With the World Cup now having been and gone we could have expected an influx of summer performers to the Premier League clubs as has happened following recent World Cups and European Championships. This summer though, movement has been slow. The highest profile move to a Premier League club thus far was the recent announcement that Chelsea’s Joe Cole is transferring to Liverpool. Whilst Cole fits the criteria of a World Cup performer this move was likely to have been initiated before the World Cup and based on reputation rather than World Cup matches.
The financial climate of the Premier League has changed considerably with public records of large leveraged debt at Manchester United and Liverpool, Arsenal have never been traditional big spenders under manager Arsene Wenger and the situation at Chelsea is uncertain but it is clear that Roman Abramovich has slowed his spending in the last two seasons. This leaves Manchester city has the obvious candidates to spend big on World Cup stars whilst Spurs may want to consolidate there new standing as a top four side with some new faces.
With many of the fancied players (Kaka, Messi, Drogba, Rooney, Ronaldo) relatively under performing this summer the World Cup the hottest property is Germany’s Mesut Ozil. The speedy 21 year old is contracted to Bundesliga side Werder Bremen. With Michael Ballack gone from the Chelsea midfield they may see his replacement at International level this summer as the man to fill the gap at Stamford Bridge, however Chelsea interest in a player is likely to stir attention at Manchester City who have so far spent big money on Spain’s David Silva, Germany’s Jerome Boateng and Ivory Coasts Yaya Toure. However Ozil is likely to attract interest from mainland Europe too. Whilst he may not fit into the Barcelona midfield with their interest firmly on Fabregas he may be a target for fellow giants Real Madrid or closer to home Bayern Munich.
Uruguay surprised many this summer with the stand out performers being strikers Luis Suarez and Diego Forlan. Forlan is tried and tested in the Premier League when he found life tough to cope with at Manchester United scoring just 17 goals in near 100 appearances, he may get a second chance with another club if he can be tempted to leave the Spanish league that seems to suit his style of play. Suarez netted a phenomenal 49 goals for Dutch side Ajax and should Ajax manager Martin Jol make the rumoured switch to Fulham then don’t be surprised to see his star striker follow him to Craven Cottage.
World Cup’s gone by have been an opportunity for African players to showcase their talents to the watching football world, however this time around with the exception of Ghana, African performances were subdued so a minority of players are likely to have stirred Premier League interest. Of course, a large majority of Ghana’s squad already feature in European leagues so are likely to carry the inflated price tags that has Premier League chairman running scared of.
So to conclude, a slow start to the transfer window (with the obvious exception of Manchester City) and don’t expect things to change too quickly, it is likely to be a pre-season of consolidation and looking within teams own youth ranks rather than a vast period of recruitment.