There have been some high profile transfers this January, the kind that had been absent in recent winter windows, the kind that do actually inspire excitement from the fans, rather than the transfers for the sake of it that we appear to see too often.
Big names, big clubs, some big transfer fees too – but one appears to have crept under the radar somewhat. And that is the £25m Tottenham signing Lucas Moura.
The Brazilian has spent the last four years at Paris St. Germain, following his £38m move from Sao Paulo in 2013, a move that saw Moura choose PSG over Manchester Unitd and Inter. He went on to cement himself as a first team regular, with his pacey runs and trickery, and netting 33 goals from attacking midfield. But with recent big money signings Julian Draxler, Kylian Mbappe, and Neymar, there is competition for places, commercial considerations, and the preference of manager Unai Emery has been to freeze Moura out.
But the 25 year old is not finished, and could now see him reach his full potential in the Premier League with Tottenham. His ex-teammates seem to agree with this sentiment – both Neymar, and Marco Verratti have come out to say Moura should not be sold, that he can be a key member of this PSG side. Instead, it will be Tottenham who give him the opportunity to play, and expect him to help break down sides who put men behind the ball at Wembley, and turn draws into victories.
A better signing than any other this January? Well Alexis Sanchez is one of the top footballers in the world, but he is not one to pull for the team when the going gets tough. Many at Arsenal, players and fans, will note him as one who got angry at teammates and the manager, when he determined that they were either not up to his level, or not trying in his opinion, hard enough. New manager Jose Mourinho is not one to give him special treatment should he repeat this behavior.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang signs for Arsenal for £60m, a huge fee for a player untested in the Premier League. It’d be wrong to say the 28 year old is not a good signing – he is a pacey, exciting striker, but he’s brought in to a position where the Gunners have already signed Alexandre Lacazette. His subdued start to his Arsenal career is a reflection not on his quality, but on the lack of service from the midfield. Replacing Sanchez with Mkhitaryan will slightly reduce that service further.
Tottenham used to be a side that would feature at the top of the headlines in the January transfer window, making lots of noise, but ultimately not signing players to improve the team, with one or two exceptions. Now, other sides are making the headlines, but Spurs may have discreetly sneaked through the top signing in January.
Do you agree? Is Lucas Moura in your Euro Fantasy League side? Assemble your dream team and manage your fantasy squad to glory this season!