Grading Summer 2007’s 20 Most Expensive Transfers

Some might think it would be hasty to make such an assessment so early into the season (after all, European leagues have only begun for a month or two) but it is interesting nonetheless to have a preliminary look at how some of this Summer’s signings are performing. Indeed, some managers (such as Sir Alex Ferguson, who isn’t entirely happy about how Anderson has coped with the club’s expectations at Man Utd) are bound to get restless if their new players don’t start delivering soon.

So from Gazzetta dello Sport, I’ve made a table list of the 20 most expensive transfers of the Summer break, along with a letter grade for their performance so far. What are your thoughts?

You can find my original article on the mCalcio blog here by the way.

All player costs are in Euros. To convert into Pounds, multiply by 0.7 to get a rough estimate (divide by 10 and multiply by 7, or whatever mental arithmetic suits your fancy).

1 Fernando Torres Atl. Madrid to Liverpool €39.0m
Fernando Torres, age 23El Niño‘s first encounter with the English Premiership so far has been excellent: 3 goals in the EPL, and a hat—trick in the Carling Cup. Benitez has a lot to be smiling about.A
2 Arjen Robben Chelsea to Real Madrid €36.0m
Arjen Robben, age 23His debut with the Blancos was only a few days ago, the Dutchman now needs to find his place in a Real Madrid team that already seems to be up and running. No grade
3 Pepe FC Porto to Real Madrid €30.0m
Pepe, age 24He didn’t do too badly in the pre—season matches, but his performance in the Spanish Super Cup game vs. Sevilla was a disaster. He’s been sitting on the bench ever since. C—
4 Wesley Sneijder Ajax to Real Madrid €27.0m
Wesley Sneijder, age 23The Dutch midfielder isn’t exactly a revelation, but no one thought he’d be scoring in almost every game and that he could take free—kicks better than Beckham. A+
5 Anderson FC Porto to Man Utd €25.0m
Anderson Lu�s de Abreu Oliveira, age 19Still a mystery. After his work permit problems, he hasn’t gotten much playing time with the Red Devils but when he did, played very poorly. F
5 Franck Ribéry Marseille to Bayern €25.0m
Franck Ribéry, age 24The Bundesliga hasn’t had a player this good in years: he’s become the indispensible dynamo of the Bayern team, forming an absolutely lethal trio with Klose and Toni. A+
5 Owen Hargreaves Bayern to Man Utd €25.0m
Owen Hargreaves, age 26The England international is still struggling with a few injury problems, but has done good in the few matches he’s played so far. Ferguson trusts him, so we’ll have the chance to see more of him in the future. No grade
5 Simão Sabrosa Benfica to Atl. Madrid) €25.0m
Simão Sabrosa, age 27So and so. He’s been outstanding in some matches, disappointing in others. But inconsistency is a problem the whole Atletico Madrid team seems to be having at the moment. B—
9 Darren Bent Charlton to Tottenham €24.7m
Darren Bent, age 23He’s been struggling with injury problems since the end of last season. However, considering that the club already has Berbatov, Keane and Defoe, the Spurs may have spent a little too much to buy the English striker. No grade
10 Thierry Henry Arsenal to Barcelona €24.0m
Thierry Henry, age 30Eto’o’s injury promoted the Frenchman to a fixed starter spot, but while Henry showed bits of what made him a great player at Arsenal, he still needs to fit into his new team. For a player of his standards, his debut has been fairly poor. B—
11 Alexandre Pato Inter. P.Alegre to Milan €22.0m
Alexandre Pato, age 18We really won’t know how good he is until January, when he’ll be eligible to play with his new team. So far, a friendly match against Kiev and a nice goal. No grade
12 Nani Sport. Lisbon to Man Utd €21.0m
Lu�s Carlos Almeida da Cunha He’s got the same vices as Cristiano Ronaldo: excessive feinting and too much love for spectacle. But the kid’s got one hell of a personality, and when his stuff works everyone’s on their feet. A
12 Diego Forlán Villareal to Atl. Madrid €21.0m
Diego Forlán, age 28Two goals in the Spanish Liga sor far. His partnership with Sergio Aguëro needs improvement, but it’s a good start. B+
14 Florent Malouda Lyon to Chelsea €21.0m
Florent Malouda, age 27Having just lost José Mourinho, things are very delicate at Chelsea at the moment. However, the Frenchman has played very well with the Blues so far. A
15 Gabriel Milito Zaragoza to Barcelona €20.0m
Gabriel Milito, age 27Barça bought him for a transfer fee that Juventus couldn’t afford. So far, despite a few occasional fu**—ups, the Argentine’s been doing fairly well. B+
16 Carlos Tévez West Ham to Man Utd €18.0m
Carlos Tévez, age 23The exact transfer fee is still unknown (unfinished business), but so far the Argentine has shown a lot of heart. His first tally for Red Devils was the all important match—winning goal vs. Chelsea. B+
16 Manuel Fernandes Benfica to Valencia €18.0m
Manuel Henriques Tavares Fernandes, age 21He hasn’t had the chance to show his full potential yet, because the competition at Los Che is fierce. But the talent’s there, only time will tell. No grade
18 Ryan Babel Ajax to Liverpool €17.2m
Ryan Babel, age 20In the few games that Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has given him, the Dutch youngster has alredy shown bits of pure class. Ambitious, he can bring the Reds undeniable quality in the offensive zone. A
19 Aiyegbeni Yakubu M’boro to Everton €16.5m
Aiyegbeni Yakubu, age 24He still needs to work out his teamwork with Andy Johnson, but in the meantime he opened up his goalcount in the Premiership and in the Cup. B
20 Kader Keita Lille to Lyon €16.0m
Abdul Kader Keïta, age 26His was the most expensive ingoing transfer in Lyon’s history, and so far the Ivorian striker still has to repay the confidence put in him. He’s on the right track though. B

Do you think Marco is right, or do you think he’s an idiot? 🙂 Let us know in the comments.

Marco Pantanella writes on the mCalcio blog.

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