World Football Transfers: Ranking the 15 Most Overrated Summer Prospects

Yoosof Farah@@YoosofFarahSenior Writer IIIApril 25, 2011

World Football Transfers: Ranking the 15 Most Overrated Summer Prospects

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23:  Gareth Bale of Spurs looks on during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Bromwich Albion at White Hart Lane on April 23, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
    Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

    This summer transfer window could be the busiest in many seasons for several clubs, including Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool, Inter Milan, Bayern Munich and Lyon.

    Therefore, a lot of names will be bandied about in the media, with players supposedly going here, there and everywhere.

    The likes of Wesley Sneijder, Javier Pastore, Carlos Tevez, Samir Nasri and Javier Hernandez have apparently already definitely agreed to deals to sign for United, Inter, Manchester City, Real Madrid and any other top club you can think of, each with a fee ranging from £40 million to £6 billion, probably.

    The rumour mill is in full flow, as tabloid newspapers across the world get ecstatic at the thought of linking different players with different clubs.

    However, there is one problem to this: It means we can end up getting some ridiculously overrated players said to be on the move to top teams for ludicrous amounts of money.

    Here are some of those overrated players supposedly on the move to bigger things.

15. Kevin Gameiro

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    Linked with clubs like Arsenal, Lorient striker Kevin Gameiro has been something of a revelation in Ligue 1 this season, notching 18 goals from 30 games.

    That hardly smacks of an overrated player, but Gameiro has had media the world over queuing up to sing his praises and link him with big-money moves.

    Which is strange for a player who hasn't handled the pressure of playing for a big club before (his previous club being Strasbourg) and is only now starting to score consistent goals, at the age of 23.

    He hasn't been tested in any other league apart from Ligue 1 and has only earnt three caps for his country, France. But that hasn't stopped the media putting a sizeable fee on his shoulders.

    Potential fee: £17 million

14. Gervinho

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    QINHUANGDAO, CHINA - AUGUST 16:  Gervinho of Ivory Coast and Ebenezer Ajilore of Nigeria  compete for the ball during the Men's Quarter Final match between Nigeria and Ivory Coast at Qinhuangdao Olympic Sports Center Stadium on Day 8 of the Beijing 2008 O
    Noriko Hayakusa/Getty Images

    Staying with Ligue 1, another overrated prospect is Lille and Ivory Coast striker Gervinho, said to be a big-money target for Arsenal or Newcastle United.

    Gervinho has scored 12 goals from 30 games, which is hardly the most scintillating form, but has nine assists and is said to be equally as comfortable on the wing as in a central role.

    He's a player who again hasn't been tested at a higher level and hasn't yet hit the 20-goal-a-season barrier in the professional game.

    But that doesn't stop him being linked as the next big thing in the Premier League.

    Potential fee: £12 million

13. Steven Defour

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    LIEGE, BELGIUM - OCTOBER 02: Steven Defour of Standard Liege celebrates on the final whistle after victory in the UEFA Cup first round, second leg match, between Standard Liege and Everton at Stade Maurice Dufrasne, on October 2, 2008 in Liege,Belgium.  (
    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    Said to be the Messiah to save Liverpool or Manchester United from the brink of lacklustre creativity, Steven Defour is the next big thing to come out of Belgium.

    The hard-working playmaker is renowned for his "excellent passing ability," which over short distances is always accurate and usually forward-thinking.

    But in terms of long-range passing, he's another I-want-to-be-like-Paul-Scholes-or-Xavi kind of player, always looking for the Hollywood pass.

    He doesn't score many goals either, netting in just three this season. Plus he kicked the season off with a broken bone in his foot, so he might get recurrent injuries in that area. 

    Potential fee: £20 million

12. Fernando Llorente

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    BARCELONA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 20:  Fernando Llorente of Athletic Bilbao looks on during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao at Camp Nou on February 20, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona won 2-1.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
    David Ramos/Getty Images

    Viewing his career at a glance, it might seem clear why Tottenham Hotspur are supposedly lining up a huge offer for this striker, and why Real Madrid are apparently always interested in getting his signature.

    Fernando Llorente took Spain to European and World Cup glory, averaging better than a goal every other game for his country.

    He has seven goals from 13 caps and only played once in Spain's World Cup-winning campaign, coming off the bench for half an hour in the round of 16 game against Portugal.

    For his club, Athletic Bilbao, he has 17 goals in 35 games this season, and only once has he had a 20-goal-a-season campaign, which came last term from 50 matches.

    He's never played for a top club and statistically only scores 14 per cent of the total shots he has on goal, but that hasn't stopped the speculation.

