Manchester United finally seal the deal to get Aaron Wan-Bissaka from Crystal Palace


Manchester United have been after Aaron Wan-Bissaka for some time and this morning it was confirmed that the former Crystal Palace player was now a Red Devil. What will this mean for United as they try and look for a different chapter in their history and quash recent troubles that seem to have engulfed the team since Sir Alex Ferguson’s resignation.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s career at United started off brilliantly as the team seemingly could not lose when his feel good factor tactics and play lifted the side from the gloominess surrounding Jose Mourinho. But United finished the season very poorly and the Norwegian’s pedigree was being rightly questioned. Had United jumped the ship too quick in offering him a 3 year contract, it did seem like it. However something that Solsjkaer does deserve is to have a proper summer transfer window afforded to him before he is truly judged. Now he has this he has swooped for Wan-Bissaka and if reports are to be led to be true United have paid £50m for their man. Decent money in this day and age for football transfers.

Wan Bissaka will play at right back for the club and he is only 21 with huge potential, it is thought that he will be earning £80,000 a week, so a massive increase on his reported £10,000 a week with Palace.

It is no secret that despite Palace having a good to average season that their defence had a very good one compared to their final league position. Palace finished in 12th place and the Eagles conceded 53 goals but that was the 10th best defensive record in the Premier League.

United have signed a player who seems to play beyond his years, movement and judgement are sound and he likes to lead by example, he could well be the captain of the club within a few seasons. The huge potential is there and let’s not forget that he was voted as Crystal Palace’s best player of the season.

For the player a move to United represents a dream come true and it will only be a matter of time before he breaks through to the England national team. He has played at under 21 level but never for the seniors. Playing at United will surely afford him that chance.

Solskjaer then has signed Daniel James an attacking winger and Wan-Bissaka for his first two signings in the summer window, both British players and it will be interesting to see who he signs next as he tries to turn the page and enter a different chapter for the famous club.

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Meet the new Lionel Messi? Real Madrid sign former Barcelona player Takefusa Kubo


There is no love lost between Real Madrid and Barcelona and that has been turned up to 10 after Madrid signed Takefusa Kubo this week from FC Tokyo. This is because Kubo for his age looks like being one of the best players of the next decade, and he is a player that in theory Barcelona should still have, but they have been left slack jawed after Madrid snapped him up.

Kubo is only 18 and Barcelona signed him when he was only 10 years old, he remained on Barca’s books for the next four years as they nurtured him and he trained with the infamous B team. All looked set for Kubo to have a glittering career at the club until UEFA got involved.

UEFA suspended Kubo’s contract with Barcelona as they were deemed to have violated the international transfer policy for under 18s and Kubo was forced to go back to Japan. The idea was simple enough that when he turned 18 himself and Barcelona would reconnect, well, that was the idea until Madrid showed an interest.

Whilst Madrid have signed the player officially he will play for Real Madrid Castilla on a five year deal, they are the B team of Madrid. This makes perfect sense for the club who can they gage just how good Kubo could be.

It is worth looking at some of his highlights on you tube. He hasn’t actually scored many goals, but the way he controls the game with many skills, and involves other players in the game with his assists looks excellent.

Kubo’s biggest strength apart from dribbling is his pace which looks electrifying. One wonders just how long it could take Kubo to break into the Real Madrid team. This season for sure looks out and he is one for the future but he could be a regular player for the side by 2022. Or he could simply fade into obscurity, after all being a great player is not skill alone if it was then the likes of Edmundo and Denilson (remember them?) would be amongst the very best players in the world. Attitude and professional commitment will go a long way, and it remains fascinating to see If Kubo can adapt and become one of the special players in world football.

One thing is for sure his signing reminds football fans about many years ago when Barcelona had their hands on Alfredo Di Stefano only for the deal to quickly fall through and he joined Real Madrid and became a legend of football helping the club to 5 European Cups in a row.

Will Kubo be known as the player that got away from the Nou Camp? On evidence of his present play he might well be.

