Best Buy 1

Wesley Sneijder to Inter – At £14 mil, Inter have managed to get a dynamic play-maker who is already the lynch pin of the Dutch side, has led Real to a La Liga title and is still only 25 years old. I don’t begrudge Real replacing him with Kaka, but then to only get 14 million for him seems careless. What’s worse though is the number of clubs that didn’t enter the Sneijder sweepstakes, but more on that later. To think that Milan thought they had done the best piece of business by getting Huntelaar.

Best Buy 2

Samuel Etoo to Inter – Again, not as old as you might think, he’s only 28, Samuel Etoo is a proven goalscorer, incredibly competitive and has a chip on his shoulder after being shown the door by Pep. I’m guessing that he’s going to have a stellar season. The only question mark is how he’ll hold up after the African Cup of Nations

Most Interesting Experiment

Zlatan to Barca – No competition here – supposedly Pep wants different attacking options and change the way his side plays. Chelsea were reasonably effective against them by packing the midfield and forcing Dani Alves into hopeless crosses. Ibrahimovic’s height gives them a different option in open play and on set pieces. The key thing here is how they utilise space. If Zlatan is able to drop back into the hole and create space for Messi, Iniesta and Henry to run into, Barca’s attack could be even better.

The big question is why take the risk. Barca’s front 3 scored over 100 goals last year. Messi was as good as he’s ever been and Etoo’s pressing was important in establishing Barca’s game. My guess is that it has something to do with the obsessive perfectionist streak in Guardiola’s personality. El Kapitan was delighted on hearing that Pep only wanted 1 year contracts – well this seems like the flip side of that – that he doesn’t want to do the same thing again. Even if he didn’t want Etoo, they could have easily plugged in David Villa without missing a beat. Remember folks, Tiger decided to remodel his swing even though he was winning everything in sight.

I’m not sure a hardcore Barca fan would be too happy about this, but as an outside admirer its going to be fascinating.


Why did no one else go in for Sneijder? Man U need a replacement for Scholes. Milan need a replacement for Kaka – no Ronaldinho doesn’t count. Liverpool needed a replacement for Alonso and while Aquilani might be great, he also has a pretty wretched injury history. Chelsea are allegedly playing a diamond at times and could have done with Sneijder organising the play behind the strikers, allowing Lampard to attack from deeper. Anyways, I now wouldn’t be surprised if Inter win the Champions League.

Almost a Very Sneaky Good Buy

Ever Banega to Everton. This guys’s been a hugely rated prospect for a while and is still only 24. Valencia were looking to offload him for some reason and supposedly Everton were worried about getting him a work permit. Anyways, from Valencia’s first match, it seems like Banega could have an awesome season.

Worse Buy

Michael Owen to Man U – Not necessarily terrible because he was free, but more down to the fact that they didn’t get anyone else.