Iborra.

36. Remy Cabella

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    Stu Forster/Getty Images

    Montpellier → Newcastle United: €12.6 million/£10 million

    Remy Cabella is a complete footballer whose style fits the Premier League perfectly. 

    He loves getting stuck in and leads Newcastle in tackles per game (4.0)—2.7 tackles more than Jack Colback, the Ginger Pirlo.

    Cabella is a lethal dribbler and can provide piercing passes.

35. Stefan de Vrij

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    Feyenoord → Lazio: €8.5 million/£6.7 million

    Five seasons of top-flight football and performing as one of the best defenders at the FIFA World Cup qualifies Stefan de Vrij as a quality centre-back. 

    While all defenders will have days to forget, his bad matches for Feyenoord were cringeworthy.

    He was all over the place in a 4-1 defeat to Twente, and he played the entire game when Feyenoord were thrashed 10-0 by PSV Eindhoven four years ago (no, that is not a typo. It was 10-0).

    Those games come to mind when De Vrij's name pops up.

    In terms of his awful debut against Milan, he would have been subbed off in the 35th minute if he played under Fiorentina manager Vincenzo Montella, who humiliated Joshua Brillante.

    That is why De Vrij is ranked 35 instead of somewhere between 10-20. 

34. Pierre-Michel Lasogga

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    Matthias Schrader/Associated Press

    Hertha Berlin → Hamburg: €8.5 million/£6.7 million

    League Only 2013-14Danny Welbeck Pierre-Michel Lasogga
    Goals Per Game0.360.65 
    Shots Per Goal5.11 5.54 

    If Danny Welbeck was German, he would not have cost Arsenal €20.2 million/£16 million, per BBC Sport.

    Both he and Pierre-Michel Lasogga are promising players who have yet to reach their full potential. 

    Welbeck's stats are scuppered by him playing out wide, and Lasogga needs to sustain his form throughout the entire season. 

    Lasogga was playing for a contract at Hamburg, and now that he has received it, will he regress or continue progressing? 

    His shooting this season has been wayward (no goals from eight shots after two Bundesliga games).

33. Guillermo Ochoa

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    Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

    Ajaccio → Malaga: Free Transfer

    When Guillermo Ochoa is on song, he is one of the greatest shot-stoppers you will ever see.  

    You would think after the plethora of highlight-reel saves at the FIFA World Cup and in Ligue 1 that Ochoa would walk into Malaga's starting XI.

    That is not the case.

    Carlos Kameni, the back-up prior to Willy Caballero leaving for Manchester City, is now Malaga's No. 1.

32. Shkodran Mustafi

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    Michael Sohn/Associated Press

    Sampdoria → Valencia: €8 million/£6.3 million

    If Shkodran Mustafi can be a serviceable defender, Valencia will be able to sell him for €20 million/£15.8 million, which was the transfer fee of Jeremy Mathieu.

    Mustafi is a great ball-winner, making 84 tackles and intercepting 99 passes last season for Sampdoria.

    His disposition to switch off is a red flag, but he is a great defender. 

31. Alfred Finnbogason

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    Heerenveen → Real Sociedad: €8 million/£6.3 million

    Fulham paid €13.9 million/£11 million for Ross McCormack, who is not proven top-flight material, while Real Sociedad spent £6.3 million on Alfred Finnbogason, a natural scorer. 

    He accumulated 53 goals in 65 Eredivisie games, so he has first-rate poaching instincts. 

    He is tricky in the box like Diego Milito was during his prime. 

    The start of Finnbogason's Sociedad career has been disrupted by a shoulder injury, as noted by Heath Chesters of Inside Spanish Football.

    While Finnbogason will be missed at Heerenveen, the Dutch club may have found a successor.

    Mark Uth's hat-trick against Utrecht could kick-start a purple patch. 

30. Alberto Moreno

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    Sevilla → Liverpool: €15.2 million/£12 million

    Alberto Moreno's cavalier approach to football is not only aligned to Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers' attack-centric outlook, but it is fun to watch. 

    Moreno will have a John Arne Riise-esque impact under Rodgers.

    That said, Rodgers should be apprehensive about Moreno's inclination to be caught upfield.

    Moreno is more like a wing-back than a full-back. 

29. Julian Schieber

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    Borussia Dortmund → Hertha Berlin: €2.5 million/£2 million

    Julian Schieber has been active, is lively in the box and has put away his chances. 

