One billion and one..One billion and two..One billion and three..The spending beat goes on and on. Soccer Surgery is counting every dollar, reviewing the deals and assessing the changing landscape of the various clubs.
Next, we will highlight the legendary transfers of the window to be remembered for years to come but first, as promised when we debuted our inaugural Poo Poo list, we present the Poo Poo list: Panic Buy edition. This list looks at the worst transfers squeezed through on the final day(s) of the window.
For selling clubs across the continent the last week of August is like Christmas. Desperation, like the smell of pine trees, fills the air and Buying clubs(predominantly English) dash down chimney upon chimney like Santa Claus but with no presents in tow; just bulging satchels of cash. What do they want in return? Most often the most stale cookies and milk on offer i.e grossly overpriced and/or overrated players.
Surprisingly, there wasn’t as much material to work with this year, but here are the candidates as assessed by the Soccer Surgery team:
David Luiz – £32m – PSG to Chelsea
We highlighted Chelsea’s desperation to upgrade at centerback but we thought they would sell their souls for Koulibaly instead – an infinitely more solid defender. The player was also keen; expressing interest to leave Napoli after falling out with that club’s president.
In the end the problem was simple yet so silly. Chelsea pissed off Napoli in their advances and bids as high as £38M were reportedly turned down and no permission granted to talk to the player. Liverpool saw this happen as well in their pursuit of Piotr Zielinski; having a bid at valuation still turned down for the unbelievable reason of spite.
Regardless, with that deal dead and Milan also allegedly rebutting advances for Alessandro Romagnoli, Conte found himself staring at option Z – Sideshow Bob. The PSG leadership, having access to the internet and aware of Chelsea’s plight, were hence all too willing to return Luiz to sender…but extracted a pound of flesh of course.
A defender, at the age of 29, surely with attention deficit disorder shouldn’t command that level of fee. But the masses will surely be entertained so welcome back Sideshow Bob:
Moussa Sissoko – £30M – Newcastle United to Spurs
Again, we highlighted previously in our season predictions that one of Spurs weakest areas in terms of depth was central midfield. After a few games without Dembele to start the season, the attack has been predictably out of rhthym and Kane in particular has looked starved of service; yet to open his account. Therefore, the logic behind the deal is there but the price is a joke. Rumours are previous bids of £16M and £25m were lodged which shows Spurs management’s awareness of the fair valuation but they still indulged Newcastle in the end anyway.
Is the player that good? Well yes and no. Sissoko has a tremendous engine as seen in the recent Euro Championships where he earned his way into the France starting lineup on the back of sheer drive and determination. What Sissoko lacks though is that top end guile and end product required in the biggest games. The same semifinal against Portugal that earned many plaudits in recent times(and inflated his fee) is the perfect case study of all that is right and wrong with his game:
And finally…. a transfer which won’t garner much attention
Jeff Hendrick – £10.5M – Derby County(Championship) to Burnley
Despite going five months unbeaten in the Championship last year and having that league’s top scorer(Andre Gray), there had to be a concern the team lacked sufficient goal threat in midfield. Part of this concern is rooted in the fact that the last time Burnley graced the heights of the Premier League in 2014/15 they were dead last in goals scored(28). Cue panic!
Looking up Hendricks production though we are at a loss as to why they shelled out a record transfer fee. The attacking midfielder was a substitute for 11 games(unusually high) last season scoring just 2 goals in 33 appearances overall. The season before he started 34 games scoring 7 times.
Hendricks in the view of some pundits “had an impressive Euros” for the Republic of Ireland. Always the recipe for an inflated fee.
Did we miss any?
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