Here we go again. Another summer transfer window has officially opened and we’re already seeing some big moves. Clubs are fighting for the world’s best and are already making questionable moves. Do I think that this will be a historic summer transfer window? No, but I definitely think it will be interesting. Let’s take a look at some of the signings that have hit the news in the past few weeks. 

The Recipe for a Rebirth

After being on loan to Aston Villa for the 2021/2022 season,  Villa made a permanent transfer move for Phillippe Coutinho. Looking to totally revamp the club after several years in the Championship the club decided Coutinho will be their guy. After making just 16 appearances this season, Coutinho proved his worth for the once struggling club. 

While Coutinho did not live up to the hype following his transfer to Barcelona, he definitely made a statement at Villa. Playing for former teammate Steven Gerard has proved to not only revamp his game but give the club the rebirth they desperately needed. This permanent move to Villa is not only going to be great for Coutinho, but will help attract new signings to the club. In all honesty Coutinho offers a great opportunity for the club to progress and I think this could be his final stopping point. 

If Coutinho can continue his success into next season I can definitely see Villa in the top half of the table. However, what worries me is the supporting roles around him. Success comes with help, but Villa will need to get some serious signings for him to truly shine. 

Cobham to Bernabeu

A huge loss for Chelsea is a huge gain for Real Madrid as they sign Antonio Rudiger to a four year deal. Rudiger has proved to be one of the best center backs in the game right now and this move could make him that much better. After a stellar season as the rock in the back line for the Blues, Rudiger has found a home that matches his championship aspirations. While Chelsea have won a few trophies in the past few years, Rudiger could see great success at La Liga’s recent champions. 

What Real Madrid need is a center back that has great aerial presence and Rudiger is just that guy. Madrid’s defensive weakness is frequent crosses and controlling their aerial presence, but Rudiger’s stature and physicality are going to be just the fix they need. With any new signing there will be a period of adjustment, but Rudiger certainly has the tools to make a positive impact. 

Madrid are also looking to rebound from last year’s Champions League Performance, but they really need to shore up their backline to make that happen. Not only is he great on the defensive side, but has a high pass completion rate and connects well front to back. If anything this was the perfect deal for both Madrid and Rudiger. Titles are definitely imminent for the pairing and Rudiger is destined for success. 

Experience Doesn’t Always Equal Success

Tottenham’s first big signing of the summer is looming with negativity and a lot of questions. Ivan Perisic is an extremely experienced and versatile player that the club received on a free transfer. However, his versatility may not be enough to get the spurs through the Champions League and end their Premier League drought. Perisic has won titles with Dortmund and Bayern, but that was at his peak. 

Tottenham need a center back and players that can regularly give 90 minutes. What worries me is that Perisic is on the older side for the game. His speed and stamina are not up to par with what the team needs and what the league requires. While Perisic did just come off of a successful season with Inter, this is the Premier League, you have to be fit. I believe that he could make a great off the bench guy for the spurs but I don’t foresee him in the starting XI. While he does have great experience, his role shouldn’t be on the field but on the bench. 

Unless Perisic can magically have his speed and physicality from his time in the Bundesliga, this is going to be a major flop for Conte. 

MLS to the Premier League

Earning his first U.S. cap just over a year and a half ago, Matt Turner is going to be a gunnar. Whether you know him or not, Matt Turner has garnered the attention of Arsenal from his heroics in the absence of Zach Steffen. The current New England Revolution keeper is joining Arsenal as their number two and unfortunately I think that’ll be it. While his heroics for the Revs and the United States are certainly something to talk about, I don’t think it will be enough for the American to make it in London. 

This is a story that has already been written with American goalkeeper Zach Steffen. A move to one of Europe’s biggest clubs is great, but Turner shouldn’t have high expectations to see the field. Realistically what I see from this transfer is a loan. Playing behind arguably one of the best goalkeepers in the league is going to be a challenge for Turner and one that may be nearly impossible to overcome. However, Turner does show up in the big moments. If he is able to step into a big moment and prove he has what it takes, we may see success. Unfortunately, I just don’t see this being the case with Arsenal’s past performance and current goalkeeping situation. 

The absolute best case scenario for the keeper is that he gains skill and confidence at the club and is transferred or loaned. He certainly has made his case in the United States, but the Premier League is going to be a whole new ball game. 

The Rich Keep Getting Richer.

After yet another successful season for club and country, Norwegian sensation Erling Haaland is set to make his debut in the Premier League for Manchester City. Haaland is one of the most prolific players of his generation averaging nearly a goal a game for home side Borussia Dortmund and RB Salzburg. Haaland’s ability to score goals is something we see once in a blue moon, but it leads me to question if he is going to be able to have this same success in an arguably tougher league. 

