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Monday, June 19, 2017

Soccer Transfer Talk

This is a season unto itself.  It starts in May, as the seasons of the major soccer leagues start to wind down.  Rumors abound.  For example, since Arsenal missed out on qualifying for Champions League, rumors swirl that both Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil are unhappy and want to play for teams that will play in the Champions League next season.  For what it's worth, the absence of Champions League play on the schedule didn't stop Ngolo Kante from leaving Leicester to help propel Chelsea to a Premier League Championship, making him player of the year in the world's best league for the second consecutive year. 

Everyone, it seems, is in the mix for going to United or City or Liverpool or Chelsea or Tottentham, not to mention Barca, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Real Madrid and PSG.  It's hard to believe what is reported because it changes so much from one day to the next.

If you're an Arsenal fan, you worry that both your stars will want to bolt and you'll replace them with good players, not great ones.  (You worry enough about owner Stan Kroenke's willingness to do what it takes to win).  But Arsenal was quick to point out that in their Puma Kit poster for next season, look who appears -- Sanchez and Ozil.  Perhaps that's a balm for the annoyed, but, then again, it could exacerbate the risk that Sanchez will leave on a free transfer after next season. 

And so go the mentions.  Griezmann to United?   Lukaku back to Chelsea?  Morata to United?  DeGea to Real Madrid?

You have to love this time of the year.  It seems like anything and everything can happen, but the reality is not all that much does from year to year. 

And then there's the matter of the young players who emerge from beneath the radar like Kante did a few years ago (along with the older but as anonymous Jamie Vardy, who had a season for the ages two years ago).  That's what makes the game exciting -- a position change, a change of manager, a change of formation, a year or two of maturity, a better pairing, as well as good transfers.

This particular season ends in several months, and it should be fun to watch.


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