Andrew Gastelum

Transfer Talk

print article archives RSS

The Transfer Hub-July 3

Monday, July 3, 2017


With the onset of July, the Confederations Cup is over, the postseason has of last year has turned into the preseason of this year and the transfer window has officially opened.

 

In the past couple columns, I’ve not only highlighted the transfers in, but also the transfers out of the Premier League. At least for this week, that will change—considering the bevy of transfers made at the official start of the window on Saturday, I’m still not going to cover all the transfers even after making room for more analysis.

 

During the past week, we saw the final Premier League coaching vacancy filled with Crystal Palace making a massive move for Frank de Boer. The former Inter Milan and Ajax manager brings Champions League and big-club experience to south London after previously being linked with the Liverpool job in the past. What a coup for Palace—if they invest in the market, Palace will be a dangerous team this season.

 

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:

 

 

FWD – Jermain Defoe (Bournemouth)

Bournemouth is the winner of the transfer window so far with moves to cover its biggest weaknesses, adding Defoe, Asmir Begovic and Nathan Ake. But in Defoe, Bournemouth has finally gotten its man. The club has been linked with a move for the evergreen forward during the last three transfer windows, and now get him on a free; however, the investment is a heavy one with a three-year deal for a 34-year-old on £65,000-a-week.

 

The concerning point is that despite scoring 15 goals last season, he only scored once in the final 15 games of the season. But we’ll stick to the analysis that matters: Add Defoe to the top of your list for the upcoming season. Unlike Sunderland, he’ll have more help, and more importantly competition in Callum Wilson and Benik Afore, he has a proven track record of 15 goals in each of the last two seasons and it’s a World Cup year with the striker intent on making the trip to Russia. On the down side, this probably means less production from Joshua King, who has been linked with Spurs and Everton, so consider this your warning.

 

 

DEF – Kiko Femenia (Watford)

A new coach and a new (relatively unknown) name can bring plenty of uncertainty, especially when trying to make additions to your fantasy team. But here’s what we know: The new manager is Marco Silva, and based on his tendencies at Hull City in the second half of last season, it’s evident how important a wing-back is to his setup, especially with his preferred three-man back-line. This also means that Silva wasn’t comfortable with Daryl Janmaat at the position, whose future looks to be up in the air after a down season.

 

But the move for Femenia looks to be a perfect fit. The Spaniard was a standout as one of upstart Alaves’ shocking top-10 finish in its first season in La Liga, and new Southampton manager Mauricio Pellegrino was surely considering a move for Femenia on a free transfer. Femenia was one of Alaves’ top passers statistically last season (second in passes per game, third in accuracy) and added two assists from the wing. If played as a right wing-back, Femenia as a defender is an entertaining prospect in fantasy leagues.

 

 

DEF – Jan Bednarek (Southampton)

For Southampton fans, the signing of Bednarek should be a welcome one, considering last season’s defensive shortcomings since the sale of Jose Fonte and Virgil van Dijk’s season-ending injury turned the club’s biggest strength into its biggest weakness. The 21-year-old has plenty of first-team experience with Lech Poznan and looks like a future replacement for van Dijk whenever he makes a transfer record-breaking move for a defender.

 

However, for fantasy managers, it’s a hard sell for the upcoming season. For one, a new manager in Mauricio Pellegrino, one who favors rotation, complicates matters in trying to predict starters. Maya Yoshida will surely lead the backline and van Dijk’s transfer saga will likely last until the end of the transfer window. Meanwhile, Jack Stephens has just signed a new contract and is proven as a starter after an impressive debut last season. There’s just too much uncertainty to recommend Bednarek at the current moment.

 

 

DEF – Nathan Ake (Bournemouth)

The difference a year makes: Last year, Eddie Howe made a loan move for Chelsea youth Nathan Ake to provide cover in a defense that was set in stone. Howe played Ake in only two of the first 11 league games. Less than a year later, Howe makes Ake the club’s record signing in a £20 million move. All it took was eight starts before the winter transfer window to convince Howe after three goals, three clean sheets and an assist.

