Football

The transfer window: Winners & losers

Modric has failed to impress since joining Real Madrid. (©GettyImages)
Modric has failed to impress since joining Real Madrid. (©GettyImages).

The 2012/13 Premier League season brought some surprise transfers of some beloved and not so beloved stars opting to test foreign waters either on transfer or on loan with varied results. 

There were some rather big transfers along with some unnoticed ones but regardless of their transfer fee, was the transfer successful?

We take a look at some of the biggest transfers this season and decide whether the player has won or lost in the transfer market game.

Luka Modric | Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid

This move was as inevitable as Cesc Fabregas’ move to Barcelona with rumours swirling of the Spanish giant’s interest in Spurs’ star player for all of the 2011/12 season. 

As the star player for the north London club the fans were crossing almost everything in the hopes that their playmaker would not leave. Sadly Real met Spurs’ high price and Modric was off to Spain on what he hoped would be the start of a glittering career. 

Unfortunately this was not to be and, like Fabregas with his dream move to Barcelona, Modric has found it hard to establish himself in the Real starting team netting a mere three goals in twenty seven appearances for the club. 

With stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil and Karim Benzema all competing for a place on the pitch Modric has just not managed to stand out and was voted the Spanish ‘flop of the season’. 

Verdict: Loser 

Nicklas Bendtner | Arsenal to Juventus

Bendtner’s relationship with north London club Arsenal has been rocky for several seasons. Bendtner has tried to sever ties with his current club through bad behaviour both on and off the pitch. 

The self confessed superstar has not endeared himself to the club or the fans and has spent the last two seasons on loan with Arsenal unable to sell the controversial Dane. 

Bendtner, famed for his inconsistent form surprised many when he secured a move to Italian club Juventus who were experiencing some sort of revival. However, after impressing at his brief time at Sunderland and performing reasonably well in Euro 2012 Bendtner impressed the Italian club enough to seal a temporary loan move. 

Things have only gone downhill from there for Bendtner, however, Upon arrival he was told by Juventus bosses that he was simply too fat to wear the Juventus shirt and was told to embark on a strict diet. 

This rather humiliating comment hit the English press much to the glee of Arsenal fans and since then Bendtner has made only a two starts and recently resurrected moves to return to Arsenal, only to contradict the statement several months later.

Verdict: Loser

Alex Song | Arsenal to Barcelona

Another year another shock Arsenal transfer story, this quick sale to Barcelona left Gunners fans scratching their heads in surprise. Directly after the painful selling of Robin van Persie, Arsenal fans were horrified to learn that influential player and fan favourite Alex Song would be leaving the Emirates for the Nou Camp at the end of the summer. 

What was shocking about this move was that there had been little rumour of the move before it happened and also questions over why the Catalan giants would even want to sign Song in the first place. The move appeared to shock Song himself who expressed surprise at his sale claiming he’d never asked to leave Arsenal, the club responded with stories of Song’s poor behaviour mentioning complacency and a lack of drive. 

Arsenal fans were not quick to believe this and there was a backlash against a board as fans claimed the board only chased profits.  The sale, exacerbated by the sale of Van Persie was yet another argument for the somewhat irrational and now seasonal Wenger backlash that begins annually at the beginning of the season when the Gunners sell their influential players to rivals. 

Unlike Van Persie who has enjoyed a stellar season at Manchester United, Song has hardly started a game for Barcelona and has yet to complete a full game making his move all the more baffling. He recently played in the disastrous home game to Bayern Munich, which ended in an aggregate score of 7-0.

Verdict: Loser

Joey Barton | QPR to Marseille

This is a little less black and white than the moves mentioned above as the success of Barton’s French move is somewhat debated. Barton is the man that we all love to hate and he is never one to mince his words during his time in the Premier League Barton has been accused of assault, stubbing a cigar out on a team mate’s eye and the less said about his conduct on the pitch the better. 

Barton is hardly fan favourite at his current club Queens Park Rangers and after his display on the final day of the season which saw QPR throw away a 2-1 lead against the subsequent champions Manchester City, many were glad to see the back of him.

Barton moved to Marseille where his antics have hardly settled down, he’s been involved in training ground bust ups and his temper during matches has hardly calmed down. 

Barton appears to have settled into French life rather happily and the club look set to finish second behind Paris Saint Germain. Bar a cringe-worthy interview where Barton adopted an accent almost as hammy as Steve McClaren’s impression of the Dutch, he has got on well with his teammates and talks about the French club on twitter emphasising his desire to stay in France. 

Verdict: Winner

Mario Balotelli | Manchester City to AC Milan

Balotelli is arguably one of the most entertaining players to grace the Premier League with his antics entertaining fans and the press alike. The Italian is never one to shy away from debate especially with the English press and his long-suffering manager Roberto Mancini. 

Mancini was often quick to defend the player’s fiery temperament however after a series of bust ups Mancini finally gave up on Balotelli and sold him to AC Milan in the January transfer window despite owner Berlusconi describing the player as a rotten apple. 

It is safe to say that Balotelli has blossomed since moving to Europe perhaps the atmosphere at City was stifling his form as since his move Balotelli has scored 11 times in 16 appearances which is impressive considering the short time he has been there. This not to say that Balotelli was not successful at Manchester City; some fans were quick to point out that during his time at the club he managed one assist but many seem to forget that it was that assist that enabled Aguero to score the goal that won the Blues the title.

Verdict: Winner  


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Topics:
Mario Balotelli
Luka Modric
Alex
Alex Song
Football
Joey Barton
Nicklas Bendtner

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