Hello and welcome to the first edition of Transitioned Players. For those who are new to the site or have forgotten from last year this is a two part article whereby I analyse the players who have made the move to another Premier League club in search of more game time. Today I’ll be looking at the goalkeepers and defenders.
Costel Pantilimon (4.5) – 1.7%
After being back-up keeper to Joe Hart for 3 years Pantilimon has finally had enough, leaving for Sunderland during the summer. In a gallant effort, Pantilimon shifted aside a sloppy Joe Hart last year and managed to keep the number one role at Manchester City for 630 minutes, before Pellegrini finally gave Joe another chance. That short taste of first team football was enough for Pantilimon to decide to leave City and seek to ply his trade at Sunderland. Sunderland performed Wigan-like heroics last season and managed to stay up by the grin of their teeth, this was largely off the back of goalkeeper Vito Mannone. Ever since I read Pantilimon moved from Manchester City to Sunderland I questioned why. Isn’t he going from being a back-up keeper at one club to the same at another? One would think Mannone performed well enough to hold onto that number one keeping role for this season but then again it’s hard to presume these types of things. They’ve both pretty much shared the duties during pre-season, with substitutions being made at half time to accommodate both players getting 45 minutes. I reckon Mannone will be given every opportunity to keep that number 1 role meaning more bench time for Big Costel. Keep an eye out there, especially if you’re wanting to run the Krul/Sunderland Keeper combo.
Lukasz Fabianski (5.0) – 1.1%
Another goalkeeper who has made a switch from one Premier League team in search of first team football is former Arsenal keeper Lukasz Fabianski. Fabianski made a move to Swansea City over the summer after playing back-up for practically 6 years. His best spell in the Premier League came in 2010/11 where he managed 1260 minutes for 5 clean sheets and 55 overall points. With recently transferred Michel Vorm out of the way, Fabianski has the treasured number one spot in his grasp, with Gerhard Tremmel the only other recognisable keeper. While Vorm was injured last year Tremmel managed 1080 minutes in which he registered just the single clean sheet, not exactly flattering statistics. Unlike Pantilimon’s move, I reckon Fabianski’s will finally see what he has been after for so long, assured first team football. With Vorm moved to Tottenham he has to be favourite to take the reigns. At 5.0 he’s too pricey to come into contention, especially when you’re competing against the likes of Begovic, Speroni and Krul. Unfortunately it’ll be a pass for me.
Michel Vorm (5.0) – 0.8%
In rather amazing circumstances Michel Vorm made the move from Swansea to Tottenham along with left back Ben Davies, while Swansea received Gylfi Sigurdsson in return. In what reads as an extraordinary turn of events I can only see this as a potentially career ruining decision. Two seasons ago Vorm was one of the highest scoring goalkeepers, registering 158 points from 14 clean sheets, a remarkable effort for his first year in the Premier League. Since then his scoring has taken a turn south and he hasn’t been able to replicate that form, culminating in his move to Tottenham. With Hugo Lloris one of the most talented keepers in the world and happily occupying the number on position at Tottenham it baffles me why he would make this decision, especially considering he would likely have maintained his number one spot at Swansea. Due to the dominance of Lloris I see nothing but the odd game if Hugo is tired and a fair involvement in cup games but nothing more. It’s a no from me.
Luke Shaw (6.0) – 30.4%
As we move onto the defenders we start off with a move that can ignite a career, rather than potentially ruin one. Although this does have a career ending risk, Luke Shaw has made the plunge of signing with a big name team, with the Englishman finally settling at Manchester United. After spending 4 years developing as a player at Southampton Shaw made the move to Manchester United over the summer and has since been slapped with a heavy 6.0m price tag. A couple of days ago I would have said this move was going to set up Shaw’s career, now I’m not so sure. The main reason being is because of the latest rumours of Van Gaal’s displeasure with the youngster’s fitness. It has been reported recently that Shaw has been ordered to train by himself and has concluded with Shaw being left out of Manchester United’s recent friendly against Inter Milan altogether, not even making an appearance off the bench. This has me somewhat worried for Shaw but no doubt it will end with him starting GW1 regardless. With his price tag I wouldn’t be jumping on him anyway, teammates Jones and Evans represent better value and for a lower price as well.
Mathieu Debuchy (5.5) – 22.9%
Finally I get to write about a positive and beneficial move, and this comes through the transfer of Mathieu Debuchy. Debuchy made the move from Newcastle to Arsenal over the summer in what will result in nothing but positives for the Frenchman. After playing at Newcastle for two seasons Debuchy has attracted the eye of many managers but none more than Arsene Wenger who signed him up as replacement for the departed Bacary Sagna, of course going to Manchester City, no doubt were Debuchy will end off as well. No but in all seriousness Arsenal have done a fantastic job with their Sagna replacement. Debuchy is the perfect replacement, he loves running up and down the wings and will play a vital role in delivering crosses to the likes of Oliver Giroud, something that made Sagna such a good right back. With Jenkinson and the recently transferred Chambers buying for the position as well Debuchy wont find it easy but he will be given every opportunity. At 5.5m he represents great value, joining one of the leagues strongest defence. His score of 93 last season will only continue to improve as his clean sheets increase and hopefully his assist tally increases as well. 22.9% of managers have already jumped on board and I’m one of those 22.9%, should be great. Lock and load!