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FIFPro’s goals to reform transfer market are noble but unrealistic


Last year FIFPro, the union that represents footballers around the world, launched a legal action against FIFA in the hope of outlawing the transfer system and fundamentally changing the professional game. However, their proposals are noble but unrealistic…

The union believes the transfer system, as it has stood since 2001, has failed to deliver on his promises. FIFPro argues the system has not delivered contractual stability, it has not helped redistribute money from big to small clubs, and it has not helped bring more competitive leagues, with football agents taking big cuts in transfer deals.

Some of their proposals should be implied as soon as possible. Like the one where “any player not paid by their club for more than 30 days can terminate their contract providing they have given the club at least 10 days’ written notice”. Currently that period is 90 days and the player must take its case to FIFA’s Dispute Resolution Chamber. So no doubt this is a great proposal by the union.

However, there are others that are very noble but far from realistic and even conflicting with its own goals. Here, I will be looking at two specific proposals: abolishing transfer fees and ending the loan system.

Abolishing transfer fees hurts small clubs

FIFPro argues that big clubs are providing financial imbalance due to the fact that they are able to spend huge transfer fees on the players they like, which smaller clubs can’t afford. On top, the union believes smaller clubs gamble on selling one or two star players to sustain themselves. Therefore, transfer fees should be abolished to create more balance.

In essence, the union is trying to create the same system that stands in the NBA, the biggest professional basketball league in the United States. Instead of paying transfer fees, football clubs will engage in a contract trading system. One big contract for another one. In theory, this could help to diminish the gap between big and small clubs.

But in football, it will only hurt smaller clubs. In the NBA, there is one market and one set of rules. In European football, there are different markets and different sets of rules when it comes to, for example, TV deals, resources of income, and the legal amount of foreign players. Clubs like Udinese and Palermo have been amazing at scouting young talents all over the world, giving them a chance to shine, and selling them with a profit. That gives them an edge to sustain their great work. If you take that away, you hurt them.

If FIFPro is serious about competitiveness, they should aim for one set of rules across Europe. The Premier League will once again take a huge financial leap forward with their new TV deal coming next season, with a team like Bournemouth being able to spend more than AC Milan. That’s just ridiculous. If you want a system like the NBA, there’s the obligation to get one TV deal for all European clubs, one fixed amount of foreign players (there is none in England, e.g.), one cap system for player’s wages and so on. Not punishing smaller clubs for great scouting and player development by abolishing transfer fees.

Ending the loan system hurts young players

Talking about wages, the FIFPro also argues that “players, especially young players, need more protection. There must be a better distribution of money to help smaller clubs and we have to reduce the number of loans.” The union even goes as far as to say it wants to end the loan system by limiting squad sizes.

Again, there’s a logical approach to the union’s proposal here. But also once again, this will only hurt smaller clubs and especially young players. A big club like Juventus currently has 60 players out on loan. That is a lot and it doesn’t always makes sense. However, the majority of their loanees are young, talented, and aspiring players who get the chance to develop their game with a smaller club, while that smaller club doesn’t have to pay a transfer fee and also doesn’t have to pay his full salary.

This benefits the players and clubs involved greatly. You can’t blame big clubs for scouting properly and developing young players, meaning ending the loan system would be nothing but ridiculous. It’s even beneficial for a club like Juventus, who were able to land Juan Cuadrado on loan and turn him into a key player and restoring his confidence, while they would have been unable to buy him from Chelsea in the summer of 2015. Even big clubs can diminish the gap with the biggest ones on this planet here.

To conclude, the FIFPro has a case that the current transfer system does not always achieves the goals it was supposed to achieve. Yes, changes are needed. But abolishing transfer fees and ending the loan system are not the ones that will make football more competitive. On the contrary, those changes will only hurt smaller clubs and (young) players.

Suarez heads summer list of eye-catching transfers

With football set to return to pitches across Europe in just a matter of a week or two, we herald in the new season – and the launch of our 2014-15 Euro Fantasy League competition – by taking a look at some of the players who will be pulling on a new shirt this season. We are not of course talking about a club’s new home kit, but those who have swapped employers already in this transfer window and who will be kicking off the campaign wearing the new colours of the club they have joined.

