Total Recall 2012: Biggest Transfers of the Year (Part 1)
As the year draws to a close, we bring you a round-up of the biggest transfers that took place this year. Biggest in terms of the money that swapped hands in exchange for the player’s service. While some of these players have gone on to become resounding successes at their new clubs, some have found it difficult to get a foothold in a new set up
What makes this list particularly interesting is that all these deals took place in the summer transfer window of 2012. According to several top managers, the January transfer window is not considered the best time to spend big and the winter transfer window of 2012 just confirmed this assertion.
In the first instalment of a two-part article, we present the ten most expensive signings of the year in an ascending order.
The 30-year old Swedish star was sold by the Rossoneri to Paris Saint-Germain for a reported fee of 23 million Euros. His reported after-tax weekly salary of a whopping €250,000 ruffled quite a few feathers in Paris. Having played in the more competitive leagues of Spain and Italy, Ibrahimovic has found life quite easy in the French Ligue 1.
So far he has racked up 17 goals and three assists in his 14 starts in the League. He has also starred for the team in the UEFA Champions League, scoring two goals and registering 5 assists as PSG reached the knockout rounds as group winners. Of late, Ibrahimovic has been in a rich vein of form and the Les Parisiens are becoming increasingly dependent on him for goals and more importantly for inspiration in difficult situations. So far, he hasn’t disappointed.
The destination for the second player on the list is also the French capital. Bankrolled by wealthy Qatari owners, PSG made quite a mark on the summer transfer window of 2012. The versatile Argentine attacker was one of the several big-money transfers to PSG. And on evidence of we have seen for the half season he has featured for the French outfit, he still has some way to go before he justifies his lofty price tag.
He has had an injury prone campaign and has managed two goals in Ligue 1 and three goals in the Champions League. It was his two goals on Matchday 5 that confirmed that the Paris outfit would progress to the last 16 of the Champions league. And in their final group match, he scored the winner against Porto which ensured the PSG would top Group A.
After a long protracted saga which played on over the best part of a year, Arsene Wenger finally decided to part with his star asset in the summer of 2012. The PFA footballer of the year and the Golden Boot winner has made the transition from the Emirates to Old Trafford seamlessly. With 12 goals in the premier league already, he is looking set to repeat the heroics of last year.
He has shouldered the bulk of the goalscoring responsibility this season and is fast becoming a fans favourite for the Red Devils. His burgeoning partnership with Wayne Rooney in the final third will be giving many-a-sleepless night to defenders in England and in Europe.
After impressing one and all in the London Olympics in Brazilian colours, the 20-year old found himself moving to the English shores. Initially the price tag of €32m for the relatively unproven talent looked a bit inflated. However in the course of the season, the attacking midfielder has proved over and over again that he belongs to the big stage.
The Brazilian, whose looks and playing style has drawn repeated comparisons to his idol, Kaka, has shown his pedigree with 5 goals in 5 starts in the Champions League, including a stunning brace against Serie A champions Juventus at Stamford Bridge on his CL debut.
After suffering a breakdown in his relationship with his manager Marcelo Bielsa, the Basque player was transferred to the Bavarian giants for a sum of 40 million Euros. At a price which is considered a huge amount for a defensive midfielder, his transfer represented the costliest ever outlay on a single player in the history of Bundesliga.
In the presence of seasoned campaigners like Schweinsteiger and Tymoschuk, the Spaniard has found regular starts a little hard to come by. But in the gametime he has seen on the pitch, he has performed reasonably well and has had a positive impact on the Die Roten. Unfortunately he plays in a position in which he is entrusted with all the understated dirty work – breaking up opposition attacks and initiating their own; thus it becomes incredibly hard to quantify his performance.
He has shown potential and at 23, he definitely has time on his side to prove that he is worth the money the Bavarians forked out for him.