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Movers and shakers of the football transfer season

Published on Sep 2, 2014 11:16 PM
 
(From left) Manchester United midfielder Angel di Maria, Chelsea striker Diego Costa and Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez all made big money moves to the English Premier League. -- PHOTOS: AFP, REUTERS

The end of every European football transfer season on the first day of September means an end to a madcap, whirlwind dealing of players across all the top European teams.

Many have moved at exorbitant price; some of them made perfect sense, some have left fans scratching their heads. Who are the top three movers and shakers of this transfer season?

TOP 3 MOVERS

Angel di Maria
Real Madrid to Manchester United for 59.7 million pounds (S$124 million)

Desperate to halt the slide that saw them finish seventh in the English Premier League last season, United signed di Maria for a British-record fee of almost 60 million pounds.

The skilful Argentina winger, voted man of the match in May’s Champions League final, made a promising debut in United’s 0-0 draw at Burnley on Saturday.

Diego Costa
Atletico Madrid to Chelsea for 32 million pounds 

Bruising Brazil-born striker Costa, 25, joined Chelsea after firing Atletico Madrid to the La Liga title last season with 27 goals.

Had a chastening experience at the World Cup with adopted country Spain, but has scored four goals in his first three appearances for Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea.

Alexis Sanchez
Barcelona to Arsenal for 30 million pounds 

Twelve months after smashing their transfer record to sign Mesut Oezil, Arsenal flexed their financial muscles again with a move for Chile’s star forward Sanchez.

The 25-year-old provided the first return on the investment when he scored the goal against Besiktas that took Arsenal into the Champions League group phase.

TOP 3 SHAKERS

Luke Shaw
Southampton to Manchester United for 27 million pounds

Spending a fortune on a teenage left-back can hardly be described as money well spent.

To label him as "unfit" - as United manager Louis van Gaal did during pre-season - and worked him so hard till his hamstring tore seems like a total waste of money.

Radamel Falcao
Monaco to Manchester United on a 6 million pounds loan deal

United pulled off a stunning coup on the last day of the transfer window by signing prolific Colombia striker Falcao.

All very well until one realises that the Red Devils are choke-full of attackers and the 28-year-old is NOT the rock-solid centre-half their defence have been crying out for.

Mario Balotelli
AC Milan to Liverpool for 16 million pounds

The eccentric Italian striker has set off more fireworks in his own house than he has done on a football pitch.

He has big teeth to fill - those of Luis Suarez - at Anfield. But if he can curb his erratic off-pitch behaviour, he may prove to be a bargain.

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