Thursday, September 1, 2011

5 really good transfers that flew under the radar

It's always interesting to step back and look at the business clubs made at the end of the busy summer transfer window. The high priced, star laden transfers always get the attention, however it's always good to look further down the transfer list and find those potential diamonds in the rough. Who knew that after his low cost 6 million pound move, Javier Hernandez would turn out the way he did in his first season at Old Trafford? Who knew that Seamus Coleman and not Marouane Fellaini would be Everton's best buy in 2009?

So here they are my 5 best low key buys of the 2011 summer transfer window:

5) Joel Campbell - ST - Deportivo Sapressa (Costa Rica)  to Arsenal (ENG) - Loaned to FC Lorient (FRA)
The Young 19 year old shone at both the CONCACAF Gold Cup and Copa America in his first major senior team tournaments for Costa Rica. However it was his play at the U-20 level that had scouts after the 5'10 striker. 10 goals in 13 games at that level helped propel him to a 5 year deal at Arsenal. Manager Arsene Wenger knowing Campbell needed game time to grow used his French connections and loaned Campbell to FC Lorient, who will have space to play him with the loss of France international Kevin Gamero. If Campbell can adapt to European football his finishing ability could help the Brittany club move up the Ligue 1 table.

4) Ireneusz Jelen - ST - AJ Auxerre (FRA) to Lille (FRA)
While most of the news for the French champions on transfer deadline day was surrounding the loan signing of former England international Joe Cole, a less talked about move was the free transfer for the Polish international Jelen. Coming off the back of a disappointing 2010-11 season with only 5 goals, Jelen will be eager to prove he can get back to the form that saw him score 14 goals for an over achieving Auxerre side in two straight seasons before 2010-11. If Jelen is back to full fitness he has the track record of scoring goals in Ligue 1, and could prove to be the man that can replace the Arsenal bound Gervinho.

3) Davide Santon - DEF - Internazionale (ITA) to Newcastle (ENG)
This move originally looked like a loan deal, but became a full buy the day before the window shut. Santon showed a lot of promise under Jose Mourhino's reign at Inter, however he has since lost his way a little. What we have to remember about Santon is that he's only 20 and he will make mistakes. Aside from a goalkeeper, learning how to be a top notch defender takes time. Santon has an abundance of skill and talent, and if he can adjust to the rigours of the Premier League should be a very good left back.

2) Jonathan De Guzman - MID - Mallorca (ESP) to Villareal (ESP)
Putting aside my "He should be playing for Canada not the Dutch" hat for a second. This is a wonderful pick up for Villareal. De Guzman has excellent vision, creative fair and an eye for goal. The 23 year old was a constant highlight for a Mallorca team that fell short of it's high spending expectations last season. Helping to fill the creative boots for the departed Sani Carzola will be difficult, however Jonathan has all the skill to succeed at El Madrigal. He will be expected to help feed goal machine Giuseppe Rossi as well as add a few goals of his own. De Guzman will also get the opportunity to showcase his skills in Champions League this season which will serve as extra motivation.

1) Shane Long - ST - Reading (ENG) to West Bromwich Albion (ENG)

Surprise! I know this won't be the sexiest choice as number 1, but I was looking at which player will walk into the club and make a difference right away. After watching Long in the championship last year and his first 3 Premier League games this season I believe he's a player. Considering most of the West Brom news this summer focused on the contact saga of star striker Peter Odermwingie, Shane Long's signing was seen as a  scenario in which he backed up Odermwingie. The qualities he has that a lot of new signings into the Premier League do not is the pace, strength and conditioning required to compete at that level. He also has a great strike rate, and has already scored in two of the Baggies three games this season. No one including I are fancying him for the English Golden Boot...yet, but he could become a future contender.

As always these lists are of my own choosing and feeling. Feel free to rip it apart and come up with your own 5 under the radar transfers.


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