We’re near the end of the 2012-2013 season, with a Bundesliga Schlacht (BvB!) taking place in the Champions League final. Most European leagues already know its champions, and we’ve had our share of surprises in those – both positive and negative ones.
Usually at the end of both of them, we’ll find good players in one of two situations: wanting out because the team’s performance was subpar, or wanting out because his value is at a peak after his team made a good campaign. That’s exactly where Chelsea should look during the next transfer window. Hopefully Mourinho and Emenalo will prove to be a good pairing!
While they can’t do this at the moment, why can’t we unite our collective minds to do so? I’ll give a few examples and you guys can follow with yours. It’s not a difficult exercise; just look at teams which over (small teams) or underperformed (big teams) this season, either domestically or internationally, and recall some names. We’ll decide if you’re either sapient or plain stupid.
Starting with… Italy
They’re far from being a bad team, but most expected them to finish mid-table. At the moment, they’re pretty much locked at a Europa League spot, much due to a striker that was forever linked to Chelsea: Stefan Jovetic. While he was not the only bright spot of the team – kudos to Colombian right defender/midfielder Cuadrado and the surprisingly good defensive pairing of Stefan Savic and Gonzalo Rodriguez – he certainly fills a need that will likely be filled with André Schurrle, coming from Neverkusen. But I’d be happy if Chelsea took a look at his teammate Adem Ljajic. Firstly, he’s Serbian; secondly, he’s awesome for someone his age (21). Could add some good depth not only for the wings but as a CF as well
I don’t really like them because they have robbed many good South American scouts for their own benefit. They’re well known to have been home to guys like Arturo Vidal and Alexis Sanchez before they took higher flights, while also nurturing the ageless striker Antonio Di Natale. They’re also known for being a selling club first and foremost, and that’s why we should look at their players. I, for one, really like a Colombian guy named Luis Fernando Muriel. FM 2013 players should be aware of this name, but I’d say he’s for "realsies" a good prospect. While he didn’t play much for Udinese because of Di Natale, his few appearances showed how much of a threat he was to opposing teams. He also has the built to thrive in a league such as the EPL, and I wouldn’t be against his transfer. Another name to look for is Allan, even though he wasn’t as good as I thought he would be.
I believe Roma lives off the legend of Totti, and I’m sure that data supports me. But while they’ve been pretty much inconsistent, hence their loss to Chievo at home yesterday, there are some positives from this season apart from Totti. Two of them – Erik Lamela and Miralem Pjanic – are great attacking midfielders with tons of potential ahead of them. There’s also a name that has been around for while, a defender called Marquinhos, that has been quite impressive at Roma despite being only 18. Most Chelsea fans believe the team is pretty deep at attacking midfielder, but given that Yossi is pretty much gone and Marin is a leprechaun, I’d say bringing in either Lamela or Pjanic would be a great move. Marquinhos, meanwhile, should be at the top of Chelsea’s transfer list for this season.
Inter has been disappointing so far, and their recent form is equally bad. Most of it is due to an aging squad that can’t hold it together anymore, and a squad needing revamp is also a good target for market opportunities. Besides old titans like Cassano, Samuel and Zanetti, Inter also tried to hold themselves together with Fredy Guarin and Juan Jesus. The former was previously at Porto, and transferred to Inter in the middle of the 2011-2012 season. While he failed to emulate his Porto form in Italy, he’s still a pretty good player, and also a versatile one. The latter is one of a great generation of Brazilian defenders that while having some bad games, can also be adamant on others as well. Between Juan and Marquinhos, I’d go with the latter, but both are good options.
While they ended up exceeding only by a bit their initial expectations, that doesn’t really mean there are good and probably cheap players available in Cagliari’s squad. One of them is a real drifter called Danilo, a left defender that while not being a sure starter for the team, had some good cameos. Another one of them is Victor Ibarbo, another Colombian player (I’m baffled at the number of good Colombian prospects coming out lately) who plays striker for the team. While his goal tally wasn’t that good, you can see by watching him how he can become a really good threat if he was in a better Italian team. He may not have stellar potential, but might become a good bench player for an European top team.
Palermo has been the disappointment of this season in Italy. While they can still come together to avoid relegation, that means taking 4 or more points from their next 2 games while rooting for neither Genoa and Torino to win any of their next games. Given their solid squad, they don’t belong in Italy’s Serie B, but shoot happens. As for the highlights of Palermo’s forgettable season, I’d indicate two players: Ezequiel Muñoz and Santiago Garcia. Both of them are Argentinian, and solid defensive players. At the moment, Santiago is ahead of Ezequiel much due to experience, with the latter having much room to grow his defensive abilities. Given Palermo’s imminent relegation, I wouldn’t be surprised to see both of them going somewhere else.
That’s it. If you have other names, or just want to point out that I forgot about Juve, Milan and Napoli – who will probably hold onto their players as they will qualify for next season’s CL – spit it out! Bye!