Andrew Gastelum

Summer Priorities

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The Transfer Hub

Monday, June 19, 2017


Year after year I enter the summer transfer window trying to keep up with all of the offseason moves, and year after year I find myself scrambling, in the week before the season begins, trying to figure out everything that actually happened during the summer, which new faces actually have a chance to start right away and what impact they will have on their new team.

 

So welcome to The Transfer Hub, (hopefully) a weekly occurrence every Monday that will update you on the past week of action in the transfer market. And better yet, we’ll look at the moves simply from a fantasy perspective and how they could affect your fantasy league.

 

Every week we’ll look at the transfers coming in, the players leaving the Premier League and the biggest rumors that look to be in the works. Hopefully, this helps you all as much as it will help me to stay organized this summer.

 

Without further delay, here’s my analysis for the past week of moves in the transfer window. I’m welcoming all suggestions and debates on Twitter (@gastelumEPL) and hopefully I can include your thoughts here in this column next week.

 

 

TRANSFERS IN:

 

 

MID – Davy Klaassen (Everton)

With a move for the Ajax captain, manager Ronald Koeman has made a massive statement to the club’s stars: If you try to create any transfer drama, you will be replaced.  With Ross Barkley stalling over a new contract with just a year left in his current deal, Koeman opted for a skilled attacking midfielder in Klaassen.

 

The 24-year-old looks like an immediate starter as the club’s No. 10 after a career year for Ajax last season that saw him record 16 goals and 10 assists in all competitions. The Dutch international is an excellent finisher and playmaker, and could be the first new face in a new one-two combo for the Toffees if Romelu Lukaku ends up leaving.

 

 

DEF – Victor Lindelof (Manchester United)

As we fully expected, Jose Mourinho’s first buy and biggest priority this summer was in defense. Injuries in defense last season exposed Manchester United’s lack of depth, especially at center-back, which prompted a £31 million move for the highly-touted, slick-passing 22-year-old from Benfica.

 

The Swedish international nearly arrived at Old Trafford in December, but now he’ll have a full preseason to prove his worth and earn a starting spot. It’s hard to tell with Mourinho, but Lindelof is fully expected to become a starter in no time, possibly forcing Chris Smalling out of the lineup with Eric Bailly becoming a Mourinho favorite. But for now, Lindelof is not a surefire starter.

 

 

DEF – Harry Maguire (Leicester City)

Now that they have their manager situation under control, the Leicester City owners started their offseason by investing some of the Champions League cash (£17 million) into their future. Last season exposed Leicester’s aging defense that saw its production drop mightily when Wes Morgan went down with an injury.

 

Now the 24-year-old Maguire arrives from Hull City as a promising prospect looking to break through the Morgan-Robert Huth setup after becoming an everyday starter just a month into his first Premier League season. The central defender will surely challenge Huth for a starting role, and based on the money spent, I don’t think Craig Shakespeare is planning on using his as just a late-game sub. 

 

 

TRANSFERS OUT:

 

 

DEF – Manchester City defenders

Since we’re only just starting this column, I think we should go back and take a look at the vacuum created by a multitude of expiring contracts for Manchester City. Out goes Bacary Sagna, Gael Clichy and Pablo Zabaleta, who has already signed with West Ham; however, no replacement has been signed.

 

As of now, that leaves only Aleksandar Kolarov as the club’s only fullback and John Stones, Nicolas Otamendi and Vincent Kompany in central defense. In the upcoming weeks, it’s safe to presume the club will sign at least one right-back and surely left back, with rumors suggesting that Pep Guardiola will consider a back three after buying Monaco winger Bernardo Silva.

 

 

MID – Joe Ledley (Crystal Palace)

A Crystal Palace veteran presence, Ledley made more than 30 appearances just two years ago. But following the expiration of his contract, the Welsh midfielder will look to find a new club, along with Mathieu Flamini, while the Eagles look for a new manager.

 

That means Palace is set on its central midfielder pairing of Yohan Cabaye and James McArthur, while winter signing Luka Milivojevic could play a much more significant role on top of his penalty-taking prowess. Palace may yet bring in another attacking midfielder, but it won’t be making any moves soon with the manager’s position yet to be filled. So expect the moves to come late in the transfer window.

 

 

DEALS IN THE WORKS:

 

 

GK – Willy Caballero set for Chelsea move

It may not be the big signing that everyone is waiting for from the league champions, but it is nonetheless an important one. Chelsea is expected to announce a move for the former Manchester City goalkeeper in the coming days/week on a free transfer to backup Thibaut Courtois following the sale of Asmir Begovic to Bournemouth.

 

The move for Caballero is a shrewd signing in case Courtois gets injured or is suspended, with Caballero starting 16 matches for Pep Guardiola last season, when he also recorded six clean sheets. While it’s clear Caballero won’t start unless out of need, know that Chelsea have a highly-capable backup who is proven in the Premier League.

 

 

FWD – Alvaro Morata to Manchester United?

Just when it looked certain that Antoine Greizmann would join the Red Devils in the club’s second blockbuster signing in as many summers, Jose Mourinho changed his mind. Following Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s injury and subsequent release, Mourinho is hunting for a sole striker to fill Zlatan’s large boots.

 

Outlets across England confirm that Morata has agreed to a move to Old Trafford, but the Red Devils are currently working out a transfer fee with Real Madrid in the £70 million range. But reports suggest Chelsea has shown interest in making a late bid. But United are still the favorites in a move that could have serious repercussions in the team: less time for Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial, a potential exit for Wayne Rooney. Keep an eye on this story, it’s only heating up.      

 

 

DEF – Virgil van Dijk staying at Southampton?

Lastly, we have the most coveted defender in the summer transfer window. At the beginning of the month, it looked like all was said and done, and that van Dijk would join Liverpool after expressing his desire to play under Jurgen Klopp. But in the following days, the Reds withdrew their interest after being accused of tapping up the Dutch international while still under contract.

 

Next on the list were Chelsea and Manchester City. According to reports, the league champions have shown no recent interest in van Dijk while Manchester City has balked at Southampton’s sky-high asking price, somewhere around £70 million. One of two things will happen: van Dijk will stay at the club and continue to excel, making him a top selection in any fantasy backline; or he will officially request a transfer and force a move, which could carry on into the beginning of the season and see him not play at all. 








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