The loudest and most scandalous soccer deals inside England
Transfers between the top English clubs are not as common as, for example, in Italy. Even in Germany there is the familiar route: from anywhere to Bayern. In England, it is more complicated, so every such transfer is a big event. But even in this series, the transfer of Raheem Sterling from Manchester City to Chelsea threatens to become one of the loudest not only for this year, but also for recent seasons. In many ways, the surprise factor played a role here. After all, if the other big deals were speculated for months, in this case everything happened quickly and even as a matter of routine, if you look from the outside. So there is reason to look at other high-profile transfers between English clubs, which at different times produced a powerful effect.
And let’s start with Sterling, who is becoming the main expert in unexpected transitions among the top clubs in England. Raheem burst into the spotlight as a nimble dribbler somewhere between Suarez and Sturridge at Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool. He seemed to be the new star of the Reds and the England squad. But the departure to City was sudden and hurt everyone. There was good money for him, but it was a stab in the back: leaving at a time when Liverpool were building a bright, strong team that was preparing to do great things. It was not for nothing that he was booed all the time at Anfield in later years.
Once again, City emerges as the surprise striker. Hardly anyone would have guessed that the most expensive English footballer of all time would turn out to be Grealish. And what hysteria unfolded around him during and after the England national team games. Until now, many soccer fans outside of England all the fuss about Grealish is incomprehensible. For such crazy money he was bought quite an average player for the Citizens. But Guardiola obviously knows something. So we have to wait.
This is hardly a deal that Manchester United are proud of. The lure, of course, was successful and cost minimal, but the Chilean’s salary was insane. And the hype surrounding the deal added to the fire. Sanchez was supposed to be the missing component in MJ’s build (how many of them fell into that abyss), but everything turned into a transfer failure. And in this story, none of the three parties involved in the deal won: Arsenal, MJ and Sanchez himself were in the middle of a noisy crowd, but that crowd ridiculed them.
It’s worth digging into the deeper history of the Premier League as well. As if there wasn’t enough noise and controversial deals like that. By the way, Shearer moved to Newcastle for a record sum of 15 million pounds at the time. A world record, by the way. And Shearer turned down the offer of Alex Ferguson who called him to MJ. Alan simply loved his hometown club. And at a time when he could have gone to almost any other club in the world, he chose Forty. It was something tremendous. Shearer was accepted as a hero as he traded teams capable of winning titles for a club he simply loved. Oh, and he also became the world’s most expensive acquisition. Fabulous scenario.
Tevez’s two-year lease to Manchester United seemed like an odd move, but it was due to contractual necessity. But when Tevez gave up his permanent residency at Old Trafford and chose Manchester City, there was a natural explosion. It was the biggest explosion the APL has ever seen. Moreover, City did not miss any opportunity to gossip about MJ in every possible way, to pick this wound as intensely as possible, which only added to the hype and excitement around this deal.
Kevin Keegan himself had to explain in front of a crowd of fans why he sold Cole to MJ. It was an epic spectacle, one of the iconic moments in the Premier League. The forty fans were devastated because they understood: their club could hardly find an adequate replacement for Cole. And with him goes their hopes. Cole himself said many years later that he understood how important and emotional that deal was: it happens once every few years. And he admired Keegan’s courage and openness, who really did the best he could.
Robin van Persie
“You can compare my time at Arsenal to getting married,” van Persie told me. – “My wife, Arsenal, and I were married for eight years. After eight years, my wife probably got a little tired of me. After all, Arsenal didn’t offer me a new contract.
That’s how van Persie saw the story. And Arsenal fans were furious, missing out on their captain to one of their most hated clubs. Perhaps then many began to clearly realize that Arsene Wenger was no longer the right man for the Canons.
Campbell’s transfer ignited a fire on both sides of this front stretching across North London. His transfer has renewed a feud between Arsenal and Tottenham fans that seemed to have receded when the Canaries considered Manchester United their main rivals in the league for years. And here is such a greeting from the past. This transition seemed impossible, but it happened. Imagine now that Harry Kane is going to Arsenal. There you go.
Roman Abramovich had a habit at one time of running Chelsea of buying into the club players he personally liked rather than those the coach needed in the first place. And Torres is not the only one in that line. You can think of Shevchenko, for example. At the same time, the purchase cannot be called impulsive, because Chelsea have been courting Torres for a long time. But the transfer always looked somehow unrealistic and wrong – even after Torres’ career was over. And when the deal did happen, everyone was blown away. Especially Liverpool fans. However, Torres’ lack of success at Chelsea softened their anger.
This is a legendary deal that defined an entire era, not only for the clubs involved, but for the league as a whole. The capricious genius could have ruined it, or it could have made MU great. “Leeds could not match him, after the transfer the club even hid the amount of the deal for a long time so as not to tease and irritate the fans. His transition from Leeds to the camp of the enemies was perceived by all soccer fans differently, but left no one indifferent. To this day, everyone has a clear-cut opinion on the deal.