Grading the early transfer moves in Serie A

 

Diego Godin

Diego Godin to Inter Grade A

For the second year in a row Inter have been able to close the deal for one of the top center backs on the market, especially impressive when you consider that just like Stefan de Vrij, Godin is also arriving on a Bosman transfer. Slowly but surely the nerazzurri are building a formidable backline which was arguably the biggest strength of their treble winning team.

Godin gives Inter a lot of flexibility and opens the door to two potential dominoes- one very positive and another that rightfully makes their fan base uncomfortable. Having Godin at San Siro makes the job more attractive for Diego Simeone while also giving Marotta and Paratici to ponder their options with Milan Skriniar, who has yet to agree to an extension, from a position of strength.

But aside from the potential ramifications of the deal, there’s no doubt that this is a statement signing for the nerazzurri- they are set to acquire one of the five best center backs in the world at time that he was linked to numerous top clubs outside of Italy.

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Aaron Ramsey to Juventus Grade B-

The Welsh midfielder is set to sign a multi year deal with the current Serie A champions after being linked to numerous top clubs in recent weeks, especially Paris St Germain. So for the second year in a row, the bianconeri have signed a midfielder still in his prime from the Premier League after completing the deal for Emre Can. But just like with the German midfielder, odds are Juventus will have to wait until next season to add him on a Bosman signing.

Ramsey will bring many of the attributes Juventus lost after Claudio Marchisio suffered his knee injury, but the question remains if he’ll be able to stay healthy and adapt to Serie A- which has been rather challenging for two previous British players at Juventus, Ian Rush and David Platt. Now granted that was a long time but there’s a no doubt, Ramsey will face a very different reality in Turin compared to London. Considering the high wages Ramsey is expected to receive, which will have a domino effect on the requests of some of his new teammates, this deal does come with some risk for the Old Lady.

Chievo-Birsa

Sebastian Walukievicz and Valter Birsa to Cagliari 5 million combined Grade B+

The Sardinian club have been quite active in the early stages of the January transfer window and have addressed both a long and short term need. After signing two veterans to bolster Maran’s defense in Ragnar Klavan and Darijo Srna last summer, Cagliari closed the deal for highly rated Polish center back Sebastian Walukievicz who had also been linked to Genoa (who has a knack for discovering up and coming players especially recently) and Borussia Dortmund- they now have time to get him used to Serie A before potentially cashing in on Filippo Romagna in the summer.

Birsa on the other hand will help immediately. The former Milan trequartista had been one of the most impactful players in the race to avoid relegation in previous years, he also had his best seasons playing for Cagliari’s current coach Maran at Chievo. If that weren’t enough, they weakened considerably a team who is also competing for salvation for a very reasonable transfer fee.

 

Luis Muriel to Fiorentina Grade B

The Colombian striker first arrived in Serie A back in 2010 so it’s rather wild to realize he’s still only 27. While he never fulfilled the potential that had drawn comparisons to the Brazilian Ronaldo during his stint at Udinese, he’s proven to be an above average striker in Serie A where his speed is particularly valuable- he’ll have an opportunity to play significantly considering that Giovanni Simeone and especially Marko Pjaca (who could leave in the coming weeks) have struggled this season.

Muriel was also linked to Milan, but Fiorentina was able to leverage his close relationship to sporting director Pantaleo Corvino who brought him to Lecce back in 2011. They acquired him on a low risk/high reward loan with option to buy deal.

Gabbiadini

Manolo Gabbiadini to Sampdoria 3 million loan plus 9 million for option to buy Grade B

After a strong start in the Premier League, the former Napoli striker struggled to find consistent playing time at Southampton. Gabbiadini had been itching to return to Serie A, but he must be particularly pleased to be rejoining to Sampdoria where he had the best half season of his career back in 2015.

Gabbiadini should be an intriguing option for manager Marco Giampaolo since his versatility should make him a more natural fit next to Fabio Quagliarella than Gregoire Defrel, a player who could be taking the opposite path and head to the Premier League before the January window closes.

Atletico Madrid could suffer mass summer exodus

Diego Godin

Atletico Madrid could be set for a summer of mass change with defensive trio Juanfran, Filipe Luis and Diego Godin all entering the final six months of their respective contracts. The three experienced defenders are all out of contract at the Wanda Metropolitano in June and there is a serious possibility that all three will depart the club.