    In his opening two Bundesliga games, he has scored three times: twice against Werder Bremen and once against Bayer Leverkusen.

    If Schieber can stay fit, he could score 15-plus league goals this season.

28. Juan Bernat

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    Steve Dykes/Getty Images

    Valencia → Bayern Munich: €10 million/£7.9 million

    Manchester United's injured left-back Luke Shaw, who arrived at the club unfit, is valued at €37.9 million/£30 million

    In comparison, Juan Bernat is a prudent transfer for Bayern: pacey, completed 83.6 percent of his passes and an economical tackler (only conceded 0.5 fouls per game last season).

    Bayern have one of the top one-two combinations at left-back/left wing-back in Bernat and David Alaba.

27. Daley Blind

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    Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

    Ajax → Manchester United: €17.7 million/£14 million

    Early on in Daley Blind's career, he had to fight off accusations of nepotism and being afforded leeway because his father, Danny, was an Ajax legend. 

    Blind put his head down and worked tirelessly which sent a loud message to his critics: "I deserve my place in the starting XI."

    Able to play multiple positions and a metronomic passer, Blind is a typical Louis van Gaal player. 

    You might be thinking: Why isn't Blind ranked higher? He is a role player who functions well on a stable team. Key word being stable. 

    Not even Hercule Poirot would solve the problems this United team have.

    Blind is not the midfield saviour, but he is part of the solution going forward as Van Gaal rebuilds United.

26. Nuri Sahin

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    Paul White/Associated Press

    Real Madrid → Borussia Dortmund: €7 million/£5.5 million

    Nuri Sahin returned to Dortmund with his tail between his legs after frustrating spells at Real Madrid and Liverpool.

    He did not know what he was missing at Dortmund until it was gone.

    Real's need to discard Sahin as soon as possible entitled Dortmund to re-sign such a talented midfielder at a discount.

    However, one concern Dortmund manager Klopp will have is Sahin's diminished productivity as an incisive passer.

    Nuri Sahin2013-142010-11
    Key Passes Per Game1.23.5
    Passes Per Game60.559.3
    Pass Completion %79.575.9

25. Willy Caballero

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Malaga → Manchester City: €5.6 million/£4.4 million

    Signing one of the best goalkeepers last season in Willy Caballero for just £4.4 million is economically efficient.

    It is time he becomes City's No. 1.

    City goalkeeper Joe Hart has committed the most errors leading to goals since the 2013-14 season, per a tweet from WhoScored.

24. Milan Badelj

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    Kerstin Joensson/Associated Press

    Hamburg → Fiorentina: €4 million/£3.2 million

    Fiorentina buying Milan Badelj caps off the worst week in Joshua Brillante's professional career.

    Evidently, Brillante didn't psych himself up to Eminem's "Lose Yourself" in the pregame routine against Roma: "Look. If you had one shot, or one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted. One moment. Would you capture it? Or, just let it slip?"

    Brillante let it slip:

    • His turnover plus him being out of position led to Roma's first goal. 
    • Aside from one crisp pass into the attacking half in the ninth minute, his passes went sideways and backwards. 
    • He was so close to Fiorentina right-back Nenad Tomovic that Brillante was essentially a second right-back.
    • Brillante was not a passing outlet, looked lost and froze in the biggest game of his career.
    • Tactically subbed out before half-time.

    There is no comparison: Badelj is a seasoned top-flight footballer, whereas Brillante does not even know if he belongs in an elite European league.

    Badelj has had back-to-back seasons of 100 tackles or more and possesses expansive passing range.

    If Badelj was more consistent, he would be at a major European club, so Fiorentina have done brilliantly to sign him.

    He can turn into another success story like Borja Valero.

23. Lukasz Fabianski

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    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    Arsenal → Swansea City: Free Transfer

    Lukasz Fabianski was once one of the most maligned goalkeepers in Europe. When he was a starter at Arsenal, he was a nervous wreck who was meek and riddled with errors. It was the antithesis to the confident first impression he gave when he arrived at the club.

    "I'm not coming to Arsenal just to be there," Fabianski said in 2007, per Martin Harasimowicz and Simon Austin at BBC Sport. "Lehmann and Almunia are very good, but I'm not afraid of anyone."

    Fabianski needed a change of scenery. 

