2009 eh? A year that will be remembered for Cristiano Ronaldo eventually moving from Manchester United to Real Madrid, Xabi Alonso joined him at the Bernebeu from Liverpool as part of Florentino Perez new Galactico splurge. Manchester United signed Luis Antonio Valencia and Michael Owen, Arsenal signed Thomas Vermaelen, Liverpool signed Alberto Aquilani although quite why remains a mystery. Harry Redknapp signed half of his former Pompey team to join him at Spurs and Manchester City signed as many strikers as they could and then gave Mark Hughes twenty minutes to make them into a team before sacking him in a blaze of gross insensitivity and crass knee-jerk boardroom incompetence. With 2009 drawing to a close, here is our look at the best and worst transfers of 2009. You can decide which of these five fit into each category;
1. Carlos Tevez (Kia Joorabchian and his weird, slightly worrying sports empire to Manchester City) The facially inept one declared that he didn’t want to leave Manchester United but Sir Alex was effectively pushing him out. He also said he didn’t want to upset United fans by joining Liverpool, so instead he joined Manchester City. Which is a bit like saying, “I don’t want to offend you by sleeping with your daughter, so I can I sleep with your sister?”. Not content with the huge “Welcome to Manchester” poster he inspired that upset Sir Alex Ferguson, he ordered a print of it for his new Cheshire home, threatened to retire and then started to play with the pace, energy and invention that made him such a popular figure at Old Trafford. Tevez form could play a pivotal role for City in 2010 and as the weeks go by, he is looking like one of the more astute signings made by Mark Hughes during his short tenure at the club.
2. Joleon Lescott (Everton – Manchester City) If you see Manchester City fans walking around dazed, wide eyed and haggard looking stating “Twenty million quid! He cost twenty million quid” incredulously, then it is a good bet that they are talking about the former Everton defender. Bought to shore up the City defence at the expense of Richard Dunne, he has been teetering on the verge of woeful to abysmal on his initial performances and it seems he won’t get too much chance to improve on things at the moment, given he is out with injury. Not that Manchester City fans are crying.
3. Richard Dunne (Manchester City – Aston Villa) Somewhat shoved out of the door by Manchester City to facilitate the arrival of Joleon Lescott, the poor Honeymonster was shunted off to Villa without so much as a “thank you”. Since then he’s been arguably the best defender in the Premier league, scored goals (including one against his former club) and has become something of a must have in Fantasy teams across the country, so consistent are his performances. Villa currently lie fourth and have one of the best defensive records in the Premier League. City lie sixth and have conceeded ten more goals in one less game than Villa and have conceeded just one less goal than bottom club Portsmouth. Nice piece of business Martin O’Neill!
4. Alberto Aquilani (AS Roma – Liverpool) Need I say any more? No, thought not. Reds fans weep at leisure, the rest can have a good giggle.
5. Darren Bent (Tottenham – Sunderland) When Harry allowed him to leave Spurs, many felt that Bent was on the way down. That he had blown his chance at the big time at White Hart Lane. However under Steve Bruce he has rediscovered his best form, forced his way into Fabio Capello’s England plans for the Summer and has scored the same number of league goals this year as a certain Fernando Torres.
What were your five transfer deals of the year 2009, for the right or wrong reasons?
And remember to spend 2010 tuning into the Transfer Tavern and FootballFancast for all the latest transfer news as it happens!
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