Especially in a World Cup year, sometimes it takes one big-money move to truly spring the transfer window into life, causing a chain reaction throughout Europe.
And amid talk of movement between two Premier League clubs and a giant of the Bundesliga, that’s exactly what could happen in the coming weeks. Involving Crystal Palace and West Ham, Football FanCast take a look at how this transfer triangle could quickly unfold…
Yarmolenko reportedly arrived at West Ham’s training camp in Switzerland on Monday for a medical, so that deal looks like it’s become a mere formality. London Evening Standard reckon the transfer fee will be £17.5million which seems like a decent sum for a winger who didn’t exactly set the Bundesliga alight, scoring just thrice during his single season in the German top flight, but boasts a preceeding reputation from his potent spell prior with Dynamo Kiev. It also frees up another player in West Ham’s squad for a summer departure, which we’ll come onto shortly.
Rumour has it Dortmund are already eyeing Zaha as Yarmolenko’s direct replacement, and it certainly makes sense in terms of style of play. Like the Ukrainian international, the Crystal Palace talisman is a powerful and physical forward who can play anywhere across the frontline.
With Zaha recently turning down an improved contract at Selhurst Park, a summer switch to one of Europe’s most illustrious clubs would surely appeal to the Ivory Coast star. But the only potential hitches are Palace’s valuation – a lofty £70million – and interest from rival clubs. Everton and Tottenham have both been linked, and the latter club are long-term admirers.
Palace were strongly linked with Antonio earlier in the summer and the Yarmolenko-Zaha merry-go-round would naturally facilitate that move. Antonio isn’t quite at the same level as the Ukrainian or the Palace sensation but he’s a solid Premier League player who would seem to suit Roy Hodgson’s game-plan.
Like Zaha, he can carry the ball up the pitch on the counter-attack and he can score goals; in fact, he’s scored just two less Premier League strikes than the Eagles man in 53 less Premier League appearances.
Rated at just £13.5million by Transfermarkt, signing Antonio as Zaha’s replacement will leave plenty of funds for the south Londoners to strengthen elsewhere – but there’s no doubt he’s the lesser of the three players involved in this transfer triangle.