Transfer window – best bits of business

I know it’s a bit late for a post on the deadline day deals, so I thought I’d take a look at the plethora of deals done over the whole summer.

With the World Cup not finishing until mid-July, it took a while for the biggest transfers to be completed. Milan and Manchester City were among the biggest movers and shakers, with high-profile deals for the likes of Ibrahimovic, Robinho and Yaya Toure standing out, but other teams went about their business more efficiently.

I have highlighted five summer transfers which – while not as headline-grabbing as others – will soon be looked back on as some of the more intelligent pieces of business to take place this summer.

1. Fabio Quagliarella – Napoli to Juventus (loan)

The classy forward was one of very few Italian players to improve his profile at the World Cup, scoring one of the goals of the tournament against Slovakia.

But it is Quagliarella’s Serie A record which suggests Juventus have made a tidy purchase (they have paid €4.5m up front with an option to make his signing permanent for a further €10.5).

He has netted at least 11 league goals in every season since 2006/7, earning him some international recognition, but he has failed to hold down a regular starting spot for the national side. At the age of 27, Quagliarella will hope the move to the Delle Alpi will endear him to new Italy coach Cesare Prandelli as the Azzurri look to get their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign off to a good start.

2. Diego – Juventus to Wolfsburg (€15.5m)

With Quagliarella moving to Turin, along with Milos Krasic and Leonardo Bonnucci on big-money deals, new Juve boss Luigi Delneri needed to clear some space in his squad.

Diego had not enjoyed the best of debut seasons after moving from Werder Bremen in a big-money deal, and Juve felt the time was right to cash in on him. Wolfsburg jumped at the chance to sign the Brazilian playmaker, and who can blame them given the way he starred in Bremen.

Certain players seem to really stand out in the Bundesliga yet fail to make a similar impact in Europe’s ‘bigger’ leagues, and Diego is certainly one of those. He has already netted on his Wolfsburg debut, and it will surely only be a matter of time before we see more goals like this start to fly in.

3. Diego Godin – Villarreal to Atletico Madrid (€8m)

Victory in the Europa League final does not mask the fact that 2009/10 was a largely disappointing season for Atletico. A lowly 9th place finish in La Liga and an early exit from the Champions League meant boss Quique Sanchez Flores knew a lot of work would need to be done.

With an imposing front-line containing Forlan, Reyes, Simao and Aguero, it does not take a genius to realise defence is where Sanchez Flores needed to improve his options. Dominguez is still raw, while Ujfalusi and Juanito are coming to the ends of their careers, so a top-class defender in his prime was on the shopping list.

Godin enjoyed a strong partnership with Diego Lugano in Uruguay’s run to the World Cup semi-finals, and already has 43 international caps at the tender age of 24. When added to three years of La Liga experience at El Madrigal, it is easy to see why president Enrique Cerezo freed up the funds for his purchase.

4. Miguel Veloso – Sporting to Genoa (€9m)

While Liverpool were making their move for Raul Meireles at an over-inflated €14m price-tag, Meireles’ Portuguese international team-mate Veloso was ending his 10-year association with Sporting.

The holding midfielder has seen his stock fall a little in recent years, with Manchester United among others dropping their interest, but he remains a valuable asset to any team.

Genoa coach Gian Piero Gasperini looks to be building a good side at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris, with Kakha Kaladze, Luca Toni and Rafinha all joining Veloso at the club this summer.

5. Dieumerci Mbokani – Standard Liege to Monaco (€7m)

Perhaps the least well-known of my five picks, Mbokani could well prove to be the one who makes the biggest impact. It is not often that Monaco fork out big sums of money, so this guy must be something special, right?

Right. The Congolese striker has a phenomenal scoring record in African football, netting 88 times in 99 games in his homeland, and continued the record in Belgium with Anderlecht and Standard.

He joins a talented young squad including World Cup stars Park Chu-Young and Nicolas N’Koulou, as Les Rouge et Blanc look to get back among the Ligue 1 elite.

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