THE WRITER’S ROOM | 22nd September 2021

The headline says it all. The MTAG: More Than A Game writers handpick 5 hypothetical transfers that would make sense but simultaneously, not at all since they’ve been blatantly labelled “weird” for a reason.

Let’s jump right into it.

Amogh Panse- Allan Saint-Maximin to Arsenal

Bless you. You may not have sneezed but Arsenal need God’s grace if they’re going to climb back up to the consistent levels Wenger delivered season after season. Pound-for-pound, the most entertaining player to watch in the league in Allan-Saint Maximin could be a start.

The red side of London could use a genuine winger that isn’t Saka, considering a gem like Smith-Rowe should stay more central, Pepe’s nightmare at Arsenal and the out-of-favour Martinelli.

ASM oozes sauce on the pitch with his impeccable dribbling, swift cut-ins close to goal and incredible ball carrying ability.

Seeing this talented, yet young and inexperienced Arteta team, you’d push Edu to push for some domestic experience over the unknown up till now. Signing Saint-Maximin could be a crafty gamble from the Gunners.

On the flipside, the Frenchman’s numbers need significant amounts of work and for all the panache, output is everything at a top 6 club.

Harshavardhan Ghadge- Patrick Bamford to Manchester City

The only cavity in Pep’s Sky blue masterpiece is an out-and-out No.9. Plot twist? Enter Patrick Bamford.

With his lean physique and a certificate of excellence from Bielsa’s Murderball methodology, the lad who once turned his back on Harvard could be the striker City need to turn their backs towards.

On afternoons of packed Elland Road outings, you can see Bamford roaming around the final third, linking up play, lodging into pockets of space and collecting his wages by being at the right place at the right time.

Try telling me with a straight face that he’s not Pep-ball material. If the market can throw a ‘Messi to PSG’ at us, well, what is unlikely in the aftermath of that?

Arnav Khanna- Adama Traore to Manchester United

This might seem like an absurd proposition up front, but under the surface, the Spaniard could actually turn out to be an invaluable asset in Ole’s system. Manchester United effectively play a 2-2-5-1 system in possession against low blocks, with the full-backs pushing high into the opposition third.

Now with Wan-Bissaka’s deficiencies on the ball very well documented, someone like Adama Traore could offer a contrasting profile that allows the Mancunian right side to absolutely blitz opponents.

Adama’s overlapping runs paired with Jadon Sancho’s mazy movements would pull apart every pesky defence that United so often face in their treks to the lower half teams.

Furthermore, the Spanish international’s strength, recovery pace and limited, yet notable experience at wing-back would allow him to still be a serviceable defender.

Unconventional? Sure. But Adama Traore to Manchester United could be well worth a throw of the dice.

Srinivas Sadhanand- Dele Alli to Liverpool

Look, should Liverpool actually go for Dele Alli? Probably not. But would Dele Alli strangely make sense at Liverpool? Absolutely.

With Salah and Mane doing most of the heavy lifting in terms of putting the ball into the back of the net for 5 seasons, a natural goalscorer like the former MK Dons man fits like a glove.

While his 18-goal league season in 2016/17 as a second striker wouldn’t be of much use to Klopp, considering Alli would operate in a deeper role at the Reds, 10 goals in his debut Premier League campaign as a classic No.10 isn’t too shabby of a return.

And while his pressing game does need polishing, Alli’s engine is undeniable. So much so, that he hasn’t had to fake it to (partially) make it as a box-to-box midfielder under Nuno Espirito Santo this season.

Goalscoring midfielder? Check. Tireless presser? Check. Turn your noses at this if you will but Dele may actually be the perfect Liverpool midfielder.

I said what I said.

Kabir Ali- Sam Johnstone to Tottenham Hotspur

In my opinion, the best English ‘keeper to get relegated from the Premier League last term, ahead of the man their North London rivals ended up going for was Sam Johnstone. The United academy graduate should definitely be on Tottenham’s radar. Here’s why.

It has been clear for some time that Hugo Lloris is past his best, and while Spurs did sign Pierluigi Gollini on loan to bolster their numbers between the sticks, the Italian is little more than a back-up.

Johnstone stood tall amongst an abysmal West Brom backline, time and again proving his mettle as an elite shotstopper.

I won’t delve into the stats as they make for a pretty harsh reading, but without Johnstone’s contributions, the Baggies were probably looking at a three-figure haul in terms of goals conceded.

His status as the silver lining in an otherwise bleak campaign was confirmed when he won their Player of the Season award by a landslide.

Oh, and he’s available on a free next summer with his contract running out. File this one under no-brainer.

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