New Signings XI

by Neil Sherwin

Back Page Football looks at some of the movers and shakers during the current transfer window.

Goalkeeper – Joe Hart (Birmingham City)

England under 21 goalkeeper Hart was unlucky to lose his place in the Manchester City team to Shay Given last season, and now has the chance to continue his development with Premier League playing time at Birmingham. He has joined on a season-long loan deal.

Right Back – Glen Johnson (Liverpool)

The full back positions have caused Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez plenty of problems over recent seasons, but the signing of England international Glen Johnson should mean that the right hand side at least is sorted for the foreseeable future.

Left Back – Yuri Zhirkov (Chelsea)

Fans of Russian football will be familiar with Zhirkov’s exciting wing play over the past few years.  A Uefa Cup winner with CSKA Moscow in 2005, it will be interesting to see how he links up with the likes of Ashley and Joe Cole down the left flank.

Centre Half – Kolo Toure (Manchester City)

Toure says he left Arsenal as the club lacked leadership and he felt it was important for him to be a part of Manchester City’s plans for the future. No doubt the rumoured £120,000 a week in wages helped make up his mind.

Centre Half – Roger Johnson (Birmingham City)

Following a great season with Cardiff City last year, Roger Johnson has made the step up to the top flight after completing a £5 million move to Birmingham. The strong defender was a named in the Championship’s Team of the Season for 2008/09.

Midfield – Barry Ferguson (Birmingham City)

Having flopped at Blackburn Rovers in his last spell in English football, Ferguson returns for a second bite at the cherry under the guidance of his former Rangers manager Alex McLeish. His general experience will be vital in Birmingham’s battle for survival.

Midfield – Stewart Downing (Aston Villa)

Middlesbrough’s relegation from the Premiership was always going to hit them hard, and the loss of homegrown talent Stewart Downing will be a tough void to fill. Villa meanwhile have inherited a natural left winger who is familiar with both European and international football.

Midfield – Gareth Barry (Manchester City)

Out of all Manchester City’s off season signings, Gareth Barry is probably the most important. His box to box ability should complement the defensive qualities of Nigel De Jong and the attacking prowess of Stephen Ireland, giving the club a solid midfield unit.

Striker – Emmanuel Adebayor (Manchester City)

The ability is there but questions remain over Adebayor’s influence in the dressing room. City will be a club full of egos this year given the players that have signed and the competition for places. Can the Togo international recapture his form of two years ago when he struck 24 times in the Premier League?

Striker – Michael Owen (Manchester United)

A potentially superb signing for Manchester United. If Michael Owen is injury free then he will score goals, however it’s a very big ‘if’. Owen’s contract is performance based and he will feel he has a point to prove, especially with the World Cup just around the corner.

Striker – Peter Crouch (Tottenham Hotspur)

Days after turning down a move to Sunderland at the last minute, Peter Crouch joined Tottenham for around £9 million. The potential is there for a great little and large double act alongside either Robbie Keane or Jermaine Defoe as Spurs eye a top six finish.

Subs:

Goalkeeper – Ross Turnbull (Chelsea)

24 year old Turnbull joined Chelsea on a free transfer following Middlesbrough’s relegation to the Championship. He will act as understudy to Petr Cech.

Defender – Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal)

23 year old Vermaelen joined the club for a rumoured fee of £10 million. With over 100 first team games for Ajax under his belt, the Belgian international will be looking to establish himself at the heart of the Gunners back four following the exit of Kolo Toure.

Defender – Steve Finnan (Portsmouth)

Signed on a free transfer after a spell in Spain, Finnan will be seen as the natural replacement for the departed Glen Johnson. A shrewd signing by Paul Hart given the current problems at Pompey.

Midfielder – Sean Davis (Bolton Wanderers)

Bolton have snapped up out of contract midfielder Sean Davis, just 6 months after having a £3.5 million offer rejected by former club Portsmouth. The former England under 21 international will add much needed bite to his new club.

Midfielder – Dean Whitehead (Stoke City)

Former Sunderland skipper Whitehead has made the move to the Britannia Stadium for a fee of £3 million and brings a wealth of Premiership experience to the Potteries.

Striker – Carlos Tevez (Manchester City)

Carlos Tevez’s decision to move from the red half of Manchester to their blue rivals has been one of the most talked about transfer sagas of the summer. Citing regular first team football as a reason for the switch, Tevez will no doubt feel he has a point to prove on his return to Old Trafford for the Manchester Derby.

Striker – Christian Benitez (Birmingham City)

A relative unknown, Ecuador international Benitez joins Birmingham after smashing 31 goals in 58 games over the past two seasons with Mexican side Santos. The club’s record signing featured in the 2006 World Cup Finals.

3 Responses

  1. Sean O' Grady says:

    ehh valencia??

  2. Kevin Coleman Kevin Coleman says:

    Presuming it’s not an overlook, I’d say an injured Stewart Downing will acquit himself well out wide compared to Valencia ;)I

  3. Gerry says:

    Ferguson wasn’t a flop at Blackburn according to Walter Smith and McLeish. According to them a lot of premiership managers thought he was playing extremely well for them and had been made Blackburn captain. But he’s not the same player now.

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