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20. Andriy Shevchenko (Chelsea to AC Milan)
Last Week: 18

After two seasons of mediocrity at Chelsea, the Ukrainian is back at his spiritual home. Nonetheless this is a considerable gamble for the rossoneri: with a full complement of fit strikers, a Shevchenko who cannot hit form may warm the bench. On the other hand his return - even as a 30-year-old - could signal a goalscoring comeback unseen in Serie A since... well, since Andriy Shevchenko.

19. Julio Baptista (Real Madrid to AS Roma)
Last Week: 17

The Beast, The Tank - you'd be as well calling him The Happy Wanderer, for the Brazilian has now experienced three countries in as many seasons. The 26-year-old has only seldom repeated the form that saw him shine at Sevilla four seasons ago, but he began the last campaign well enough with Madrid. Part of the problem is that he's been kept out of position for so long in order to accommodate more prestigious players: if Roma can build a system around him, instead of slotting him in wherever there happens to be a space, they could have a real superstar on their hands.

18. Seydou Keita (Sevilla to Barcelona)
Last Week: 16

At the time of his arrival he was the best signing Barcelona had made this season, particularly in light of the way their soft underbelly was exposed on the road last year. With him partnering Yaya Touré in the middle, it will ensure that the likes of Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi do not get bullied, and also get the full license to thrill. 15 million euros worth their value.

17. Ezequiel Garay (Racing Santander to Real Madrid)
Last Week: 15

What a capture! Barcelona seemed to have him in the bag, but hesitated a little too much as they waited for Frank Rijkaard to leave and a new coach to take charge. Madrid managed to snatch Sergio Ramos a few years ago, and what a signing that has turned out to be. This one may be no different.

16. Deco (Barcelona to Chelsea)
Last Week: 14

On the wrong side of 30, a first look suggests that he is past it, but nothing could be further from the truth. There is a fire that burns in him as we saw during Euro 2008, and he has a lot more to give to football. He is not what Frank Lampard is, as he will never score as many goals. But then, he is also everything Lampard is not. Superb creativity, a great eye for the game, and an ability to run the show that has seen him win the Champions League with two different clubs. Finally, Chelsea have a player who can orchestrate the pleasing football their owner wants. With Ballack and Essien set to play around him, it will be an ominous midfield.

15. Amantino Mancini (Roma to Inter)
Last Week: 13

Jose Mourinho does not quite promote exciting football, but he does like a fast, aggressive winger forward at least on one flank. That is just what he has found in Mancini, who will be handed the license to thrill just as Arjen Robben was during the glory years at Chelsea. Tends to blow hot and cold, though, as Roma found out last season. Lack of consistency will not go down well with the 'Special One', so he does need to focus a lot more.

14. David Bentley (Blackburn to Tottenham)
Last Week: 12

A great way for Spurs to show their ambition - by winning the race for the talented Blackburn winger, and in the process signing a former Arsenal youngster. Given what Juande Ramos did with Jesus Navas - a very similar player - this one has success written all over it. He has the potential form a formidable attacking midfield along with Giovani Dos Santos and Luka Modric.

13. Robbie Keane (Tottenham to Liverpool)
Last Week:11

Make no mistake, I rate him very highly. That said, the Reds paid a few millions too many. He will still score the 15-20 goals needed to complement Fernando Torres' 25-30, so Rafa might just have splashed the extra cash with good reason. Their draw happy start to the season destroyed their title challenge last time around, so goals is what they need, and that is what they will get.

12. Amauri (Palermo to Juventus)
Last Week: 10

The Brazilian-Italian striker made it to number three after earning himself a long overdue move to a top four club, but now slips down to nine. He has already shown his potential with Palermo, and the prospect of him getting some top quality service from the Juve midfield is simply mouth-watering. Champions League, here he comes.

11. Vincent Kompany (Hamburg SV to Manchester City)
Last Week: 9

The former Hamburg man left Germany under something of a cloud in order to affect a very quick transfer to City, but for all the "shotgun wedding" nature of the move it seems to have been the Mancunians' best of the summer. Put it this way: just one game into his tenure he put in a confident, mature showing in what is thought to be the world's fastest and most furious league, then said afterwards with characteristic nonchalance that he learned his new teammates' names on the pitch. Imagine what he'll be like once he's settled in and has a bit more experience.

