Story by Adam Wilson
Olivier Giroud estimated 12m and Lukas Podolski estimated £11m:
Arsene Wenger has surprised many already during this transfer window, by opening the cheque book to purchase quality players at fairly large prices. Maybe the Penny has finally dropped and he realised that his club was in need of some extra quality if they were to really push for their first trophy since 2005. Or perhaps Wenger needed to convince key members of his team that it was worth them sticking around a while longer, because of the investment the club were putting into new transfers. Either way Arsenal has splashed the cash on two brilliant talents. Olivier Giroud has assisted Montpellier to achieving the French title and scored 25 goals throughout the course of last season in all competitions. A player of his calibre will certainly help take some of the goalscoring weight off of Robin van Persie’s shoulders, which is of course if RVP decides to stay at the Emirates. It wouldn’t be the first time after all that an Arsenal captain decides to abandon his club for trophies. However perhaps as another signing to convince their captain to stay, Arsenal have obtained the services of German goal scoring machine Lukas Podolski. Often the main man at his club FC Köln his consistent performances have seen him also become a regular in the German national side and with his strength, pace and shooting ability he should be a nightmare for Premier League defences to handle.
Eden Hazard was set to make his move to the Premier League as soon as the final whistle blew in his last match for Lille. Hazard used this match to create even more publicity for himself and to say farewell to the fans that had been witness to his magnificence during his time in France. Many people including Hazard’s agent had suggested that he would be transferred to one of the two main Manchester sides; Hazard had also stated this via his Twitter. Nevertheless on the day that he had implied that he would announce his destination he backtracked in the press conference, declared that he was still undecided and spoke of the possibility of a third destination. Hazard’s antics were bordering arrogant as he went on to suggest that the club he would choose would be the one that allowed him to play in the position he wanted and he had to be a first choice player in the team. Manchester United may have pulled out due to Hazard’s attitude, Ferguson does not seem like the kind of manager to put up with this sort of prima donna and his managerial career is littered with example of him dispensing of players that put themselves before the team. City could offer Hazard the wages, but a first team place is hard to come by in the city squad especially in the midfield. Furthermore due to the size of City’s squad and Mancini’s managerial approach, rotation has become a key aspect in the way he maintains the team’s performance. Finally Hazard chose Chelsea, a decision which seems to suit both parties. Chelsea whose ageing midfield required some youth and creativity, as Lampard, Essien, Malouda and Meireles may seem themselves playing fewer games and Hazard who will suit playing alongside players such as Juan Mata and Ramires. As usual this was a decision made by the Roman Abramovich at a time when Chelsea where managerless, time will tell whether Di Matteo will be able to handle this temperamental yet amazing talent.
Additionally Chelsea have acquired fleet-footed German talent Marko Marin from Werder Bremen. Unfortunately for Marin his transfer has been somewhat overshadowed by the recruitment of Hazard, but if Marin performs to the top of his ability and continues the form that has brought him to the attention of Abramovich then he also has the potential to make a huge impact at Stamford Bridge. He may however have to work his way up from being a squad player to becoming an immediate first team choice. Nevertheless at 7 million it is a bargain purchase and at 23 he has a long career still ahead of him.
Shinji Kagawa £12m plus add ons:
Kagawa had been strongly linked with a move to Manchester United for the past year or so and once again Alex Ferguson has done some extremely brilliant business. I strongly disagree that Kagawa was purchased simply for the monetary bonus that will come from the Asian market, which is an argument that many fans have claimed. In fact Kagawa has been instrumental in Borussia Dortmund’s success since join the German outfit in 2010, his creativity has provided the team with many assists and goal, which consequently helped the team to two Bundesliga titles over the past couple of seasons. Manchester United have been in need of a player that possesses the creative ability of Kagawa for the past few years and he will no doubt help them challenge their city rivals to regain the title.