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Transfers

The Most Expensive Transfers – Summer 2020

One of the most exciting things about soccer is undoubtedly the transfer windows. Bringing in new talent is always fun. Today we’ll analyze some of the most expensive transfers from the Summer Transfer Window. All transfer information comes from Transfermarkt: https://www.transfermarkt.us/statistik/saisontransfers

5. Miralem Pjanic – $66 million

Miralem Pjanic moved from Juventus to Barcelona for a fee of approximately $66 million. When this move was first announced I admit I was very confused. Pjanic is a quality player but at the age of 30 it’s most likely that he will not be making another big money move in the future. For that reason, it seems like Barcelona may have overpaid for his services. This is even more likely when taking into account that he isn’t even a guaranteed starter. With Arthur moving in the opposite direction for only a few million more, this move was questionable at best for Barcelona.

4. Ruben Dias – $74.8 million

Ruben Dias slots in at number four on our list of most expensive transfers. The latest in a long line of expensive defenders for Manchester City, Dias cost $74.8 million. So far, the move seems to be worth it. Ruben Dias has been a steady force for City since he joined the team. His partnership with both Aymeric Laporte and John Stones could be positive for a City team that has struggled mightily in defense. Only time will tell in the end if Ruben Dias can push on to become a world class player.

3. Victor Osimhen – $77 million

One of the more surprising moves of the window was Victor Osimhen to Napoli. The surprising part wasn’t the actual move but the price point. Osimhen has been touted as someone with the potential to be a superstar. With that in mind, Osimhen can easily end up justifying the price tag. But at the moment it seems like Napoli may have paid too much. So far this season, he has 2 goals and 1 assist in 6 appearances. At just 21 years of age, there’s clearly room to grow. Napoli must hope that he can realize his potential.

2. Arthur – $79.2 million

The other half of the Juve – Barca swap, Arthur comes in at number two on the most expensive transfers list. At 24 years of age, Arthur is about to hit his prime years. It seems at first glance that Juve made a shrewd move in swapping the aging Pjanic for Arthur. It should take some time for Arthur to adapt his game to the Serie A. When he does get comfortable he should be a star in the Juventus midfield for years to come.

1. Kai Havertz – $88 million

Kai Havertz moving from Bayer Leverkusen to Chelsea is officially the most expensive transfer. He may be worth every penny for Chelsea as they look to remake their team. At only 21 years of age, Havertz has tons of room to grow. He also has the potential to become a world class midfielder. The price tag may seem a bit much at the moment. But as Havertz continues to get playing time, his performances should improve. All of the attacking talent that was brought in by Chelsea this window could drastically change their performances in the near future.

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Categories
Serie A

Can AC Milan Win the Serie A Title This Year?

Can AC Milan win the Serie A title this year? The short answer to this question is yes, but the long answer is a little bit more complicated. Today we’ll be taking a look at AC Milan in order to answer the question of whether they can realistically win the title this season.

Defense

When taking a look at Milan’s defense, it’s clear to see they are much improved from years past. The resurgence of both Simon Kjaer and Davide Calabria is a big part of that improvement. It also seems Milan have found a solid defensive partnership with Kjaer and Alessio Romagnoli. Alongside goalie Gianluigi Donnarumma, this is a very sturdy back line. Theo Hernandez is one of the better attacking fullbacks in Serie A. He should provide additional help both in defense and the attack. But the main weakness for Milan’s defense comes with their depth. At center back they currently have Matteo Gabbia and Mateo Mussachio, neither of which brings a whole lot of confidence. At fullback their main depth is Diogo Dalot who joined on loan from Manchester United. While he’s been playing very well so far there really isn’t too much behind him. Overall, it’s a very solid starting group but the lack of depth could end up hurting Milan.

Midfield

The midfield may be the current strength of this Milan team. In Franck Kessie and Ismael Bennacer, Milan has one of the strongest midfield partnerships in the league. Recent signing Sandro Tonali has loads of talent and should receive consistent playing time behind the starters. In the attacking midfield positions, Hakan Calhanoglu and Brahim Diaz have both shown the ability to create chances and score goals. This will be vital for Milan moving forward as they try to compete with teams that have more attacking firepower.

Forwards

The most important player currently at AC Milan is also their oldest. Zlatan Ibrahimovic has gotten off to a roaring start this season, showing that he can compete at any team in the world at the age of 39. Behind him Rafael Leao has shown a lot of promise and will look to improve throughout the season as he learns from Zlatan himself. Ante Rebic is another forward who has shown tons of quality but unfortunately found himself injured for the beginning of the season. He will be very important for Milan as they don’t have a ton of quality depth in attack. On the wings Samu Castillejo and Alexis Saelemaekers are the main players. This is probably Milan’s greatest area of need in the January transfer window as they will need to improve in both quality and depth.

January Transfer Window

In the transfer window there a few clear areas of need for AC Milan. In central defense they need to bring in someone who can be a strong third option. They will also probably look to move on from one of their options, either Mateo Mussachio or Leo Duarte. Milan could also potentially use another fullback on the left side who can give Theo Hernandez a rest every now and then. Finally, AC Milan will need to strengthen in attack. They will likely need another striker for depth behind Zlatan and Rafael Leao, as well as another winger. They did bring in Jens Petter Hauge at the end of the summer window, so if he can become a focal point on the wing then it may not be a huge need.

Conclusion

At the start of the season, AC Milan looked like a team that would compete for a Champions league spot. The narrative has changed as they find themselves at the top of the league through games. AC Milan can definitely compete for the title this season, but it will depend on how well the starters can continue to play. With a lack of depth at a few positions, it’s important for them to fill in some gaps in the January transfer window. But overall I think Milan look like a team that is ready to compete right now.

Here is a quick link to the updated Serie A table where you can track AC Milan’s progress: https://www.skysports.com/serie-a-table

If you are interested in other Beer Belly Soccer Serie A content: https://www.beerbellysoccer.com/category/serie-a/