It could lead to a serious shortage of defenders at Los Rojiblancos, with Lucas Hernandez also linked with a summer switch to Bayern Munich, who have been reported as attempting to activate his €80m release clause. It could lead to a break-up of what is arguably European football’s best drilled back-line. Continue reading

Luciano Spalletti hoping to lure Diego Godin to Serie A

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Serie A giants are working on a deal to bring Atletico Madrid captain Diego Godin to Italy next season, with the Uruguayan’s contract set to expire in the Spanish capital this summer.

Godin, 32, was a transfer target for Manchester United in the summer of 2018, however he opted to remain in Spain – citing family reasons for his decision.

Media reports in both the UK and Spain have claimed that Godin is unhappy with the club’s delay in offering him a new contract, after eight and a half trophy laden years with Los Colchoneros.

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Beware of ‘wounded beast’ Atletico Madrid

Simeone

The midweek 4-0 humbling away at Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League will have stung Atletico Madrid, and they will be looking to make an immediate La Liga response this weekend.

The defeat was Diego Simeone’s heaviest during his seven year tenure at the club, with Lucien Favre’s exciting young side simply too much in attack for Atletico.

Having stabilised their La Liga form following a inconsistent start to the season, Simeone and his players will be rocked by a result that few saw coming, despite Dortmund’s impressive displays in the Bundesliga this season.

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La Liga Weekend Picks – Round 5

garcia3Last weekend’s La Liga action saw Girona recording a 3-2 home win against Celta Vigo in arguably the best of the action throughout the Spanish top flight, while Getafe did themselves plenty of credit with their 2-0 win at Sevilla. Real Madrid were held 1-1 at Athletic Bilbao, and Barcelona managed to scrape a 2-1 win at Real Sociedad despite performing far from their best. This coming weekend sees Barcelona welcoming Girona to the Nou Camp, while Real Madrid host Espanyol. Atletico Madrid have a trip to Getafe, while Eibar and Leganes do battle in a match surely worth keeping an eye on. With all that in mind, let’s take a look ahead and see which 11 players to monitor in the next round of matches.

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La Liga Weekend Picks – Round 2

andre silva sevilla

The first weekend of the season in La Liga saw Real Madrid, Barcelona, Levante, Real Socieded, Sevilla, Huesca and Athletic pick up victories, while Valencia and Atletico Madrid shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw. Let’s take a look at which players could shine for their clubs this weekend.

GK – Oier (Levante)
Oier was one of five goalkeepers in La Liga to pick up seven points at the weekend, helping Levante win 3-0 away at Real Betis. Valued at 5.50m with a promising set of fixtures coming up, the 28-year-old could be worth looking at.

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France through to World Cup semi-final after beating Uruguay

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France have become the first team to advance to the World Cup semi-finals after overcoming the threat of South Americans Uruguay in Nizhny Novgorod. The stage was set for one of the bigger quarter-final games – the only one to feature two previous winners of the tournament – and Didier Deschamps’ men ultimately emerged comfortable victors. The result set up a semi-final tie against the winners of the other quarter-final being played on Friday, contested between Brazil and Belgium. This will be France’s first semi-final appearance since 2006 and has denied Uruguay the chance of their first tie in the final four since finishing fourth in 2010.

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Defensive kings Uruguay will frustrate France

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With the last eight of the 2018 World Cup now confirmed, the real attention turns to who can win the competition.

With pre tournament favourites and holders Germany already out, alongside other big hitters including 2010 champions Spain, current European champions Portugal and Argentina.

Brazil are now the most established name left in the tournament – alongside Didier Deschamps’ France – however neither of them have won the competition in the last 16 years.

France navigated themselves to the top of Group C, with wins over Australia and Peru – and a draw against fellow qualifiers Denmark.

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Portugal have to take a leaf out of Godin’s book

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Two contrasting styles will take to the Fisht Olympic Stadium on Saturday as Uruguay face Portugal.

Both have their merits and weaknesses and as the stakes get higher, we could be in for one of the games of the tournament so far.

Cristiano Ronaldo will be keen to continue his goal scoring form from the first couple of group games, and his prowess in front of goal could well be needed if Messrs. Suarez and Cavani are in the mood for Uruguay. Continue reading

Defensive duo vital for Uruguay’s hopes

Godin

The opening round of games in the 2018 World Cup has been riddled with shock results, and smaller sides gaining results against more esteemed opponents.

The desire for all sides that are finding their way in Russia, is to establish a level of consistency in their play, and approach to group matches.

Despite not exactly setting the world alight with their attacking play against Egypt, Uruguay did set a template for defending, better than any side in the tournament.

Much of the outside focus for Uruguay has been on their front pairing of Luis Suarez  and Edison Cavani, but neither player enjoyed their finest moments in a Uruguay shirt against a Mo Salah-less Egypt.

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