With Portugal savoring their first-ever major international success through EURO 2016 and the new club football season starting from mid-August this year, we look at the 10 most significant and money-splurging player signings in the transfer window, so far.
The following article ranks the signings in a chronological order from 8 to 1 (1 being the highest) based on factors like hype, transfer fee paid, player skill/ability and club stature :
#8. Michy Batshuayi (Transfer from MARSEILLE to CHELSEA)
The former Marseille fan has been rooted as the new Drogba for Chelsea with both players having a similar playing style and Chelsea haven’t been shying away in splurging a £33.2 million on the Belgium striker, who has won the Ebony Shoe Award in the 2013-14 Belgian Pro League and was Marseille’s top scorer last season with 23 goals.
With Chelsea needing firepower in the ranks up front, it will be interesting to see how Antonio Conte accomodates Batshuayi. The player has credentials to his name and Chelsea may just have struck a jackpot in him.
#7. Ilkay Gundogan (Transfer from BORUSSIA DORTMUND to MANCHESTER CITY)
One of my personal favorites on the list, Gundogan has been a fantastic player for Borussia Dortmund during his stint there and since Guardiola has been his formal rival coach, this seems like a really smart buy for Manchester City. He’s a tireless runner who is versatile in both attack and defense and with Yaya Toure ageing, Gundogan is the favorite to take up his mantle.
With a price tag of merely £20 million, this is a player who is worth more but anyway, good for City as they look to move past a relatively poor campaign last season.
#6. Miralem Pjanic (Transfer from AS ROMA to JUVENTUS)
A renowned set piece specialist and one of the most visionary and creative midfielders, Pjanic has accumulated quite a good reputation from football pundits all over and fans alike over the past two seasons. A price tag of €32 million on the deep-lying playmaker from Roma, he seems like the ideal choice for Juventus with high speculation around Paul Pogba leaving for Manchester United.
#5. Grezorgz Krychowiak (Transfer from SEVILLA to PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN)
A 2-time Europa League winner with Sevilla, this player showed heart by playing full 120 minutes in the UEFA Supercup even after suffering a broken rib. A vital player for his former club, Krychowiak is expected to fire on all cylinders after returning to Ligue 1, with PSG paying a reported £21 million for the defensive midfielder’s services.
#4. Mats Hummels (Transfer from BORUSSIA DORTMUND to BAYERN MUNICH)
Another superstar from Borussia Dortmund now goes to Bayern Munich. Nevertheless, he’s one of the best central defenders in the world with a stunning aerial presence and tactical versatality and is a World Cup winner with Germany and a reason for their stern defense. A price tag of a reported £30 million on this superstar defender, Bayern can now consider themselves as serious contenders for European glory.
#3. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Transfer from PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN to MANCHESTER UNITED)
He’s Zlatan, he’s 34, he’s a free agent and he’s coming to Manchester United to his old pal, Jose Mourinho. What more?
The outspoken Swede has chosen to take his trophy-laden hauls to the Premier League after scoring 50 goals across the season with PSG in 2015-16 (Manchester United managed only 49 in the Premier League. Yes.) and although he’s ageing, his technique has matured and he has been a consistent performer for PSG.
It would be interesting to see how he fares with the big boys in England and only few would dare to question his ability. Manchester have dared to Zlatan and this will hopefully boost their title chances.
#2. Henrikh Mkhitaryan(Transfer from BORUSSIA DORTMUND to MANCHESTER UNITED)
It seems that the golden age of Dortmund is coming to an end with only Marco Reus choosing to stay with Borussia Dortmund after the 2015-15 season. Mkhitaryan has been lured to england by Jose Mourinho after the player was bought in for a fees for a reported £26 million.
Mkhitaryan is a creative, tactically strong attacking midfielder (and the assist leader in the 2015-16 Bundesliga with 15 to his name) with stunning link-up abilities with his strikers ahead and the Armenian would surely love to make his mark under Jose Mourinho’s United 3.0, with reports linking Juan Mata heavily with a move away from Old Trafford, vacating Mkhitaryan’s favorite position behind the strikers.
#1. Renato Sanches (Transfer from BENFICA to BAYERN MUNICH)
Oh boy, he’s a boy wonder! Without a doubt. And with a price tag of €35 million, in a deal totalling €80 million (with the additional €45 million depending on objectives) it is highly probable that Bayern Munich wouldn’t have been able to afford him after his stunning EURO 2016 performances which rewarded him with the Best Young Player Of The Tournament Award, had they not signed him prior to the tournament which we won.
Fast, agile, composed while possessing the ball, versatile, tactically mature and boasting of explosive runs in the midfield and attack, this 18-year old from Portugal is definitely the man to watch out for in the new season and under the guidance of Carlo Ancellotti, he can grow up to be a world-class player.
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