Best transfer windows: Dutch connection for AC Milan makes them pick of 1980s

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Real Madrid’s emphatic start to this summer’s transfer market has stolen football’s attention.

An extensive rebuild promised to returning head coach Zinedine Zidane has already seen – including deals previously agreed – more than €300 million spent on the likes of mesmerising Chelsea attacker Eden Hazard, promising Eintracht Frankfurt forward Luka Jovic and emerging Lyon left-back Ferland Mendy.

There is still the promise of even more to come, with links to €150m-rated Manchester United centre midfielder Paul Pogba refusing to go away.

This splurge is sure to transform Los Blancos’ expectations after they claimed just the Club World Cup in 2018/19. But how does it compare to previous ones?

We’ve looked back through the past five decades to select the most-consequential pre-season spending sprees. Here is the pick of the 1980s:

AC MILAN (1987)

Key arrivals: Carlo Ancelotti, Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten, Alessandro Costacurta (loan return)

Honourable mentions: Juventus (1982 – Michel Platini, Zbigniew Boniek), Napoli (1984 – Diego Maradona, Salvatore Bagni), ­Inter Milan (1988 Lothar Matthaus, Andreas Brehme, Nicola Berti), Barcelona (1989 – Michael Laudrup, Ronald Koeman)

Serie A’s lengthy stranglehold on the transfer market would begin during the era of excess that was the 1980s.

No one rode this wave better than billionaire businessman – and controversial future Italian prime minister – Silvio Berlusconi.

A fallen giant was saved from bankruptcy by the plutocrat in February 1986. In little more than a year, his enormous injection of cash would start turning into football gold.

The summer of 1987 witnessed real alchemy. Revolutionary head coach Arrigo Sacchi was poached from Parma and furnished with the players to match his grand vision.

A world-record 18 million guilders (£6m) landed dynamic Netherlands midfielder Ruud Gullit from PSV Eindhoven. Another raid on the Eredivisie would secure the signature of the world’s – then – most-promising striker: Ajax’s Marco van Basten.

It wasn’t just brazen spending, either. Cultured, but oft-injured, Italy midfielder Carlo Ancelotti was snared from Roma and versatile defender Alessandro Costacurta was welcomed back from a spell away on loan at Monza.

With the supreme talents of Frank Rijkaard, Paolo Maldini and Franco Baresi’s calibre already in place, a flood of trophies would follow.

Van Basten would net 125 times in 201 games before a chronic ankle injury effectively ended his career aged 28. Gullit would excel in virtually every position on the pitch, Ancelotti provided the brains of the side until 1992 and Costacurta would notch 693 appearances.

Together with Sacchi, they cast aside the constraints of ‘Catenaccio’. An innovative high-pressing style in a 4-4-2 formation would influence the likes of Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp.

Before Sacchi’s intense and meticulous methods provoked an inevitable implosion, he’d claim nine major trophies with the iconic squad that was shaped in summer 1987.

Most popular

Best transfer windows: Kenny Dalglish and Alan Hansen make Liverpool kings of the 1970s

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Real Madrid’s emphatic start to this summer’s transfer market has stolen football’s attention.

An extensive rebuild promised to returning head coach Zinedine Zidane has already seen – including deals previously agreed – more than €300 million spent on the likes of Chelsea superstar Eden Hazard, promising Eintracht Frankfurt forward Luka Jovic and emerging Lyon left-back Ferland Mendy.

There is still the promise of even more to come, with links to €150m-rated Manchester United centre midfielder Paul Pogba refusing to go away.

This splurge is sure to transform Los Blancos’ expectations after they claimed just the Club World Cup in 2018/19. But how does it compare to previous ones?

We’ve looked back through the past five decades to select the most-consequential pre-season spending sprees. Here is the pick of the 1970s:

LIVERPOOL (1977)

Key arrivals: Alan Hansen, Kenny Dalglish

Honourable mentions: Barcelona (1973 – Johan Cruyff, Migueli), Juventus (1974 – Sergio Brio, Gaetano Scirea), Real Madrid (1977 – Uli Stielike, Juanito), Nottingham Forest (1977 – Peter Shilton, Archie Gemmill, Kenny Burns)

Liverpool found themselves at a crossroads.

Fuelled by the goals and creativity of Kevin Keegan, years of rapid progress had culminated with the hallowed double of the First Division and European Cup in 1976/77. But the England superstar dropped a bombshell mid-season when a desire to head abroad was announced, eventually moving to big-spending West German-outfit Hamburg.

An inflection point had been reached. Fail to procure an appropriate replacement for ‘Mighty Mouse’ and they’d be left feeding on crumbs.

Under the formidable Bob Paisley’s guidance, however, they didn’t just sign a new elite forward in 1977’s summer market. They also landed in a double raid north of the border, arguably, the British Isles’ greatest-ever centre-back.

Celtic forward Kenny Dalglish and Partick Thistle defender Alan Hansen would provide the foundations for one of the game’s most dominant sides. Both would depart with major medal hauls, as players, of 20 and 23 – figures that include a trio of further European Cup victories.

