It has been a quiet season on the transfer front if your name isn’t Roberto Mancini. Of the teams who finished in the top 4 very few ‘big’ transfers have been made. Sure we are excited by the prospect of Chamakh and Chicarcito (who scored AGAIN last night against Spain) but their transfers do not create the same commotion as the saga’s of Ashley Cole, Dimitar Berbatov and Cristiano Ronaldo. This has been the summer of the non-transfers, the fact that Gerrard, Torres and Fabregas have not moved is more important that those who have moved. However amongst the hustle and bustle of the world cup and the aftermath there have been a few key transfers you may have missed. We start at a fairly recent one and one of the biggest fees paid this summer.
1. Kenwyne Jones: Stoke have paid 8 million for the Trinidad and Tobago striker. Jones was a transfer target for Liverpool in January and this move is a sign of ambition from Stoke. 8 million is a lot of money but Pulis obviously feels Jones can add something to a strike-force which has often relied on the quality of Matthew Etherington rather than the strikers. Jones would find time limited at Sunderland behind Darren Bent and boss Steve Bruce has indicated that he and Jones had not seen eye-to-eye and felt that he was not achieving his potential under him. Jones has been at Stoke before but that was as a raw 20 year old. Jones will be the starting striker for Stoke as Beattie and Kitson are both on the transfer list at the moment.
2. Ivan Klasnic: Klasnic has rejoined Bolton on a free transfer which has been the story of Bolton’s off-season. With a few free transfer pick-ups Owen Coyle is hoping to fashion a budget attacking side. Klasnic was not prolific in the previous term with only 8 goals in 27 games. However that was his first season in the Premier League and in a team that was not performing well overall. With an increase in the attacking nature of Bolton and the better delivery from someone like Martin Petrov the 30 year old may prove to be a bargain.
3.Sandro: Formally signed in March Sandro’s transfer has probably been forgotten over the course of the summer as Harry Redknapp chases all and sundry. Tottenham have been uncharacteristically quiet in the summer with very few players moving in or out. If Sandro proves to be their only signing then it is not a travesty. With competition at almost every position Sandro could provide some quality in midfield alongside Palacios and Luka Modric. Sandro is a physically intimidating midfielder who at 21 has youth on his side. With only one cap under his belt so far it is tough to know exactly what to expect from Sandro as he has only played in Brazil so far in his career but has proved to be a vital player for Internacional. Sandro won’t join Tottenham until 18th August so don’t be putting him into your fantasy team just yet.
4. Mauro Boselli: Wigan have splashed out big on the Argentinian striker, officially listed as 6.5 million. Often known for their America’s scouting regime Wigan have often brought in quality from the other side of the Atlantic. Boselli is a striker with an excellent goalscoring record, in the pre-season he has been banging them in albeit against weaker opposition. Boselli was the top scorer in Argentine football in the previous season so comes with a certain aura of expectation. Don’t expect him to light up the ground with skillful play though, Boselli is a goal-scorer first and foremost so expect to see him bungling it home from 2 yards rather than beating a few players. They all count though.
5. Stephen Hunt: Probably the player that you know the most about on this list. Wolves got their signings made early this season picking up players from the cash-strapped relegated clubs. Stephen Hunt should help alleviate the aura of negative football that hung around the Molineux last season. Stephen Hunt has played for several relegation candidate teams but continues to be one of their better players an out-and-out left winger Hunt can deliver an excellent cross, beat his man and often goes over the line of determination into outright aggression. These qualities are always needed for a relegation-threatened team as he very rarely gives anything other than his best. Hunt will take the left wing spot for Wolves and should provide many assists over the coming season he is for Wolves what Chris Brunt and Charlie Adam are for their teams, the main attacking outlet.