Getty Images

Best, worst value deals of summer transfer window revealed

1 Comment

Okay, we all know there was a lot of money spent during the 2018 summer transfer window. But was it money well spent?

The latest analysis released by the International Centre for Sports Studies – CIES Football Observatory, suggests plenty of the biggest transfers this summer saw Premier League clubs overspend.

[ STREAM: Watch every PL match live

In the list below we see the top 25 transfers with regards to the transfer fee being below the players’ market value, while there is also a list of the 25 transfers where clubs paid over the odds for their new player.

Some key takeaways include Real Madrid paying $26 million less than they should have for Thibaut Courtois, plus Liverpool paying a combined $41.2 million for Fabinho, Xherdan Shaqiri and Alisson Becker compared to the market value. Chelsea’s $92.8 million deal to sign Kepa Arrizabalaga was the largest overspend compared to a ‘fair price’ of $41 million. Hence, the Blues overpaid by $51 million for Kepa and got $26 million less for Courtois than they should have. A $77 million loss on the deal to bring in a new goalkeeper overall. Ouch.

Liverpool did pretty well when it came to selling players this summer, as Danny Ings‘ transfer to Southampton brought in an extra $17.1 million for the Reds over the fair price for the England striker. Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Juventus from Real Madrid was said to be a bit of a bargain as he was undervalued $13.3 million, while Manchester City supposedly overpaid by $32.5 million for Riyad Mahrez.

Unsurprisingly, 14 of the top 25 overpriced transfers involved PL clubs with Everton said to have overspent by $37.1 million on Richarlison and Yerry Mina over the summer. Bournemouth were also said to have overspent by $26.4 million, West Ham by $24 million, and Leicester by $18.8 million.

This is a very intriguing way to look at the transfer fees and see which clubs spent well and where certain teams overspent. Of course, this is all relative and when it comes to the likes of Ings, his injury record may have reduced his transfer fee but if he stays fit then his price could rise rapidly. Kepa’s release clause was also set high but Chelsea decided to let Courtois move on and received a smaller fee for his service due to his contract only having one year remaining.


 

Allegri wants VAR, Bonucci doubts ref vision on Ronaldo red

AP Photo/Alberto Saiz
Leave a comment

Sky Sports in Italy says its lip readers confirm that Cristiano Ronaldo’s sending off Wednesday was down to tugging the hair of Jeison Murillo while the Valencia man was on the turf.

Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci wasn’t too impressed, even after his club went on to win 2-0 in Spain.

[ UCL: Real rocks Roma, Man City falls ]

“As far as I could see, it was a pretty normal clash,” Bonucci said. “Murillo put his hands on Ronaldo first, he reacted, but these things can happen and we must be stronger than everyone and everything.

“Ronaldo was angry, of course. The referee saw what he saw – not very well – and we overcame the obstacles.”

Juventus boss Max Allegri wants to take it a step further.

Juve is no stranger to calling for VAR, and Allegri is upset that the Portuguese megastar will miss at least one more match due to the red card (and could miss his Manchester United reunion should his suspension go beyond one match). From Football-Italia.net:

“I can only say that VAR would’ve helped the referee in this decision,” Allegri said. “Going down to 10 men in the Champions League for an incident like that is disappointing. We risked losing tonight with this and we’ll miss him for the next games too.”

It all pales in comparison to the vitriol seething out of Ronaldo’s sister, who reportedly posted on Instagram that “there will be a high price” for his tears, adding that “God never sleeps.”

Arteta: Despite loss, Man City was “ready for the game”

AP Photo/Dave Thompson
Leave a comment

Mikel Arteta might have enjoyed the opportunity to sit in the hot seat for Manchester City when the Premier League champions opened their UEFA Champions League season at home to Lyon on Wednesday, but he sure didn’t like the result.

[ RECAP: Man City 1-2 Lyon ]

With suspended Pep Guardiola watching from the stands, Man City went behind 2-0 to the French visitors. The champs could muster one second half marker in a loss at the Etihad Stadium.

Arteta said he couldn’t say whether the game would be different with Guardiola on the touch line, but doesn’t think the loss comes down to his absence. From ManCity.com:

“We missed the right pass and didn’t find consistency,” he said. “We felt under threat every time we lost the ball, that can bring the confidence lower. We were ready for the game, keen to start to Champions League because the way we ended it last season really hurt.

“The players are not perfect, sometimes they have bad days, sometimes better. I can’t fault the effort. I won’t judge them because we lost.”

He’s finding more positives than his players when it comes to the day’s mettle.

“We started slowly, and we were inconsistent in the way we wanted to play,” Arteta said. “We lost too many duels. We gave the ball away in difficult circumstances and they scored twice, but after that, the reaction from the lads was superb. We tweaked a few things to control situations better and we created chances, but at this level, it wasn’t enough.”

John Stones was at the back for both of Lyon’s goals, and admitted that halftime hit the players hard.

“Really disappointing,” he said. “To concede two goals like we did is very frustrating,. We came in at half-time a bit deflated. We picked ourselves up and played a better second half but it was frustrating.”

Report: Martino to leave Atlanta, national team job looms

Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Tata Martino’s future has been debated for some time.

Would he elect to stay with Atlanta United beyond the season? Would national team duty call? And if so, would it be the USMNT? A return to Argentina?

[ UCL: Real rocks Roma, Man City falls ]

Now ESPN is reporting that Martino will leave Atlanta United at the end of this season, opening another high profile MLS job next to the LA Galaxy vacancy.

Presuming he wants to leave Atlanta, which option is most attractive?

  • Mexico and the USMNT are both on the precipice of golden generations, assuming they pick the right shepherd. El Tri is a bit further along in the process than the U.S., and it would be an easy selection.
  • Argentina is Martino’s home, and he’s held the job before. Would the idea of melding Lionel Messi’s final prime throes with Paulo Dybala to try and claim a first Copa America since 1993 be enough?
  • Colombia would also face the test of World Cup qualifying in CONMEBOL, and is a pretty packed side. James Rodriguez (27), Yerry Mina (23), and Davinson Sanchez (22) will be around for the long haul, while Juan Cuadrado and Radamel Falcao are still productive.

Mourinho, Man Utd revel in Pogba performance

Anthony Anex/Keystone via AP
Leave a comment

Paul Pogba blessed Manchester United with a powerful performance in the Red Devils’ 3-0 UEFA Champions League win at Young Boys on Wednesday, and it was impossible not to notice his class.

[ UCL: Real rocks Roma, Man City falls ]

Jose Mourinho did, as did several of his teammates on a night the French midfielder scored twice and assisted United’s other goal.

“Solid, class and gave the team the pace we needed at times,” said Manchester United’s manager. “He controlled the tempo and of course it was a very good goal.”

Pogba again captained the side, which has won three-straight and allowed just one goal in wins over Burnley and Watford in addition to Wednesday’s win.

Luke Shaw drew a penalty that Pogba converted for the match’s second game, and loved what he saw from his captain. From the BBC:

“He gets some stick sometimes but we know what quality he has. For me, he is one of the best in the world. He is important as captain. He shows on the pitch what kind of leader he is. Hopefully he can carry that on.”

Mourinho’s praise carries a bit more weight considering he didn’t quite enjoy the competition.

“Job done,” he said. “Not phenomenal but good enough. (Young Boys) were intense, compact and had self esteem.”