 

In fact, Ake was too good, subsequently convincing Chelsea manager Antonio Conte to recall him from his loan only to make two appearances for the league champions. But with this kind of investment, Howe has made it clear who the star of his defense will be. Ake can play three different positions (left-back, defensive midfielder and center-back) so his role could be a fluid one, and we know that he can score and pass, making him a tempting choice in defense.

 

 

GK – Jonas Lossl (Huddersfield Town)

Immediately after signing a new contract, manager David Wagner pulled off a shrewd move for Lossl. The Danish international joins on a loan from German side Mainz, with an option to make the move permanent, and brings loads of European experience (106 appearances for Mainz and Guingamp in the last three seasons) to a squad in dire need of a veteran presence.

 

Lossl will surely be the club’s starter with only the inexperienced Joel Coleman on the roster after Danny Ward’s loan expired and Jurgen Klopp rejected a bid to make it permanent. The problem is Huddersfield Town was the only team in the top 10 of the Championship last season with a negative goal differential while conceding 58 goals. On that note, I wouldn’t recommend Lossl outside of a backup role in your squad.

 

 

 

DEALS IN THE WORKS:

 

 

DEF – Man City vs. Chelsea: the battle for Rudiger

We could have our first high-profile bidding war on our hands here (apologies to Kylian Mbappe). Reports last week claimed Chelsea had a £33.4 million bid for AS Roma’s Antonio Rudiger accepted, only for Manchester City to enter the race at the weekend as Pep Guardiola looks to add some youth to his defense.

 

As a versatile defender who can play three positions, Rudiger is a perfect fit for Guardiola’s system; but Conte’s wrath at his lack of signings in the window so far could power this standard transfer battle into something much bigger. After a strong showing leading the defense for Germany’s Confederations Cup side, the battle for the 24-year-old could grow to Mangala proportions.

 

 

DEF – Michael Keane set for Everton move

This move looks to happen at any moment with Keane taking his medical on Merseyside at the time this column was published. But when it goes through, I think it will be the best move of the transfer window so far. If the Toffees keep Romelu Lukaku, however unlikely, I think they can push for a top-four finish with the addition of Keane.

 

The club’s biggest weakness last season was it’s depth in defense after John Stones’ departure, with an aging Phil Jagielka, a season-enidng injury to Seamus Coleman and an unreliable Ramiro Funes Mori. In Keane, Koeman gets the missing piece to his three-man backline: a proven, young, stalwart central defender to pair with Ashley Williams and Mason Holgate.

 

 

FWD – Winds of change in Arsenal’s attack?

Early reports claim Arsenal has just struck a deal with Lyon over a club-record transfer for Alexandre Lacazette with a fee that could rise to £52 million, which would surely put an end to the club’s interest in Monaco star Kylian Mbappe. But a move for Lacazette could have huge repercussions on the entire side (Giroud, Perez, even Alexis Sanchez).

 

Meanwhile, the club has been heavily linked with Thomas Lemar and Riyad Mahrez amid rumors that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is ready to leave. And then there’s the contract saga regarding Sanchez and Mesut Ozil—the Arsenal circus never really ends. 








Video Center

  •  
    Dose: Allen explodes vs. Bills

    Dose: Allen explodes vs. Bills
  •  
    Dose: Brown lights up Titans

    Dose: Brown lights up Titans
  •  
    Silva: Week 11 Matchups

    Silva: Week 11 Matchups
  •  
    Dose: Bills to Start Peterman

    Dose: Bills to Start Peterman
  •  
    Matchups: Burkhead vs. Raiders

    Matchups: Burkhead vs. Raiders
  •  
    Waivers: Davis

    Waivers: Davis' Time to Shine
  •  
    Dose: Cam Rolls on MNF

    Dose: Cam Rolls on MNF
  •  
    Dose: Beathard Carries 49ers

    Dose: Beathard Carries 49ers