March 26, 2023

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Promising winter window transfers that went unnoticed

PSG fans brightly escorted the players to Marseille. The head of the ultras personally spoke with Messi and Neymar

PSG fans brightly escorted the players to Marseille. The head of the ultras personally spoke with Messi and Neymar

There have been plenty of big deals in the winter transfer window flag. In winter, it is not customary to spend a lot of money, the season is in full swing, there is no time for big experiments with compositions, and at this time of the year it is traditionally customary to patch up holes, replace the injured, and those who risk flying out need to make saving purchases.

Behind the screen of Todd Bowley’s frenzied spending, Arsenal’s targeted reinforcements and the transfer of a number of Ukrainian players to the top championships, there are undervalued deals that have not attracted much attention, but in the future they promise to turn into very successful projects.

1. Kamaldin Sulemana (Ghana), Rennes ———> Southampton €25m

A vivid example of how a team strengthens its clip in a fierce struggle for survival. Southampton parted ways with Ralph Hasenhüttl during the season and appointed Nathan Jones, who worked wonders in the Championship with the modest Luton, as head coach.

There is very little time to build a new structure. Therefore, the team needs bright performances and brute force. Ghanaian midfielder Kamaldin Suleman is called upon to answer for the first. Gantz will be just 21 in a couple of weeks and has already contributed more than €40m to his two former clubs.

Sulemana is a graduate of the Ghanaian RighttoDream Academy, which is supervised by the Danish Norschellan. The Danes have grown a whole galaxy of young talents in recent years. Mohamed Kudus, who shone at the last World Cup, Mikkel Damsgaard, Matthias Jensen, Stanislav Lobotka. All these players went through the structure of the club and were profitably sold to the top leagues. And at one time, it was from here that Borussia Dortmund took the main talent of the Turkish generation, Emre Mora, who never played at the top level.

Sulemana moved to Rennes last summer for £17m, marking the biggest sale in the Danish club’s history. This season, the Ghanaian midfielder is tearing up the French championship in terms of dribbling. Kamaldin makes 4.27 successful dribbling attempts per 90 minutes of the match. By the way, the best dribbler in the Premier League for this indicator, Allen Saint-Maximin, makes 3.77 such actions in a full match.

With all this, Sulemana is not just a runner, he is a much more disciplined football player, unlike other African colleagues. One of the children’s coaches of the Ghanaian academy repeatedly noted that the tactical foundations of the game were laid in the midfielder even at the children’s academy, which worked according to European standards.

Given all of the above, you need to understand that the Ghanaian is still very young and the process of its development is not over. Despite the amazing performance in terms of technology, Suleman did not become the main player in Rennes, but was a rotation player. It will be even more difficult in the Premier League, but there is no denying the fact that the Saints have made an investment for years to come.

2. Paul Onuachu (Nigeria), Genk ———> Southampton €18m

The second strengthening of Southampton in terms of brute force is embodied in the person of Paul Onuachu, another pupil of Danish football, but already from Midtjyllan.

The first thing that catches your eye when looking at the Nigerian striker is the monstrous dimensions. 201 centimeters of living growth, what colossus you need to look for. But most importantly, Onuachu is a super scorer.

Paul managed to play in two championships and ruthlessly tore the opponent’s penalty area in both teams. The coolest performances happened in the Belgian Ghent, where in 3 and a half seasons he scored a little less than a hundred goals.

Onuachu is not a great talent, he is already 28 years old, he has stayed in the near-top leagues and is now ready to take a big step in his career. It is worth recognizing that he is a limited player in terms of his functionality, but perhaps it was precisely such limited functionality that Southampton lacked and the Nigerian could become the savior of the team from the south of Great Britain in the struggle for survival.

3. Harry Suttar (Australia), Stoke City ———> Leicester €17m

The World Championship and other major tournaments have long ceased to be a talent fair. The bright performance of a football player in such a short-term tournament does not guarantee his potential buyers a successful transfer for years to come. With the vast amount of data now at their disposal, clubs are looking for potential newcomers based on more reliable indicators based on a large sample.

But still, the transfers of players who have shown themselves in a big tournament have not completely disappeared. One of these was the acquisition of Leicester central defender of the Australian national team Harry Suttara.

It is fair to say that Suttar has been followed for more than a year, at the end of 2021 he was close to moving to the Premier League club, but received a gap of crosses, which caused him to be out of action for exactly a year. A huge defender with a height of 1.98m returned to action exactly before the World Cup and went to him as the main one, having fully played all 4 matches.