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Top 3 Shock Transfers of the summer

The Boot Room

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In a Summer full of movement on the transfer front, that also seen some fascinating dealings take place, we take a look at the top three shock transfers of the window.

3. Danny Welbeck: Manchester United to Arsenal.

Danny Welbeck’s Manchester United career has been up in the air over the past year and not least when Louis van Gaal took hold of the reigns at Old Trafford after the World Cup. After joining United when he was just eight years-old, the England international of  Ghanaian descent, went on to have loan spells at Preston North End and Sunderland AFC. He joined United on professional terms during the 2005–06 season, making his debut for the club’s Under-18 side on 8 April 2006 in a league match against Sunderland, a club he would later spend time with. Welbeck had been touted as one of the most promising young players to come through the youth system in England.

But why Arsenal, and why did Arsenal go for Welbeck? This deal went right down to the wire with both Arsenal and Manchester United needing an extension to the transfer deadline to get the deal over the line. On 2 September 2014, it was announced that Welbeck had joined arch rivals Arsenal on a “long-term deal” for a fee in the region of £16 million. It was reported that Tottenham were also in advanced talks with Welbeck over a potential move to White Hart Lane. Welbeck clearly fell out of favour with LvG and the Dutchman clearly wanted him out of the club after he had time to survey what he had at his disposal upon succeeding David Moyes at the helm. Arsene Wenger was under severe pressure to land another striker, especially after the Gunners missed out on Radamel Falcao, but he delivered. Whether Arsenal fans will be happy with the signing, one thing is for sure, this talented young player will give 100 per-cent every time he’s on the playing field.

2. Mario Balotelli: AC Milan to Liverpool.

Ah yes, the return of ‘Super Mario’ Balotelli to the Barclays Premier League, how could we possibly leave him out? The Italian maverick comes back to England on the back of a mere single season with Italian giants AC Milan following his move from Manchester City in 2013. On 21 August 2014, AC Milan agreed a £16 million fee for Balotelli to return to the Premier League with the Kop outfit. The deal was officially announced on 25 August 2014.

Liverpool had been in the market for a world-class striker ever since the departure of star player Luis Suarez to Barcelona during the Summer window. But has Brendan Rodgers pulled off a stroke of genius by signing Balotelli? What made the Azzurri man want to come back to England’s top flight? Especially when you consider how the British press responded to his on and off the field antics. Perhaps he’s now back with a vengeance and out to prove he’s more than just a circus clown in the mix of top class footballers at every club he’s since sampled. Nevertheless,  nobody seen the move coming and questions have since been asked in regard to the former City front-man’s temperament. Yet, you simply cannot deny Balotelli’s remarkable footballing abilities, on his day. That’s the problem however, ‘on his day’, in other words, his consistency is a major issue, an issue which has been rather suspect in recent years. His pace, strength and finishing will bring something to the table but it remains to be seen if he can fill the big boots of Suarez alongside Daniel Sturridge this year.

1. Radamel Falcao: Monaco to Manchester United. (On loan).

Just when you thought Manchester United already had one of the most potent strike-forces in world football, they poach the services of the Colombian ace Radamel Falcao. On 1 September 2014, Manchester United agreed to sign Falcao on loan for £6 million subject to a medical and also with an option to sign permanently for £43.5 million at the end of his loan spell at Old Trafford.

The deal of course, took place after Falcao had previously been heavily linked with rivals Manchester City and Arsenal. Despite the rumours, Ed Woodward went all out to bring Falcao to Manchester United, further boosting the potency of Louis van Gaal’s star-studded attacking line. Why does this deal come as a major shock? Lets play the obvious but reasonable card, United don’t even find themselves in the Europa League this season yet they can bring the likes of Falcao and Di Maria to the club. People also wondered, where does Robin van Persie now fit in? What happens to Wayne Rooney? Not a bad scenario for LvG to ponder it must be said. Manchester United fans certainly weren’t expecting the former Atletico and Porto man’s arrival because they expected a defender, maybe a Mats Hummels. No doubt however, they won’t complain as Falcao, arguably the best striker in the world, joins the Red Devils on a season long loan as LvG says goodbye to the likes of outcasts Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez.

 

 

The Boot Room is a football analysis website, bringing original and creative content to the fans of the English Football League.

Arsenal

It is too soon for Mikel Arteta to be considered for Arsenal job

The 36-year-old has been linked with the Emirates hot seat.

