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Wing-Back: The Hottest Commodity In Football

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Wing-Back: The Hottest Commodity In Football 1

Just before the turn of the millennium, ‘Football Teams’ don’t necessarily need a ‘Wing-Back’ who could defend as well as lunch an attacking threat on opposing teams.

But now, the game has evolved drastically, with the game now going in the direction of the new trend of having a player who could attack as well as defend in a team. As such, that now makes players playing that position the most sought after as the game is swiftly moving away from the conventional old styles of defending alone and not necessarily bump forward to attack.

Before now, the best and well-known formation in football is the conventional 4-4-2 formation, but in recent years there has been a huge decline in the number of teams playing the 4-4-2 formation, as it’s swiftly becoming an outdated concept of the game.

The 4-4-2 formation usually features, two centre defenders, two wing-backs, two centre midfielders, two wide midfielders, and further up the pitch lie two forwards that sums up the formation.

However, while the 4-3-3, 4-2-3-1 and 3-4-3 have now become the norm or trend of modern-day football which the transitional managers now opted for.

With gaffers such as Pep Guardiola, Jurgen Klopp, Jose Mourinho, Carlo Ancelotti, Antonio Conte to mention a few, are now paying more attention to that position as well as knowing how versatile they are in all-round play, in terms of defending which is their primary assignment, as well as attacking which is now the norm which strengthens the team attacking wise.

In this piece, Cheapgoals will look at why wing-backs are now gradually becoming the most sought after players.

2020/21 summer transfer market is the most elongated transfer business in the history of the game, due to damages the pandemic inflicted on the football world. We saw 25 whopping full-backs been signed in the English Premier League, while other top five European leagues also brought in one or two to strengthen their team.

Among all of the players that were signed this summer, in the Premier League, over 25 full-backs were brought in which makes it the highest number in the last six years and equalled 22% of the Premier League’s overall 112 new arrivals in all positions.

Ironically, the second-highest ratio in that period was just 17% of players playing that position were signed during the summer, prior to the 2017-18 campaign. While the just-concluded transfers window comes with a 9% increase in the number of players signed this year compared to the signings made last year.

As it stands, the transitional managers of modern-day football now see the position as the most significant position they must address in their team, as such with the new trend in football, managers want to possess a fantastic player in their ranks that could go back and forth brilliantly in the team.

As pointed out above, before the turn of the millennium, players in that position are usually not in high demand unlike now.

Meanwhile, in the Premier League, £37m or more were spent on centre defenders with that position also calling for attention on players who could play from behind, while the businesses made for players in the department are the most frequently recruited in this summer enjoyed the largest total money spent which is ‘£245m’.

READ ALSO: 10 Of The Top Highest Scoring Defenders Of All Time

To further buttress the reason why they’ve been a huge demand, almost every top side in the top five leagues in Europe signed at least one this summer, except for Real Madrid who didn’t sign any players in the transfer market.

However, the rate in which they were brought in the Premier League was a testament to how much that position has revolutionised under the transitional managers. Albeit, some of the team may not necessarily sign players in that position, to instantly walk into the team, some acquired them for the future, while some signed them to straightly walk into the team.

The Premier League could comfortably boost of the top-three player in that department that was signed this summer that would walk straight into any team in Europe.

Wing-Back: The Hottest Commodity In Football

Nelson Semedo was signed by Wolverhampton from Barcelona, Sergio Reguilon by Tottenham from Real Madrid, and Ben Chilwell to Chelsea from Leicester City. While Inter Milan also brought in Achraf Hakimi, Sevilla secured the service of Acuna from Sporting Lisbon, Barcelona brought in Sergino Dest and some other top team in Europe.

Why has there been such a huge demand for wing-back this summer?

It’s simple, it is without a doubt that the position has seen or experienced the most transition in recent years especially with the obsession of managers wanting to play the gengen-pressing style of play, and also want to have a player who could defend and likewise attack, just like what Trent Alexander Arnold, Robertson, Marcelo, Dani Carvajal, Sergio Reguilon, Alphonse Davies, and Alaba brings to the table for their respective teams attacking wise.

Wing-Back: The Hottest Commodity In Football

With what the players bring in, it is safe to say they’ve now become a very essential and significant player at the high level of the game, unlike before when they weren’t seen as much of a significant player in a team.

However, with the ways managers set up their team tactically, specifically with the obsession of managers wanting to play with fast and attacking-minded players, it’s now a position much attention is been paid to and also a position that gulps a lot of money to secure the preferred player who would fit in seamlessly into the manager’s philosophy.