Dejan Lovren (5.5) – 18.9%
Next up is the latest player to join Liverhampton or is it Southpool? I’m not quite sure but all I know is Liverpool have gone ham on Southampton this transfer window, this time signing centre half Dejan Lovren. After only joining Southampton last season, Lovren had a stellar season amassing 124 overall points thanks to his 12 clean sheets and solid 2 goals. Lovren has now made the switch to Liverpool where he should slot in nicely with teammate Martin Skrtel. There certainly isn’t a shortage of decent centre half’s at Liverpool which has me slightly sceptical about his job security, with Agger, Sakho, Toure and now Lovren all buying for the one position. Due to this level of uncertainty and Liverpool’s abysmal defensive efforts last season I cant safely recommend Lovren. If guaranteed a start he should be great, posing as such a threat for corners. Don’t be afraid to pull the trigger and bring him in if he’s guaranteed a start and Liverpool do tighten up defensively, a wait and see for me at this stage.
Bacary Sagna (5.5) – 7.9%
It was pretty clear that Bacary Sagna was going to leave Arsenal last year after putting off contract negotiations but a move to Manchester City was something I never saw happening. Sagna made the move to the blue side of Manchester over the summer in interesting circumstances, reason being is he is still a fantastic right back but City already have Pablo Zabaleta. This leaves me questioning his role at the club. Zabaleta is not getting any younger at 29 but then again Sagna is 2 years older than him at 31. At 5.5m he would be a cheap way into City’s solid defence but I don’t see him getting enough starts to warrant selection. I see this scenario playing out like the Clichy/Kolarov one at Left Back, no one is really locked down instead they rotate every few games. Due to this level of uncertainty he can’t be selected, a shame really.
Ben Davies – (5.0) – 7.2%
Next up is the second part of the Sigurdsson swap deal, Ben Davies to Tottenham. Davies made the move from Swansea to Tottenham with goalkeeper Michel Vorm. Davies comes off the back of making a good impression on the Premier League since his inception in the 2012/13 season where he played an impressive 3052 minutes for a 19 year old. Since his debut he has accumulated 99 points in both seasons, scored 3 goals and made 3 assists, decent statistics for a young full back. The only problem I have with Davies is how he will fit in at Tottenham, they already have Danny Rose and Benoit Assou-Ekotto so he will be fighting for his position. The main question Pochettino has is does he blood the youth and therefore give Davies consistent starts or does he play his more experienced players in Rose and Assou-Ekotto? I’m confident Davies will be given every opportunity but there is once again that level of uncertainty, due to this uncertainty in his role and the fact Tottenham were abysmal defensively last season I will be given Davies a miss anyway. Worth having on the watch list though.
Andre Wisdom (4.0) – 7.0%
Next is our first loaned player seeking game time at another club and it comes through the form of Liverpool fullback Andre Wisdom. After signing at Liverpool Wisdom has made a handful of appearances, playing 1095 minutes over 2 seasons. His best season came in 2012/13 were he played the majority of those minutes, playing 1014 minutes registering a total score of 45 thanks to 1 assist and 5 clean sheets. Since then Wisdom has only played 81 minutes and has struggled to make regular appearances for The Reds. Due to this Wisdom has joined West Brom on loan for the upcoming season in which he’ll be set to increase his games played significantly. In his first game of pre-season for West Brom he slotted straight into his preferred position of right back and performed admirably. At 4.0m he comes with unbelievable potential and therefore should be considered for your teams. He should be locked in at Right Back for West Brom and although they’re not fantastic defensively he’s a cheap option at D5. Lock and load for me.
Rio Ferdinand (4.5) – 6.5%
The next player who is seeking gametime elsewhere is the legend himself, Rio Ferdinand. After spending 8 seasons at The Red Devils Ferdinand is getting on with age and struggled making appearances last year, only registering 1129 minutes. At 35 he’s not getting any younger so he thought by signing with QPR he’d chase one last paycheck and try and help QPR as much as possible. During his time at United he enjoyed accumulating overall points, totalling a career high 171 points in the 2007/2008 season. Ferdinand should be fairly untroubled in his position in the QPR squad, with the Englishmen likely to line up alongside summer signing Steven Caulker in the hear of defence. Considering the fact that Ferdinand is 35 years of age rotation is always going to come into play, basically meaning it’ll be near impossible for him to play all 38 games in the season. QPR have some decent back-up centre half’s that will likely be called on whenever he needs a rest. He comes at a cheap 4.5m but due to QPR being a newly promoted team I don’t see him repaying faith in the managers that select him by getting the all elusive clean sheet. Plus if he’s not going to be scoring points from clean sheets you’d hope he’ll provide the odd goal and assist, well that’s not his game either, only registering 4 goals and 3 assists during his time at Manchester United. Due to this it’s a no from me, as sad as it is for Rio the legend.
