I mentioned in my last post that I’ll not be looking for a huge outlay on players this summer, some key signings in areas that really need enforcing is much more likely. There’s less deadwood to clear out this summer and any departures will be based on players who don’t fit into my plans or I’ve received a good offer for them.
As always, starting off with departures.
Not a lot of outgoing deals here, but sensible business I think.
Marko Arnautovic was barely used last season and his £90k a week wages were well over what I’d spend on a rotation player. I transfer listed him, not because I didn’t rate him, but just because of his wages. His fee was low as he was in the last year of his contract. Levante are obviously feeling plush after their season in the Champions League. £1.1m was a low fee, but the money saved on wages makes this deal worth over £5.75m. Nice!
I thought a lot about this next deal as I really like Alan Dzagoev. He has done really well for me since I joined and has turned games around when he’s come on. The only thing that made me agree to selling him was his wages were rather high and he wasn’t first choice. I did find an able replacement before selling him. He joined Villa for £5.5m and we’ve sold him for almost double that at 30 years old. Decent business and another £88k off the wage bill.
Dimitar Evtimov was my backup goalkeeper who was barely featuring. He’s a decent backup, but with a couple of good young goalkeepers here, I decided to ship him out. £235k was just a formality for the deal really.
Jordan Pickford was a deadline day departure that I took a while to think about. He was first choice last season, but I’d just signed a new goalkeeper. I thought about it and I thought I could chance selling him while he was wanted. £6m for my keeper was alright business. I was thinking that later in the season he’d start asking for more games, so it was best to offload him now.
Only £17m raised in funds this year. As seasons go on, I’ll make less money as the team takes better shape. Happy with the departures overall though.
I had a lot of teams sniffing around my defenders in pre season. Goldaniga, van Dijk and Keane were all linked with big teams. I thought I’d best get on the front foot and sign a defender to cover for the impending departure. It never happened. However, I’m delighted with the signing I’ve made in young Matthijs de Ligt from Chelsea. He’d spent last season on loan at PSV, he’s tall, strong and most importantly, he can pick a pass. He should feel right at home in our system. £7m was a reasonable fee too.
Renato Gomes is an option to challenge Wanyama for a first team spot. Another tall, strong, hard-working midfielder. He’s only 20 years old and I think with the right coaching, he’s going to be awesome. I paid £11m up front with another £1m based on 50 league appearances.
Patrick Roberts was one of two Man City wingers I was chasing in the middle of last season. I had both shortlisted as their contracts were up at the end of the season. Nathan Redmond signed a new contract but they allowed Roberts’ contract to expire. He’d spent most of his time at City out on loan. No fee makes him a great signing and he’ll mainly be deployed on the left.
I obviously needed someone to replace the outgoing Dzagoev and in Mahmoud Dahoud, I think I’ve got the right man. I had been watching him since I was at Villarreal and his price had always been overinflated. This summer he was available for £7.5m and I snapped him up. He’s not the big strong type I would usually buy for this team, but he can pick a pass very well and influence the game from the middle of the park.
I was in need of a left back, but I was also trying to save my money for another player. Newcastle found themselves relegated and Ben Davies wanted to move on. £2m was a bargain deal that just made sense to me.
My biggest deal of the summer came in the shape of 22 year old goalkeeper, Alban Lafont. If you read my Auxerre save, you’ll see that I signed him there too. I must have scouted about twenty goalkeepers in the summer but none were as good as Lafont. Hell, even if they were, their teams wanted a lot more than the £19m I ended up splashing on this guy. Replacing Pickford was harder than I thought it would be due to the abilities I wanted in a keeper. It was a lot of money, but I’m hoping he’ll be here for a while.
I ended up spending £46.5m on new players which was probably about £19m more than I thought I’d spend. However, I’m really happy with the additions and I think they add quality all round the team.