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Karthik's Pick – 10 Young Sizzling Transfers

Ok… with the premiership all ready to kick off, here are my picks for the best young stars that have made a transfer this summer who are going to keep us glued to the TV and YouTube and all the football boards including this one. Carlos VelaNot quite the finished article yet, but under the tutelage of Wenger, I can see Vela blossoming into one of the most feared forwards in the world. He is obviously not going to dislodge Adebayor, but Bendtner might have to make a move up fast if he wants to keep the prodigious Mexican restricted to the Arsenal’s FA cup side. I cant see that happen and Vela will have a run in the Arsenal first team at-least until Eduardo regains his fitness and form. He shows great composure and anticipation in front of goal and has a lethal finish. He has the ability to score the kind of goals that can completely deflate the opposition morale. Also he seems keen to impress.Samir NasriExit Alex Hleb 1.0 – Enter the new and improved Hleb 2.0.  Oh I like everything about this fellow.  Nasri is fast, creative, dribbles well, and looks hungry for the ball at all times. He looks every bit the product of “The Wenger factory for beautiful football” and would fit right into the Arsenal midfield. I am tipping him to light up the premiership with some out of the world performances. Nasri unlike Vela must start most games. He oozes class and style and may just be the extra something that the young Arsenal side need to lift the premiership this time. Arsenal for the title this time then?? I have to tell u, this side looks good.Brad GuzanI wish he plays more than Friedel for Villa. This guy is 23 (middle aged for the average Arsenal fan but a fledgling in the Goalkeeping world) and he is ready. Believe me, he is one of the best keepers in the world now but is severely undervalued. Give him a half decent defence and he can shut out best teams in the world. His anticipation and reflexes are extremely high for his age and he shows an excellent reading of the game. Villa have nicked a gem from the USA and I hope they can keep him. Even if he has to play deputy to Friedel this season he will be Villa’s number one next season.Carlos VillanuevaHe hasn’t faced defenses of Prem league standard yet nor has he played in Europe before. Villanueva has a lot of learning to do this season. He might struggle at the start of the season but as they say in cricket “form is temporary, class is permanent”. He can dribble, finish and take free kicks. Put him on the other side of Morten Gamst Pedersen of 2 seasons ago and you have one of the best wide playing teams in the world. I tip him to make a big impact towards the second half of the season and Blackburn will buy him in the end. Does Paul Ince know how to use him?? I don’t know- it may easily follow the lines of the story of Tevez and Mascherano at West Ham.David Ngog1.5 Million pounds?? you have to be kidding me.. Rafa has seems to have finally got one of his budget signings right. This kid is going to have limited chances. He is going to play second fiddle to Kuyt but come on.. just look at him play. He is a player on top form now and seems to instinctively know where the goal is. He has a bad scoring record for PSG but hey he played in a team that barely stayed in top flight in France last season. Somewhere Wenger must be going “He’s young and he is French and he is good?? how the *!#$% did I miss him”. I tip him for 8 starts and 10 subs this season but he will make his mark with those apprarances. For those sceptics who think he wont play so much – Hello!! he plays for Rafa’s Liverpool!! – of course they will rotate players..JoHe has set Manchester city back by 19 Million pounds but for good reason. This guy looks like an out and out goal scorer. He doesnt seem to be the guy who dominates play but looks like the one that annoyingly finishes them. He will irritate, he will look pedestrian at times, he will miss some sitters but he will also score crucial goals and some of them will take our breath away. 15 goals this season – no less but something tells me he will score more. One more world class midfielder who can compliment Elano and Jo will make a Man City a real threat this coming season, that is, if Hughes can make it work together.Marvin EmnesFinally.. Boro boast a speedy winger. I havent seen too much of him yet but I think will see him quite a bit this season. I tip him to start on the right for most games and will flourish this season as Boro have 2 very good forwards in Tuncay and Alves. A lot of assists and a big money move to a big club at the end of the season. I cant believe he was available for 3.2 million pounds. Will Gareth Southgate use him well?? (By which I mean will he entertain more creativity and attacking verve that might finally take the burden off a creaking defence??).. well the jury is still out on that. I hope Emnes doesnt become a victim of Southgate’s well know naivete.Didier DigardBig strong centre half who can also play in the middle as a holding midfielder. He will have a lot of starts and will fill in for George Boateng right away. I’ve put him in here cause he will have a huge influence on what happens to Boro this season. He has the potential to be the anchor that can steady the Boro ship that floated around like it was being steered by a drunken Captain Ahab. I call him a steal at 4 million. and he is gonna be the one that harpoons Southgate’s Moby Dick. (Was it Tashtego that harpooned Moby?? I cant remember..)Valon BehramiOk.. he is 23.. not so young, but he will sizzle on the right side. He looks like a rock star with the confident manner and the beautiful Italian model girlfriend and dangerously looks like another possible causality of the London night scene but what the hell do I know. He did really well for the Swiss in the Euros and he has been brought in to kick out Ljungberg and do what he was supposed to do. They look like very similar players – Ljungberg (of 3 years ago) and Behrami and I reckon Behrami will do what Ljungberg was supposed to do better than him. I think West Ham have a great chance this season and look like outside challengers for the top 4 but can the Hammers keep him off the Injury table and also protect him from Craig Bellamy??Giovanni Dos SantosI gotta do this carefully, I’ve been accused of being partial to the Spurs in my first post but just look at this guy!! How Spurs stole him away from Barca I will never know. He has already shown what he can do last season in the Primera Liga and in the preseason games. I will do magic on the field and he will keep improving as the season goes. He is right up there on level with Berbatov, but will it be the same story again that the rest of the spurs team cant play to their level?? Dos Santos excites me, he is a star in the making. 15 goals this season.I know I’ve missed quite a few here but with good reason – Wilshire (wont play except in FA cup) , Walcott(not a new transfer), etc; let me know if I’ve missed someone. Could be an interesting discussion that one..

