Sports / January 13, 2010

Winter transfer window: an assessment

With the winter transfer window underway, I’d like to dedicate this article to assessing the recent moves and to throwing in my two cents as to how they will play out.

David Beckham to AC Milan

Firstly, there can be no discussion of January transfers in the US without mentioning Beckham’s second loan spell to AC Milan. Say what you want about the guy, Beckham very rarely fails in new situations. Whenever he plays for England, he does so superbly. Beckham succeeded in Manchester United, succeeded in Real Madrid, has been succeeding in MLS and succeeded in Milan last year. Despite his age, Beckham is still in form and there is no reason to believe that this move won’t work out in Milan’s favor. My grade: A

Landon Donovan to Everton

Another LA galaxy player who has left on loan for the winter is USA team captain and all-time leading scorer, Landon Donovan. Donovan is arguably the greatest American soccer player of all time, and certainly the greatest outfield player (not keeper). However, he has never really succeeded in Europe. He’s played for two teams in Germany before and never scored a goal. I imagine that English soccer will be a little easier for him, though, with his recent move to Everton. Other American players have done well in the Premier league before, so there may still be hope for Donovan and for Everton fans. My grade: B

Luca Toni to AS Roma

Luca Toni is one of the greatest Italian strikers playing today. In his first season with Fiorentina, he led the Italian Serie A with 31 goals, and kept the goals coming during his first season with Bayern Munich — netting 24 to make him the top scorer in Germany. However, his form has been slightly off recently and a move back to his home country might pick it back up. Either way, it’s risky because Toni is 32. There’s a fairly good chance that his bad form has more to do with his age than with German vs. Italian styles of play. My grade: B-

Patrick Viera to Manchester City

This is one move I just don’t understand. Viera hasn’t really been at his peak since moving away from Arsenal in 2005. He’s 33 years old and only has a few years left in which he can really compete at all. Also, it’s not like Manchester City doesn’t have midfield options — Nigel De Jong, Gareth Barry and Stephan Ireland, just to name a few. I feel like the only reason City made this deal is because Viera is a recognizable name who was available. Not to say he’s not good, I just feel like Manchester City needs to stop buying stars and start building an actual, cohesive team. My grade: D+

Maxi Rodriguez to Liverpool

Maxi is a very versatile player who is a solid part of Athletico Madrid and a key player for Argentina. Liverpool needs a fresh face and they need it fast, as they have sunk to sixth place in the Premier League. Maxi may also serve a double purpose, as his play may improve that of Argentina teammate Javier Mascherano. I think this is a good move for Liverpool and a good move for Maxi. My grade: A

Gordon Barratt

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