Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Six signings who could impact title race
by Paul Kennedy, September 13th, 2011 12:27AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  england, germany, italy, spain, uefa champions league

MOST COMMENTED

[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] Barcelona will begin the 2011-12 UEFA Champions League season as the favorite to repeat as the champion, but other title contenders have made key acquisitions. Here's a look at six offseason signings who could impact the title race ...

Sergio Aguero (Manchester City). With six goals in his first four EPL games for Manchester City, Aguero has settled in quickly at Eastlands. The Argentine could be the player who could make City a title contender in its Champions League debut. Independiente made him the youngest player ever to play in the Argentine First Division when he debuted at the age of 15. Atletico Madrid signed Aguero at 18, and after five seasons and 101 goals, he moved to Manchester City in a $62 million transfer. He is best known as the son-in-law of Argentine great Diego Maradona. “He looks like me when I was a player," says Maradona. "He is strong, with thick legs. I took notice of that.”

Fabio Coentrao (Real Madrid). Fabio Coentrao played left back for Portugal at the 2010 World Cup, where he was one of the few satisfactions on an otherwise underachieving squad. Real Madrid already has one of the best left backs in the world in Brazilian Marcelo so why did the Merengues buy Fabio Coentrao from Benfica for $50 million? Coach Jose Mourinho moved Coentrao around during Real Madrid's U.S. tour, but he looks set to hold down one of the two holding midfield positions, on the left side where he'll team up with fellow Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcelo to form a dynamite trio.

David de Gea (Manchester United). Perhaps no signing will be under as much pressure as de Gea, the 20-year-old Spanish keeper signed from Atletico Madrid to replace the retired Edwin van der Sar at United. A couple of early mistakes had skeptics wondering whether de Gea has what it takes to succeed at United. His first season brings back memories of another young keeper freshly arrived at Old Trafford. Tim Howard signed from the MetroStars in 2003 and made the PFA Team of the Year for his league play with United. But a mistake against eventual champion Porto knocked United out of the 2003-04 Champions League in the round of 16. By the next season, Howard lost his starting job and two years later he was gone to Everton.

Diego Forlan (Inter Milan). After seven years in Spain, Forlan, voted the best player at the 2010 World Cup, is off to Italy. "I am looking forward very much to rejuvenating myself," he says of the move to Inter, which made a last-minute bid to sign him after Samuel Eto'o left for Russia's Anzhi Makhachkala. "It's all new and it's where you find motivation because the challenges are greater. You don't often get a chance to go to Inter at the age of 32 and I hope I can live up to the expectations." Forlan helped Atletico Madrid win the 2010 Europa League but his post-World Cup season was disappointing. He showed, though, at the Copa America he still has talent. Inter will be counting on him to duplicate the form he showed in the final where his two goals helped Uruguay beat Paraguay, 3-0.

Juan Mata (Chelsea). Let's just say Mata settled in a lot quicker at Chelsea after his $43 million move from Valencia than fellow Spaniard Fernando Torres did. Mata came off the bench to score in his EPL debut. By contrast, it took Torres, who had cost Chelsea an English record $75 million, 14 games before he scored after arriving from Liverpool. Chelsea has never won the Champions League, and with an aging team, this could be the Blues' last serious shot at the title for a while. They are counting on Mata's enterprising work on the wings to keep them in contention this season.

Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich). Neuer was sensational in goal for Schalke 04 in last year's Champions League against Manchester United, but the English club had no chance of signing him to replace van der Sar. Bayern Munich had already wrapped up a $25 million deal to sign Neuer. At only 25, he could be the Bayern goalie for the next decade. But like de Gea, Neuer was off to a shaky start at his new come, setting off alarm bells in Munich. Former German goalkeeping star Jens Lehmann says Neuer needs to be more consistent. "Manuel looks world-class compared to most of the other goalkeepers out there," Lehmann told AZ. "However, he is still too inconsistent to be absolutely world-class. He needs to improve that area of his game."



0 comments
  1. Robert Kiernan
    commented on: September 13, 2011 at 8:56 a.m.
    Hey Kennedy... "HAVE" an Impact... it's English, Nouns and Verbs are not interchangeable... and for that matter what's the matter with just plain using EFFECT occasionally instead of "Impacted" which other than referring to a bad tooth usually means being hit, like by a rock or a bullet... not effected... other than that, yeah most of these guys will likely get attention, but how about the players that are less heralded but might actually mean more to a smaller side any of these collection of millionaires !! (ICE)
  1. Barry Thomas
    commented on: September 13, 2011 at 3:52 p.m.
    Actually, Robert (since you want to give a vocabulary usage lesson), you mean AFFECT, not EFFECT. To affect is to cause change in some way, to effect is to cause to happen. The new players might bring some dramatic changes but but the title race would still go on, with or without them. Sorry to sound like a prig, but you started it, mate!

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Whitworth athletic director Tim Demant     
''As a Christ-centered university that believes in the value of all individuals, we are seeking to ...
U.S. U-23s head north to Preston for key test    
The U.S. under-23 national team will play the first of two warmup games before Olympic qualifying ...
What They're Saying: Sean St. Ledger    
"Never ever in my wildest dreams did I think I would be on the same team ...
Lou City's Fondy breaks USL season scoring record    
Matt Fondy entered Louisville City's match against Harrisburg on Wednesday night with 18 goals, two behind ...
Video Pick: An open net own goal from close range    
It's the Swedish Damallsvenskan that brings us a sadly spectacular own goal. Had Hammarby's Helen Eke ...
International callups will have heavy toll on MLS games    
The good news is that MLS is attracting more players getting callups to their national teams. ...
Post-Klopp Dortmund poised to challenge Bayern Munich     
After Borussia Dortmund hired a highly regarded young coach to replace the beloved Juergen Klopp, kept ...
Klinsmann: Guzan remains No. 1, USA needs Beas    
Of the myriad questions surrounding the U.S. men's national team ahead of the Oct. 10 match ...
Video Pick: Gareth Bale hits brilliant behind-the-goal goal     
Wales is on the brink of qualifying for its first major tournament in since 1958. Gareth ...
What They're Saying: Christen Press    
"I want so much more for my teammates. You can be one inch from the national ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives