Home / Soccer Fans / Summer Transfer Season – The Losers


While there is still plenty of time for clubs to find the missing pieces for next season, some of the biggest names in the game have been surprisingly silent. So here come the losers of the summer thus far. Just remember, clubs can just as quickly become a winner or a loser with one move.

1.    Arsenal: The Gunners seem to be sliding backward after a fourth-place finish in the English Premier League last season. The turmoil began when Vice-Chairman David Dein left and soon after Thierry Henry was out the door to Barcelona. Things haven’t gotten any better for Arsenal, which has to hear daily cries from Real Madrid that they will be going after midfield dynamo Cesc Fabregas. With no notable additions, the Gunners are not spending like their rivals in the Premiership’s “Big Four.” So far Arsenal have added three players in goalie Lukasz Fabianski, 24-year-old striker Eduardo da Silva and 24-year-old defender Bacary Sagna. Sagna cost 7 million pounds and the other two fees were not disclosed. Not that spending correlates with winning, but since 2004, Arsenal has actually made a small profit in the transfer market, while Chelsea, Manchester United and Liverpool have been spending heavily. Since 2004, Arsenal has finished second, fourth and fourth in the EPL standings. While Arsene Wenger has shown a shrewd eye for young talent and acquiring it early, the Gunners need some established players to help them maintain their place at the top of the EPL.

2.    AC Milan: What a disappointing summer so far for the European champions. Milan now claims that it is giving up its pursuit of Samuel Eto’o and Ronaldinho, its top two targets for the summer. This comes after Milan was beat out by rivals Inter Milan for the signature of forward David Suazo. Now Milan has admitted it made a mistake in signing Ricardo Oliveira last summer and is loaning him to Real Zaragoza after he scored just three goals in 26 games. With an ageing team and no truly scary scoring threat besides Kaka, Milan cannot afford to be stagnant the rest of the summer.

3.    Lyon: While winning six straight Ligue 1 titles in France, Olympique Lyonnais have done little wrong, except make a deep run in the Champions League. However, Lyon’s summer has not been great so far. They lost the left side of their team in French standouts fullback Eric Abidal (Barcelona) and midfielder Florent Malouda. Now they have sold midfielder and French international Alou Diarra to Bordeaux, while also letting Tiago go to Juve. Lyon’s only major signing so far has been Italian defender Fabio Grosso from Inter Milan. Lyon has shown the ability to overcome big losses—Michael Essien and Mahamadou Diarra in recent years—domestically, but is still searching for success outside of France. While Lyon still has the makings of a team that can win a seventh straight league title with Juninho in midfield, Cris in defense and young forwards Hatem Ben Arfa and Karim Benzema, it increasingly looks like a side that once again will not taste European success and for this club, that is disappointing.

4.    Juventus: Another Italian powerhouse that seems to be standing pat after getting back into the top flight after winning Serie B last season. The Old Lady’s corporate leaders have already announced the club will not spend big like it has in the past and has remained true to its word. Juventus has brought in defenders Jorge Andrade and Zdenek Grygera, along with midfielders Tiago and Hasan Salihamidzic. Juve’s biggest signing so far is Italian center forward Vincenzo Iaquinta from Udinese. These are all nice veteran players who will help, but they are trying to replace World Player of the Year Fabio Cannavaro, Lilian Thuram, Patrick Viera, Gianluca Zambrotta and Zlatan Ibrahimovic who were all sold when Juventus was sent to Serie B after Italy’s match-fixing scandal. Juve still has Pavel Nedved, Gianluigi Buffon and David Trezeguet, but look at the new names and decide if there has been adequate replacement value for the Old Lady to once again rule Serie A.

5.    Real Madrid: This was a tough spot to fill, and the current Spanish champions haven’t done much wrong, but they really haven’t done anything. While the capture of Arjen Robben seems imminent, Madrid’s only other signings are Javier Saviola and backup goalie Jerzy Dudek from Barcelona and Liverpool, respectively. Compared to what its competition for La Liga (read: Barcelona) has done, Real Madrid seems to be biding its time. It’s a change from the days of the Galacticos at Madrid and maybe this is being a bit tough since it is the reigning champ, but it will need a splash or two to keep pace with Barca and that’s what counts.

So there’s the list and below are a few teams to keep an eye on the rest of the summer. As usual there will be plenty of talk, and hopefully a few more transfers. Keep tabs on the rumor mills and we will finalize our rankings when all the ink is dry on the papers.

Honorable mention winners: Roma, Newcastle (Big Sam alone means big things for the Magpies), Inter Milan, Tottenham (Multiple signings look good, but this hinges on Darren Bent producing form worth $33 million), Manchester City (The new owner is a question mark, but new manager Sven-Goran Eriksson has had domestic success).

Honorable mention losers: Sunderland (Lots of spending, but how wise?), West Ham (Tevez trouble and already new signing Julien Faubert is out with a ruptured Achilles tendon).


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