    Potential fee: £26 million

11. Javier Pastore

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    PALERMO, ITALY - APRIL 23:  Javier Pastore (L) of Palermo holds off the challenge from Walter Gargano of Napoli during the Serie A match between US Citta di Palermo and SSC Napoli at Stadio Renzo Barbera on April 23, 2011 in Palermo, Italy.  (Photo by Tul
    Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

    The sensational playmaker with a huge career ahead of him, Javier Pastore really is a big deal.

    The 21-year-old Palermo star, who already has a goal and seven caps for Argentina, is the second-best player in the world at his position behind Inter Milan star Wesley Sneijder.

    Pastore really does have excellent passing range, short and long distance, brilliantly opens up space and can himself finish with aplomb, having netted 13 goals this season.

    However, the one thing which puts him on this list is his possible fee, which Manchester City are reportedly set to agree to pay for his signature.

    Potential fee: £52.6 million

10. Leighton Baines

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    LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 16:  Leighton Baines  of Everton scores the second goal from the penalty spot during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Blackburn Rovers at  Goodison Park on April 16, 2011 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Cl
    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    If you believe the papers, Leighton Baines is the full-back to end all full-backs as far as Bayern Munich and Arsenal are concerned.

    The two teams are set to lock horns in the summer, going at war to get their man, as they look to resolve their apparent left-back problem.

    Baines, who's only ever played for Everton and Wigan Athletic, and who only has four caps for England at the age of 26, is a modern-day full-back who gets forward and pushes their opposition winger back, putting his team on the front foot.

    Being a modern-day full-back, he also does that annoying thing a lot of them do: that is, fail to adequately track back and defend, as his job title (i.e. "defender") suggests.

    But don't tell Baines himself that. According to Wikipedia, he's a massive pessimist who doubts his own ability.

    Potential fee: £15 million

9. Ganso

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - AUGUST 10: Paulo Henrique Ganso #10 of Brazil runs upfield in the first half of a friendly match against the U.S. at the New Meadowlands on August 10, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
    Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

    The playmaker to end all playmakers, Paulo Henrique Chagas de Lima (but you can call him Ganso) is the next huge midfield talent to emerge from Brazil. Apparently.

    Said to be even better than ex-Manchester United legend Jose Kleberson himself, Santos star Ganso is reportedly to spark a Serie A bidding frenzy between AC Milan and Inter Milan.

    Such excitement was meant to be ended last season, but Ganso put paid to that when he picked up a knee injury which could plague him in future seasons.

    Which all means, despite the player's failure at times to get a collective rhythm going in the team or dictating virtually all of the attacks like a playmaker should, Ganso is going to be a popular man this summer.

    Potential fee: £23 million

8. Fernando Gago

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    DUBLIN, IRELAND - AUGUST 11:  Fernando Gago of Argentina in action during the International Friendly match between Republic of Ireland and Argentina at the Aviva Stadium on August 11, 2010 in Dublin, Ireland.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    At one point he was meant to be the holding midfielder to end all holding midfielders before World Cup winner Xabi Alonso rolled up at Real Madrid and stole his place in the team.

    Then a star of Germany's 2010 World Cup campaign, Sami Khedira, tagged along as well and pushed Fernando Gago well down the Bernabeu pecking order.

    Injuries and the presence of Alonso, Khedira and Lassana Diarra have limited Gago, who at 26 has 30 caps for Argentina, to just four appearances for Los Blancos this season.

    Said to be a serious target for UEFA Champions League-chasing Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur, Fernando Gago represents the gamble to end all gambles, considering he's a player not fit for Real Madrid and a player currently suffering from a serious confidence crisis and niggling injury problems.

    Potential fee: £10 million

7. Ashley Young

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 16:  Ashley Young of Aston Villa holds off the challenge by Lars Jacobsen of West Ham United during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Aston Villa at the Boleyn Ground on April 16, 2011 in London, England
    Tom Dulat/Getty Images

    Aston Villa star Ashley Young looks like he'll finally get his big money move after attracting significant interest from Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham.

    Equally adept at playing on the wing or in the playmaker role, Young might already be Villa's next James Milner, getting signed on the cheap (well, cheap enough to make a sizeable profit), doing fairly well when getting loads of game time and then getting sold for shedloads of money before sitting around finding the size of the new club overwhelming.

    Sporadic showing aside and one England match back in March when he was playing like God, Ashley Young has hardly been displaying the form that would suggest he's Manchester United's new playmaking Messiah.

    But yet again, that hasn't stopped the tabloids getting excited.

    Potential fee: £25 million

6. Wilfried Zaha

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 22:  Wilfried Zaha (L) of Crystal Palace battles for the ball against Jamal Campbell-Ryce of Bristol City during the npower Championship match between Crystal Palace and Bristol City at Selhurst Park on January 22, 2011 in London
    Dan Istitene/Getty Images

    Eighteen-year-old Crystal Palace starlet Wilfried Zaha is apparently being courted by the same names that have appeared throughout the list.

    Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal, who of course haven't been linked with any other players in the summer transfer window, are all reportedly lining up bids for the support striker, meaning this player looks like one special talent.

    But just how good is this player? From 39 appearances in the Championship this season, he's scored a whopping one goal for Crystal Palace, making an astonishing two assists.

    That's how good he is.

    Potential fee: £2 million

5. Connor Wickham

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    IPSWICH, ENGLAND - MARCH 15:  Connor Wickham of Ipswich Town battles with Will Buckley of Watford during the npower Championship match between Ipswich Town and Watford at Portman Road on March 15, 2011 in Ipswich, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty
    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    Now for another massively overrated young English talent plying his trade in England's second tier.

    Eighteen-year-old Ipswich Town striker Connor Wickham, like Wilfried Zaha, is meant to be the next big thing for the Three Lions (the England national team).

    There is some promise in the kid, as he scored the winner for England in the 2010 U-17 European Championship Final and scored nine goals in 13 caps for the U-17s.

    But that's about it. This season he's scored eight goals from 40 games in the Championship. Wayne Rooney, at the same age, was scoring more in fewer games, in a much defensively tighter and more physically and psychologically demanding league.

    However, that still doesn't stop comparisons between the two, as well as suggestions of a possible move to Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur or Real Madrid.

    Potential fee: £15 million

4. Pierre Webo

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    MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY 23: Pierre Webo (L) of Mallorca is tackloed by Sergio Ramos of Real Madrid during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Mallorca at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on January 23, 2011 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Im
    Denis Doyle/Getty Images

    RCD Mallorca striker Pierre Webo has openly admitted he's not a prolific striker and said he is not going to score a lot of goals for his team.

    In such a case, the phrase "no s**t Sherlock" comes to mind, considering the Cameroon international has scored seven goals from 30 games this season, scoring a goal only nine per cent of the time he shoots on goal.

    All that done in what is the easiest league throughout Europe to score goals.

    But even that hasn't stopped Celtic, Bolton Wanderers, Fulham, Birmingham City and West Brom pinning their hopes on the 29-year-old to become their 20-goal-a-season hero.

    Potential fee: £4 million

3. Cesc Fabregas

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    BOLTON, ENGLAND - APRIL 24:   Cesc Fabregas of Arsenal shoots at goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Bolton Wanderers and Arsenal at the Reebok Stadium on April 24, 2011 in Bolton, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    Without doubt the most controversial choice on this list, Cesc Fabregas' form this season has dipped alarmingly.

    Looking like a sad bird on the pitch reminiscing about La Masia, the Camp Nou and the fun times back in Barcelona, Fabregas has hardly led by example as Arsenal captain this campaign.

    He's considerably out of form, lacks fitness at times and could well be plagued in the future by his niggling hamstring injuries.

    But he'll attract investors because of his previous seasons, where he built up his name and ego, with the name Cesc Fabregas up for sale getting FC Barcelona, Inter Milan and maybe even Real Madrid interested.

    Potential fee: £35 million

2. Mirko Vucinic

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    ROME, ITALY - APRIL 19:  Mirko Vucinic of AS Roma reacts during the TIM Cup semi-final match between AS Roma and FC Internazionale Milano at Stadio Olimpico on April 19, 2011 in Rome, Italy.  (Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images)
    Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

    How this man can consistently be linked with top clubs all across Europe is remarkable.

    He's never had a 20-goal-a-season campaign yet still gets linked with Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Manchester United and the like.

    But most importantly, this season he hasn't delivered the goals that in the past saw him rumoured with big-name teams.

    Nine goals from 25 games in Serie A now sees Blackburn Rovers step in to lure the 27-year-old Montenegro striker to Ewood Park as their marquee signing.

    But they will face stiff competition from Inter Milan, who are also reportedly keen on getting his signature.

    Why that is the case, nobody will know, considering he only scores once in every 10 attempts he has on goal.

    Potential fee: £21 million

1. Gareth Bale

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 20:  Gareth Bale of Spurs in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal at White Hart Lane on April 20, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    It was obvious looking at the opening picture that the man atop this list was always going to be a certain player from Tottenham Hotspur, who wears the No. 3 shirt and has the surname Bale.

    Gareth Bale, without doubt, is the most overrated player in the Premier League. Winning the PFA Players Player of the Year, the Welsh winger has only had standout performances twice against Inter Milan in the Champions League, as well as against the likes of Stoke City in the league.

    He's scored seven goals this season in the league and made just one assist, scoring a goal once in every nine attempts he has on goal.

    Plus he's possibly the worst winger in tracking back, defending and helping his full-back. That's despite Gareth Bale being signed from Southampton for £10 million as a left-back!

    Simply put, he's very overrated, especially for the price quoted.

    Potential fee: £40 million