The slender Hansen oozed style and composure, possessing all you’d require from a ball-playing centre-back. His relationships with Phil Thompson and Mark Lawrenson became the stuff of legend.

Dalglish would transcend even that influence to become a pivotal figure in the club’s illustrious history.

A British transfer record of £440,000 not only bought the finest striker produced by post-war Britain, it also delivered a player-manager and manager who carried on a record of success. Plus, his dignity and commitment would hold a city together in the wake of April 1989’s tragic Hillsborough disaster.

Dalglish ensured the club was represented at all of the 96 fans’ funerals and attended many of them in person.

A return to the dugout from 2011/12 ended sourly. But his colossal achievements witnessed Anfield’s Centenary Stand renamed after him in May 2017.

Most popular

Transfer predictor: James Rodriguez to Atletico Madrid is an 8 but Dani Alves to Spurs is a 5

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Struggling to pick out the facts from the figures? Reality from the rubbish? Sense from the silly season? We’ve got you sorted in our daily dose of the Transfer Predictor, where we round up the latest rumours with an analytical spin.

We sort through the most eye-catching transfer reports of the past 24 hours and give a balanced judgment on whether the move really will happen – and why.

Today’s edition features potential signings for Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich and Tottenham.

JAMES RODRIGUEZ

James Rodriguez 2

Real Madrid -> €50 million -> Atletico Madrid

Real Madrid’s out-of-favour midfielder James Rodriguez could join city rivals Atletico Madrid after Bayern Munich refused to activate the purchase option on his loan deal. Esto Es Atleti claim that an agreement between the clubs is already in place and the transfer sum could exceed €50 million after add-ons.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN

Madrid and Bayern don’t want the player anymore but it would be absurd to label Rodriguez as anything but world class. The Colombian playmaker can comfortably start for a top European club and Atletico might just be his calling.

Diego Simeone will need more fire-power in his attacking department despite the mega purchase of Portugal wonderkid Joao Felix and the sale of Antoine Griezmann as well as Lucas Hernandez will have added plenty of money to the coffers.

Rodriguez knows the league, the city and could do well in what looks like a perfect reboot for his club career.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN

There are not many forces preventing this move from materialising. Napoli were said to be in the tussle as well, but AS now report that the Italian club has pulled out. Few players in modern times have made the move between the two Madrid clubs, but Los Blancos are unlikely to turn down the opportunity to get rid of an unwanted player.

TRANSFER RATING: 8/10

KIERAN TRIPPIER

Andrew Robertson and Kieran Trippier

Tottenham -> undisclosed -> Bayern Munich

Kieran Trippier failing to build on his impressive World Cup performances from last year has resulted in Tottenham putting him up for sale in the summer transfer window. Sky Sports suggest that German giants Bayern Munich are interested in signing him as a back-up for Joshua Kimmich.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN

It’s unlikely that elite clubs will approach Spurs with a bumper offer to sign Trippier, who has just endured a poor season despite Spurs’ run to the Champions League final. The England international will find that given Kimmich’s versatility, Bayern could be the one top club where he could eke out some extensive playing time.

Bayern, on the other hand, will gain a player with top-tier experience who is certainly a notch above the average level of back-up players.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN

Despite their €70m purchase of Lucas Hernandez, Bayern historically don’t like to splurge on players and according to reports, Trippier won’t come cheap. Transfermarkt value the 28-year-old at €35 million – which is not a small amount for a back-up player.

Besides, Bayern will clearly prioritise a winger with the departures of Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, and that  transfer is likely to burn a hole in their pockets. This deal is hence unlikely to see the break of dawn unless Spurs budge from their potentially high asking price.

Sky Germany also report that Bayern Munich could sign Monaco and Germany full-back Benjamin Henrichs , who is more versatile as he is adept at playing on the left.

TRANSFER RATING: 4/10

DANI ALVES

Old, but gold: Dani Alves.

Old, but gold: Dani Alves.

Paris Saint-Germain-> Free Transfer -> Tottenham

With Trippier on the transfer list, the Champions League runners-up may need a marquee signing in the right-back position to compete in Europe again. If reports are to be believed, Spurs could also sell Serge Aurier and rope in two right-backs before the transfer window closes.

Dani Alves – who refused to extend with PSG – has been contacted, according to Sunday Times journalist Duncan Castles.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN

36-year-old Dani Alves was Brazil’s best player in their Copa America triumph. This should serve as conclusive proof that there is still a lot of football left in the full-back and he can still perform at the top level at a top club.

Alves’ experience could go a long way in helping Spurs to a title, or at least close the gap on Liverpool and Manchester City next year. The player should have no problem moving to a top club which can genuinely contest in Europe under a competent manager in Mauricio Pochettino, who has placed himself in the upper echelons of current coaches.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN

Spurs will find that despite the absence of a transfer fee, signing free agent Alves will not be a straightforward task. Several top clubs like Arsenal and Manchester City could offer resistance.

The prospect of reuniting with Pep Guardiola at City could play a big role, with the Brazilian still mulling over his next club.

TRANSFER RATING: 5/10

Most popular