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Grading this summer’s transfers so far

Brian Lofrumento goes beyond the rumors

By | 3rd July 2013
paulinho

Despite the fact that we’re only a few days into July, English clubs have already spent in the region of £150 million on summer signings,  delighting fans, sparking debates, and as always fueling a plethora of rumors. In this piece, I’ve examined five of this summer’s signings and how they’re expected to fare at their new clubs:

A+

Paulinho | The Brazilian is brilliant, let’s face it. Paulinho was an imposing figure for his national side during this summer’s Confederations Cup, helping them to beat world champions Spain in the final. Andre Villas Boas and Tottenham got the ball rolling on this transfer before the Confederations Cup, leaving them with less competition for the midfielder.

Their timing was impeccable, and Spurs supporters will be looking forward to having an immense talent at the heart of their midfield. And at 24 years of age, the Brazilian is only going to get better. As long as the club can keep hold of Gareth Bale and they can pick up a few more talents, there’s no reason they can’t sustain a serious challenge for a spot in the top four, despite the progress being made by their closest rivals.

D+

Andy Carroll | West Ham United have said goodbye to £18 million of their precious money to sign the Liverpool striker, even after enjoying his services during all of last season through a loan spell. The Englishman is still only 24, but only managed seven goals in his 26 Premier League appearances last season for the Hammers. That ratio isn’t one to write home about, and the big outlay once again points to inflation for English players.

From Liverpool’s perspective, they’ve recuperated part of the £35 million that they overpaid for him, and he’ll now be West Ham’s to worry about. The thing about Carroll is he is more than capable of proving me wrong, but at that price he’ll have to do much better than what we saw from him last season.

B

Ricky van Wolfswinkel | Norwich signed the striker from Sporting Lisbon for just £10 million this summer in what was a quiet and quick transfer. In case you’re keeping track, that’s £8 million less than what West Ham paid for Carroll. Like Carroll, the Dutchman is just 24 years old, and was previously the transfer target for some of Europe’s top clubs (including, reportedly, Manchester United). In van Wolfswinkel Norwich have signed a potent striker.

The Dutchman scored 15 goals in 16 league starts for Sporting Lisbon last season, and is just starting to make a name for himself with the Dutch national team. Performing in the Premier League is sure to increase his chances of making Holland’s World Cup roster, so there will be a huge incentive for the striker to perform. If he does, Norwich supporters will be thrilled with signing a proven goalscorer at a reasonable fee.

A

Jesus Navas | If there’s one player on this list more exciting than Paulinho, it’s Jesus Navas. The Spaniard may have finished a runner-up at the Confederations Cup, but out of everyone on Vicente Del Bosque’s squad it was Navas who increased his stock this summer. The winger has bags of tricks and pace to match, and there’s no doubt that he’ll be a star for new club Manchester City.

The Citizens are once again compiling a solid core of hardworking players to go along with Yaya Toure, and along with David Silva and Sergio Aguero, the blue half of Manchester has one of the quickest and most dynamic attacks in the world.

B+

Maarten Stekelenburg | The Dutch goalkeeper has signed for Fulham in a £5.6 million deal from Roma, making him one of the bargains of the summer. Prior to Manchester United replacing Edwin van der Sar with David De Gea, it was Stekelenburg who was most heavily linked with the number one shirt at Old Trafford. Nonetheless, his journey took him from Ajax to Roma, and now he gets to prove his worth in the Premier League with Fulham.

The only question mark over Stekelenburg remains his age. Like wine, goalkeepers typically get better with age, but at 30 years of age the Dutchman will have to adjust from the slow pace of the Italian Serie A to the nonstop counter-attacking football of the Premier League. It’s quite possible that he makes a seamless transition, but if not then Fulham will be left stranded without Mark Schwarzer.

Which signings are you most looking forward to? How has your club done in this summer’s transfer market? Have your say below!



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