Thursday, January 15, 2009

January transfer

The January transfer window had already opened for 2 weeks now and lets review some of the top club in Europe likely list of shopping in the short term.

Liverpool’s Christmas Shopping List

Likely List

In: None.
Out: Jermaine Pennant.
Liverpool are still flying high, so don’t expect an overhaul this winter. Like-for-like trades could be the order of the month at Anfield; Pennant looks a very likely leaver, and it wouldn’t be altogether shocking if the ex-Arsenal man returned to London and Aaron Lennon, a Leeds United product, went back to the north of England. Other unsettled/underperforming stars – Agger, Babel, Benayoun, Dossena, Keane – should all survive until the summer at least.

My List

In: Michael Owen.
Out: None.
Personally, if I were in Rafa Benitez’s shoes I would change very little – not in terms of the playing list, anyhow. I would, however, strongly consider re-signing Micky Owen. Sure, he might not be the electric-quick poacher he once was, but his experience and goal-getting ability could prove invaluable if Torres’ injury problems don’t abate. Otherwise, I would sign and sell no-one and make use of the talents already at hand. See if this squad can win the title, then reassess in the summer.

Manchester United's Christmas Shopping List

Likely List

In: Zoran Tosic.
Out: None.
It looks like we're going to have to wait for the summer to see any significant activity at Old Trafford. At that point, we very well could see Tevez or maybe Brown make a bee-line. For now, we'll look towards cross-city rivals Manchester City for our fill of transfer action. United did fight to get a work permit for Zoran Tosic, though, so one would expect them to iron out the creases in that deal.

My List

In: Zoran Tosic.
Out: Manucho Goncalves (loan).
Let's face it – someone's going to sign Arshavin at some point. I could see him at United, but the Red Devils may miss out, as Ferguson will be loathe to over-egg an already swollen omelette.
As for departures, there are certainly a number of fringe players who will interest the bottom-feeders. Loans will be crucial to smaller clubs in these desperate financial times.

Lyon’s Christmas Shopping List

Likely List

In: Aboubacar Magassa, Julien Faubert
Out: César Delgado
Lyon will strengthen their defence in the forthcoming window – that’s not an opinion, it’s a fact. Claude Puel has explained that the club will move for a full-back, though, aside from Faubert, the trail is rather tangled at present, with no clear clues suggesting which way Lyon will turn if they cannot snaffle his talents from West Ham.
The addition of Magassa is likely to be completed for two main reasons. One, Lyon desperately need (relatively cheap) back-up in the central defensive area and, two, he is clearly a prospect worth keeping an eye on in the future.
In terms of players leaving the Stade Gerland, it would be no surprise to see expensive flop César Delgado return to South America, possibly on a loan deal, although this is very much dependent on how reliable Puel sees his other forward players. A wholesale cull is not possible due to the number of casualties currently keeping the physios busy.

My List

In: Aboubacar Magassa, Jean Calvé
Out: None

Although Magassa is largely an unknown talent, from the scouting reports, he sounds like a very promising young man indeed. While there are no other obvious replacements, the young Malian sounds well worth a gamble in both the short and long term. Ideally, Puel would like to add an experienced centre-back to his ranks (Alex of Chelsea?) but it is tough to attract established stars to the French league and it would also mean moving one of four senior players, which would be tricky to achieve.
A possible solution to Lyon’s right-back headache is unhappy Nancy full-back Jean Calvé, who has been frozen out of the team since Michael Chretien decided to reject a move to Real Betis at the last minute in the summer. A full-back who was amongst the best in Ligue 1 last season, Lyon could negotiate a short-term loan deal for Calvé that would allow him first-team football until the summer, by which time Chretien is likely to be on his way from the Lorraine club. A short-term solution to a problem position for Lyon, first team football for Calvé and an unhappy bunny from Nancy’s books – everyone would be a winner!

Likely List

In: Landon Donovan
Out: none
This winter break will be all about re-signing current players with contracts needing extensions and scouting replacements for those who will leave by season’s end. Poldolski will definitely find his way out the door, even if more game time is given. His frustration with the club has been somewhat deep-seated and his form since leaving Köln has been a far cry from what was seen on the international stage. With Donovan agreeing to terms shortly, he will give Poldi a run for his money, though the third striker spot is secure until the summer.
Ideally, they would want to keep Poldi on for the Champions League, however depending on who is drawn in the first round, they might want to give another striker a contract to relieve the big three of some strain. Long story short, Poldi exits in May, and Donovan might follow suit.

My List

In: Iva Olic
Out: Lucas Podolski
Olic is known far and wide in the Bundesliga for his hard work ethic, goal scoring and strength. The 29-year-old is looking to move from Hamburg and his style of play, while more fitting of the Bayern back-line, is a bit more aggressive than that of Toni and Klose, and will allow for a greater threat against some other clubs who rely heavily on finesse. Though not wanting Poldi to leave, one would have to admit that his growth as a player is only hindered by not playing full-time. Though national side experience is his for the taking, if Germany are serious about contending for the World Cup in 2010, one must realize that his future lies someplace else. For the remainder of the campaign, fans of the double winners will have to be patient and resort to hoping that the current formation holds together strongly.

Milan’s Christmas Shopping List

Likely List

In: David Beckham (confirmed), Thiago Silva (confirmed)
Out: None
Having been so active in the most recent transfer period, don’t expect anything out of the ordinary from Milan this time around. As previously mentioned, they have already signed David Beckham on loan, and once again, his arrival couldn’t have come at a better time for the club. As for Thiago Silva, he will not be joining the Rossoneri until June, and so in the meantime, the club may look to William Gallas of Arsenal to add some further depth at the back.There will be no departures from the club in January, as they look to build on their solid start to the campaign, with an even stronger second half of the season.

My list

In: David Beckham (confirmed), Thiago Silva (confirmed), Yoann Gourcuff, William Gallas
Out: None
Yoann Gourcuff is a man that the club should immediately recall, as he has been simply amazing for his French club this season. He lacked the confidence and belief to be a star when at Milan; however, he has certainly found that in France, and thus would be a perfect addition at this stage of the season. Once again Milan are struggling in the midfield at present, and so this is the man the club needs moving forward.As for Gallas, he is a must in my opinion. He is a man who wants out of Arsenal, and due to the fact that the Rossoneri need another option at the back, they should do all they can to sign him. With Thiago Silva not arriving until June, even a six month loan would be enough for the club, as they go in search of the a Champions League qualifying spot, as well as the Scudetto. It may prove to be a gamble for the club, however in my opinion; it is one that they should certainly take.

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