10. Daniel Alves (Sevilla to Barcelona)
Last Week: 8

Chelsea, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Manchester United – these are just some of the clubs that have queued up for him over the last 18 months or so. However, it is Barcelona who land him after some difficult negotiations with Sevilla. Perhaps a touch overpriced at 30 million euros (he would have been number one on this list at 20m), but then again, he is the best attacking full-back this world has seen since Roberto Carlos.

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11,868 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
9. Quaresma (FC Porto to Inter)
Last Week: 7

The only transfer saga of the summer more long-running (and some would say more boring) than that of Amauri, it seems as though Ricardo Quaresma has finally made his move from Porto to Inter. A class act at domestic level for years, the Portuguese international still has much to prove in Europe, particularly in light of the fact that his time with FC Barcelona was deemed a failure. Nonetheless he brings with him considerable talent and pedigree. His price tag - €30.6m - is on the high side, but he is nonetheless a fine acquisition for José Mourinho's side. Remember - he's still only 24.

8. Dimitar Berbatov (Tottenham Hotspur to Manchester United)
New Entry

A proven goalscorer at Premier League level and one with ambition as big as his reputation - what's not to like? Well, the price tag, for one thing: at £30.75m (€38m) plus a loan signing going the other way he's far from cheap, and that he only joined right at the tail end of the window means that he still has some settling in to do. Nonetheless his quality is above question and his potential is magnificent: providing, of course, that Fergie can get the best out of him. One disagreement could see this marriage made in heaven hit the rocks, and for this reason he is 8th.

7. Robinho (Real Madrid to Manchester City)
New Entry

Like Berbatov below, Robinho arrives with a great deal of talent, but also no shortage of controversy. In one of those moves that you might politely say was fiscal above all else, the Brazilian managed to leave Real Madrid on deadline day for €40.5m of Abu Dhabi's money. Unthinkably gifted, when Robinho shines he dazzles, but when he fades he's indistinct. The worries are that he may be too lightweight for the rough-and-tumble Premier League and, a bit like Dimitar, he can be a loose cannon. Again, if Mark Hughes can tame this wild wizard then his potential is without limits. If he can't...

6. Samir Nasri (Marseille to Arsenal)
Last Week: 6

The highly rated French international is the latest to join the clan of young Gunners. Many view him as a replacement for Aliaksandr Hleb, while others go a step further and call him the next Zidane. He has had some problems with injuries, but let's hope those were exceptions as opposed to the rule. The prodigous playmaker is at number five.

5. Ronaldinho (Barcelona to Milan)
Last Week: 5

A gamble? Yes. But given the chance, would you sign one of the all time greats of football for a third of his market price last summer? You bet you would. At 28, he is far from over. Some diet planning and some tough training, and he will give at least three or four good years to the Rossoneri. A gamble nonetheless, or he would definitely have been number one. Number four for the Gaucho.

4. Luka Modric (Dinamo Zagreb to Tottenham)
Last Week: 4

The hottest young Croatian was snapped up by Spurs despite the interest of clubs such as Barcelona and Chelsea, and what a signing it has already turned out to be. Looks set to become the jewel in Juande Ramos' midfield next season. He remains at the sharp end of our list.

3. Aliaksandr Hleb (Arsenal to Barcelona)
Last Week: 3

A very shrewd buy, and what could very well turn out to be a stroke of genius from Barcelona. With Lionel Messi expected to run the show, what they needed was not a Ronaldinho, but a tireless, no-nosense attacking midfielder to offer support from the other flank - without hogging possession or the limelight. And they got him on the cheap too. A true critics' player in that while fans rave about others, he runs away with the technical plaudits.

2. Mathieu Flamini (Arsenal to Milan)
Last Week: 2

The underrated Frenchman was one of Arsenal's best players last season, and Milan's signing was nothing less than a coup. That it was a free transfer makes it even better. Has been the smartest transfer this summer for a while, now, but drops down to number two, finally.

1. Rafael van der Vaart (Hamburg to Real Madrid)
Last Week: 1

A lifelong Barcelona fan and one of the best playmakers in the world today, how Madrid managed to sign him for nine million euros I don't know. What is even more baffling is how Hamburg let him go at that price (even if clauses could raise it to 13m). I would probably have put him up here even if he had cost 15 million. A downright steal, and just the kind of person who will add to Bernd Schuster's team without destroying it (get the hint?).
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