Written by Udhav Arora
The days of the summer transfer window of 2019 are winding down and there’s a lot that can and should happen. El Arte del Futbol takes a closer look at the transfers that are sensible for all parties involved and should go through before the window shuts. We’ve devised a 3-point criterion to judge the rationality of each transfer:-
- The club is open to selling the player: The selling club does not have a problem in letting the player go for a reasonable cost. This automatically rules out players – like Wilfred Zaha, James Rodriguez, and Ousmane Dembele – that the club wants to keep.
- The buying team needs/wants the player: The buying club needs or wants a player in that position and can afford him. Due to this, we’ve ruled out Neymar to Barcelona/Real Madrid on account of how the transfer does not come across as a reasonable purchase because of existing players in that position.
- The player is open to a move: The player in discussion is in favor of a transfer from his existing team and is not being forced out. This tier would eliminate Dybala and Bale from this discussion as they are being pushed out of their respective clubs.
A transfer qualifies as a sensible move for all involved parties only if it satiates each of the above criteria.
Tiémoué Bakayoko to AS Monaco
Tiémoué Bakayoko returning to Monaco may not sound like the best idea as it is a step down in his career post completing a €40 million move from the French club to Chelsea. However, this transfer makes perfect sense in a lot of other ways. The 24-year-old is looking for a way to restart his career after his transfer to the Londoners did not work out. He played 29 games in the 2017-18 season which saw Chelsea finishing at 5th. In his only campaign at Stamford Bridge, Bakayoko was criticised for a number of things – including a poor work ethic, missing chances and losing possession often. New Chelsea manager Frank Lampard talked about the Frenchman critically after their Champions League clash against Atletico Madrid in 2017, where he said that Bakayoko “sleeps” during games and that “he doesn’t concentrate”.
Chelsea already have a lot of options in midfield this season, even after loaning out Danny Drinkwater to Burnley. It has become increasingly evident that Lampard would much rather give opportunities to younger players with high ceilings like Mason Mount and Ruben Loftus-Cheek. The English manager likes to set his team up in a 4-2-3-1, and has more than enough midfielders that can function in a double pivot. Additionally, the manager prefers players that show high work ethic, which isn’t an area of strength for the former Monaco man.
There is no place for Bakayoko in Lampard’s squad – and he knows it better than anyone else. Stamford Bridge does not have a history of easily accepting players who do not perform well and this would serve as poison for Bakayoko and shatter his confidence. Instead of looking at it as a step-down, this could be an opportunity for the versatile midfielder to relaunch his career after having what was a rather impressive season at AC Milan. He functioned as a ball-winning midfielder before falling out with Gennaro Gattuso. Prior to this, he played as a box-to-box midfielder for Monaco and even as a traditional holding midfielder.
This could also serve as an opportunity for Chelsea to cut their losses and gain an estimate of £40 million from this transfer. Taking back Bakayoko would also mean a huge deal for Monaco, who had an extremely poor 2018-19 season, finishing 17th. They were run over in midfield and had no players to win the ball back or show physical dominance in that area of the pitch. Leonardo Jardim worked wonders with the Frenchman in the 2016-17 season when Monaco beat PSG for the Ligue 1 title, and this could serve as an opening for Bakayoko’s return, especially after selling Youri Tielemans to Leicester City. This transfer satisfies all three aforementioned tiers and would be a very sensible move for all parties involved.
Christian Eriksen to Bayern Munich
Possibly the biggest name on this list, Tottenham Hotspur’s Christian Eriksen has been hot property in recent transfer windows, with links to several clubs, including Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester United – the latest one being Bayern Munich. The Danish superstar has only one year left in his contract and Spurs would like to make the most of his resale value. Nicknamed ‘Golazo’ by Poch, Eriksen has spent 6 seasons in England and has been named in the PFA team of the year on two occasions – 2017-18 and 2018-19. It would burn a huge hole in their pockets to see him leave on a free transfer to a place of his choice next year. He was linked with a £50 million pound move to Manchester United during the last week of this summer’ transfer window in England, but that transfer fell through. However, since the transfer window is open for the rest of Europe, Eriksen could still move abroad.
