Friday, 3 June 2011

Who goes where..............?

With the dust settled on another season the prospect of any football action is now few and far between. What we do have however - apart from warm beer & cricket in rain soaked beer gardens is the inevitable transfer rumours which face us every morning on the back pages of our favoured tabloid read.
Our beloved team will be linked with every player under the sun, but there is also the feel of dread as our star player has his name banded about by the top teams and no amount of  "not for sale" statements from the manager & chairman can make them go away. So here then we give our low down on some of this Summer's potential movers & shakers....

Bloody Foreigners
Of course foreign players are not a new thing in the Premiership, ever since Jurgen the German brought his VW Beetle to these shores and dived straight in the deep end of the footballing action by scoring on his debut for Spurs against Sheffield Wednesday them Carlos Kickaballs have been coming over here taking all our jobs & stealing all the women with varying degrees of success.
Names to look out for this year include Leandro from Internacional in Brazil - a team that have links with Tottenham Hotspur (they signed Sandro from them last season). At only twenty one, Leandro in his first full season has scored 22 goals in 24 appearances and with Spurs in the market for a striker this could be one deal we'd have down as done.
But Spurs, along with rivals Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City have been linked with just about any top striker plying his trade abroad.
Romelu Lukaku, plays for Belgium club Anderlecht and is known for his strength and aerial ability, still only eighteen if we are to believe that Didier Drogba is on his way out of Stamford Bridge the chances are Lukaku could be on his way to take his place.
Of course the reason that teams are sometimes linked to these players is the inevitable departure of a former terrace darling, lured by either higher wages or the prospect of European football (or even both), who can really blame them for wanting to better themselves?
Eden Hazard is another player on Spurs radar and with Sir Alex sniffing round Luka Modric, the Belgium attacking midfielder would be the ideal replacement, two footed, hard to knock off the ball, with blistering pace & finishing to match (something little Luka lacks at the moment), could Spurs keep Modric and also bring Hazard in? We'll wait & see on that one.
Other top strikers mentioned on a daily basis by the red tops include Edinson Canvani at Napoli - looking somewhat like a James Bond baddie henchman but nicknamed "El Matador" for his commanding presence on the pitch. He has signed a new contract with the Italian team but as we know these mean very little in football anymore, so there is still a chance that the Uruguayan striker could join his compatriot Luis Suarez in the Premiership if not next season then maybe the season after.
Also in the scouting reports around the continent I'd include Athletico Bilbao's  Llorente and Pablo Osvaldo at Espanyol.

Coming up?
Of course another option for a Premiership boss is bringing someone in from the lower leagues, this sometimes works - in the case of Tim Cahill standing head & shoulders above anyone else in the league when he was at Millwall, but other times......hello Gregorz Rasiak at Spurs (briefly) not so well.
But for the teams in the lower reaches of the elite league a player from the Championship or League One provide a (fairly) cheap option and are often worth a punt.
Craig Mackail-Smith is set to leave Championship new boys Peterborough Utd and with his 35 goals last season making him the most prolific goalscorer in all English divisions he's the type of player that Everton, Fulham or newly promoted Norwich might risk a few quid on.
There's always the chance that the teams that missed on promotion last term - Cardiff, Leeds, Reading or Notts Forest may see their players keen to move on. Names such as, Camp at Forest, Becchio at Leeds, or Reading's Hunt could feature in the Premiership one way or another next time.
The main man in the Championship last season Adel Taarabt now has another chance to show he can cut it at the top level now that QPR have come up, but will he be there or at another Premiership team eager to stake his claim?

Staying Up?
Relegation from the Premiership spells disaster for both the club and fans on so many levels and trying to keep hold of their best players is only one of the many problems they face as the try to bounce straight back up. 
Like vultures hovering over a weak and feeble animal in the desert heat the clubs remaining in the Premiership look to the relegated teams for fresh blood. It can be difficult trying to persuade players to stay in the lower division, especially if this means them sacrificing the chance of an International call up.
One player virtually guaranteed a stay of execution is West Ham's Scott Parker with that team Spurs again in the frame to sign him, but don't rule out Aston Villa or Arsenal, he could keep up his record of gaining each new England cap playing for a different team.
Another player of course - one who was the subject to a last minute bid in January from Tottenham was Charlie Adam, he can now be expected to leave, but will Spurs (Redknapp didn't seem to know much about the deal) continue their pursuit of him or maybe he could be Anfield bound?
Scott Dann (left) was on my watch list this season, he and Roger Johnson (who may also be off) had formed a good understanding at the back for Birmingham and at home their defensive record was second to none, however an injury in the Carling Cup Semi Final ended Dann's season. The young English central defender has now been linked to a move to his boyhood team of Liverpool and he's sure to be one to keep an eye on in the future.

Free to do what I want any old time
The bargain basement of the transfer market is those out of contract with their club and available on a free transfer. With only maybe a signing on fee and wages to deal with this can work out a real steal for some lucky teams. But of course some players are out of contract for good reason! You could find yourselves buying an injury prone player that's going to be no good to anybody!
We can expect to see Jay Bothroyd in the Premiership next season, his contract expired and he made his intentions clear that he wasn't signing another one at Cardiff and would try his luck elsewhere. In my opinion expect a team from the mid table to make him an offer.
Someone is bound to take a chance on Owen Hargreaves, released by Man Utd after an injury ravaged few seasons he now has the chance to rebuild his career elsewhere, there is also the possibility of him returning home to Germany.
Speaking of Ze Germans expect the big freebie this summer to be Miroslav Klose, out of contract with Bayern, the German International will be a tempting addition to numerous Premiership squads, although slightly past his prime, he'll weigh in with his fair share of goals and has done so at both domestic & international level. Maybe again Everton or Blackburn with new owners favourites to sign him up.
With goalkeeper's reaching their peak later than out field players Brad Freidel is bound to be a wanted man as either first choice or back up he's always proved himself dependable wherever he's been.

Well, that's my little round up! If I get any predictions right I'll be pleased as punch, with so many players and teams out there the permutations are endless and there's bound to be plenty of twists and turns and drama before it all kicks off again come August!
Let me know what you think, are you "in the know" what is going to be the deal of the Summer??
Whatever it is you can be sure that we'll have all the latest news & rumours on our Facebook & Twitter pages......

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