Part I of a two-part series. See Part II here.
Paul Pogba to Juventus – 8.5/10
Paul Pogba’s career seems to have come full circle – again – as he returned to Juventus as a free agent after running down his Manchester United contract, for the second time. While Pogba has become a villain among the Red Devils’ faithful, his return caused a lot of excitement at the Italian club.
Getting a player of Pogba’s caliber on a free transfer is a major coup for Juventus. For the Frenchman, the move makes sense. He’s played at Juventus before and knows the ins and outs of how to succeed in Serie A.
Pogba knows how to operate under Massimiliano Allegri’s system and will play at an environment where he’s widely loved. As long as he can avoid injuries and maintain concentration, Pogba should become a pivotal part of the Juventus side and help make them more exciting with his creative vision as well as tendency to pull off special moments time and again.
Gravenberch to Bayern tops under-the-radar transfers – 8/10
Bayern Munich have had an eventful summer so far with several big transfers, including selling Robert Lewandowski, signing Sadio Mane from Liverpool and bringing in Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus. However, their smartest, and probably most economical acquisition, is that of Dutch midfielder Ryan Gravenberch from Ajax.
The Bavarians reportedly paid just over £20m (including bonuses) for the 20-year-old midfielder, who is regarded among the best of his generation. Gravenberch is hard working and highly versatile, being able to slot into a number of roles.
He can play anywhere in midfield, be it as a defensive midfielder, a No. 8 or a box-to-box midfielder. He has already made over 100 appearances for Ajax, scoring 12 goals and providing 13 assists.
WhoScored states his passing ability, aerial prowess, long-range shooting and creative passes as his biggest strengths. Gravenberch is the entire package you’d want in a midfielder and will only get better at Munich, making this move one of the best long-term transfers of the summer.
Christian Eriksen to Manchester United – 8/10
Manchester United have had a dramatic transfer window, being linked with a lot of transfers, but spending only a little over £60m on three signings. But the most value-for-money buy has to be Christian Eriksen on a free.
The ex-Tottenham Hotspur midfielder opted to join the Red Devils ahead of Brentford after buying into Erik ten Hag’s project. In Eriksen, United are getting a highly experienced, creative midfielder who can slot into multiple roles.
The 30-year-old’s impressive creative vision, set-piece ability and passing efficiency makes him a Rolls Royce-like figure in midfield. After returning to the Premier League earlier this year with Brentford, with a defibrillator installed to deal with his heart condition, Eriksen was extremely impressive.
He had 5 goal contributions (1 goal, 4 assists) in 11 appearances, helping Brentford avoid relegation. Eriksen is bound to make United better, adding a sense of composure and added creativity to their midfield. At the end of the season, Eriksen can prove to be one of the best transfers of the summer if utilized properly by United.