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    August 10, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    Karthik, i read the article. your observations were based on in depth analysis of each player i concur with your observations in toto.

  2. Sanjay

    August 7, 2008 at 7:19 am

    As a gooner I have to add a few more players here. Jack Wilshere and Alex Song should be great too, although neither of them is really going to challenge for a starting spot. Actually, Maybe Song might be backup in defense or as a defensive midfielder.

  3. Nick

    August 7, 2008 at 4:27 am

    If we’re looking at young players that could make an impact this year i would include Ben Sahar (on loan at pompey), Di Santo (2 goals in preseason), Gael Kakuta and Miraslav Stoch (youth team stars), those chelsea boys got skills! Mark my words…

  4. Karthik Balasubramanian

    August 7, 2008 at 2:36 am

    @Chris O – I ve seen him play on youtube.. from what I saw, he looked really good but also the opposition he played against wasnt quite prem standard.

    There is no doubt he is good, he may not be as pacy as Dos Santos or Walcott but he seems to have a keen football acumen.. Like I said before, I think he will struggle a bit initially.. but with some coaching from MGP he will come really good towards the end. He will also score a few from free kicks.

    In fact I think he is much more of a “finished article” than Dos Santos and Walcott.. he has the ability to be better than both of them.

  5. Karthik Balasubramanian

    August 7, 2008 at 2:17 am

    I think in the end they are gonna keep “the Berbabot” and wont need Arshavin.. in that case, welcome Veloso..

  6. Karthik Balasubramanian

    August 7, 2008 at 2:15 am

    Man City wont sell Corluka.. All these players seem good but where is the money coming from?? and also they need to sell one of Jenas, Zokora or Huddlestone..

    Arshavin – 20 million
    Veloso – 15 million
    Corluka – 7-8 million
    42-43 million pounds


  7. Chris O

    August 7, 2008 at 2:10 am

    Excellent article – well done, Kartik.

    I’d say all of your selections were made on merit and I for one will be looking forward to seeing them (especially Behrami as a West Ham fan!)

    I heard a glowing reference to Villanueva the other day but at one point he was described as ‘Dos Santos Lite’ because he hasn’t got the Tottenham man’s pace. Is this so, would you say, and will it impede him in any way?

  8. SamSpur

    August 7, 2008 at 12:49 am

    Karthik, spurs are actively looking for upgrades at center back and defensive midfield. All the talent they’ve bought (Modric, Bentley, Dos Santos) are mainly attacking players. Veloso fills a big gap at defensive mid upgrading on Jenas/Zokora/Huddlestone, who likely will be fighting for one starting spot at best.

    Remember, the problem for them is shipping goals, and while the Gomes upgrade helps at keeper, all those goals weren’t Robinson’s fault. And by the way, the link to Corluka of Man City is true, he should be joining as well within the next few days. He’ll be cover for King/Woodgate’s injury problems, as well as at RB and Dmid as well.

  9. Karthik Balasubramanian

    August 7, 2008 at 12:22 am

    I knew Vela was out on loan at Osasuna but he is like a new signing this season and I think the stint with Osasuna did him a world of good.. And are spurs going for Veloso?? really?? another midfielder and not a forward?? hmm.. dont really know what to think about that..

  10. SamSpur

    August 6, 2008 at 11:44 pm

    Vela isn’t a new transfer…just called back from loan when he got a work permit. I’d also bet on a certain portuguese midfielder, Miguel Veloso, coming to spurs in the coming weeks and joining this list!

  11. Michael

    August 6, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    Weston, believe me..Jo is quality, he was worth that much money. He’s going to have a great breakout season.

  12. Lonnie

    August 6, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    I would have put Luka Modric ahead of Behrami.

    I also think its a bit of a stretch to dos Santos is “right up there with Berbatov”….he’s had a couple cups of coffee in the Barca first team but if they rated him as a player in that class, I don’t picture Barca letting him go. If they have then things are in bad shape at the Nou Camp ! 🙂

  13. Lonnie

    August 6, 2008 at 8:07 pm

    Boro had a speedy winger last season — his name is Stewart Downing !! 🙂 But it will be nice to see someone perhaps compliment him on the right side of midfield.

  14. Weston

    August 6, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    I am particularly interested in seeing how Jo plays for ManCiteh, a no-name striker from the Russian premier league for 19mil pounds? He must be good, or that crook Thaksin must be desparate.

    Dos Santos looks like he will be a quick fan favorite and is already well on his way just by smiling on the pitch and enjoying the game of football, unlike a certain Bulgarian employee. Saying GDS is on level with Berbatov is obviously exaggerating, but his future does certainly look bright.

  15. Michael

    August 6, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    Karthik — great article. I agree with you on almost every player here, definitely ones to watch.

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