    His early showings for Swansea City have been impressive with two clean sheets from three Premier League games.

22. Emre Can

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    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    Bayer Leverkusen → Liverpool: €12.34 million/£9.75 million

    Emre Can is a dynamic, well-built and versatile footballer who could be Steven Gerrard's long-term replacement.

    While Can has not forced his way into Liverpool's starting XI (yet), you can see the attributes of a top footballer. 

    He is a tank with an elegant first touch and can dribble past opposing players. 

21. Jonathan de Guzman

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    Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

    Villarreal → Napoli: €6 million/£4.8 million

    As a Swansea City loanee, Jonathan de Guzman left a lasting impression on Napoli management over two UEFA Europa League games.

    De Guzman is an accurate passer, a creative outlet and a set-piece threat.

    He should be able to dictate tempo in Serie A.

    Coming on as a substitute against Genoa, he scored a late stoppage-time winner.

20. Fraser Forster

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    Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

    Celtic → Southampton: €12.7 million/£10 million

    At 6'7" and 198 pounds, Fraser Forster could have been a shooting guard for the Newcastle Eagles if he chose to play basketball instead of football. 

    Forster's immense physical attributes are eye-catching.

    Considering how agile he is when making saves, he has the potential to become England's No. 1. 

    His inability to break through at Newcastle United strengthened his resolve as his performances for Celtic in the UEFA Champions League were world class. 

19. Sebastian Rode

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    Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

    Eintracht Frankfurt → Bayern Munich: Free Transfer

    Sebastian Rode may have taken a step backwards last season, but his imperious 2012-13 campaign is a reminder of how gifted he is. 

    Rode took his chance against Schalke and had a solid game.

    His combination with Bayern centre-forward Robert Lewandowski led to a goal.

    Rode is a luxury back-up at Bayern.

    Adding Xabi Alonso to the mix is nonessential given Rode can emulate the Spaniard.

    Rode can dispatch incisive long passes, he enforces in midfield and is only 23 years of age. 

    Keep in mind, Bayern also have two world-class midfield prospects in Gianluca Gaudino and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

    Rode is contracted to Bayern until 2018.

    • Ceiling: becomes indispensable starting member.
    • Floor: wins several trophies as a bit-part player and is sold for a neat profit to a mid-tier Bundesliga club a year before his contract expires.

18. Gylfi Sigurdsson

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Tottenham Hotspur → Swansea City: Ben Davies

    Trading players NBA-style is uncommon in football.

    But Swansea exchanged left-back Ben Davies for a mercurial Gylfi Sigurdsson, per David Hytner of The Guardian: "Ben Davies from Swansea, the left-back, has linked up with the club [Spurs] on their tour of north America—with Gylfi Sigurdsson moving in the opposite direction in a £10 million swap deal."

    Davies is backing up Danny Rose while Sigurdsson has scored a goal and registered four assists in his opening three Premier League games. 

    While it is a snap judgement, Swansea have won out big time.

    Swansea were playing with house money.

    • Sigurdsson is familiar with the Swans, having played at the club during the 2011-12 season.
    • Swansea didn't need to sign a left-back replacement, as the underrated Neil Taylor would fill the void (Davies would not have received a run if not for Taylor's horrific fracture in 2012). 

17. Kostas Manolas

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    Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

    Olympiacos → Roma: €13 million/£10.3 million

    Yes, this is the same Kostas Manolas then-Everton manager David Moyes attempted to sign during the 2012 January transfer window.

    "He's [Manolas is] a young boy we have looked at for a while, and we know quite a lot about him," Moyes said, per Chris Bascombe of the Daily Telegraph. "We could do with a centre back, although ideally someone who could go straight into the team, and he couldn't at the moment. But he's got potential."

    • Positive: Everton's scouting system were right to target Manolas.
    • Negative: Like Shkodran Mustafi and Eric Dier, it is a story of what could have been.

    Fortunately for Everton, John Stones is their budding elite defender. 

    Roma believe Manolas can slot into the starting XI and perform in a manner reminiscent of Marquinhos and Mehdi Benatia. 

    Should that occur, it will be another big transfer win for Roma.

16. Bruno Martins Indi

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    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Feyenoord → Porto: €7.7 million/£6.1 million

    Bruno Martins Indi's transfer stock will skyrocket at Porto.

