The transfer window has started to creak into action over the last couple of days, with a number of deals being confirmed across Europe.
Of the players to put pen to paper this week, four pieces of them have caught my attention, with all the acquiring clubs doing positive early business in my opinion.
Here are the four deals analysed.
Mauro Icardi – Inter contract extension
Arguably the biggest deal across the continent over the last 48 hours has seen Mauro Icardi move…..nowhere.
The Argentine striker has penned a new deal with Roberto Mancini’s Inter side, in a massive boost for the Serie A sleeping giants.
The Nerazzurri had a season to forget in 2014-15, with an eighth place finish an indication of the dire state of affairs at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.
Only two things can really be seen as a positive for Inter from the recently completed campaign; cross-town rivals AC Milan are in even more strife and Mauro Icardi’s goalscoring rush.
The former Barcelona youth player took the brave decision to leave Camp Nou for first-team football and has shown over the last 12 months why he is the next in a long line of great Argentine strikers.
Regardless of Inter’s struggles, Icardi netted an impressive 22 league goals to finish joint top scorer with Luca Toni.
With Chelsea and other leading European clubs said to be interested in the South American, the fact that Inter have kept their star man is a massive boost for the club and Italian football in general.
James Milner – Manchester City – Liverpool
Reds fans have been split in their opinion of the club’s first summer acquisition, with the England international moving to Anfield on a free transfer.
Although Milner is no Steven Gerrard, his versatility and work-rate will have been key reasons Brendan Rodgers opted to bring him to Merseyside.
The former City man has the ability to play in central midfield, even if it is not his natural position, but in my opinion the veteran could well be an excellent option for the Reds at right wing-back.
This has been an area of concern since Rodgers opted to move to a back three, but Milner’s positional sense, tireless running and distribution could well suit the role.
Liverpool need more new blood at the club if they are to make a dent on the top four next season, but all-in-all someone of Milner’s experience and ability on a free transfer can’t be seen as bad business.
Fabian Schär – Basel to Hoffenheim
Swiss centre-half Schär has been mooted with a move away from his homeland for some time now, with the goalscoring defender a bright light in Basel’s generation of young stars.
Although major European clubs have been mentioned as suitors, a move to Hoffenheim seems like the ideal next step for the 23-year-old.
With the potential to play in the more-demanding Bundesliga and every chance that he will slot straight into Markus Gisdol’s side, the transfer suits all parties.
The ambitious German outfit have continued to press their place in the top half of the Bundesliga and if they can keep star playmaker Roberto Firmino at the Rhein-Neckar Arena who knows how far they can go next term.
Schär needs a new challenge after proving himself repeatedly in his homeland, with a move to Germany making sense. More importantly he has signed for a club at the right level.
Lucas Vázquez – Real Madrid to Espanyol
Following an impressive campaign on loan at the Barcelona-based club, winger Lucas Vázquez has penned a permanent deal to see him switch to the Estadi Cornellà-El Prat for good.
This tricky right winger has proven himself as someone more than capable of excelling in the Spanish top flight, but the chance to do this at his boyhood club in the capital was never going to be forthcoming.
Talk of Liverpool potentially being interested in the wide midfielder made sense, but Vázquez staying in his homeland and furthering his footballing education at a club that has embraced him was the right choice.
Although not enough of a superstar name for Real Madrid, Espanyol have made a shrewd signing who can all the attributes to be a real star in La Liga again in 2015-16.
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