Having explains why wing-backs have seemingly gained or become significant in football and now in the transfer market, it still doesn’t say they also don’t come with their flaws.

Although they come with a lot of athleticism, they bump forward and support the attacking setup of the team depending on how the team set up, and when they fail to do their job as expected their flaws usually come to the fore.

READ ALSO: Top 5 Most Wanted Centre-Backs In Europe As At 2020

  • Defending Or Attacking Weaknesses 

First off, let start with their defensive capabilities, right since the game of football was invented, footballers playing wing-back could either be to defend or attack, but then their primary assignment in a team is to defend.

However as the game started evolving, we saw players such as Marcelo, Dani Alves, Dani Carvajal, Trent, Robertson, and a whole lot of them attack further up the pitch.

Wing-Back: The Hottest Commodity In Football

But when their team comes against a team that could also press high up the pitch, the weaknesses of that position become evident and the team becomes imbalance and open to danger from the opposing team, due to how high the player has stayed up or attack up the field.

Failing to track back to help the team defensively which is the primary assignment of all defenders generally in football could spell doom for the team.

Interestingly, with the new generation of modern-day players emerging, the weaknesses are gradually disappearing, because they can neither be called defensive nor attacking. But as a player that could do both on the pitch, tracks back to help the team, and also help the team in the attacking third.

Conclusion 

We’ve known about the quick growth of players playing that position for some time now, but this year’s summer transfer across Europe’s topflight leagues tells how well they’ve become important and instrumental in defining the balance of a team tactically.

As a football enthusiast, we should also note that footballing philosophies and tactics operate in cycles, whatever advancement the round-leather games brings to us we should accept and also enjoys it.

As a manager or a football enthusiast, the question we should ask is which position would probably be the next to unfold and also go on to be the most sought-after in the nearest future?

 

 

 

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3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big Elsewhere

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3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big Elsewhere

The English Premier League has welcomed some of the best players in the history of football. Players from different continents have made a huge impact on the league with impressive performances. There are others who failed to impress and can be termed as flops.

The League is quite unique from other European leagues. It is more competitive, fierce, physically challenging in nature. Needless to say, a player who isn’t mentally and physically geared up for this will stumble under the pressure.

Established stars can fall by the wayside with their former successes and triumphs becoming nothing more than a footnote in the EPL. Impressively, some of these players put in impressive performances when they moved to other leagues.

3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big In Other Leagues

  • Paulinho

3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big Elsewhere

Following the impending sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, Tottenham bought several players, one of the players they bought was Paulinho.

Paulinho was signed from Corinthians in Brazil where he helped them win the Copa Libertadores, Brasileirao, and the FIFA Club World Cup.

They defeated Chelsea in the latter to lift the trophy. Importantly, he had just won the FIFA Confederations Cup with Brazil and was voted as the third-best player at the tournament.

He joined Tottenham as the club’s record signing in 2013, so a lot was expected of him. However, his performance was not as impressive as the club had envisaged. He was later sold to Guangzhou Evergrande in China at a loss.

The Brazilian’s transfer to the Chinese league resulted in a change of fortunes, as helped the club claim the Chinese league and the AFC Champions League title in his first season.

In the second, he was voted into the Chinese League team of the year in recognition of his performance. Also, he won the league, FA Cup, and Super Cup.

Although critics downplayed his performance, citing the standard of the Chinese league compared to the English league, Paulinho impressed in Spain too following a €40 million move to Barcelona.

Paulinho helped the club claim the league and the Copa del Rey trophy. His performance in his only season with Barcelona impressed Ronaldinho who said: “He really stood out.”

  • Iago Aspas

3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big Elsewhere

Most Premier League fan remembers Aspas only as a Liverpool flop with the number 9 jersey. Aspas moved from boyhood club Celta Vigo to Liverpool for a deal estimated to be around £7.7 m, with Liverpool hoping to have unearthed a gem. However, that gem turns dregs, failing to score in any of his 14 league appearances.

After just one season, Liverpool decided that they have seen enough so they sent him on a season-long loan to Sevilla with an obligation to buy. In his season-long loan at the club, he was the joint top scorer in the Copa del Rey alongside Neymar with 7 goals and won the UEFA Europa League.

At the end of his season-long loan at Sevilla, the club signed him from Liverpool but sold him to Celta Vigo in the same transfer window. In every of his first 5 seasons at Celta Vigo, he scored in double digits.

In fact, in three of the 5 seasons, he won the Zarra Trophy awarded to the Spanish player with the most league goals in a season. As of December 2020, Aspas had won La Liga player of the month four times.

