5 Premier League Players on the move

Posted on January 7, 2011

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So, as we have already established, this transfer window there will by some players staying at their clubs, some that might be leaving, and by consequence, some that will be going places. These are their stories:

1. Robbie Keane

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 24:  Harry Redknapp ...

Keane, as shown alongside some dickhead. Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Preface: Well, right now it seems the thing to do to be annoyed at some manager or other. For the sake of being original, I’m going with Harry Redknapp. You see, I put all of these lists together at the same time and have just been dribbling these articles out like a baby with a lopsided mouth for the sake of my fingers and, let’s be honest, because I’m lazy. So I have been planning to say that Robbie was on the move for almost a week now. But media darling Harry Redknapp, the only manager in the Champion’s league had to go and announce the impending transfer to Birmingham. Curse you, Redknapp!

Not that Keane was a hard pick. He’s getting on a bit now, but the striker, who has already knotched up £75 million worth of transfer fees on account of being like that boy from school who just wouldn’t sit still, had to have at least one transfer left in him. That would have been the case even if he wasn’t clearly surplus to requirements for a Spurs side that comfortably has 2 talented attackers for every possible attacking position.

2. Charles N’Zogbia

Image of footballer Charles N'Zogbia
Image via Wikipedia

Of the 5, this is the one I’m least certain of. Not for lack of will. N’Zogbia has been vocal about his desire to go to a bigger side. But with Wigan looking like a club hanging onto the premier league with the tips of their little fingers, they’ll be quite determined not to see their most creative player leave. But they have accepted at least one offer for him in the past, and if they do drop into the Championship next season they’ll need some funds to rebuild their team. With an estimated 15,760 average fan attendance,  the second lowest the league (before only Blackpool, who’s tiny stadium only holds  16,000), gate receipts won’t get  them back to the Premier League, the Latics might want to cash in on their prize asset on their terms.

Realistically, N’Zogbia will go sooner or later, and now that he’s had a taste of international football playing for France and keenly aware that he won’t be in Laurent Blanc’s spotlight at Wigan Athletic, he may want to make his departure sooner.

3. Christopher Samba

BLACKBURN, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 26:  Chris Samb...
Image by Getty Images
via @daylife

He says he wants to leave Blackburn. Or at least that’s what he apparently says. What with the odd manner of the takeover by the Venky’s group, and it’s subsequent sacking of Sam Allardyce, it’s not especially easy to figure out what’s going on at Ewood Park. While I had personally think that the sacking of Allardyce was a good thing for the league (post on that at some point in the future), to do so without any apparent successor is an odd decision. There are some strange stories about the club going around, most notably being the idea that 5th place can be bought for £5 million. This, of course, is nonsense. Multi-millionaire business people don’t go into industries without taking advice, and nobody will have told the Venky’s group that this kind of position is possible. Any aspirations of grandeur from Blackburn will take serious investment to change from the long-ball side left by Allardyce. Unless the new owners are willing to put in some serious cash money, then some sales must be made. Chris Samba has made it clear that he doesn’t want to be part of the new regime.

In a seasons where it’s hard to name a single team with a solid back line, a reliable defender like Samba will be in high demand. The big concern is that to let such a major player will risk Blackburn falling into a relegation battle. If he does leave, I’d expect it to be towards the end of the month, and only if Blackburn pick up a few more points along the  That notwithstanding, I’d still not be surprised to see him leaving Ewood Park in the next 3 weeks.

4. Roque Santa Cruz

Not a doubt. If Samba represents the biggest question mark on this list, Santa Cruz is the safest choice. A forgotten man at Man City, even before they started looking to bring in Edin Dzeko. At 29, he will get no better than he is now. It’s hard to see much prospect of him getting in the already top heavy side. His age also factors into any transfer options. He’s young enough to still provide value in the market (in as much as Man City need to care about such things) but arguably too old to hold his value if sent on loan. Furthermore, and I cannot stress this enough, Man City are destroyers of careers as far as strikers are concerned. Tevez is the only forward to have benefitted from his time at Eastlands and he is still talking about imminent retirement.

Santa Cruz can’t get a game now. As the Europa League gets to the serious rounds and the league title chace hots up, his chances would have diminished even without the addition of a talented young striker from Wolfsburg. If he really wants another shot at glory, then it will need to be at another club and soon.

5. A Goalkeeper

Brad Friedel of Aston Villa
If there was any justice in the world, this picture would
be the next Sad Keanu. Image via Wikipedia

This isn’t out an out cheating, I’m just torn. There are just so many possibilities. So I’ve picked the position first and I’ll make my decision as I go along. Shay Given is spending the latter days of his career on the bench at Man City when he could walk into most teams. Almunia seems to have fallen to 3rd choice keeper at Arsenal now that Fabianski is screwing up a bit less often. Schwarzer is now looking at goalkeeping for relegation candidates when more illustrious teams are after him. Friedel is allegedly not happy with the Houllier reign. And Kuszczak may have finally gotten tired of being 2nd choice at Man Utd now that he has got a new competitor in Anders Lindegaard at Man Utd. Any one could make a move. Please don’t make me pick just one.

In fact, let’s just pick all of them. Given to United, to get a trophy or two under his belt before retirement. Schwarzer to Arsenal to get in on some Champion’s League action. Almunia to Aston Villa so that Houllier can genuinely claim to be getting players from top clubs without having to to shell out the kind of money that a competant keeper might cost. Kuszczak to Man City, because they’re always willing to pay over the odds for the idea of taking players from their local rivals. And finally, Freidel to Fulham because…that’s one left over. There you go Premier League, I have fixed your goalkeeping problems. I’ll take my 10% of these deals by cash or credit card please. No cheques. I’m not sure how good some of you are for it.

Oh hell, I want some credit if all of these actually work out so if I had to pick one, and since my self-imposed ‘1 player per club’ rule stops me picking Given, I’m going to go with Friedel. There will be casualties of Martin O’Neill walking out on Villa, and with them not having kept a clean sheet since October, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them bring someone new in between the sticks.

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