Watching football fans watching the football
With the closing of the window approaching in horror-film slow motion, Ged Brand looks at half a dozen transfers which should take place before Friday's 11pm deadline...
Cheick Tiote – Newcastle United to ArsenalWith Alex Song in convoy with Robin van Persie on the one-way road away from another trophyless season, Arsene Wenger will surely be looking for a straight replacement in central midfield. Tiote is an enforcer, and would provide cover to a vulnerable back four who can often turn into a disaster zone.
He can break up opposition play, as well as contributing to forward moves, one of the few players in this league capable of playmaking while remaining a brute force. Perfect for Arsenal, you’d think, but he won’t be given away easily. If not in this window, expect a Tiote transfer if Newcastle don’t improve on last season’s heroics.
Marouane Fellaini – Everton to Man UnitedYes, there were plenty of knee-jerk reactions to Everton’s defeat of Manchester United on the opening weekend of the season, and Fellaini being the ‘new’ Yaya Toure was one of them. The fact is Fellaini has been ‘good enough’ for Manchester United for a few years, not in an all-round world-beating sense, but in the sense that he would do the proverbial job. One look at United’s midfield told us what they are missing – they are cultured and progressive, but often leave the recycling box unticked.
Fellaini would provide a solution, while also being a colossal force in the bombardment of both penalty areas, something United often face and are faced with. With Scholes still unable to time a tackle against the most inanimate of objects, as well as a clear lack of a brick wall in central midfield, the big furry-haired Belgian might just do the trick.
Igor Akinfeev – CSKA Moscow to ChelseaTrue, Roberto Di Matteo is unlikely to throw Petr Cech a monumental curve-ball, partly because Cech would struggle to catch it, but also because maintaining squad harmony is imperative to the Italian. This doesn’t mean it shouldn’t happen, however, with the Czech goalkeeper showing over the past few years that for every world-class stop and string of clean sheets, he does continue to cost the club goals and shows little sign of stopping any time soon.
Besides, if RDM is to have his feet under the desk for any length of time, he'll have to start replacing some ageing stars (cough cough) and Cech might be a good way to start, especially if it's with a compatriot of Roman Abramovich. Chelsea have watched CSKA’s Akinfeev in the past, and with plenty of experience behind him (338 appearances for CSKA and 52 caps for Russia), an enquiry at some point makes sense.
John Guidetti – Manchester City to EvertonOnly one Everton player has hit more than 20 goals in a season since 1992 – Yakubu in 2007/2008 – while only a few have even come close to the mark. This isn’t to say what David Moyes produces in an attacking sense isn’t effective, but one can only imagine how it would improve with an out-and-out goalscorer alongside Nikica Jelavic, whose second touch is usually a celebration.
Manchester City’s Guidetti, who scored 20 goals in 23 Eredivisie appearances on loan at Feyenoord last term, would cost around £8 million, with the Swede unlikely to get much playing time outside of the cup competitions at the Etihad this season.
Ezequiel Cirigliano – River Plate to Man CityIt’s hard to convince many people that Man City need to improve, particularly in midfield, and there has been justifiable praise for both Gareth Barry and Nigel de Jong in the past few seasons. However, with half of the footballing world’s funds in your bank account and a need to balance retaining the Premier League with a proper attempt at the Champions League, City could use a dogged central midfielder with huge room for development.
Yah yah, City have Yaya, and yes, he will not be shifted (in more ways than one). But River Plate’s Cirigliano, a tough-tackling central midfielder who can play a bit too, would fit in to the Argentine society very well at the Etihad. Jack Rodwell wouldn’t be too happy, mind.
Danny Rose – Tottenham Hotspur to Aston VillaFor the two years since Martin O’Neill calmly ran away from Aston Villa, the club have been among the Premier League’s most disjointed. Emile Heskey playing in goal, Stephen Warnock as a lone striker, Charles Nzogbia as sweeper – nobody can keep up with the situation. Paul Lambert has at least brought some stability, but they still lack in wide areas both in defence and attack.
Enter Danny Rose: perhaps not a move on everyone’s minds, but a loan seems reasonable for the Spurs winger, with cover for the hit-and-mostly-miss Nzogbia a necessity and the left-back position a toss-up between youngsters Nathan Baker and Eric Lichaj, with Warnock looking to be shifted (in the nicest possible way). At 22, Rose needs regular first-team football, and it remains to be seen whether he will fits into the re-turfing plans of new Spurs custodian Andy House-Snake.
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