    Signing Indi follows the blueprint of nurturing centre-backs like Eliaquim Mangala, Ricardo Carvalho, Pepe, Bruno Alves, etc.

    Manchester City spent €40.5 million/£32 million on Mangala even though he is error-prone, so Porto are projecting another Mangala-like sale with Indi.

    Even if the hype surrounding Indi deflates, a la Nicolas Otamendi, there will be that one club that takes a gamble on him.

    At worst, Porto will make a small profit.

15. Hakan Calhanoglu

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    Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

    Hamburg → Bayer Leverkusen: €14.5 million/£11.5 million

    Hakan Calhanoglu is a sensational showman able to conjure up superlative moments. 

    If you are in the business of creating YouTube compilation clips, Calhanoglu is the guy that will get you the most views. 

    That said, his decision-making needs to improve. He turned over the ball 28.5 percent of the time he passed and attempted low-percentage shots last season.

    He could have easily found his way on the books of one of Europe's wealthiest clubs.

    Several years ago, Carlos Eduardo Marques, a player with comparable ability to Calhanoglu, chased the money in Russia. Sure, injuries derailed Carlos' development, but the move to Rubin Kazan is one he will forever regret.

    Carlos went from being one of the most exciting prospects to a forgotten footballer. 

    That is why choosing Leverkusen was a long-term decision from Calhanoglu. While he countlessly gave away the ball against Hertha Berlin, some of his passes were awe-inspiring. He has the talent to develop into a world-class No. 10.

14. Keylor Navas

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    David Ramos/Getty Images

    Levante → Real Madrid: €10 million/£7.9 million

    Keylor Navas has gone from unheralded shot-stopper to one of the world's best goalkeepers.

    It is a travesty that Real manager Carlo Ancelotti has reinstated floundering icon Iker Casillas. What happened to him? If he was mediocre, you might turn a blind eye.

    But you know Casillas lost the plot the instant he appealed for a decision as Real Sociedad substitute Carlos Vela shaped up to shoot. 

    Don't feel sorry for Casillas because he will not lose his job. See, in real life, you get fired if you are consistently pitiful. Instead, he will get paid handsomely to sit on the bench and watch football. 

    Navas will be Real's security blanket going forward as Ancelotti cannot trust such a disjointed defence. 

13. Yacine Brahimi

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    Fernando Vergara/Associated Press

    Granada → Porto: €6.5 million/£5.1 million

    There was interest surrounding 17-year-old wunderkid Ruben Neves, but it was Yacine Brahimi who stole the show during Porto's 2-0 win over Lille in the UEFA Champions League qualifiers. 

    Neves was tidy on the ball while Brahimi provided that cutting edge Porto needed.

    The primary criticism of Brahimi is him being a highlight-reel dribbler, a la Hulk and Ricardo Quaresma.

    This works to Porto's advantage because Brahimi has a substantial resell value.

12. Diego Lopez

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    Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images

    Real Madrid → AC Milan: Free Transfer

    Real should have dumped Casillas to Milan like Chelsea did with Fernando Torres.

    In order to appease Casillas, Real gave up a world-class goalkeeper in Diego Lopez on a free transfer, granted, Milan will pay Real "performance-related bonuses."

    Lopez denying Lazio right-forward Antonio Candreva from the spot gives Real loose change, but Real sticking by Casillas will go down as a big mistake. 

    A substantial upgrade over Michael Agazzi and more motivated than Christian Abbiati, who is fighting father time, Lopez is on course to turn into one of Milan's most important players this season. 

11. Lindsay Rose

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    Valenciennes → Lyon: €1.5 million/£1.2 million

    When then-Valenciennes centre-back Gary Kagelmacher, who has played for Real Madrid and Monaco, was asked which youngster impressed him, he said Lindsay Rose, per Christian Nourry of Get French Football News: "Lindsay Rose can have a very good career. I think he is the one."

    Theoretically speaking, Rose could have also been a starting centre-back at Bordeaux, partnering Lamine Sane.

    The fact Lyon swooped in to sign Rose substantiates Kagelmacher's vote of confidence. 

    Rose, 22, is composed in possession and adept at cutting off passes. 

    If he maximises his upside, Barcelona could come calling as was the case with former Lyon players Edmilson and Eric Abidal.

10. Kingsley Coman

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    Felice Calabro'/Associated Press

    Paris Saint-Germain → Juventus: Free Transfer

    What is going on at PSG? 