The biggest transfer of the summer would seem to be Luis Suarez departing Merseyside for the sunnier Spanish climate as he completed a move said to be in the region of €75m to Barcelona. This would seem to set him in good stead as a healthy choice for many of our fantasy managers – the guy has proven himself to be among the world’s elite when it comes to talent. He did, however, have something of a controversial World Cup campaign which ultimately saw him given a global ban from all football related activities until November, and so this will probably go some way to explaining why only 5% of our managers have selected him in their squad.

That said, he has proven himself capable enough before, and so if he is able to recapture the form and clinical finishing he displayed in front of the Kop then those missed months could surely just mean the Uruguayan has a bit of catching up to do – he will, when he finally debuts, be turning out alongside the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar week in, week out after all – Barcelona will be dangerous this season.

One of the busiest clubs in regards to transfer activity this year has been Southampton, who have just completed their second season back in the Premier League. However, unfortunately for Saints fans the bulk of the dealings have seen some of their top international stars departing St. Mary’s, rather than a host of talent arriving to join the revolution being enjoyed on the south coast.

England striker Rickie Lambert ended his five-year stint at the club by rejoining boyhood club Liverpool, and his EFL value of €7.00m mean he could prove a popular choice for a backup striker in any squad. He could prove great as a starter, but with Liverpool’s attacking lineup remaining strong despite the aforementioned departure of Suarez he may be a player managers will do well to watch with caution in the early stages until his true status in the squad is better clarified.

He is joined at Anfield by former Southampton team-mate – and international partner too – Adam Lallana, and the former Bournemouth loanee will be looking to establish himself at Anfield and maintain his England berth which he held admirably during the Three Lions’ indifferent World Cup campaign. He is valued in our competition only marginally more than Lambert, at €7.50m, and so the pair could be included for only €14.50m – two great talents for a relatively low outlay.

Another former Saint, Luke Shaw, completed a big money move to Man Utd and has been rated at €5.50m for the purposes of our EFL competition. This is a lovely valuation considering his actual transfer saw him become the world’s most expensive teenager at around £30m, and with the recent departure of Patrice Evra from Old Trafford to Juventus there is certainly room for Shaw to get himself plenty of football – he will surely be a cert to be included?

World Cup shopping: Top 5 moves earned in Brazil

The World Cup is over but the ramifications are still being felt – and with the average length of a summer transfer saga rivalling a short ice age, that will be the case for some time. Some of the tournament’s stars have already been on the move while it appears a number of others will be. Here’s a selection…

Toni Kroos
The World Cup winner has officially moved from Bayern Munich to Real Madrid. Kroos’ Bayern contract was to expire next year and the Germans have cashed in, reportedly to the tune of €30m. He was one of the highest-rated midfielders in EuroFantasyLeague during the tournament and apparently caught the eye of Madrid even before the World Cup, the Champions League holders moving now rather than wait 12 months.

Alexis Sanchez
One of the World Cup’s revelations, Alexis’ face didn’t fit Luis Enrique’s new-look Barcelona and he was sold to Arsenal to make room for Luis Suarez. The Gunners will now benefit from his speed, dribbling skills and direct running, all of which were on show in Brazil, having beaten Juventus, Liverpool and Atletico Madrid to his signature. He’ll bring goals too, netting twice in four games this summer.

Luis Suarez
One of the strangest transfers in a while, the terms of Suarez’s FIFA-imposed biting ban mean he is barred from all football activity for four months – which includes playing, training, entering a football stadium or even attending a press conference to discuss his move to Barcelona from Liverpool, but doesn’t prevent the Uruguayan completing the transfer itself. £75m took Suarez to Camp Nou.

James Rodriguez
Reports in Spain say it’s only a matter of time before James leaves Monaco for Real Madrid. After claiming the World Cup Golden Boot it’s easy to see why Los Blancos want the Colombian, if not where he will fit in considering Carlo Ancelotti’s other options. A fee of €70m or so has been talked about, a substantial rise on the €45m Monaco paid Porto a year ago.

Antoine Griezmann
Close followers of La Liga have been talking about the Real Sociedad winger for a while but the rest of the world took notice this summer when he lined up for France. La Real usually struggle to hold on to their best players so it was inevitable Griezmann’s name would come up in the reams of transfer gossip during pre-season – Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea are among the parties said to be interested, as well as Bayern Munich and Monaco.