Bayern have lacked creative enigma from its midfield in recent years with players like Corentin Tolisso, Renato Sanches, James Rodriguez not living up to their potential so far. This would be easily solved with the addition of the 27-year-old attacking midfielder. Niko Kovac likes to play a 4-2-3-1 with an attacking midfielder behind the striker. Eriksen fits like a glove in this formation as the number 10. He’s played in a similar role under Mauricio Pochettino and will not have a problem adapting to the game in Germany.
If Bayern are able to drag out the window long enough, Tottenham will likely accept any bid that would seem like a half decent resale value. Their arch-rival, Borussia Dortmund, have done exceedingly well this transfer window, having signed Julian Brandt, Thorgan Hazard, and Nico Schulz after finishing a point below Bayern last season. Die Schwarzgelben is doing the best it can to cover all shortcomings from the last term. However, a move for Eriksen for the right price could turn the tables in favour of Bayern again. He’s not on very high wages at the London club, which is something Bayern can afford at the moment. As for Tottenham, they have already acquired a replacement for him in Giovani Lo Celso from Real Betis. They’re both players of similar profiles and this could reduce Eriksen’s game time in London. This seems like the right time for a player of Eriksen’s calibre to move to a club that can promise him trophies and more success at the club level.
Mauro Icardi to AS Roma
AS Roma are going to be one of the most exciting teams to watch this season. They have done some meaningful business this summer, bringing in Amadou Diawara from Napoli and Leonardo Spinazzola from Juventus. They have also offloaded players like Stephan El Sharaawy and Kostas Manolas for a good sum of money. La Lupa have also tied down Nicolò Zaniolo on a new long term contract. The club from the Italian capital also has other young prospects like Justin Kluivert, Patrik Schick, Cengiz Ünder and Lorenzo Pellegrini in their arsenal.
Icardi has been an unwanted guest at Inter Milan for almost half a season now. The Argentine – despite finishing as the top scorer in Serie A in 2017-18 – fell out with the club and was benched for the latter half of last season. They have been trying to offload him since, but have not received serious offers from anywhere. However, the links to Roma have been growing stronger. This would be a very rational transfer for Roma who have been relying on 33-year-old Edin Džeko to lead their line. While the Bosnian has done a commendable job of scoring goals for the club, he hasn’t done a good job mentoring Shick – who is a player of a similar profile.
Brining in Icardi would allow Roma to get rid of Dzeko and rely on a player who will be inspired by the desire to get back in the scoring business. Mauro Icardi also guarantees 25+ goals every season. This move can be funded by the Giallorossis because Inter are desperate for the 26-year-old to leave and would want to close the deal before heading into the final few days of the window. Having a player of such a high profile could also ensure that Roma challenges for the top 3 spots at least, if not the league. This transfer could also act as a pedestal for Icardi to move to an elite club in a season or two.
With rumors about all three transfers doing the rounds, Bakayoko to AS Monaco seems the one most likely to come to fruition. He had a terrible time in the Premier League with Chelsea and this could be a good opportunity to get his career back on track before it’s too late. He’s also the youngest of the 3, and has arguably the most success at the club level, too. Bakayoko is extremely talented, has a high ceiling and can play multiple positions in midfield, which makes him a treasured possession. He will help bring brawn to what is a laggard Monaco midfield, and a reunion with an ex-manager who he has been successful with would do him a world of good.
Either way, all the aforementioned transfers satisfy the Three-Tier System and are extremely reasonable for everyone involved going forward into the new season.
El Arte Del Futbol is now an official content creator for One Football. Find more original features, Player Profiles and tactical analysis on www.elartedf.com. If you are reading this on our website, we’d like to thank you for your continuous support!