Continental capers from Scandinavia to the Med
Terrifying Europe with the most exhilarating football outside Catalonia, FourFourTwo's current cover stars Dortmund are everyone’s favourite Germans. FFT staff writer Andrew Murray ponders who should be on the Premier League radar
Arsenal – Robert LewandowskiYes, Theo Walcott has signed a new contract, but the 23-year-old is still to marry searing pace with consistent goal output. Still only 24, Polish poacher Lewandowski has averaged better than a goal every other game for the last 18 months, but just as importantly his movement, selflessness and sure technique are qualities highly prized by Arsene Wenger.
Alternatively, diligent defensive midfielder Sven Bender – a leggy operator with the engine to fly from box to box – would also be an astute signing, adding bite and physique to the Gunners’ tiki-taka Plan A. Whether Wenger is prepared to part with the necessary cash to get either is another matter entirely.
Manchester City – Mats HummelsWith Joleon Lescott and Kolo Toure out of favour, Roberto Mancini lacks trusted centre-back cover should injury or loss of form befall Vincent Kompany and Matija Nastasic. First choice for club and country, Hummels excelled in both Champions League group games against City, his assurance in possession and aerial dominance the ideal complement for either Belgian or Serb.
Also an adept defensive midfielder, the 24-year-old would provide added options in what has become something of a problem position for Mancini, with Javi Garcia, Jack Rodwell and Gareth Barry all suffering niggling injuries.
The feeling remains, however, that moves for Dortmund poster boys Mario Gotze or Marco Reus would be more likely Eastlands arrivals. Young, gifted and hard-working, either skittish attacker has the profile and talent to excel in a lavish midfield three with David Silva and Samir Nasri.
Manchester United – Sven BenderA long-time Old Trafford target, the leggy Bender has the physicality and dynamism United fans crave. They may be top of the Premier League, but with Darren Fletcher sidelined indefinitely and Anderson still an enigma, the Red Devils lack a dedicated defensive midfielder to play alongside the uber-consistent Michael Carrick.
Not always first choice in Klopp’s deliciously fluid 4-2-3-1, the 23-year-old anchorman – whose twin brother Lars plays for Bayer Leverkusen – could be available for the right price.
Tottenham – Marcel SchmelzerKyle Naughton may have deputised well for the injured Cameroonian this season, but Benoit Assou-Ekotto remains the only natural left-back at White Hart Lane. A diligent defender with sure technique, Dortmund’s buccaneer-in-chief Schmelzer would be a shrewd addition to Andre Villas-Boas’s squad.
The 24-year-old is tied to a long-term deal at the Westfalenstadion, but his reliability would provide a fine counterpoint to Gareth Bale’s surging wing play.
Liverpool – Nuri SahinIt’s been three-and-a-half years since a Xabi Alonso-shaped hole emerged at Anfield. Joe Allen has been tidy enough since following Brendan Rodgers from Swansea, but is yet to fully convince as a deep-lying playmaker alongside Lucas’ ceaseless buzzing. Back at Dortmund after an unhappy spell at Real Madrid, Sahin could be the answer.
[What do you mean he’s already played for them? *Hastily re-writes*]
Jakub Blaszczykowski’s hustle and bustle from the right wing would give a sometimes one-paced Anfield midfield extra legs missing since the days of Steve McManaman.
Chelsea – Jurgen KloppSufficiently satiated with impish schemers, the European champions need more systematic change. Seduced by Bayern Munich’s fan-owned meritocracy, Pep Guardiola has left Roman Abramovich searching for another sprightly coach to reinvent the Blues' ailing fortunes.
A Guardiola disciple who has imposed a Barcelona-style system at the Westfalenstadion since his 2008 arrival and won the last two Bundesliga titles, 41-year-old Klopp fits the bill. Trophies, flowing football and admirers: it's a mouth-watering combination for Chelsea’s oligarch.
Latest European Football News
PSG turns down Ancelotti request to leave
Ajax boss De Boer extends contract until 2017
Anzhi beat Lokomotiv after deadly blasts
Makhachkala match goes ahead despite blasts
Ibrahimovic named Ligue 1 player of season
He's here, he's there, he's...
The cost of Premier League away travel
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010