So as the summer draws to a close, the time is short for european clubs to achieve their transfer objectives... Here is a look at the gaps yet to be filled, and some intriguing questions so far unanswered...
Another miserly summer, though this time the Gunners managed to retain all their stars. And decent additions in Chamakh and Kociensky. So it does appear as one of the better summers for Arsenal. However, Wenger surprisingly still hasn't done anything about Arsenal's Achilles heel... the starting GK. Clearly Almunia is not upto the job for a top european team. There have been rumoured moves for Given or Schwarzer, but the question remains... why haven't Arsenal bought a top GK yet?
For a top club who don't want to spend much, Milan haven't been particularily clever in the transfer market. Ok, Boateng was clever, Yepes perhaps. Papa a decent outlay. But there have been some interesting free transfers and loan deals this summer, and Milan haven't tried for any of them... Milan are such a big draw in Europe, and are playin the CL, they could have easily attracted some of those free transfers... Ballack, J Cole, Petrov, Chamakh, Appiah, Jovanovic, Simplicio, etc... Milan could ve snared a few of them if they had tried hard. And if its the wages thats holding Milan back, didn't Inzaghi's conract get over this summer? Why was that renewed, instead of replacing him with a Chamakh or a Jovanovic? I am sure if Milan ask Real for a loan deal involving the Diarra's or VDV, with an inclination to buy next summer, they would probably land them... Thats what surprises me, I haven't seen much of that happening... Have Berlu and Galliani (Badie and Baldie, as we like to call 'em! ;)) lost interest?
Spurs are finally in Champions League. And inspite of an initial hiccup, they should make the lucrative group stages, which is expected to bring them revenues of over £20m. For a club in that position, they have been remarkably quiet in the transfer market. Just a measley Sandro acquisition to show for it. One would have thought that their priority would be to bolster their extremely injury prone defence (King and Woody). It hasn't been done yet, though there are strong rumours that Gallas will join early next week. Thats allright then. But by having a quiet summer, are Spurs risking what could have been their most glorious season in years?
Viola played some beautiful football last season. Knocked out Liverpool, were unlucky to lose to eventual finalists Bayern Munich. And yet they finished 11th in Serie A. The reason - not enough reinforcements to some key positions, like DM or CB. Injuries to C Zanetti and Gamberini hit Viola harder than they should have. Mutu's suspension didn't help, burning out Jovetic. So what have Viola done about it, apart from losing their brilliant coach? Nothing. D'Agostino is a good axcquisition, but he does not cover any of those gaps. Agreed they do not have as busy a calender as last season, but can this Viola challenge for a top 4 slot?
It looks like a good summer so far. Out with Ballack, Deco, J Cole... in with Ramires & Benayoun. Rejuvenation, thats always wise. But the departure of Carvalho does not convince me. Sure, they got a good price considering his age. But is Ancelotti sure he does not need to replace his most gifted defender? Terry, Alex and Ivanovic are very able defenders, I have no doubts there. But in this modern age, a top club aiming for 4 trophies needs at least 4 good CBs. Coz CB's tend of get injured/suspended a lot. Mancienne is talented, but he is not good enough to replace Carvalho IMO. In the end, I think Mourinho got the better of Chelsea there... Chelsea may not end up needing another central defender, but are they ready to risk their season on that?
I would love to hear your answers... And you can expect more questions soon....