However, what Manchester City desperately crave is the glory of a Champions League Final win. Haaland has proven to be extremely successful in the Champions League, specifically in 2021 as the Champions League top goalscorer. The ability to score goals at his rate in the Champions League can certainly make a difference for Manchester City. However, the club is going to have to make some tactical changes for this to work. Haaland’s success comes from his tactical game play, staying in and around the penalty area. While he does look to push back to win tackles, most of his reception and goals occur within the lines of the penalty area. 

Manchester City has played with an almost strikeless system for the past few seasons, which has been successful in the Premier League. The biggest downfall to this is their Champions League performance has been subpar in the goals department. In an effort to revamp their front line, look to Haaland deliver the success the need. However, he  will have to produce the way City intends to fit into the system. His gameplay is certainly going to have to change, but can he quickly adapt to Guardiola’s system?

Keeping all of this in mind, this is definitely a win for both City and Haaland. City is home to a rich bed of talent and has the money to keep getting richer. If Haaland is able to adjust quickly I think we could see another year of raising trophies for City. Even better for Haaland, his game play will improve and prove that he can play in nearly any system. If he can adapt and continue to produce, we could have another Zlatan on our hands.

A Much Needed Homecoming

Five years after his departure, Lacazette returns home to Lyon to potentially finish his career. The French striker comes off a not so successful final season at Arsenal with only six goals. While this shouldn’t be much of a loss for Arsenal, it is certainly a win for Lyon who finished eighth in Ligue 1 last season. 

Lyon is desperately looking to rebuild their side after several disappointing years. Lacazette definitely experienced great success with the club back in the day, but is this going to be enough? The 31 year old definitely has a lot to prove and following a disappointing season I don’t know if he is up for the challenge. Surrounded by young talent, Lacazette is definitely going to have to prove he still has it, but in all honesty it can be done. 

Not only does Lacazette have the talent to get Lyon back on top, but he has the experience. Playing in numerous Champions Leagues and a decent stint in the Premier League, Lacazette’s veteran experience will be beneficial for the French side. What really concerns me is his goal scoring abilities. His past few seasons have been relatively subpar and as a striker, goal production is imperative. However, I think this move could see him get back to his goal scoring ways. 

The New Captain America?

After a successful stint for Salzburg, the United States’ new wonderkind is making a move to the Premier League. Brenden Aaronson, better known as the Medford Messi is shaping up to be another star for the United States for Premier League side Leeds United. Narrowly escaping relegation, Leeds made a bid for the young star that’s appeared in nearly every major European Competition. 

Having had great success for Salzburg in both the Austrian Bundesliga and Champions League, this was the perfect time for the young star to make the switch. Scoring goals in the big moments is in his wheelhouse on top of his relentless speed. What separates Aaronson from the rest is his versatility in the midfield. Playing as the 8, 10, or on the wing, Aaronson is able to fill any potential midfield hole Leeds may have. 

Aaronson will have some stiff competition in the midfield, but his versatility and speed will for sure set him over the edge. While Leeds typically sits at the bottom half of the table, this is definitely going to be the spot for the young american to shine. I firmly believe that this move will go well for the young american and could even cement himself as the new Captain America. Am I being a little too optimistic? Absolutely not. Aaronson has proved with every club and international team that he is a playmaker, now it’s time to prove this on one of the biggest stages. 

Benfica’s King to Liverpool

Looking to beef up an already loaded squad, Liverpool add striker Darwin Nunez to the roster. Nunez is no stranger to success. The young striker capped his huge season at Benfica scoring 34 goals in just 41 appearances for the Portuguese side. While the previous season did not see as much success, Nunez proved that he was a definite threat with nearly a goal a game. The Striker is so effective in eight different games he scored more than just one goal, which is up there with some of the best like Haaland.

What really impresses me about Nunez is he single-handedly kept Benfica alive in the Champions League. Scoring two goals in one match against Barcelona as well as goals against Ajax, Bayern Munich, and new home Liverpool just proves that he can score in just about any moment. If it weren’t for his goal scoring success, I definitely do not think Benfica would have made deep of the run in the Champions League.

What does worry me about Benfica’s superstar is whether his creativity will be enough for Premier League Runner Up Liverpool. Playing with the likes of Mo Salah, the striker is going to have to be more creative than ever to fit in with his style of play. Nunez did not have a great number of assists last season, which leaves me worried about his offensive production outside of goal scoring. If he can beef up his offensive mindset and get a little bit more done in the way of assists, I think this Portuguese striker may be Liverpool’s most powerful Champions League weapon.

What’s Next?

Like I said, I don’t think this is going to be a historic transfer window, but it will definitely be interesting. Many of the world’s top players have expiring contracts that could see them moving from league to league. Who’s next? Stay tuned over the next few weeks to see some of the biggest and most questionable moves in the game.