READ ALSO: 10 Premier League Players With Most Own Goals

  • Diego Forlan

3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big Elsewhere

Perhaps, the most notable and interesting English Premier League flop who became a star in another League. He was not just impressive in another league; he was extraordinary with his National team Uruguay.

Sir Alex Ferguson signed Forlan in 2001 following the attacker’s impressive form at Independiente in Argentina. In his first season in England, Forlan made 18 appearances but failed to score a single goal. The two seasons after were not impressive either, hence his transfer to Villarreal.

Impressively, Forlan scored 25 league goals in his first season with Villarreal and won the league’s top scorers award (2004/05). Also, he was awarded the European Golden Shoe award alongside Thierry Henry the same year. He left the club two seasons later for Atletico with 59 goals scored in 128 matches.

In his second season with Atletico Madrid (2008/09), Forlan beat Samuel Eto’o to the Spanish league’s top scorer’s award. He scored 32 league goals in 33 league appearances that season which earned him the Pichichi trophy. Again, he won the European Golden Shoe but this time it was not shared with anyone.

The next season (2009/10), Forlan played a key role as Atletico won the Europa League. He scored six times in the tournament, including two in the 2-1 win over Fulham in the final. He was voted as the man of the match in the final.

With his national team, he was just as impressive; he scored the most goals at the 2010 FIFA World Cup alongside Thomas Muller, Wesley Sneijder, and David Villa.

Furthermore, he was voted into the FIFA World Cup dream team and won the Golden Ball and goal of the tournament title. By the time he retired, he was Uruguay’s highest goal scorer in history, a record which has since been broken by Luis Suarez.

Forlan eventually became so good that some Football fans think he is the caliber of player that could have won the Ballon d’Or.

 

Conclusion

There are several reasons why players struggle when they change clubs, especially to other countries. Culture, language, teammates, family are some factors that can affect their performances.

These 3 cases show that a player may fail to perform in one league but go on to become a star in another league.

 

 

 

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Top 15 Highest Paid Players In Ligue 1

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Top 15 Highest Paid Players In Ligue 1

Ligue 1 no doubt harbors quite a number of talented players, as such it’s quite understandable for those considered to be world-class players among them to cash out hugely on what they earn at the end of the month.

As of late, the players’ salaries have given indications of solid development, on account of the tremendous income pouring into the game. The fierce rivalry between the country’s top football clubs has brought the nature of the competition higher than ever. The league has more than its own fair share of highly paid players.

Here is a rundown of the top 15 highest-paid players in the Ligue 1

  • Neymar Jr – (Paris Saint Germain, – €3.06 Per Month )

Top 15 Highest Paid Players In Ligue 1

Behind Ronaldo and Messi, the Brazilian forward is regarded as the third-best player in world football since moving from Santos to Barcelona in 2013 for a deal reported worth €86.2million.

After apparently growing and widening his status as a footballer with his achievement on and off the pitch, it was evident that the former Puskas Award winner would go on to attract top elite clubs.

With the Parisian club brimming with a lot of cash to flex muscles with high spending clubs, it was just a matter of time before Neymar would join them. Fast forward to 2017, the Selecao captain signed for PSG for a world record transfer fee worth €222million, and since then he’s been an important figure of both the club and their project.

Amidst transfer rumors of him returning to his old home Barcelona, plus the fact that the Parisian are also ready to offer him a new deal that would tie him down with the French side for at least another three seasons.

  • Kylian Mbappe – (Paris Saint Germain, € 1.91m Per Month)

Top 15 Highest Paid Players In Ligue 1

As a World Cup winner and one of the best prospects in world football, it’s quite understandable for Mbappe to be among the highest-paid players in Ligue 1 and Paris Saint Germain. The 2018 World Cup winner burst into the scene as a young player for Monaco, making his professional debut in 2015 at the age of 15.

The Frenchman signed for the Parisian club in 2017 on loan, which was later made permanent in 2018. He has shown to be a great prospect for both the club and their project in dominating the Ligue 1 and also flex muscles with the top clubs in Europe.

His permanent transfer to Paris Saint Germain is reported to be worth €180million, making him both the second most expensive player and most expensive teenager. Since joining the Ligue 1 Champions permanently, the 22-year-old has scored over 120 goals for the Parisian club.

However, amidst the rumor of Real Madrid prepping up to break the bank in their quest to bring him down to the Bernabeu, the World Cup winner is still actively the second biggest earner in the league and of course Paris Saint Germain.

