Silly season is upon us.
Man City confirmed the signing of Erling Haaland yesterday and Liverpool will probably announce the acquisition of Darwin Nunez in the coming hours.
Transfer rumours fuel football fans during the summer months (no disrespect to the Nations League) and Dream Team gaffers will always have one eye on each rumoured player’s potential to provide plentiful returns.
Let’s cast our eye over the latest Premier League transfer rumours with a strong Dream Team perspective.
Frenkie de Jong to Man United
The Dutchman is objectively a brilliant footballer.
He rose to prominence with Ajax and caught the eye during the Amsterdam club’s run to the Champions League semi-final in 2019, a campaign that persuaded Barcelona to part with £70million.
Whether De Jong is the man to fix Man United’s dysfunctional midfield is another matter entirely but even if he does install the same degree of control he often does for the Netherlands, it’s unlikely he’ll produce enough Dream Team points to fill a windmill.
The 25-year-old is press resistant and has exemplary close control but he doesn’t specialise in goal involvements.
He mustered three goals and three assists for Barcelona in La Liga in 2021/22 from 32 appearances.
You only have to look at the historic returns of the likes of N’Golo Kante to see that world-class midfielders can be rendered average Dream Team assets if they don’t fit the optimum profile.
A prosperous XI features exclusively wingers and attack-minded midfielders, De Jong doesn’t fit the bill.
Yves Bissouma to Spurs
It’s a similar story here as the Mali international is a player capable of running the game from midfield and is hugely influential defensively but regular goals and assists simply aren’t a feature of his game.
Bissouma registered just three goal involvements for Brighton this season and Antonio Conte will surely use him in a similar role with the attacking responsibility still lying predominantly with Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Dejan Kulusevski.
In the real world, this looks to be a very smart signing but in the realm of Dream Team it’s probably a non-starter.
Marc Cucurella to Man City
While we’re on the subject of Brighton’s most valuable assets, rumours persist that the champions are keen on the Seagulls’ diligent left-back.
Cucurella was named as his club’s Player of the Year by his team-mates and the fans, just reward for his consistency and intensity.
The La Masia graduate is more than competent in possession, an important factor when considering a potential Pep Guardiola player, but his Dream Team viability all depends on his status upon arriving at the Etihad if this transfer materialises.
Joao Cancelo has been outstanding at left-back and while the Portuguese is equally comfortable at right-back, it’s hard to envisage Kyle Walker dropping out of the first-choice XI any time soon.
File this under: one to watch.
Hugo Ekitike to Newcastle
Perhaps one for the future here as the Frenchman is still just 19 years old.
The Reims forward scored ten Ligue 1 goals this season at a rate of one every 127.5 minutes – very tidy indeed.
If Etitike does joint the Saudi-funded revolution at St James’ Park he will compete with Callum Wilson and Chris Wood initially – it seems likely he’ll start as an impact option from the bench.
No need for Dream Team bosses to jump the gun here.
Christian Eriksen to Newcastle/Spurs
In contrast to some of the other names on this list, the Danish playmaker’s profile is much more aligned with one that generally succeeds in Dream Team.
Eriksen averaged 3.9 points-per-game in 2021/22, a superior record to Bernardo Silva, Bukayo Saka and Luis Diaz.
It’s well known the 30-year-old ended up at Brentford because of exceptional circumstances and after a series of impressive displays that helped steer the Bees to safety, he’s now being linked with a transfer to Newcastle, a club with European aspirations in the near future.
Eriksen’s former club Spurs are also said to be interested with Daniel Levy seemingly prepared to back Conte now that Champions League qualification has been assured.
Goals and assists are very much in Eriksen’s remit so Dream Team managers would do well to take him into consideration if he did join a team expected to finish comfortably in the top half.
Kalvin Phillips to Man City
Another mooted transfer that falls into the same category as De Jong to Man United and Bissouma to Spurs.
The England international is battling midfielder who specialises in tackles and interceptions – Man City likely see him as a Fernandinho replacement following the Brazilian’s exit from the Etihad.
Not only that, Rodri is coming off the back of his best campaign yet in a City shirt and will surely continue to start the majority of games at the base of Guardiola’s three-man midfield.
Marc Roca to Leeds
This transfer seems to be 95% complete with Bayern Munich willing to sell the 25-year-old Spaniard at a reasonable price having acquired Ryan Gravenberch from Ajax yesterday.
Whether Roca proves to be a partner for Phillips or his replacement remains to be seen but, again, Dream Team bosses need more attack-minded assets in their midfield.
Richarlison to Spurs
We finish with a very intriguing prospect.
The Brazil international finished with a flourish of 60 points from the last eight Game Weeks of 2021/22 to help Everton preserve their top flight status.
An enigmatic character, Richarlison averages 11 league goals a season for the Toffees – would a move to Conte’s Spurs result in an upturn that brings significant Dream Team returns with it?
How the 25-year-old would fit in alongside Kane, Son and Kulusevski is a hypothetical conundrum that is difficult to answer at this stage.