Analysis of Man Utd, Liverpool, Inter, Bayern Munich and Arsenal signings in action

This weekend's friendlies saw a cast of stars take to the field for their new teams

Matt Monaghan
by Matt Monaghan
16th July 2017

article:16th July 2017

The summer friendlies provide a proving ground for footballers drafted in at great expense to new teams.

Although no points are on the line, intriguing hints towards how the signings will fit in, their current form and whether they will be a success can be gleaned.


At Sport360°, we will keep you up-to-date with how the new boys are getting on throughout the coming weeks.

ALEXANDRE LACAZETTE

WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS 1-3 ARSENAL

RATING: 6/10

The France striker got more minutes under his belt – and in an unfamiliar position.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger selected the £46.5 million (Dh223.6 million) man on the left wing in front of more than 80,000 fan as he attempted to use him in tandem with towering centre forward Olivier Giroud.

The highlight from Lacazette – who scored in his previous appearance – came for the opener, where a smart one-two with left wing-back Nacho Monreal allowed Giroud to smash in.

Alexandre Lacazette against WSW (Getty).

Alexandre Lacazette against WSW (Getty).

VICTOR LINDELOF

LA GALAXY 2-5 MANCHESTER UNITED

RATING: 5/10

This was a mixed bag of a debut for the Sweden centre-back. Thrown on for the second half in a three-man defence, the £31 million (Dh149.1 million) addition from Benfica showed supreme comfort in possession and almost grabbed a goal.

Yet he was beaten too easily by Mexico forward Giovani Dos Santos for LA Galaxy’s first consolation effort.

New team-mate Eric Bailly set a supreme benchmark from the off last pre-season, and this is the standard expected at Old Trafford.

Victor Lindelof against LA Galaxy (Man Utd/Twitter).

Victor Lindelof against LA Galaxy (Man Utd/Twitter).

ROMELU LUKAKU

LA GALAXY 2-5 MANCHESTER UNITED

RATING: 6/10

Lukaku was forced to take a back seat during his United bow, as Marcus Rashford got a brace and the £75 million (Dh360.7 million) new boy spurned a presentable chance.

Given the second half to impress, best friend Paul Pogba’s sharp interception and instant pass should have ended up with the ball in the back of the net. But Lukaku’s dragged effort on the turn was saved by goalkeeper Brian Row.

Manager Jose Mourinho was pleased with his contribution despite the miss, saying of the striker he sold at Chelsea in 2014: “He didn’t score goals, but he played better than the ones who did score goals.

“A good thing for me today is he’s a team player and was not worried about himself. He was worried about the improvement of the team.”

Romelu Lukaku against LA Galaxy (Getty).

Romelu Lukaku against LA Galaxy (Getty).

JAMES RODRIGUEZ

BAYERN MUNICH 2-0 WERDER BREMEN

RATING: 7/10

The loan signing from Real Madrid pulled the strings in midfield as Bayern defended the Telekom Cup on Saturday.

Nominally picked in the playmaker role for the final, the Colombia star productively floated inside from the right flank during a 45-minute match in which Thomas Muller and Juan Bernat got the goals. He was also happy to take on set-piece duty as his reunion with head coach Carlo Ancelotti got under way.

“I am happy with that. I hope to get fit in the following days,” James told reporters.

“That is what I want because I’ve been training here for just four days. But I am happy after what I did today, I feel good about it.”

James Rodriguez against Werder Bremen (Getty).

James Rodriguez against Werder Bremen (Getty).

MOHAMED SALAH

WIGAN ATHLETIC 1-1 LIVERPOOL

RATING: 7/10

The Egypt forward’s eye for goal continued on debut as he struck during the stalemate at League One Wigan.

The £34 million (Dh163.5 million) buy from Roma tapped in from close range after excellent work from the Brazil duo of Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino.

Salah was then changed at half-time, meaning the Reds faithful only got a glimpse of what to expect in 2017/18.

Mohamed Salah against Wigan (Getty).

Mohamed Salah against Wigan (Getty).

BORJA VALERO

INTERNAZIONALE 1-2 NURNBERG

RATING: 7/10

The bearded Spanish centre midfielder experienced a low-key debut for the Nerazzurri, as they were beaten by lower-league German opposition.

Valero left the fray at half-time with the score goalless. His opening 45 minutes saw him bed into the Inter midfield alongside the likes of Geoffrey Kondogbia and Marcelo Brozovic.

More will be expected from the €7 million (Dh29.5 million) purchase from Fiorentina when Inter depart to China on Tuesday.

Borja Valero against Nurnberg (Inter).

Borja Valero against Nurnberg (Inter).


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