January 21, 2009

The open window

by Dan Bilicki In: Soccer

Since I’ve yet to acknowledge the all-important transfer window over in European soccer, why not now? Well what better place to start than with Manchester City’s attempts to become the Yankees of Europe? It’s just too bad that they have tried to buy the biggest star in the sport that doesn’t care about money – Kaka. The dynamic Brazilian midfielder is already the highest paid player in Europe and would have gotten a raise to double that amount had he accepted the transfer. His team, AC Milan would have received a record fee as well, which could’ve gone towards signing three or four top-flight players to replace the phenomenal Kaka. It should be noted that when the previous transfer record was set, it moved Zinedine Zidane from Juventus to Real Madrid and his former squad used the millions of Euros to bring in Gianluigi Buffon and Pavel Nedved.

So, instead of landing Kaka – and also losing out on Blackburn’s striker Roque Santa Cruz (smart move by my team, there’s no point of selling your best player when you’re close to relegation) – they’ve signed Dutch international Nigel De Jong and the volatile Craig Bellamy who didn’t live up to his billing with West Ham after coming over from Blackburn.

Also, it looks like Andrei Arshavin, the Russian forward who made a name for himself at Euro 2008, could be heading to Arsenal. All he has to do is buy out the remainder of his contract with Zenit St. Petersburg. This move would be a huge blow to the Russian side as Arshavin is without question the best playmaker they have. I can see why Arshavin would want to leave though; playing in an inferior league on a team with hardly any shot in Champions League play wouldn’t be too enticing of a situation for a rising star.

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