Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Transfer Boomerang

Ball Harambee by Bagga Wilks

The transfer market in 2013 was fairly tepid. The movement of players was quite cautious as it has become clear that the transfer from one club to the other might not produce any dividends to a club and can be detrimental to a player’s career.

Young talented players do not benefit when they move to overstocked elite clubs and are denied playing time essential to their development. Daniel Sturridge is a classical case in point. At Chelsea, he was behind Demba Ba, Fernando Torres and Victor Moses. The transfer to Liverpool thus far has been beneficial to Sturridge and has strengthened Brandon Rodgers’ rebuilding of the once mighty Liverpool.

The partnership with Suarez adds great punch to Liverpool’s attack. The return to form of Gerrard and having the recovered Lucas back from injury, has made Liverpool a team where all the pieces are neatly falling into place, perhaps with the exception of the goalkeeper. Liverpool was poised to defeat the defending champions, Manchester City, on the latter’s home turf were it not for some idiotic action of goalkeeper,Reina. Fantastic strikes from Sturridge and Gerrard gave them the lead but Reina ventured recklessly out of his goal to provide the wily Aguero the opportunity to tie the score.

Manchester City, rather than closing the gap, has fallen further behind League leaders Manchester United who defeated Fulham 1-0. Manchester City has sent the troubled Balotelli to A.C. Milan. Only time will determine whether the move to Serie A will lead to Balotelli playing regularly and developing his full potential as a ball player. Warming City’s bench has not been beneficial to City or to Balotelli.

Sinclair distinguished himself as an attacking player at Swansea and under Mancini his playing time at Manchester City has been limited. Again another example of a young player who benefitted financially from a transfer but his career as a footballer could be stifled.

Arsenal has the record for transferring fiascoes, both going and coming. Arshavin lost his way after a promising start. Chamakh is trying his wares at West Ham after failing to produce at Arsenal. And Andre Santos since re-emerging from an injury has been dreadful. Hopefully the January acquisition of Monreal at left full back will be a productive addition to the Arsenal squad. Despite the unproductive transfer activity, Arsenal managed a victory over Stoke City and are still in the mix to finish with a fourth place if recent transfers like Podolski, Cazorla and Giroud can finish strong in the last third of the season.

There isn’t much coming and going at Manchester United neither in the management realm nor the players’ realm. When moves are made, they are quite judicious. The acquisition of Van Persie has been a coup d’etat for Manchester United and is a prime reason why they will be League champions for 2013.

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