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Messi a C, Ronaldo a B, Lukaku a D+: Grading the summer’s transfers now

Messi a C, Ronaldo a B, Lukaku a D+: Grading the summer’s transfers now

According to espn.com, it’s been over six months since the summer 2021 transfer window ended. If you’ve already forgotten how amazing it was, just remember that both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo switched clubs, while the likes of Arsenal spent over £150 million on new players despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on football’s finances around the world.Information Guide Nigeria

So, now the dust has settled on the biggest movers, it’s time to assess how well they have done at their new clubs.

REAL MADRIDDavid Alaba, Free: A

As expected, the world-class Austria international has brought stability, experience and a touch of quality to the Real Madrid defence. The versatile defender needed little time to settle and his presence in the centre of defence should also be credited for the sharp improvement of the 24-year-old Eder Militao alongside him. Alaba has continued where he left off at Bayern Munich: confident and strong in one-on-one situations when playing as a centre-back, while showcasing his creativity and crossing when playing wide. Alaba is regularly the starter of Madrid’s attacks courtesy of his precise distribution (93% passing accuracy in LaLiga) from the back.

PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN: Achraf Hakimi, €70m: A-

Hakimi has picked up where he left off at Inter Milan. The Morocco international needed little time to adapt to French football and was flying up and down the right-hand side in typical fashion from the start. As is often the case with such an attacking-minded defender, there have been the odd troublesome moments: he was given a torrid time by Kamaldeen Sulemana in the 2-0 defeat at Rennes, and he could have defended better on both goals in the 2-1 defeat to Manchester City in the Champions League. Yet, Hakimi has been among the more reliable PSG players this season and is already proving he’s worth the substantial transfer fee.

Other Top Football News:

MANCHESTER UNITEDCristiano Ronaldo, €15m: B

Aside from the never-ending debate on what impact the Portuguese superstar has had on his United teammates, dressing-room harmony, the club’s style of play and manager, Ronaldo has had a decent return to Old Trafford. In the wake of his recent barren spell in an underperforming side, it’s easy to forget that he came to the team’s rescue on several occasions in the autumn. Those who expected to see the Ronaldo of old will obviously be disappointed, as the 37-year-old rarely takes on defenders these days, yet he’s still United’s most reliable attacking player and has 15 goals in 29 games.

MANCHESTER CITYJack Grealish, £100m: B-

Although one might have expected more telling contributions for such a large transfer fee, Grealish is doing okay after his British record move to Manchester City (he also has two goals and two assists, from 17 league games). He was always going find it tough to reproduce the exceptional numbers he managed at Aston Villa in a side that is regularly having to negotiate a wall of defenders every week. His average dribbles per game have almost halved (from 5.8 to 3.2) and the congested nature of the game that he’s having to deal with now does slow him down and can make him less incisive.

PARIS SAINT-GERMAINLionel Messi, Free: C

The former Barcelona forward’s first six months in Paris have not been particularly brilliant after an emotional free transfer in the summer. Two Ligue 1 goals from 15 games is a surprisingly low return and, while he has performed better in the Champions League and for Argentina, there’s little evidence that French football is a good match for the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner. However, even at 34, Messi still is among the most creative players in European football: His 3.1 key passes and 2.2 chances created per game are nearly on the same level as he produced for Barcelona last season and he has managed nine assists.

CHELSEARomelu Lukaku, €115m: D+

The €115m striker is an illustration of the enigmatic nature of the transfer market: Lukaku already knew his way around Chelsea from a previous spell between 2011 and ’14, and he had joined the European champions on the back of 64 goals in 95 games for Inter Milan over two seasons, the last of which landed a Serie A title. But the move back to London hasn’t worked out, at least not yet. Lukaku has looked short of confidence in the Premier League — though he was decisive in January’s Club World Cup — and has just five goals in 17 games, while he managed just seven touches vs. Crystal Palace last weekend. Also, the fact that he only averages half of the dribbles he did last season indicates that Inter’s end-to-end style, in which space was often abundant, suited him better.JAMB Result

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