As the transfer window closed, three clubs made the most noise

As soccer’s summer transfer window approached, many fans had high expectations for their clubs. Depending on where those club finished the season on the league tables, fans expected new players to be signed. As this transfer window closed, an abundance of transfers were completed. However, Real Madrid, Arsenal and FC Barcelona are the clubs that caused the most controversy, based on who they brought to their team, who they didn’t and who they should have.


Arsenal FC Crest, via

FC Barcelona stadium Camp Nou, via

FC Barcelona stadium Camp Nou, via

The most expensive transfer of the summer, with a fee of £85.3m, and was also the least effective. Gareth Bale went from Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid. Of nine games Real Madrid has played this season, in La Liga and Champions League, Bale has played in two. Last season at Tottenham, Bale scored 26 goals and assisted on 10. These statistics led Real Madrid to estimate his worth at 100 million euros. Bale has yet to prove that he is worth that amount of money. However, Real Madrid need to give Bale a chance to prove his worth.

The most shocking transfer was the unexpected move of Real Madrid’s Ozil to the English club Arsenal. Real Madrid relied heavily on Ozil after his arrival three seasons ago. In his three seasons with Real Madrid, Ozil scored 29 goals and assisted on 67 of his teammates’ goals. Ozil was essential for Real Madrid as his key passes statistics of last season surpasses those of Cristiano Ronaldo, Xabi Alonso and Real Madrid’s other starting forwards and midfielders.

Ozil has thrived with Arsenal. In five games, he has scored one goal and assisted on four. With his dominant presence in the midfield, Ozil is making his mark.

Last season, Arsenal finished in fourth place. After the transfer of Ozil, Arsenal is first in the league. Undoubtedly, this transfer has benefited Arsenal, while it seemingly has hurt the once Spanish giants Real Madrid, as they sit in third place in the Spanish League, five points behind league leaders FC Barcelona. Although the season has just begun in Spain, Real Madrid has not started in the most ideal of ways as they have traded one of their most influential midfielders. As Piers Morgan wrote on twitter, “Real Madrid sold their best player and bought the wrong Welshman [Bale].”

The transfer of Santos striker Neymar was one of the most talked about transfers of the season. Neymar officially signed his contract with his new club, Spain’s FC Barcelona, on June 3. So far this season Neymar has played in 10 games and has scored two goals, as well as assisting five.  As well as starting off the season well in Spain individually, Neymar has also shown great chemistry with FC Barcelona’s star player Lionel Messi. In August, Messi spoke about his connection with Neymar, according to Joe Wright of

“We get on with each other on and off the pitch and we’re getting to know each other little by little… he’ll bring a lot of joy to the club, to us and to the people.”

According to Miles Chambers of, new FC Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino is also pleased about the way his two star strikers have been connecting. He spoke about how Messi and Neymar combine well and they play as well as he expected them to.

Although Neymar has proved his worth on the pitch for FC Barcelona, the main problem of the team was not solved with the passing of the summer transfer season. The defensive back line is the main problem. Barcelona has a seven forwards, seven midfielders, and six defenders. Even though six world-class defenders seems to be a substantial number for any team, Barcelona’s defence tends to be plagued by injuries. Currently, Javier Mascherano, Jordi Alba and the team’s captain, Carles Puyol, are out with injuries. Although their return is expected in the near future, the team needs to be proactive instead of reactive. Between March 15, 2012 and May 13 of this year, Barcelona’s back line has suffered 17 injuries, with 16 of those injuries overlapping an existing defensive injury.

As the summer transfer window came and went with no defensive signing, you have to wonder when Gerardo Martino will sign a defensive player. Although Neymar has been welcomed and is beginning to thrive, the main issue in the line-up wasn’t addressed. One can only hope that by the time the winter transfer window approaches, FC Barcelona will become active and sign a defensive player.

Shea Thomson

Journalism student, and future Sports Broadcast Journalist, with a passion for the beautiful game of soccer.

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