Who’s in, who’s out

Yakatak’s Thoughts on the Transfer Window

Sam Gardiner writes as @Yakataksoccer

We will be posting our thoughts on the ins and outs of the latest transfer window this week. Today we’re looking at Liverpool and Man City.

Why was this an important transfer window for Liverpool?

After scoring 31 goals and providing 12 assists in the club’s run to a second-place finish in the Premier League, Suarez was destined to leave Anfield. As such, plans were put in place ahead of the summer to fill the void left by Suarez, who made a £75 million move to Barcelona in late July.

After Suarez’s move to Barcelona, Liverpool faced a challenging situation, but the summer’s spend underlined Brendan Rodgers’ commitment to attacking, sexy football.

Moreover, Liverpool possessed an unparalleled advantage over their rivals last season – no European football. Each weekend Liverpool were fresh, ready and full of energy, but with clubs like Real Madrid lurking this season, Liverpool had to strengthen in both quantity and quality in order to compete across all fronts.

How did Liverpool strengthen their squad?

First and Foremost, Liverpool needed to bring in a couple of strikers. Lambert, a proven premier league goalscorer, represented a bargain at just £4 million. Lamberts ability to hold the ball up and link up players in and around the box will suit Rodgers’ style and represents a different option upfront.

In defence, Liverpool added Lovren (Centre Back), Moreno (Left Back) and Manquillo (Right Back). Lovren, at £20 million, wasn’t cheap but is a commanding Centre Back with pivotal premier league experience; he is also an instinctive leader captaining both club and country. In Moreno, Liverpool have found themselves an aggressive, speedy left back with an outstanding ability to travel tirelessly up and down the left flank for 90 minutes. Manquillo will offer sturdy competition to the increasingly lacklustre Glen Johnson and thus Liverpool’s defence, as a whole, has improved.

In midfield, Liverpool has a wealth of attacking talent. Raheem Sterling is a player whose sense of adventure and willingness to try the spectacular brings a sense of elation to Liverpool fans. Sterling has the potential to take over Suarez’s role of lifting the Anfield faithful off their seats every other weekend. In Markovic, Liverpool have brought the most promising star in Serbia’s new golden generation. Self-assured and creative, Lazar Markovic could go all the way to becoming a Liverpool legend but this will require careful nurturing on behalf of Rodgers. Emre Can and Henderson will add steel to Liverpool midfield and thus create the balance needed for the likes of Coutinho and Sterling to ply their trade.

Mario Balotelli. A name that was so engraved on the back page of every newspaper during his time at Man City that he might have well had his own page. Love him or hate him, his undisputable and uncooked ability has the potential to rival the Premier League’s best. Yakatak believes Balotelli has a robust desire to prove the English media wrong, but in order to do that Mario must work with Sturridge, his strike partner, rather than aim to do it all himself. Balotelli must utilise Sturridge’s incisive, swift runs in order to break down defences. As with Markovic, Balotelli’s success will dangle cautiously over Brendan Rodgers’ man management and tactics.

Did Man City acquire the necessary additions in order to retain the title?

Man City attained some shrewd signings under the ominous umbrella of Financial Fair Play, for example, they added Frank Lampard and Bacary Sagna on free transfers.

Manchester City’s transfer window ended quietly. The reigning Premier League champions got their business taken care of early on in the window.

All in all, it was a productive yet remarkably low-key summer for City.

Their exploits began in June as they agreed to sign former Arsenal right-back Bacary Sagna on a free transfer. His solidity will help provide Pablo Zabaleta with a rest over the long season, as the warrior that is Zabaleta runs himself into the ground at times, Sagna also offers European proficiency, something City has lacked in recent years.

Next in line came Porto’s central midfielder Fernando. After a saga that dated back to an unsuccessful move last January, the Brazilian was snapped up in June for a modest £12 million fee.

Fernando, like his fellow compatriot Fernandinho, is a defensive midfielder who unfailingly throws himself into tackles and wins the ball for his team. He picked up his nickname, “the Octopus”, due to his industrious workrate whilst playing for Porto. His tough-tackling nature, although reckless at times, complements Yaya Toure’s aggressive charges at the opposition defence.

Caballero signed from Pellegrini’s former club Malaga for a shy £6 million. Former deputy Costel Pantilimon, who was decent in a cord of starts midway through last season, signed for Sunderland. Caballero brings vast experience with him and should get his fair share of playing time over City’s long season.

Who was Man City’s best signing?

City’s most proclaimed signing of the summer came in August as Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala finally put an end to the months of gossip by joining City over the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United. Mangala has a tremendous ability to read the game and make interceptions, enjoying a good positional intelligence. His tackles are committed yet calculated. He is also good in the air and poses a threat offensively. At 23 years of age, Yakatak predicts Mangala will flourish in the Premier league. Ultimately, with a starting defence of Zabaleta, Mangala, Kompany and Kolarov, Man city wont concede many goals.

Why was this window so successful?

The real victory for Man City this window was not the introduction of new faces but penning their present stars to new long-term deals. Aguero, Dzeko, Kompany and David Silva, the core of Man City’s 2 title winning teams, pledged their future to the club this summer, the undeniable triumph of the window.

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