Journalists, agents and players can rest easily for a while.The transfer window has closed and our tipster Lee Phelps has found some betting odds around three of January's biggest deals.
The transfer window slowly closed on Monday with very few blockbuster signings across Europe. We’re going to look at three of the biggest to see if they will be a hit or a miss.
The Colombian winger commanded the largest fee with Chelsea paying over 33 million Euros for the 26 year old from Fiorentina. If you don’t watch Serie A, you might remember him from the World Cup where he scored once and had four assists in his five games, including the header to James Rodriguez for his goal of the tournament and FIFA Puskas Award winning strike.
Chelsea have obviously got a tremendous talent, who has pace, superb control, an excellent touch, fantastic delivery from wide areas and can finish. He has scored 27 goals and has 23 assists in 165 club games. One goal every six games isn’t amazing, but his stats have improved markedly over the past two full seasons. He scored 15 goals in 43 last campaign, with 11 assists. Up to his move to the Premier League he has managed four goals and three set ups in his 17 games.
Having poured over his stats, the most interesting one for me is his disciplinary record. In those 165 games he has received 45 yellow cards and three reds. That equates to a yellow every three and a half matches, with his record over the last four seasons showing five, 13, 12 and eight. He is 5/2 to be shown a card against Aston Villa.
Soccer pick: Juan Cuadrado to be shown a card 3.5 (5/2)
The Ivory Coast striker is still in action for his country at the African Cup of Nations and has a chance to finish as top scorer at 8/1, given that he is trailing by just one goal and has the final still to come.
When he returns he will be plying his trade at Manchester City after that 32million Euro transfer from South Wales. I’m a huge fan of Bony’s and was surprised he didn’t move to a ‘big’ club in the summer. His record is consistent wherever he has played.
His Eredivisie days saw him get to double figures and improve his tally year on year, culminating in 37 goals in 36 games in 2012/13. That campaign got him his move to England where he rattled in 26 goals in 48 games, a third of Swansea’s goals.
He had already scored nine this season in his 22 games and will obviously get more chances playing for Manchester City, but you have to wonder how often he will play. Manuel Pellegrini has played a 4-2-3-1 formation for the last 10 Premier League games and I’m not sure they will change formation to accommodate the new man.
Soccer pick: Wilfried Bony top African Cup of Nations scorer 9.0 (8/1)
Chelsea’s ability to make money on big signings is well documented and Schurrle fits into that bracket. He was bought from Bayer Leverkusen for 22 million Euros and sold this week to Wolfsburg for 32 million!
I love his approach and work ethic but when you look at what he actually delivers on the pitch, you can see why Jose Mourinho was happy to let him go back to Germany. He only made five starts this season in the Premier League, but came on nine times as a substitute. To be fair he scored twice having come on as sub.
Last season he only played the full 90 minutes on three occasions in 30 appearances, but had a good season netting eight times, but just managing two assists. The campaign that got him the move in the Bundesliga featured 11 goals and seven assists. I suspect regular football and the move home will help him.
Wolfsburg to finish top in the market without Bayern Munich is 1.55 (6/11), which is a little shorter than I would normally play, but I really can’t see it losing, especially after their performance against the league leaders last week.
Soccer pick: Wolfsburg to win the Bundesliga (without Bayern Munich) 1.55 (6/11)