    The Parisian club wasted €49.5 million/£39.2 million on David Luiz, yet they failed to extend the expiring contract of 18-year-old prodigy Kingsley Coman.

    Coman flashed world-class moments with his acceleration, trickery and willingness to attack Chievo Verona.

    Starting upfront, he was his team's "greatest goal threat," per a tweet from Juve's official Twitter feed.

    "The kid Coman played like a veteran," Juve manager Massimiliano Allegri said, per Sky Sport Italia (h/t Football Italia). "We should let him grow, but he has real talent."

    Like acquiring Paul Pogba from Manchester United on a free transfer, Coman is another Bosman-inspired Juve transfer coup.  

9. Vincent Aboubakar

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    Phil Walter/Getty Images

    Lorient → Porto: €10.1 million/£8 million

    League Only 2013-14Shane LongVincent Aboubakar
    Goals Per Game0.200.47
    Shots Per Goal8.335.47

    Inexplicably, Shane Long is more expensive than Vincent Aboubakar, having cost Southampton around €15.2 million/£12 million

    Aboubakar is not only five years younger, but he is a centre-forward with world-class upside, whereas Long is just a serviceable top-flight footballer. 

    Porto correctly projected Hulk, James Rodriguez, Lisandro Lopez, Mario Jardel, Radamel Falcao, et al. being success stories in the Portuguese Primeira Liga. 

    Expect Aboubakar to triple his transfer value at Porto.

    Worth noting, Porto only paid €3 million/£2.4 million to own 30 percent of Aboubakar's playing rights, per a tweet from PortuGOAL.net creator Tom Kundert and European football correspondent Andy Brassell.

8. Kevin Vogt

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    Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

    Augsburg → Koln: €1.8 million/£1.4 million

    Kevin Vogt was among the notable players Augsburg relinquished in the summer transfer window:

    • Andre Hahn → Borussia Monchengladbach: Will turn into one of the pre-eminent players in the Bundesliga. 
    • Ji Dong-won→ Borussia Dortmund: Squad cover.
    • Matthias Ostrzolek → Hamburg: Attacking left-back with defensive deficiencies. Will sit on the bench and learn from seasoned professional Marcell Jansen. Augsburg have signed a replacement with a higher upside in Abdul Rahman Baba. 

    Like Hahn, Vogt is slated for a solid season.

    "He [Vogt] has already underlined his quality for Augsburg in the Bundesliga in an impressive manner," Koln sporting director Jorg Schmadtke said, per the Bundesliga's official website. "Kevin is an ambitious, young German footballer who can still improve."

    An imposing midfielder with a solid technical base, Vogt has the qualities to develop into an elite midfielder.

    Vogt led Koln in interceptions (six) during his club's 2-0 win over Stuttgart.

7. Abdul Rahman Baba

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    Gero Breloer/Associated Press

    Greuther Furth → Augsburg: €2.5 million/£2 million

    Baba was identified as one of the best players at the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup, per FIFA: "competitive left-sided defender with excellent technique and forceful attacking runs."

    Monitored by Arsenal, Chelsea and Napoli in previous years, according to MTN Football, Baba made a footballing decision to sign with Greuther Furth in 2012.

    Ostrzolek departing for Hamburg enabled Baba to slot seamlessly into Augsburg's left-back slot.

    While Baba is outstanding in attack (created two goals against Borussia Dortmund), his positioning at the back can be suspect.  

    He must improve his defensive positioning if he wants to make the step up to a bigger club. 

    Rather than sitting on the bench at a major European club, Baba has made two shrewd career choices.

    With quality left-backs costing a premium, Augsburg have a cash cow in Baba.

6. Fernando Reges

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    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    Porto → Manchester City: €15.2 million/£12 million

    Stoke City centre-forward Mame Biram Diouf would not have looked like George Weah if Fernando Reges was on the field. 

    Like Claude Makelele, you only appreciate Fernando when he is not there. 

    He is a selfless footballer, he tackles well, his positioning is flawless, he possesses a big engine and is a precise passer.

    That is why it is so bizarre that City go from negotiating a discounted price for Fernando to spending an outrageously inflated €40.5 million/£32 million on Mangala.

    Fernando is a sure thing in midfield, whereas Mangala's tendency to make mistakes is a red flag.

