10 summer signings that don’t make much sense
Andriy Yarmolenko (Borussia Dortmund to West Ham)
At the time this was eye-catching; maybe even a statement of West Ham’s intent. Perhaps. More realistically, though, they seem to have signed a player on the basis of an outdated reputation.
Yarmolenko was an outstanding player three years ago – the point at which he should have left Ukraine for a big Spanish, English or German club – but his move to Borussia Dortmund came too late, evidenced by his poor performances and slow drift out of the side.
Most troublingly, the 28-year-old is most effective from the right side of midfield as an inverted winger, and that’s a position which has subsequently been filled at the London Stadium by Felipe Anderson. West Ham have got a name, but probably only a fading player.
Javier Pastore (PSG to Roma)
Roma's director of football, Monchi, has made his reputation on smart transfer dealings and one rotten move doesn’t tarnish that, but this is ugly. Pastore is now 29 years old and yet somehow still cost £22m. Worse, Roma have signed him to a – presumably very generous – five-year contract.
Five years! He may still be a capable player, but Monchi has walked straight into a Wayne Bridge/David Bentley situation this time. PSG needed to sell the player to balance their Financial Fair Play books, so this was a bad bit of negotiating.
Joe Hart (Manchester City to Burnley)
OK, so Nick Pope will be on the sidelines for three to six months, and Tom Heaton is currently nursing a calf strain – but Burnley now have five (!) first-team goalkeepers if you also consider Anders Lindegaard (which you should) and Adam Legzdins (less so).
Do they really need Hart, who has suffered tremendously from poor form in recent years, and will have surely arrived at Turf Moor on decent wages? It seems needlessly short-termist to cover a couple of injuries to two very good England goalkeepers. Good luck to Sean Dyche when they’re all back fit.
Tottenham (all the player they didn’t sign)
A calamity. Daniel Levy’s commitment to negotiating late in the window certainly blew up in his face this summer and, with an ageing midfield and a lack of cover in critical areas, Spurs have failed to make any additions at all.
Mauricio Pochettino put on a brave face during his Thursday press conference, suggesting that he wasn’t concerned with the lack of reinforcements. But with a lengthy injury list already, ground to make up on both Manchester clubs and the teams below all making significant upgrades, that can’t be true.
It’s a terrible failure and, given the position of strength which they’ve probably surrendered, maybe one Tottenham will regret for a long time.
Salomon Rondon (West Brom to Newcastle)
Nothing against Rondon, because he’s a serviceable player and should actually make Newcastle better, but the deal itself represents more opaque Mike Ashley manoeuvring. Rafael Benitez has needed a proper forward since the beginning of last season and yet, somehow, Ashley managed to spin a fairly rudimentary loan negotiation out over the entire summer.
And the reality is, of course, that Newcastle – as a club and institution – could so obviously attract someone of a higher calibre. They may not be able to shop in the most expensive parts of the market, but they certainly could have given Benitez more to work with.
So, yes: another summer, another maddening instance of the club being cheap.
NEXT: Why bring him back *now*?