The Shop Window: 50 Players to Watch This Summer

Posted on June 1, 2011


This summer at least one team will spend a bathful of these notes and go on to finish in the exact same position as last year.

I know how it goes. Weekends are busy times, and it’s hard to keep track of what’s going on with all those matches. But now we’ve come to the end of the season and the papers are going mad trying to wildly predict what will happen over the next couple of months. And it isn’t helped when there are already plenty of players moving about before the season has properly finished. Between Sahin going to Madrid, Mexes to Milan and seemingly De Gea to Manchester, it looks like this will be a busy summer for all concerned. But if you’re lagging a bit behind in football news, then I’m here to help.

Presented, for your convenience, is a quick guide to the players likely to feature most prominently in the back pages for the summer months. Just memorise this handy list of the will-they-or-won’t-they’s and you will be able to tell your Berbatovs from your Bothroyds in no time.

The Drunken Hattrick Guide To Summer 2011

1. Luka Modric (Not that great according to the stats, and under contract until 2016, but looks like he might be going anyway)

2. Charlie Adam (The Scott Parker of Blackpool)

3. Cesc Fabregas (Talented Spanish midfielder. Of course he’ll end up playing for Barcelona)

4. Gareth Bale (The skillful Welsh one. No, not the one with the superinjunction or the Big Brother tart)

5. Sergio Aguero (Holds the rare distinction of being a talented player in La Liga whilst playing for a team that is neither Real nor Barca. Clearly this can’t go on)

6. Shay Given

7. Steven Defour (The Scott Parker of Standard Liège)

8. Brad Freidel (maybe a loan move might cheer him up ( I refuse to miss any opportunity to post the picture of sad Brad))

Don't you just want to give him a hug

9.  Tomas Kzuscack (insert joke about not being able to catch a flight)

10. Eden Hazard

11. Hulk (or Givanildo Vieira de Souz to his friends. You won’t find a better named footballer ever…unless you skip to no. 37)

12. Jack Rodwell

13. Sol Campbell (I can’t quite see him retiring yet. Either a newly promoted team or a recently relegated one)

14. Sotirios Kyrgiakos (not much love for him in Liverpool, despite the lack of current alternatives. Out of contract last time I checked)

15. Dimitar Berbatov (30 years old with the golden boot but can’t make the squad. It’s the last chance to make any money from him)

16. Adebayor

17. Scott Parker (the Scott Parker of West Ham)

18.  Kaka (looks like the first of probably a few midfielders to leave Real Madrid unless he wants to be part of the best bench in history)

19. Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea apparently want this star of a mediocre league. Prediction: may make Torres actually look half-decent)

20. Ben Foster (he might want to reconsider his withdrawal from International selection, although he is still far too good for the Championship)

21. Gary Cahill

22. Alex Oxlade Chamberlain (a promising Championship winger. No doubt he’ll end up with a season warming a bench).

23. Shaun Wright Phillips (Can’t get a game at club level, but still keeps getting picked for England squads. Wait and see for Switzerland)

24. Ashley Young

25. Niko Krankjar (would you believe that I don’t fancy Tottenham to keep their whole squad intact)

26. Joao Moutinho (I fancy a couple of Porto players to make for the top leagues, Moutinho could do well)

27. Neymar (the young Brazilian had the cheek to turn down an offer from Chelsea in order to play games. Doesn’t he know he could have been the next Gael Kakuta).

28. Denilson (this is a bit of a cheat since he’s already said that he wants to go, but 50 is a high number to get to and I’m not allergic to easy answers)

29. Chris Samba (I predicted it last transfer window and god damnit, I will be right one of these days)

30. Robbie Keane (it’s not a proper transfer window unless Keane moves. Be it Aston Villa, Rochdale or Space, he’ll find somewhere new to call home)

31. Jay Bothroyd (he’s an international player now. He could also walk into the starting 11 of about half the teams in the Premier League)

32. Fabio Coentrao (Benfica left back. One of the many who falls into the ‘name that had to be spellchecked’ category)

33. Gervinho (Ivorian striker who plays for France. Remind you of anyone? Wikipedia says Newcastle have bid 12 mill for him)

34. Yakubu (doesn’t want to be at Everton. Everton doesn’t want him. The only problem seems to be his attachment to the Everton salary)

35. Ricky Van Wolfswinkel (doesn’t seem to be part of the hot gossip, but any team would benefit from this name on their team-sheets and I would guarantee them at least one shirt sale)

36. Neven Subotic (won the title with Dortmund, but that already looks like a team that is breaking up that Sahin has already run to the Madridistas)

37. Alexis Sanchez

38. Diego (Wolfsburg’s uncomfortable flirtation with relegation might give him the impetus to try and improve his prospects)

39. Federico Macheda (or as many Manchester United fans know him, ‘oh yeah, that guy’. Although if Owen can get a contract, anything’s possible)

40. Per Mertesacker

41. Connor Wickham (another talented teenager with tenacity. Would probably benefit from another season of regular football, but if he goes to a big club now, he’ll qualify as home grown for the squad limit rules)

42. Demba Ba (another one that’s just too good for a relegated club, bad news for shirt sellers that charge by the letter)

43. Jose Enrique (I don’t actually see this one personally, but we all know Mike Ashleys track record when people want to buy his players)

44. Scott Dann (but only if there are any clubs in need of a solid central defender *removes tongue from cheek*)

45. Carlos Tevez (Tevez and Man City is the Ross & Rachel of football. In that most of us stopped caring ages ago but wish they’d either fuck or split up already).

46. Anelka (or Kalou, Mikel etc. At least one player from Chelsea will get discarded as part of the fallout from axing Ancelotti. Any new manager will want fresh faces).

47. Thomas Hitzlsperger

48. Owen Hargreaves (not as entertaining as the others, but a promising top flight career cut short horribly by injury. Hopefully he’ll find a new home)

49. Leighton Baines (with Ashley Cole being too distracted with his BB Gun, Baines has crept up the estimation list of many with his impressive tally of assists)

50. Wimbledon AFC (now that they’re in the heady heights of League 2, maybe it’s time for the club to move somewhere a bit more commercial. Milton Keynes for example)

So, even though many big names have already been making headlines (and Manuel Neuer had to be pulled at late notice after it seems that Bayern Munich have gotten their hands on him), there are still plenty of players ready to make transfer gossip fodder. If you read this once per day for the next 2 months, you’ll have enough knowledge to weary and exasperate friends, colleagues and loved ones.

Banner Image via - Images_of_Money on Flickr
Sad Brad via Wikipedia