Transfers, by their very nature, are a bit of a guessing game. Some players relish a move, growing in stature, and some can’t handle the newfound pressure of expectation and a hefty price-tag.
This summer’s window has gone fucking crackers, with money being thrown about like nuclear bombs are about to fall so, fuck it, let’s just do whatever. That kind of silliness might’ve once spelled bankruptcy looming on the horizon but now, thanks to a mythical TV deal, everyone is playing with cheat codes and signing stars left, right, and centre-half.
But who will succeed? Who will thrive? And, more interestingly, who will go down in history as a big smelly dog shit in the record books?
Here’s our totally, empirically correct rating of Flop or No Flop from this summer’s biggest moves:
Everton to Man United – £76.23mil
Romelu Lukaku scores goals against everyone except the top four clubs but still, you cannot score 26 goals in all comps in your debut season and be called a flop. Sorry, but no. I know you wanted me to say he was shite and was gonna be found-out at the TTL (top, top level) but I am a man of science and I will not lie to you.
Burnely to Watford – undisclosed fee
A homophobe and halfway decent striker who will be perfectly adequate at Watford in their inevitably dreary relegation season.
Roma to Liverpool – £38mil
I initially thought Salah would fail at Liverpool, seeing that he’s only only ever really ‘done it’ in Serie A (the second-most fraudulent league going after Portugal’s Primeira Liga), but he’s got enough pace to make a combination of him and Mane on either wing a real brown-note for defenders.
Stoke to West Ham – £25million
West Ham broke their transfer record to sign bullshit Zlatan-knockoff Arnautovic, and the Iron’s transfer record seems forever cursed. Andre Ayew, Matt Jarvis, Dean Ashton, Craig Bellamy, Savio, Tomas Repka are all previous holders - and Marko’ll will get found out in Stratford. The club will fine him two weeks’ wages for getting into a barney with the staff at Mr. Pretzels in Westfield and he’ll just straight up disappear. Good riddance.
Real Madrid to Chelsea – £58mil
He recorded his best tally in a top-flight season last year with 15 goals after a year spent mostly on the bench, and - while that’s not a lot - I think he’ll get some half-decent bank at Chelsea before really kicking on next year. Or he’ll be another Torres which is a lot funnier, isn’t it?
NOT FLOP, BUT IT WOULD BE WICKED IF HE WAS
Malaga to Everton – £5.2mil
He’s got ‘two goals against Peterborough in the cup and none in the league until he scores two by accident against the bottom club in a 7-0 win in March and then nothing for the rest of the year before he’s shipped back to Malaga on loan, never to return to Merseyside ever again, not even to pick up his clothes and car’ written through his core like a stick of rock. But at £5.2million - 2017’s equivalent of players that got signed for a fridge-freezer and some cones in the forties - you can’t really blame the punt.
Hull City to Leicester City – £18mil
I totally forgot who Harry Maguire was, looked it up, and yep, he’s the lad with the face like a building. He’ll have a solid, if anonymous, season as Leicester settle back into their role in mid-table.
Man United to Everton – free
He won’t play that much – it’s hard to when you’ve got that much sadness sloshing around inside you; have you ever tried to lift/move an inflatable paddling pool that’s filled with water? That’s what it feels like to be Wayne Rooney – but he’ll score a few, have a nice little Indian summer in the assist stakes, before finally curling up outside the big Tesco in Croxteth to die.
NOT FLOP, BUT ALSO RIP
Southampton to West Brom – £12mil
Remember Jay Rodriguez? That was a long time ago, wasn’t it?
Benfica to Man City – £35mil
What do you do if you’re a team who has struggle for between-the-sticks consistency for years and years and years? Overspend on a 23-year-old keeper from a second-rate league with no experience of the kind of physical play that saw their recent goalkeeping signings struggle in the past, of course! Yer man does have some sick neck tatts, though. Kinda takes the edge of the pain.
Man City to Leicester City – £25mil
£25mil in today’s market for a young striker who has proved he can score important, from-nowhere goals is a bargain. I sorta hope Leicester get relegated, but they likely won’t with Iheanacho’s 17 league goals in the bag.
Bayer Leverkusen to West Ham – £15mil
Both of The Little Pea’s knees will explode in October after a fast start for West Ham and he’ll be told he can never play again.
Chelsea to Man United – £40.23mil
Matic looks a bit like a really tall Michael Keaton and is nice solid signing that Mourinho will no doubt alienate in eighteen months, but for now: good.
Benfica to Man United – £31.50mil
Somewhere, Nemanja Vidic is looking down and going “I’m not dead yet, but if I was I would inhabit the body of Victor Lindelof and guide United to success for the next seven years before joining AS Roma” but Lindelof is getting on just fine without being possessed by the as-yet-not-dead Serbian legend, and will no doubt prove himself to be the scary, dependable foil to whatever risky, semi-incompetent defender joins him at centre-half for years to come.
Spurs to Man City – £50mil
It’s hard to get excited about someone from Sheffield but he’ll be alright, I guess.
Burnley to Everton – £30mil
Michael Keane looks like every single boy who died in the first World War shoved into one pink sausage skin, but he’s pretty good at tackling and heading.
Sunderland to Everton – £25mil
Has a serious collision with a Ross Barkley in training in September and manages to break the entire front of his body, putting him out for the rest of the season. He’ll attempt to invoke the Petr Cech Rule and wear a protective chest plate like he’s a knight but is rejected. He’ll return in October to teary applause but will never really recover. Or he’ll just be fine. I’m going for the chest plate.
Ajax to Everton – £23.6 mil
He’s from Ajax and that’s usually a pretty safe bet. Tidy on the ball, tactically sound, the kind of spectacularly unspectacular in the sort of way that somehow sees him grow into one of the league’s most underrated midfielders, unending pun headlines calling him ‘A KLAASS APART’.
Lyon to Arsenal – £47.70mil