READ ALSO: Top 10 Highest Paid Premier League Players As Of 2020/21

  • Correa Marquinhos & Marco Verratti – (Paris Saint Germain, €1.2m Per Month)

Top 15 Highest Paid Players In Ligue 1

Since the departure of top players such as Edinson Cavani, Zlatan, and recently Thiago Silva, Marquinhos’s status has risen from being a mere squad player in the dressing room into a leader, captain, and one of the best gladiator of the club.

As a 19-year-old teenager, the Brazilian was signed in 2013 on a five-year deal by Paris Saint Germain from AS Roma for a fee of around €31.4million. And as reported by BBC Sport, the deal was said to be the highest transfer fee for a teenager then, while Sky also reports it to be the then fifth highest transfer.

The current form of the Brazilian makes him rank as one of Europe’s most valuable players, most especially as a player who is currently plying his trade with the best team in France.

According to the transfer market rating, Marquinhos market value currently stands at €70million, as such with his years of experience and playing over 313 matches for the Parisian, it’s no surprise that the club captain takes home €1.2m per month tied with the Italian on the same amount.

Veratti

As for the Italian, he’s also been a very instrumental player for the team since joining the club nine years ago. There have always been rumors concerning his future, either joining Barcelona or go back to Italy, but as it stands his current contract with Paris Saint Germain would expire in 2024.

  • Angel Di Maria – (Paris Saint Germain, €1.1m Per Month)

Top 15 Highest Paid Players In Ligue 1

Since joining the Parisian for €63million after a disappointing stint with Manchester United in 2015, the Argentine winger has continued to prove to the world that he’s still one of the best players in football since leaving Real Madrid.

Di Maria isn’t just rank among the highest earner for doing nothing, he earns his pay through his brilliant performances over the years since joining them, accumulating a total of 251 appearances scoring over 88 goals and 104 assists.

The former Real Madrid winger may not stay in the Ligue 1 with Paris Saint Germain for three years or more, as he’s already moving close to the end of his career. However, with his deal still running that makes him the fourth-highest earner in the league.

  • Keylor Navas – (Paris Saint Germain, €1m Per Month)

Top 15 Highest Paid Players In Ligue 1

When Navas joined Madrid from Levante in the summer of 2014, no one ever thought he’s going to achieve quite a number of success with Los Blancos based on where he was coming from and his antecedent as a goalkeeper.

After a successful stint with Los Merengues, the imminent arrival of Thibaut Courtois means the Costa Rican goalkeeper days at Real Madrid are numbered.

With his achievement at Real Madrid, it was evident that the Costa Rican won’t find it hard to get good European suitor to come by, as such Paris Saint Germain came calling for his services in 2019 having been told he won’t be Real Madrid number one going forward into the new season.

Following Navas’s move to the French capital, it means his salary would be on the high side based on his achievement and reputation as a Champions League winner with arguably the biggest club in Europe.

As a Paris Saint Germain player, he earns €1m per month, making the Costa Rican one of the highest-paid players in Ligue 1

READ ALSO: 10 Richest Club Owners In World Football

  • Mauro Icardi – (Paris Saint Germain, €800,000 Per Month)

Top 15 Highest Paid Players In Ligue 1

The imminent departure of El Matador when Icardi joined Paris Saint Germain on loan means the responsibility of goalscoring would be on the shoulder of the Argentine. The former Inter Milan forward made his loan permanent with the PSG following a strong start in Paris.

The Argentine and controversy certainly go hand in hand based on his antecedent with his previous clubs. Everywhere he goes he has always shown he could lead the line perfectly, and since he joined the Parisian permanently no report of controversy has been recorded concerning the former Nerazzurri captain.

Icardi may not be the poster boy of PSG just like his days at Inter, that doesn’t make him less of a player in the dressing room among other star players like Neymar and Mbappe who are no doubt the face of the club.

  • Leandro Paredes – (Paris Saint Germain, €750,000 Per Month)
    Juan Bernat – (Paris Saint Germain, €700,000 Per Month)
    Presnel Kimpembe – (Paris Saint Germain, €670,000 Per Month)
    Ander Herrera – (Paris Saint Germain, €650,000 Per Month)
    Wissam Ben Yedder – (Monaco, €650,000 Per Month)
    Cesc Fabregas – (Monaco, €600,000 Per Month)
    Julian Draxler – (Paris Saint Germain, €600,000 Per Month)
    Idrissa Guaye – (Paris Saint Germain, €500,000 Per Month)

 

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