September 1, 2006
The 2006 Summer Transfer Window: Winners and Losers
Chelsea – So rich they can choose who to sell to, and affect where the best young prospects in the world can go. The Damien Duff transfer was a showcase of selling and not ruining your chances of winning the league. Roman Abramovich’s money probably played a role in Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano’s relocation to Upton Park. Let’s not forget their bullying of Arsenal that gave them one of the best left backs in the world in Ashley Cole.
Relations between Ajax and Feyenoord – For the first time since 1992, the two clubs collaborated on a transfer. Greek striker Angelos Charisteas moved from Amsterdam to Rotterdam in a €2.5 million move.
Juventus – The Serie B strugglers managed to hold on to more of their world class talent than they deserved to, although their ability to cope with the physicality of their new surroundings has not yet been tested.
Barcelona – The Catalan giants did not need to do much this summer and they still managed to improve. Aging legend Henrik Larsson departed with a Champions League medal, and Eidur Gudjohnsen was brought in from bitter rivals Chelsea. The additions of Gianluca Zambrotta and Lilian Thuram should help them retain the Primera crown.
Arsenal – With no depth at the wing positions, and very little experience at the back even with the addition of William Gallas, it is difficult to say the Gunners really improved at all this summer. The future is bright though.
Fans of Corinthians – Not only have they had to endure a fall from grace from winning the title a year ago, they also had to see two of their best players leave yesterday with the club seeing none of that money. The very existance of the club is a real doubt should they be relegated this December.
MLS – The league continues to be unaware of its rather low place on the economic totem pole of the transfer market. Turning down a decent bid for Clint Dempsey was the last thing they needed to do to a player desperate to prove himself in Europe.
Manchester United – They brought in an overpriced, unproven midfielder in Michael Carrick. Then they acquired a backup goalkeeper in Tomasz Kuszczak, who was once scored on by the opposing keeper from 90 yards out. Sure they got £12 million for a player who never played a game for them in John Obi Mikel, but the depth in the squad has been utterly decimated. The damage of which is after the jump. Now they find themselves trying to win the league when Darren Fletcher and John O’Shea will be regular partners in the center of midfield. At least the Glazers have reduced the debt a little, right?
Michael Carrick (Tottenham) £14m* Tomasz Kuszczak (W.B.A.) Loan (p/ex) Total: £14m
OUT: Ruud van Nistelrooy (Real Madrid) £11m John Obi Mikel (Chelsea) £6m* Jonathan Spector (West Ham) £500k Sylvan Ebanks-Blake (Plymouth) £250k David Bellion (Nice) Undisc. Luke Steele (W.B.A.) P/Ex Paul McShane (W.B.A.) P/Ex Quinton Fortune (Bolton) Free Liam Miller (Sunderland) Free Markus Neumayr (Duisburg) Free Mads Timm (Odense) Free Mark Howard (Brondby) Free Eddie Johnson (Bradford) Free Phil Picken (Chesterfield) Free Colin Heath (Macclesfield) Free Tommy Lee (Macclesfield) Free Kyle Moran (Free Agent) Released Gerard Piqué (Zaragoza) Loan Guiseppe Rossi (Newcastle) Loan Chris Eagles (NEC Nijmegen) Loan Lee Martin (Rangers) Loan Phil Bardsley (Rangers) Loan Tim Howard (Everton) Loan Ben Foster (Watford) Loan Adam Eckersley (Brondby) Loan Jonathan Evans (Antwerp) Loan Danny Simpson (Antwerp) Loan Darron Gibson (Antwerp) Loan Frazer Campbell (Antwerp) Loan Total: £17.75m~ Squad depth and wage bill: Decimated Net Outlay: -£3.75m * = initial payments