Friday, June 17, 2011

Top Five Young Transfer Targets

1. Romelu Lukaku (age 18)- He has been dubbed  the next Didier Drogba, and from what I have seen of him, that is a fair assessment of his ability. He has strength, speed and power, three adjectives commonly applied to Chelsea's Ivorian striker. Speaking of Chelsea, they are the side most likely to sign the youngster; Anderlecht revealed earlier today that they are locked in discussions with the Blues. However, some of the fees linked to Lukaku appear highly inflated to me, I can't see how an eighteen year old playing in the Belgian First Division can possibly be worth forty million pounds.

2. Alexis Sanchez (age 22)- Arguably this summer's hottest property, Sanchez has attracted interest from virtually all of the elite European clubs. The five front runners appear to be Manchester United, Manchester City, Barcelona, Inter Milan and Juventus; but I wouldn't be surprised if Udinese pulled a shocker and sold him to someone else. Sanchez's play is very reminiscent of Cristiano Ronaldo, he possesses speed, skill and the ability to finish; there is no doubt that he will be a success wherever he goes. While I have already admitted that the prices tagged onto Romelu Lukaku are excessive, the huge ones attached to Sanchez are spot on, he was just terrific for Udinese last season.

3. Thiago Alcantara (age 20)- Linked just as heavily to Bolton Wanderers as Arsenal, Thiago has continued to reinforce his burgeoning reputation with a series of impressive performances at the Euro U21 Championships. A product of the Barcelona academy, Thiago is very much in the mold of players like Iniesta, Xavi and Messi, however, he has struggled to gain first team football at the Camp Nou. Barcelona are famed for giving young players the chance to shine, but even so players like Bojan Krkic and Thiago are beginning to become restless, and both have been linked to large numbers of clubs across the continent. Personally, I think that Thiago would do well to remain at Barca, if he continues to improve, a first team opportunity will arise, and I have no doubt that he will take it.

4. Marko Marin (age 22)- As part of a new era of young German footballers, Marko Marin has really started to shine on the Bundesliga stage. He was one of the few decent performers for Werder Bremen last season, and his skill and speed would be useful to any team in the world football. Last year, Marin was particularly impressive on the Champions League platform, putting in a terrific display against Spurs, and overall playing extremely well.

Rumor has it that he has already spurned advances by both Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool; the youngster clearly has his eye on Champions League competition. In the past, teams like Arsenal and Manchester United have also been linked to him, but both have cooled their interest, making a move to England highly unlikely.

5. Mario Gotze (age 19)- When a young player like Mario Gotze performs brilliantly on the way to his team's Bundesliga triumph, other clubs take notice. Gotze is a player very similar to Real Madrid's brilliant Mesut Ozil, a man capable of changing a game with one touch or pass and coming up with important goals too. Playing for Dortmund last season, Gotze became a regular in a team which eventually won the Bundesliga title, but there is still some question as to whether he will be playing for the champions next season. Arsenal have been heavily linked to a move for Gotze, he is deemed an ideal replacement for contract rebel Samir Nasri, but Dortmund have moved quickly to deny that a deal is in place. At the tender age of nineteen, I think it would be best for Gotze to remain in the Bundesliga for a couple more seasons, but I certainly wouldn't be surprised if he moved abroad.

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