Thorgan Hazard, Julian Brandt – Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Mönchengladbach to Borussia Dortmund. € 50 million
The first ‘big deals’ of the window is a very exciting and smart one. German giants Borussia Dortmund have activated the release clauses of both Thorgan Hazard and Julian Brandt, both of at the relatively small fee of around 25 million euros. It’s good business by Dortmund with other clubs from around the continent interested they have saved themselves the hassle of a war for the players by buying earlier. The deals also represent extremely good value for money, something that has become a trend with Dortmund in recent years. Transfermarkt values the players at roughly 45 million euros each and Hazard is in his prime at 26 years old and Brandt is already an established name in German football at the tender age of 23. For Dortmund it provides depth and two rotation players who can both play on both flanks as well as central. It is also notable that American winger Christian Pulisic has now finally joined Chelsea so more firepower was needed out wide and these two are the perfect duo to give them that. Presumably neither will be a consistent starter with Dortmund possessing the talents of Jadon Sancho and Marco Reus in the wide areas, but if they were to the starting lineup could look something like the picture on the left, assuming they sign Paco Alcacer.
Signing Rating- Hazard- 8/10, Brandt 9/10
Vincent Kompany – Manchester City To Anderlecht, Free (Player – Manager)
This could be the strangest one out of the lot and the one that could go either way. On one hand Vincent Kompany is an incredible leader (and still a fantastic player) and has learned from the best of the best. On the other hand there will be huge expectations for Kompany to hit the ground running in Belgium. The Belgian league is very competitive and Anderlecht have underachieved in the last few seasons, after winning the title in 2016-17 they finished 3rd the following season and 6th this year. A revival is needed at the club and if Kompany is the one to lead the team back to the big time then his stock will rise and he will be in the frame for a lot of jobs around Europe. While I respect Anderlecht for taking a huge risk on an inexperienced manager and having a player-manager, something rare in the modern game, but truth be told the reason for the lack of player-managers is because they rarely succeed. Kompany will need guidance and help to establish himself and construct a team that fits his vision and then take that forward and challenge for titles and progress in Europe. Alternatively Anderlecht may slide further down the table and Kompany could be left without a job. I’ll be keeping tabs on them and I’ll be one of the many cheering the Belgian on in hope he can make a successful career in management.
Romelu Lukaku – Manchester United to Inter Milan, £30 million + Ivan Perisic
This is an extremely interesting rumour for both teams, according to many outlets Inter Milan are desperate to land Man United’s Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku and are willing to offer up long term United target Perisic. While this deal wouldn’t be fantastic for United, losing a player they brought in for nearly £90 million plus Wayne Rooney just two years ago, for £30 million and a 30 year old winger who scored 8 goals last season but it could turn out well for United. Losing Lukaku would allow them to either deploy Anthony Martial or Marcus Rashford as their main striker and put Perisic out wide, or sign a new striker and stick Perisic in midfield. However whatever Ole and United do is irrelevant to the situation at Inter Milan. Argentine forward Mauro Icardi has been linked to Juventus however there are still no strong rumours (hence why there’s no section in this blog for that move) and even if Icardi stays in Milan, well a front two of Icardi and Lukaku isn’t exactly anything to be snuffed at. While Lukaku gets his fair share of criticism he would be a perfect fit beside Icardi in Italy, using his big frame and immense strength to compete with the defensive brutality we associate with Italian football. Alongside the more technical, talented Icardi the two could work wonders up front and finally be the key to shooting Inter back to the big time.
Joao Cancelo – Juventus to Manchester City, £52 million
This is one I really like from Man City’s side. Joao Cancelo is one of, if not the best right back in the world at the moment and Kyle Walker has fallen out of favour with Guardiola. When you consider the current climate of the transfer market in which Wilfred Zaha is being valued at between 70 and 100 million, 52 isn’t as terribly expensive as it first seems. Cancelo would also be ideal if Guardiola ever decides to change to a system with wing backs like he sometimes does in big games. He was also linked at the start of this season to both Man City and their neighbours before Juventus snapped him up and has been linked to both sides again this year and it looks as if City have won the battle against United, once again. At just 24 he will be a key part of Guardiola’s future plan for European dominance that he’s been building at the Etihad for the last few years and will prove to be a formidable fullback. He’s some I like a lot, fast, energetic, intelligent, exciting and a real modern fullback. I’m excited to see him in the premier league in a Guardiola side he’ll compliment well.