Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Last Minute Sales

It's that time of year - a little over 48 hours to the close of the transfer market and everybody's out to see what the last minute deals are. Here's some brief predictions:

- Man U ain't buying another striker - but could borrow one or get one for free. Man U are totally stony broke. In fact, they've already spent probably two years' worth of transfer budgets this year - which is OK because Hargreaves, Anderson and Nani are all going to be at Old Trafford for quite some time. But following the sales of Rossi and Smith and the retirement of Solskjaer, they do have the teensy, weensy problem of not actually having a recognized striker that they are prepared to play. So expect them to look for someone cheap-ish. Gudjohnson is a possibility even though he doesn't entirely fit the bill as a striker.

- The Ronnie to Chelsea story is horseshit. I'm sorry, but it is. He's staying in Catalonia. Eidur Gudjohnsen, on the other hand *is* on his way out - now being about the 6th choice striker at the Camp Nou. Likely destinations: Anyone of a half-dozen northern cubs in the UK such as Man U, Man City, Blackburn, all of whom could certainly use him. But I wouldn't rule out a move to Italy, either.

- Man City have at least one more big buy in them. Not for any particular tactical reason, you understand - Eriksson is still memorizing his players' names and can't yet have any real sense of his squad's strengths and weaknesses. But that doesn't mean that he and his publicity-seeking owner won't go out and buy some big names. Julio Baptista is a distinct possibility. Ditto West Ham, who have seen two of their bug summer buys get nasty long-term injuries before the season is three weeks old. The problem is, it's not obvious how to back up for a guy like Kieron Dyer (what does he do, exactly? I've never been able to figure that out...)

- Adriano is going nowhere, except possibly Fiorentina. It is a smart idea for Inter to loan him out to given him time to keep his fitness levels (such as they are) up while he gets his head together. Unfortunately, this is one of those Groucho Marx situations: any team desperate enough to actually want Adriano is by definition not good enough for him (viz. the Hammers). I think Fiorentina may be the only place desperate enough for strikers that would appeal to him, but we'll see.

- Dani Alves will end up going *really* cheap - Sevilla clearly miscalculated somewhere. Del Nido clearly thought that by using the same techniques that Lyon used with Essien, they could extract big bucks out of Chelsea. But, totally out of character, Chelsea went with the cut-price option of Belletti instead (a move a feel sure they will regret, but whatever). And they didn't just not sell him - they went further and accused him of unprofessional behaviour by not flying with the team to Athens (a charge he vigorously disputes). Now they have an incredibly pissed off right-back and no obvious big-bucks buyer. He clearly can't stay - the situation seems too far gone for that (though the outpouring of emotion over Puerta's death makes a reconciliation at least conceivable). Real Madrid would die to have him, even though his attacking proclivities make him a nonsensical addition to a (ahem) defensively-challenged squad. But with no rival bidders and no option but to sell him, Sevilla may find they get a lot less from his sale than they would have ten days ago had they sold to Chelsea.

- Milan will make a last-minute bid for a defender under the age of 40. Seriously - doesn't it strike you as odd that the allegedly best team in Europe last year had not one but two defenders whose career started during Reagan's first term? Demographic crises shouldn't hit clubs as big as Milan and yet, instead of addressing the issue, what does Ancelotti do in the off-season? Buy Emerson, yet another central midfielder. This for a team which already has the world's finest central midfield pairing of Gattuso and Pirlo. They need someone younger to help rejuvenate the back line, desperately...which is why it is not out of the question that they may just turn up as surprise suitors for Alves...

Anyways, that's my 2 cents. Anybody else have any rash predictions? Hit the comments, below...

2 Comments:

Blogger Linda said...

But Fiorentina have already done their panic buy when they got Christian Vieri of all people. Besides, they need not have worried: their young strikers look great.

Adriano, by contrast, looked truly rubbish in Barcelona (a mix of starts and subs)'s stroll against Inter (subs and youth players).

10:48 PM  
Anonymous viagra online said...

Excellent post Rossi and Smith and the retirement of Solskjaer, they do have the teensy, weensy problem of not actually having a recognized striker that they are wondering the same issue above.

3:58 PM  

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