Arsenal

Ten Of This Summers Most Wanted – Where Did They Actually End Up?

Balotelli was one of the biggest transfers of the summer

This summer’s transfer window was an interesting one: City spent a couple of quid again, United didn’t get Ozil but did get a former Homeless World Cup player, Arsenal finally got their man Chamakh and Redknapp signed van der Vaart, despite claiming he’d be ‘surprised’ if he got anyone on deadline day. Bet you were, Harry…

Here’s a quick look at what happened to some of the more sought-after players over the summer…

1.Hulk

A move for the aptly-nicknamed powerful centre-forward never materialised over the summer, and Hulk remains in the Portuguese Liga with FC Porto. He’s had an excellent start to the season with Porto, scoring 8 goals in 8 appearances, and if his performances keep up, he may find a move to a higher-standard league on the cards.

2.Franck Ribery

Since moving to Bayern Munich in 2007, it seems as though Ribery has been constantly linked with a move away. Despite his links with Manchester United and Chelsea over the years, Ribery has been making noises that suggest that he’d only consider a move to Spain in the future. The Frenchman remains in Munich for the time being, however, where Bayern have had a slow start to the season, taking just 8 points from their opening 6 games.

3. Sergio Aguero

The Argentinean is another who had been linked with the Premiership’s top two of last season, and yet remains with Atletico Madrid in La Liga. Again, however, Aguero seems to be put off by the culture and tradition of this countr … oh, who am I kidding, it’s the rain. Of the clubs vying for his signature, the only interest he seemed to reciprocate was from Inter Milan.

4. Mario Balotelli

One of the few big summer rumours that ultimately went through. Balotelli was linked with a host of clubs in the Premiership, but the only side with the financial clout to take a gamble on the troublesome striker were the Kings of Frugality, Manchester City. The £24million player is yet to be seen in the Premier League, due to injury, but scored on his City debut in the Europa League against FC Timisoara.

5. Angel Di Maria

Di Maria was heavily linked with a move away from Benfica over the summer, with United, City and Chelsea all showing interest in the winger. As was the case with Mesut Ozil (and countless others over the years), Di Maria opted for a move to Spain rather than come to the Premiership. The Argentinean’s had a lively start to life in La Liga, playing all five of Real’s league games so far, scoring once.

6. Yoann Gourcuff

Linked heavily with a move to England or Spain, Gourcuff did make a move over the summer: staying in France, switching Bordeaux for Lyon. Interest in the playmaker cooled after the World Cup in South Africa, in which Gourcuff was a part of France’s disastrous campaign, getting sent off in their final game against the hosts.

7. Igor Akinfeev

The CSKA Moscow goalkeeper has had quite a career for a 24-year old, becoming Russia’s first choice keeper and winning the UEFA Cup with CSKA in 2005. No wonder then that Sir Alex Ferguson would see him as the ideal replacement for Edwin van der Sar; and with United’s goalkeeping dilemma set to stay with Tomasz Kuszczak wanting first team football, there’s still a good chance he could wind up in Manchester.

8. Edin Dzeko

Dzeko was perhaps the most surprising player to stay with his club during the summer transfer window. After Wolfsburg finished 8th in the Bundesliga last season, it was widely thought that Dzeko would be leaving for one of Europe’s big guns. However, the Bosnian appears to have put his faith in new manager Steve McClaren: whether or not is faith will be repaid remains to be seen, with Wolfsburg winning three and losing three of their opening six games.

9. Eden Hazard

The Belgian teenager is very highly-rated, having made 14 appearances for the national side despite being just 19. He’s contracted to Ligue 1 Lille until 2014, and it may prove to be better for him to stay with the French club for another couple of years at least,  before moving on to a bigger club.

10. Marouane Chamakh

The Chamakh transfer wound up being one of the most protracted transfers of modern football, and the news that he’d signed for Arsenal was hardly a surprise when his Bordeaux contract expired over the summer. The lanky striker has looked the part so far in North London, and Arsenal fans will be relieved that they no longer have to rely quite so heavily on the self-proclaimed greatest footballer of all time, Nicklas Bendtner.

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