Premier League: Big Moves
So far in the 2012 summer transfer window, there have been some big names making big moves.
The biggest so far has to be Didier Drogba’s move from Chelsea to Shanghai Shenhua in China, joining his ex-Blues strike partner Nicolas Anelka.
His last game for Chelsea was in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich, and it must be a wonderful feeling to know that as a player, you’ve won everything there is to win in Europe, and your last kick was the winning penalty.
I don’t think there’s any doubt that Shanghai Shenhua will have the best goal difference in the league next season – as long as the front two can stay fit – they probably have the best chance of winning the league now.
I don’t know why players like to go to the far east to play football. I don’t buy the “new challenge” reason at all, because it’s just so far away, and the quality of football is much poorer than in Europe. Unless they want to show to the people in the far east that they are one of the best players in the world, and actually have an ‘easy’ time playing football in a less physical league, and good pay of course.
They haven’t necessarily replaced him with Eden Hazard, but it’s a start. He’s shown he can score goals from midfield, scoring 17 goals and winning Player of the Year at Lille last season.
Another high profile move is Rob Green’s free transfer from West Ham to QPR.
Choosing to swap one London club for another is a very bold move for anybody connected with football, but I think it’s a good move for both him and QPR.
He’s miles better than Paddy Kenny (who looks set to leave to Leeds anyway) and Radek Cerny so, unless he gets injured or suspended at some point, he’ll play every game for Rangers.
Two more players who have changed London clubs are Ryan Nelson and Andrew Johnson, leaving Spurs and Fulham respectively, to join QPR too.
I hope it isn’t another case of buying ageing Premier League players for their experience, but who can’t play like they used to be able to, like they did last year. Wright-Phillips, Barton, Kenny, Dyer, Gabbidon and Luke Young. Add to that the age of Johnson and Nelson and QPR must have one of the oldest, if not THE oldest squad in the Premier League.
Manchester United have made three significant moves so far this transfer window too.
The everginger midfielder Paul Scholes has signed ANOTHER one-year contract, and to top that off, United have signed highly rated Shinji Kagawa from Dortmund.
After getting rid of Michael Owen and with it looking like Berbatov is on his way out, Nick Powell, the highly rated 18-year-old from Crewe has been signed.
I doubt he’ll get many chances as there are a few strikers in the squad who might be that little bit better than him. Hernandez, Rooney and Wellbeck will be first choice obviously.
Reading look close to signing Pogrebnyak as a free agent after he showed his worth with Fulham.
Now at the end of his contract with Stuttgart, he knows he can play well in the Premier League and it looks like a straight choice between Reading and Fulham.
Who he’ll choose nobody knows, but Reading look favourites so far.
New boys Southampton have also made a couple of signings, including a club record £7m for Burnley’s Jay Rodriguez.
That’s not a move I mind at all. I think Rodriguez will flourish at a club like Southampton. But it also means that Middlesbrough don’t have to play against him next season!
They’re also reportedly interested in Celtic’s Gary Hooper. What a deal that would be if they can pull that off!
So far, it hasn’t been as busy in the transfer market as what is expected in the Premier League. But while the European Championships are still being played it’s hard to talk to players about transfers and contracts. So expect to see a massive flurry of sales and purchases as soon as the tournament is finished!