Jake Jackman

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Mikel Arteta
Photo: Getty Images

Arsenal have a huge summer awaiting them as they will need to appoint a successor to Arsene Wenger and rebuild a squad that has missed out on Champions League football for the second season in a row.

It won’t be an easy task and the board must act swiftly to make sure the club are prepared for the 2018/19 campaign.

Considering Wenger’s departure was announced weeks ago, Arsenal should have made progress in their search for a replacement.

There will be a number of names under consideration and it is important that they do their due diligence to ensure they can start to move in the right direction again.

BBC Sport report that Manchester City coach Mikel Arteta is one of the options being considered by the hierarchy at the Emirates Stadium.

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

As a former player, he would be well received by the fanbase, but it would represent a huge gamble by the club.

The 36-year-old was part of the playing staff under Arsene Wenger as recently as 2016.

Although he will know the problems that exist at the club, he may struggle to exert the authority to correct them considering many of the current squad were his peers.

It has only been two years since the Spaniard retired from playing and he wouldn’t have expected to be in the running for a job of this size this soon.

Upon retiring, he took up a coaching role at Manchester City and the experience will stand him in good stead to move into management one day.

After all, he is working with one of the best managers of all-time in Pep Guardiola and Arteta will have played a role in the team’s record-breaking Premier League season.

That coupled with his history with Arsenal makes him an attractive left-field option for the Gunners.

However, the size of the risk attached to an appointment means that the club should look elsewhere this summer.

The club will want stability, but first and foremost, they will want success.

The fact that Arteta has no managerial experience means that he would be learning on the job and the North London side can’t afford to allow that.

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Arsenal are a huge club and as the man following Arsene Wenger, the next manager will be scrutinised closely.

It would be a job better suited to a manager with experience and know-how at the top level.

The article goes on to mention both Luis Enrique and Massimiliano Allegri. Either of them would be a better appointment for Arsenal at this time, as they have both managed big clubs previously.

For Arteta, the fact that he is being linked to a job like Arsenal shows how highly he is thought of within the game.

If he wants to go into management, he needs to leave Manchester City and gain experience as a number one.

If he does that, whether it be in England or abroad, he could be ready to take the hot-seat at the Emirates Stadium at a later date.

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Exclusive: Havard Nordtveit – Hoffenheim move, Julian Nagelsmann and facing Liverpool

The Norwegian international discussed his time at Hoffenheim and his experience of English clubs.

Mathew Coull

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Havard Nordtveit
Photo: Getty Images

This summer West Ham United utility man Havard Nordtveit called time on his career with the Hammers, after just one season.

Signed from Borussia Monchengladbach on a free transfer he suffered from the London outfits’ own struggles, the change of stadium and being asked to play out of position at right-back.

After just 21 games for the Hammers, he headed back to Germany, where he had such success previously.

Now, speaking exclusively to The Boot Room, the Norwegian international has discussed working under an exciting new manager, facing Liverpool in the Champions League and coming through the ranks at Arsenal.

Plenty of teams in Germany would have wanted Nordtveit this summer.

He built a fine reputation in the Bundesliga during his time with Gladbach.

In fact, just hours before his July transfer was announced, he was being linked with Bundesliga rivals Hamburg.

In the end, it was Hoffenheim who snapped up the Norwegian. They had just finished fourth in the Bundesliga and it was a brilliant move for the 27-year-old.

(Photo by Patrik Stollarz/Getty Images)

But, as the former Hammer explained from Germany, it has been a topsy-turvy season:

“It went well in the first couple of months. But then my games weren’t as good as I was hoping for,” he admitted. “Then obviously I was not good enough for the team. I have been training hard and lately, it has been back to normal again.

“It’s good to be back in Germany and also I needed half a season to get to know the new coach and the new system. I am looking forward to the rest of the campaign.”

Nordtveit started the season playing in the Hoffenheim back three, but found himself out of the squad entirely from mid-December until last month.

Despite his problems, he did not sulk and simply worked hard to get back into the first-team:

“I am not that person,” proclaimed the Norwegian international. “I have been in that situation before with West Ham and Gladbach. It’s all about giving everything you can instead of moaning.

“You have to be positive,” he continued. “This is a team sport. You have to give your best for the team. If that means you are playing or not you know that you will get the chance in the end.”

This season Hoffenheim and Nordtveit were challenging for the Europa League.