5. Marc-Andre ter Stegen

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    David Ramos/Getty Images

    Borussia Monchengladbach → Barcelona: €12 million/£9.5 million

    During the 2010-11 season at Gladbach, Belgian goalkeeper Logan Bailly was expected to transition from top prospect into a world-class shot-stopper. 

    Christofer Heimeroth, a career back-up, would fill in.

    There was intrigue around up-and-coming German youth international Marc-Andre ter Stegen.   

    Was he the real deal?

    Or, would he fade into obscurity like Alexander Ogrinc, the starting goalkeeper for the West German youth international team that reached the 1985 FIFA U-16 World Championship final.

    Fast-forward to the present. 

    Bailly, who at times looked like Superman, hit a brick wall and now plays for Oud-Heverlee Leuven.

    Heimeroth is still at Gladbach hoping to usurp Yann Sommer.

    Meanwhile, Ter Stegen has developed into a world-class goalkeeper.

    It is an outstanding transfer from Barca to sign Ter Stegen, one of the best players in his position, for just €12 million.  

    Though, there are two concerns:

    • Ter Stegen's back injury: Will it foreshadow future back-related problems?
    • Why didn't Barca sign a promising German centre-back to help Ter Stegen, a la Antonio Rudiger, Niklas Sule, Robin Knoche or Tony Jantschke? 

4. Andre Hahn

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    Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images

    Augsburg → Borussia Monchengladbach: €2.25 million/£1.78 million

    It is absurd that Adam Lallana is worth €31.6 million/£25 million when Andre Hahn is younger, faster, stronger and more explosive. 

    Hahn was a dual threat at Augsburg, scoring 12 times and registering seven assists in the Bundesliga last season.

    Able to go on surging runs, Hahn is a nightmare matchup because he is pound-for-pound one of the strongest players in Europe. 

3. Eric Dier

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    Sang Tan/Associated Press

    Sporting Lisbon → Tottenham Hotspur: €5 million/£4 million

    Eric Dier has all the attributes of a future world-class defender:

    • High upside as a 20-year-old.
    • Strong tackler.
    • Impressive physique.
    • Passing outlet from the back (completes 86.3 percent of his 48.7 passes per game).
    • Attacks the ball (scored more league goals [two] than Erik Lamela this season [zero]).
    • Can take the ball past opposing players.
    • Able to interchange from centre-back to right-back. 

    You know that adage that all English prospects carry a premium for being English?

    Well, you have discovered it does not apply to an English youngster, who has been hidden away at a foreign team.

    If Dier extended his stay at Everton, he would have cost £15 million-plus.

    Hindsight is 20/20, but Everton will rue their failed projection of Dier's potential ability, per John Cross of the Daily Mirror: "England youth international Eric Dier has decided to quit Everton and return to parent club Sporting Lisbon."

    Let's try and imagine a hypothetical BBC Sport story this time next year. 

    September 1, 2015 (theoretical): Manchester United have agreed to sign English international centre-back Eric Dier in a £50 million deal from Tottenham Hotspur.

    If that happens, Dier's deal to Spurs would be all-time great.

2. Ivan Rakitic

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    Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

    Sevilla → Barcelona: €18 million/£14.2 million

    Signing Ivan Rakitic for €18 million/£14.2 million from Sevilla and selling Cesc Fabregas to Chelsea for €37.9 million/£30 million is how Barca should be conducting their transfers every window. 

    It was a pragmatic, economically efficient and shrewd decision. 

    Rakitic scored and created a combined 22 goals in La Liga last season, so if Barca want him to be more attack-minded, he can succeed in that role. 

    Right now, he is a ball-magnet and one of the most majestic passers in Europe. 

    He averages 106 passes per game and completes 93.4 percent of his passes in league play. 

1. Robert Lewandowski

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Borussia Dortmund → Bayern Munich: Free Transfer

    Bayern played the Robert Lewandowski saga down to a tee. 

    He has hit the ground running like Chelsea's Diego Costa, albeit for €40.4 million/£32 million less.

    Lewandowski set up a goal for Arjen Robben against Wolfsburg (talk about a cheap assist: make the last pass to Robben and watch him weave his magic) and poached a goal against Schalke.

    Bayern signing Lewandowski, a centre-forward who had three successive seasons of 20 goals or more in the Bundesliga, is one of the greatest Bosman transfers ever. 



    Statistics via WhoScored.