As the transfer window slammed shut last night, we look at the 5 most expensive signings in the Premier League and predict their chances of success.
1 – Anthony Martial – A?58m – Monaco to Manchester United
Manchester United signed Anthony Martial in a A?36m deal that could rise to A?58m as per the BBC.
The 19 year old former Lyon and Monaco man made 42 appearances for Monaco in 2014/15, scoring 11 goals. The fact that such a tender age, the player made 40+ appearances for Monaco is in itself a good achievement. He was the only under-20 player in the top 5 leagues in Europe to score 9 or more goals. However, the player is, still, largely unproven despite having the talent to be dubbed as the a new Henrya .
Risk Factor: 5/5 – Manchester United have taken a massive gamble by paying such a massive fee for an unproven 19-year old attacker. Desperate times, desperate measures.
2 – Kevin De Bruyne – A?54.5m – Wolfsburg to Manchester City
The former Chelsea FC man signed for the Wolfsburg after spending two season at Stamford Bridge, during which, he spent spells on loan at Genk where he made only 13 appearances and at Werder Bremen (10 goals in 33 games).
He started two of the first three league games of the 2013-14 season, but, after that began only three more matches for Chelsea, before signing for Wolfsburg for A?17m in January 2014.
Since then, de Bruyne has gone from strength to strength and last season, he broke the Bundesliga record for the most assists in a single campaign. He was also named the Bundesliga Player of the Season.
With such performances, Manchester City decided to splash the cash on de Bruyne.
Risk Factor: 2/5 – The fee for the Belgian is a bit high, and there remains a question mark because of his previous spell in England not turning out to be a hit. But times have changed and he has matured. The bigger issue could be his ability to adapt to not being the focal point of the attack as he was at Wolfsburg, and how he copes with the increased competition in the squad.
3 – Raheem Sterling – A?49m – Liverpool FC to Manchester City
The transfer saga of the summer, Raheem Sterling finally completed his move to Manchester City after refusing to go on the pre-season tour for Liverpool FC. His behavior has led him to become the villain across stadiums in England, and the player is booed wherever he goes. However, that has not deterred Raheem from making a very good start for City. He has looked dangerous and has already a goal and an assist for City in their opening four games.
Risk factor: 4/5 – For a fee of A?49m, a club expects they will sign a ready-made player. Sterling has some way to go in that regard. City have a very good talent, which is not in question, and neither is the on-field attitude. Off-field, the player could get distracted given the combination of his astronomical salary and the penchant to follow wrong advice as evident from the measures he took to move away from Liverpool FC.
4 – Nicolas Otamendi – A?33m – Valencia to Manchester City
Otamendi had a fantastic season for Valencia, as he guided them to a top four finish and into the Champions League. The Argentine international was the only non-Real Madrid or FC Barcelona player to feature in the La Liga Team of the Year 2014-15 alongside Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann.
Otamendi may have done very well in Spain; however, England is a different ball game. The physical style of the league has seen many good defenders come and struggle, including a young Gerard Pique who went onto become an instant hit in Spain, but struggled in his time at Manchester United.
Risk factor: 3/5 – To pay a fee of A?33m for a player with one good season in Spain, with the usual question mark about the ability to adapt to a physical league, is some risk. Otamendi has shown last season he can be good, but doubts remains. We do reckon he will be a hit, but are not entirely sure.
5 – Christian Benteke – A?32.5m – Aston Villa to Liverpool FC
Christian Benteke was one of Brendan Rodgersa primary targets to solve the goal scoring problem at Liverpool FC that was touted as the biggest reason for the poor sixth place finish in the Premier League 2014-15 by the club.
The club hierarchy duly obliged and signed the player for a reported A?32.5m fee from Aston Villa. While he may have averaged a goal every other game at a struggling Premier League outfit in Aston Villa, there were fears that the player might not fit in with the style of play at Anfield. Once bitten twice shy following the Balotelli transfer, Liverpool FC fans were quite skeptical towards the Benteke signing. Balotelli had also scored a lot of goals with Milan a more than 30 in 2013/14 a before signing for Liverpool. However, he had failed to adjust to Rodgersa style of play and struggled before being frozen out and eventually moving on to AC Milan on loan.
The fear of the Reds faithful was compounded when Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood warned the Belgian to not move to Liverpool FC as there was a no point going to a club where they don’t cross the balla .
Risk factor: 3/5 – The risk factor was pretty high, probably in the region of 4/5 when he was first signed. However, four games into his Anfield career, Benteke has shown that he is no muck with the ball, linking up well with Coutinho at times. He also has looked dangerous in all games barring the one against West Ham, where he got no service. Liverpool FC may have done pretty decently to land the Belgian given the fact that Arsenal FC manager Arsene Wenger said he could not secure a forward because of lack of players who can improve top clubs.