However, at the start of the campaign, the Bundesliga outfit were in Champions League action for the first time in their history.

They took on Premier League side Liverpool in the qualifying rounds, with Nordtveit playing in both games.

Liverpool were not yet working under Mohamed Salah power but still proved far too strong for their German opponents over two legs:

“We knew they were strong. With their attacking forwards they are brutal. We had a very good home game. But in the end, it is a little better a feeling to know we went out of the play-offs against a team that reached the finals,” Nordtveit explained, with a sense of vindication for his club’s exit.

“What Klopp has done with the club is massive and also Salah, at this time, maybe is Europe’s best player.”

(Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)

Hoffenheim’s entrance to the Champions League was masterminded by their brilliant young coach Julian Nagelsmann. The 30-year-old is just a few years older than the Norwegian but has proven himself a top manager:

“He is fantastic,” said an excited Nordtveit. “He has great experience and his own style of play. It is a lot of tactics for every new player. Also when I came in then there was a lot of new things I had to learn quite quick.

“I am now starting to see that I learn something in myself to get into the rhythm that he wants. He is like a young, bright, football professor.”

He then gave him high praise, by comparing him to his former Gladbach boss Lucien Favre:

“He reminds me a little bit of Lucien Favre. He thinks about football 24/7. Small details, always, which can mean we take the three points.

“If I could compare him with someone it would be Lucien Favre, which is not a bad comparison.”

Nagelsmann’s clear ability has seen him linked with taking over from Arsene Wenger at Arsenal.

The Norwegian came through the ranks at Arsenal, but made it clear that he spent most of his time working with the current Arsenal assistant Steve Bould:

“I spoke with him of course but he was more observing the training. I was more with the reserve team.

“I was more with Steve Bould, the legend. He was quite important for me, a really good guy. I think he was one of the more important guys in Arsenal when I was there.”

Working under the Arsenal legend as a young defender must have been a big learning experience for the Hoffenheim player, who speaks highly of his time at Arsenal:

“I went quite early, about 16,17,” remembered the talented utility man. “It was perhaps the most important choice I did in my career because there I learnt how to do the basics in football.

“I did not play much with the first-team but the experience of training with the first-team and getting to know English football and a really high standard was really important to me.

(Photo by Nikolay Doychinov/Getty Images)

“From there, when I moved to Germany, I had the perfect base to have an OK career.

“Jack Wilshere was there before he finally broke through to the first-team. We had Wojciech Szczesny now second goalkeeper for Juventus. Many of the players are having big careers.  

“For me and a lot of the players we were quite lucky to have this opportunity.”

But Nordtveit still remembers his time fondly. He still follows the club, where good friend Granit Xhaka is also playing.

The Gunners have been unable to put a smile on the face of Nordtveit by picking up the Europa League trophy in Arsene Wenger’s final year.

However, with London outfit set to compete in the competition again next season, under a new manager, the two could well come face-to-face. 

That would be an opportunity Hoffenheim’s intrepid Norwegian would relish.

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Arsenal hero Patrick Viera would be an underwhelming appointment for Everton

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Photo: Getty Images.

The managerial merry-go-round is warming up ready for another summer of action and it looks increasingly likely that Everton could be involved as fans grow more and more unhappy with the management of Sam Allardyce. What may come as a greater surprise is that the club could turn to Arsenal hero Patrick Viera to replace him.

According to Metro, Viera is admired by Everton owner Farhad Moshiri and fits the profile that the Toffees are looking for of a young and dynamic coach to take over at Goodison Park.

Viera has also been linked with the opportunity to replace his former coach Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, where he remains a legend, but is currently under contact with New York City, part of the Manchester City group.

(during the UEFA Youth League Quarter Final match between AS Roma and Manchester City on March 17, 2015 in Latina, Italy.

The Citizens would reportedly not stand in his way of a Premier League move and Everton would be happy to offer more than the £2 million that he currently earns per year, but it would be a hugely underwhelming appointment for the blue half of Merseyside.

Whilst Viera has done well in Major League Soccer in New York, he has not achieved enough to have caught the eye of such a high profile club were it not for his playing career.

Given the finances reportedly available to the next Everton manager and the huge pressure to get an underperforming squad up to scratch and matching expectations, it would be a big gamble if the club were to put their faith in Viera.

He may well have potential, but it would be a surprise to see a club of the size and resources of Everton being the ones to give Viera his first opportunity as a Premier League coach.

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