Calum Chambers (4.5) – 2.4%
After Debuchy made the move to Arsenal the fill the vacant Right Back position Calum Chambers abandoned the sinking Southampton ship as well and joined the Frenchman. Chambers had an impressive season last year, knocking Nathaniel Clyne off the preferred Right Back position and flourishing in the role, registering 49 overall points thanks to 4 clean sheets. Chambers is an extremely good talent and someone who will feature for England once he matures and gets more experienced, unfortunately he’s extremely raw, only 19 years of age. If he didn’t make the move to Arsenal I would be all over him like white on rice, he had seemingly locked himself in at Right Back at Southampton and at 4.5m is a handy price. Unfortunately due to the fact that Debuchy also signed I will be giving Chambers a miss. Will be something special in the future but is a bit too young at the moment, seeya in a few years Calum!
Joleon Lescott (5.0) – 2.1%
The next transitioned defender for this season is Joleon Lescott as he made the move to West Brom from Manchester City on a free. After severely struggling to get regular game time last campaign Lescott has joined The Baggies off the back of 8 seasons in the Premier League at Everton and Manchester City. During his earlier time at Everton Lescott proved to be a really prolific scorer, registering 164, 196 and 172 points during his first three seasons at the club. This came largely off the back of 14 goals, including a massive 8 goals in the 2007/2008 season. Lescott has gotten on in age since then and his point scoring has decreased significant since his prime. Now 31 Lescott doesn’t represent great value, priced at 5.0m for a team that only registered 7 clean sheets he doesn’t provide a lot of value. If you’re after a West Brom defender why wouldn’t you select his new teammate and the aforementioned Andre Wisdom? In doing this you would save 1.0m and get someone who will provide good value and potentially make you some money. It’s a no for me, sorry Joleon.
Phil Bardsley (5.0) – 0.5%
The latest edition to the Stoke defence came via Sunderland over the summer, through Phil Bardsley. Bardsley has made the move from Sunderland to Stoke on a free transfer over the summer. Last season Bardsley experienced one of his best seasons to date, registering 71 overall points thanks to 2 goals, 1 assist and 7 clean sheets. Now at the defensive-minded Stoke, Bardsley represents better value than when he was at cellar dwellers Sunderland. At 29 years of age Bardsley still has time, that being well reflected on his 3-year contract he signed when he moved to Stoke. At 5.0m he is rather expensive and considering his role in the squad is unknown I’d be giving Bardsley a miss. Geoff Cameron has been selected a lot so far this pre-season and represents better value at 4.5m if he can lock down that Right Back position, something he will be competing for against Bardsley. Unfortunately for Phil it’s a no for me, I’d rather save money and select his teammate Geoff Cameron.
Ryan Bertrand (5.0) – 0.4%
After suffering a mass exodus of players Southampton have finally signed a player… And he’s only on loan. Ryan Bertrand completed his move from Chelsea to Southampton during the week as the Left Back is on search for more playing time. With Chelsea signing Filipe Luis over the summer they didn’t have any intention of giving Bertrand any game time, especially when Azpilicueta can fill the position if required. Last season Bertrand moved to Aston Villa on loan during the January transfer window and notched up a ordinary 30 overall points from 3 clean sheets and 1449 minutes played. Currently during pre-season Matt Targett has been occupying the Left Back position but with the signing of Bertrand you’d think he will make way once the season kicks off. Because originally coming from Chelsea he has an inflated price tag of 5.0m, something that instantaneously puts me off, along with the fact that Southampton have lost over half their starting XI from last year meaning its unknown how they will fare without there star players. It’s a no from me.
Carl Jenkinson (5.0) – 0.2%
To round out the first edition of Transitioned Players is Carl Jenkinson as he joins West Ham on loan for the upcoming season. Jenkinson obviously saw flashing lights when Arsenal signed Debuchy AND Chambers meaning game time will be few and far between for the Englishmen this campaign. Jenkinson only featured 803 minutes last season for a rather respectable 50 points, mainly due to his 3 clean sheets, 1 goal and 2 assists – not bad for only a touch over 800 minutes! Jenkinson is yet to be transferred to West Ham on the game so I would expect his percentage owned will start to increase over the coming days. There is no doubt the kid can play but there are certainly questions over his job security. Currently during pre-season Guy Demel has been occupying the Right Back position but considering he can also play as a centre half he may be favoured to play in the latter. Joey O’Brien has performed admirably at both Right and Left Back over the years but with the recent acquisition of Aaron Cresswell it seems he will have to start fighting for a position at Right Back. Keep an eye on Jenkinson’s first few friendlies with West Ham and see where he is playing, the Hammers have looked shotty in defence so far this pre-season so I’ll be giving Jenkinson a miss regardless. Not to mention his 5.0m price tag. Pass.
Well that’s a wrap of the first edition of Transitioned Players. The only players I will be considering are Shaw if he can re-enter the good books of Van Gaal, and Debuchy, who should be solid now at Arsenal. Up next will be the forwards and the midfielders. Until then, cheers!