Connect in the back of the net

The summer transfer window of 2017 is open and one of the main headlines so far has been Everton breaking their club record transfer by signing Jordan Pickford for a deal of up to £30 million.

However, two of the three newly promoted clubs have also broken their transfer records already this summer.

So what is it about Matthew Ryan (Brighton) and Laurent Depoitre (Huddersfield) that made the two Premier League newcomers part with a club record fee?

 

Who is Ryan?

Matthew Ryan is the current Australian national team number one and has 35 caps for his country; he started out at Australian football side Central Coast Mariners, making 80 appearances for the side between 2010-2013.

In the summer of May 2013 Ryan secured a move to Belgian side Club Brugge where he would get his first taste of football in Europe.

During his time at Club Brugge the Sydney-born shot stoppers stock increased drastically; in 2014, he started all three of Australia’s group games in the 2014 World Cup whilst also signing a contract extension with Club Brugge in November 2014.

Then came Ryan’s big move; La Liga side Valencia signed Ryan on a six-year deal in the summer of 2015 for an undisclosed fee. He kept a clean sheet on his debut in August 2015 but only made 10 appearances in total for the Spanish club before being loaned back to Belgium League with Racing Genk in January 2017.

 

Upgrade over Stockdale

However, Ryan has now got his second opportunity to impress in one of the top leagues in the world as Brighton have signed him this summer for a club record fee. The Socceroo will join up with his teammates following the conclusion of Australia’s Confederations Cup campaign.

Losing David Stockdale may have been a blow to Brighton, as the 32 year old Englishman had been the Seagulls’ first choice keeper for the last three seasons, making over 130 appearances for the club -before eventually declining a new contract and subsequently joining Harry Redknapp’s Birmingham City.  

However, in Matt Ryan they have arguably upgraded, Ryan being seven years younger, holding 30+ senior caps and having the experiences of playing in three different countries as well as for a club the size of Valencia.

After smashing their club record transfer, Brighton will be going into their first top flight season since 1983 with a safe pair of hands as their last line of defence.

 

And who is Depoitre?

Next is a look at Laurent Depoitre who is a Belgium born striker with one senior international cap for Belgium in an October 2015 European Qualifier resulting in a 4-1 win against Andorra.  

Depoitre similarly to Ryan made his name plying his trade in Belgium; the 28-year-old won the Belgian third division with Aalst in 2011 before leaving them at the end of the following season for, at the time, Belgium Second tier side Oostende.

The 6’3” strikers’ first season at Oostende came with another title as they won the Belgian second division and by doing so achieved promotion to the Belgium Pro League.

 

Decent goal record in Belgium

During three seasons in the Pro League, Depoitre scored 30 goals in 84 appearances; the first 6 goals came in his only season in the top division with Oostende, whilst Depoitre scored 12 goals in both his seasons at Gent following his move to the Belgium side after his contract had expired at Oostende.

Similarly, to Matthew Ryan, following sustained success in Belgium, a move came to a massive European side, in Depoitre’s case it was Porto. In August 2016 Laurent Depoitre signed a four-year contract at Porto, with a €40 million release clause inserted, following Porto’s purchase of him from Gent for €6 million.

However, the move to Porto did not work out and the Belgian made a total of 7 appearances in the league in his one and only season at Porto, scoring a solitary goal in the process.

 

Biggest challenge yet for the Belgian

Laurent Depoitre has spent the majority of his career battling at the top of the league in order to win the title, however, his new challenge at Huddersfield following their club record transfer for him (which fell well below the release clause inserted into his Porto contract) will be at the opposite end of the table, as Huddersfield bravely battle for survival in the Premier League.

 

Written by Svar Nanar-Sen

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