With World Cup fever in full flow, it is easy to miss out on all of the transfer action happening in club football over the world.
In amongst the din of revellers belting out ‘It’s Coming Home’, you may just have missed two huge transfers that took place on Tuesday alone.
Cristiano Ronaldo has left Real Madrid after the best part of a decade in Spain; he’s heading off to live in Turin and to see if he can guide Juventus to an elusive Champions League title – nice work if you can get it.
And Riyad Mahrez’s long-protracted move to Manchester City has finally gone through, with former employer Leicester trousering £60 million of which around £59 million is clear profit!
Those are the standout transfers of the summer so far, but there have been plenty of others to mull over too, so here’s a quick look at the pick and how they have affected the ante-post betting markets.
Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid to Juventus, £105m)
Cristiano Ronaldo: “Juventus is great club, Since I was a kid, I looked at this team & said I hope to play there one day. Now I will play for a fantastic club, one of the biggest clubs in the world. I’m happy to play for Juventus.” JTV pic.twitter.com/WAAOf0hryH
— Forza Juventus (@ForzaJuve2017) August 11, 2018
You know what you’re getting from Ronaldo: a four-time Champions League winner who has the ability to win matches on his own.
Juventus continue to clear up on home soil, winning Serie A for the past seven years, but they haven’t converted in Europe in more than 20 years; despite reaching two Champions League finals in recent times.
So the modus operandi behind signing the Portuguese ace is straightforward: deliver us the continental success we so desperately crave. A transfer fee on the upside of £100m is what that costs these days….
Interestingly, the Champions League winner market has moved as a result of Ronaldo’s transfer, with Juventus into 8/1 to lift the trophy in 2019 – the same price as Real Madrid, ironically.
Riyad Mahrez (Leicester City to Manchester City, £60m)
Is £60m a bargain for Mahrez? You could perhaps argue it is for a player who has spent the last five years in England and who has contributed 39 Premier League goals and 27 assists in that time.
Pep Guardiola will have an embarrassment of attacking riches at his disposal in 2018/19, with Mahrez, Leroy Sane, Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva all vying for places in the City starting eleven.
What does that mean? It means that the Mancunian outfit should be more competitive in all competitions, with greater squad depth allowing for stronger teams to be put out in the cups as well as the Premier League.
City are odds-on to reclaim the title at 4/6 – that has shortened up in the past 24 hours, and they are now favourites to win the Champions League at 6/1.
Jack Wilshere (Arsenal to West Ham, Free)
You suspect that time will look back harshly on the career of Jack Wilshere; one of the most talented English players to emerge in the past decade.
Unfortunately for him, injuries and some naughty off-field behaviour have typically derailed his performances on the pitch, and while Arsene Wenger was a big supporter of the midfielder, new Arsenal boss Unai Emery has wasted no time in kicking him to the kerb.
Perhaps a move to pastures new is exactly what Wilshere needs, and it’s easy to forget he’s only 26-years-old. He supported West Ham as a boy, and that might just give him the impetus to string together a series of top performances, as he undoubtedly has the ability to do.
Sokratis (Borussia Dortmund to Arsenal, Undisclosed)
If you speak to any knowledgeable Arsenal supporter, they will tell you that their team is crying out for a central defensive hardman; a winner in the mould of Tony Adams or Steve Bould.
The Gunners have seemingly listened and tried to act; although we’re not quite sure that 30-year-old Sokratis is the answer.
The Greek international made 43 appearances for Borussia Dortmund last season; the same Dortmund who conceded 13 goals in six Champions League matches and shipped at a rate of 1.38 per game in the Bundesliga.
That’s not solely Sokratis’ fault, of course, but his signing doesn’t exactly inspire confidence amongst Arsenal fans that they have signed a game-changer.
They remain a distant 25/1 to lift the Premier League trophy this term.
Fred (Shakhtar Donetsk to Manchester United, £47m)
Jose Mourinho might just have landed himself a bargain here.
Fred may not have gotten a look-in for Brazil at the World Cup, but his performances for Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League last term suggests he is a big match player.
He scored one, assisted another and earned a WhoScored player rating of 7.25 – very handsome indeed – for his efforts in the competition, and aided his side’s cause in beating Manchester City and Napoli and going down narrowly to Roma in the last 16.
You wonder about the transition for South American players to British culture sometimes, but lest we forget Fred joins United from a Ukrainian side; a cold Monday in Huddersfield will feel positively tropical!