Almost three years ago, in April of 2011, I was one, among the millions of lost souls, hit by Playstation Network’s (PSN) atrocious outage. Not only was I, in a constant state of despair butalso I was forced to play EAsports FIFA11 OFFLINE!. Faced with such abomination, I had no option but to play the always fun manager/player mode.
Back then, I thought the outage will only last 3 to 4 days so I did not bother taking a lower division team to achieve promotion and all that, I chose to take command of Chelsea instead. Of course, with such a powerful lineup, I started winning non-stop and went with ease through a whole season undefeated. And as trophies began to accumulate in my manager career mode, the wait for PSN to be back online kept getting longer and longer. Oh! what a dreadful time!
However, with every trophy conquered, and an aging squad, I focused myself on mastering the transfer market. I tried to be as frugal as possible, even though by virtue of choosing Chelsea and winning several trophies I had a large budget at my disposal. I acquired some midfielders and a striker.Then, the most surprising moves I made were purchasing Azpilicueta and Courtois. Surprising not only because they eventually became Chelsea players in real life but because no-one knew them at the time. I chose them based purely on their strengths, overall level, age and low price combined. Sadly, for my transfer skills in FIFA11, the PSN outage ended less than a week later (24 days total), and I put the manager mode back on the shelf.
However, after looking at the prospects thrown around in the press for Chelsea to pursue (Coentrao, Shaw, Alonso, Cambiasso), I felt the obligation to share my story and recall my transfer skills in the hope that Chelsea, once more, mimics my behavior and gets long term solution instead of gap-fillers.
For instance, as left back Chelsea must buy, Wolfsburg’s Ricardo Rodriguez. Granted, Shaw is a good alternative but he does not come close to the talented Rodriguez. Regarding Coentrao he has not played enough this season to know his level. Back to Shaw and Rodríguez, comparing them side by side, this season alone, they both have played the same number of games (17) but Rodriguez is 3 times better in almost every single statistic. From goals and assists, to blocks and tackles. Plus, valued at 10 million Euros (would sell for around 15), and with only 21 years of age, Rodriguez is the all-around left-back that any elite team must have.
Further up the pitch, In the middle to be exact, reports have Mourinho shopping for a box to box midfielder, and although we all would want either Vidal or Pogba, with their prices toppling 25 million Euros, they are prohibited and we are trying to be as frugal as I was in FIFA back in the day. Still, Chelsea and other BPL teams, seem to be chasing Inter’s Freddy Guarín. Valued at 18 million Euros and playing currently at a high level, he would make sense financially and would be a starting player anywhere.
Yet, what if I tell you there are two players as good as Guarín and with a price tag almost 75 percent lower (around 5 million Euros) than the Inter’s player. Well hard to believe but they do exist, the two cheaper comparable options are: Parma’s Marco Parolo and Bordeaux’s Grégory Sertic. Both, are every bit as good offensively than Guarín (3 goals/4 assists), Sertic (3 goals/4 assists) and Parolo (6 goals/2 assists) so far this season. But both, Sertic and Parolo are almost twice as better as Guarín defensively, especially Parolo. So, I would love for Chelsea to buy Guarín but if any of the other two players are willing to move to London (Parolo is only a year older than Guarín and Sertic is 3 years younger) the decision in midfield is a no brainer.
Concluding, my transfer skills seem to be intact, now we only need Chelsea to follow suit and buy good, young, and cheap.
PS: I admire both Cambiasso and Xabi Alonso, but buying either of them would be bad business as they are far from their prime and closer to retiring. More so in Alonso case who is valued at 18 million Euros. If Chelsea wants to spend all that money in midfield I hope at least Guarín is the recipient. Last, if Chelsea were to save all the money I suggested by making those cheaper moves, the extra cash could be focused on getting the goal-scoring machine that Chelsea needs and Mourinho craves: Radamel F. Garcia.
Stats taken from squawka