The World Cup Auction: Who'll Cash In & Who'll Cash Out?

by Sanjeev Shetty
1st Jul 2018

The World Cup: Not only is it undeniably the greatest show on earth, but this year the stakes are so much higher. With the world's eyes intently focused on the players, it's also the best shop window for those looking to transfer to another team next season. 

That got us thinking... No team is perfect; not even Man City, Barcelona or Ronaldo's Real Madrid... Champions or not, EVERY manager will be on tenterhooks right now. Looking for the best players to help improve his team; hoping to seal the deal on the ones he wants; hoping they'll fit in with the team; fill out any gaps and more... Until then, the season might look like it's ended but, trust me: NO ONE is taking a break.

Here at TP, we looked at the top four sides in last season's Premier League and linked them with one player who could tighten their game for 2018/19. 


MANCHESTER CITY 

It's hard to know how a side that won the league with 100 points last season can improve, but Pep Guardiola will be wondering exactly that. With holding midfielder Jorginho expected to arrive, as well Leicester's Riyad Mahrez to supplement his attacking options, where is the obvious hole?

How about the Brazilian central defender Thiago Silva? He may be approaching his 34th birthday, but the wealth of experience he's accumulated in Italy, Brazil and, latterly, France with PSG, means he's the ultimate leader; tying the team together and commanding automatic respect from everyone arround him. He can only be an asset to sustaining the Etihad's record breaking streak.

Good in the air, calm with the ball at his feet and a threat from set pieces. Could he be the key to helping the likes of John Stones in the next stage of his development?


MANCHESTER UTD.

Let's rewind 12 months to when Jose Mourinho had done most of his shopping early, but was frustrated in his efforts to get Ivan Perisic. Anyone who has seen his performances for an outstanding Croatia can now see the quality he possesses. As an attacking midfielder or second striker, the 29-year-old Inter Milan star could be the player to make the difference - pushing the Old Trafford opposition into showing up and shaping up... bringing back the excitement... and killing the days when they turn up with the 'ambition' of no more than a clean sheet and a point.

Despite having a defence that only conceded 28 goals in the league all season (and we can forget those last five games when attention had begun focus elsewhere), many Manchester Utd. regulars will tell you that the defence isn't quite good enough. So how about a cheeky £25million bid for the Uruguayan Diego Godin? He may be 32, but the style of leadership and organisation he brings has only become more pronounced the older he gets. Definitely one to watch.


TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

With two players expertly selected for every position, it's not easy to improve this Spurs side; but just occasionally, say in that painful FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester Utd., there looked to be a lack of a star player - one with the 'X factor', who can not only turn the game around, but who can inspire and revive those around him. True, spurs can kill you with their relentless running, but in certain circumstances it just isn't enough. So how about James Rodrigues? The Columbian international who is currently on loan to Bayern Munich from Real Madrid. James made the mistake of joining Real in 2014 when the club was in flux - at Spurs, he'll work with a coach who gets the most out of every player and improves them.


LIVERPOOL

Jurgen Klopp has already done plenty of business - Naby Keita and Fabinho will strengthen an already formidable defence, and it remains to be seen whether Nabil Fekir will eventually become a red. However, you don't need to be a rocket scientist to know that Liverpool have a goalkeeper issue. Simon Mignolet will surely be sold this summer after never really convincing in five years. It's also doubtful that anyone will buy into Loris Karius again after that Champions League Final. There had been rumours that Klopp would seek to bring in Alisson from Roma, but the Brazilian seems to favour a move to Real.

So how about taking a punt on the South Korean number one, Cho Hyun-Woo. Man Of The Match in that historic win over Germany, good at crosses, excellent distribution and shot-stopping.... So what if I'm only basing this on one game! He did it once and with a bit of nurturing who knows how great he can become? 




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