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With the transfer window officially open, teams have already began bringing in reinforcements in order to avoid the deadline day commotion.
Albeit few and far between, some one of the best deals are acquired through free transfers: which entails agreement of personal terms with the player without the club’s involvement.
Here are three of the biggest free transfers thus far.
Ever Banega – Inter Milan
The Argentine midfielder is quite rightly the biggest steal this summer. The former Sevilla player had a superb season, having propelled the La Liga outfit to yet another Europa league triumph.
Banega is a technically endowed player who is an ever present threat with the ball at his feet. He had a passing accuracy of 83% and averaged 2.5 key passes per game last season.
The 28-year old can also draw fouls in good positions and therefore defenders will have a hard time with him on the ball. Furthermore, his dribbling skills are just as superb as his tackling abilities, making him a versatile playmaker an attacking midfielder.
However, one of the downsides to his games last season was failure to contribute enough goals. For a player of his stature, he only managed 7 goals and 3 assists in 42 appearances in all competitions. But this is an aspect of the game that can improve once he settles in Milan.
Dani Alves – Juventus
The Brazilian right back has been a mainstay in the Barcelona team and is one of the best right backs in the world.
The Old lady of Turin has without question landed themselves a proven winner with a wealth of experience, with another year or two in his boots.
Juventus will benefit from his pace on the wings, his crossing ability and his defensive capabilities. Another plus for Juve is that he averages around 30 games in a season, which is quite impressive to say the least.
He also has an eye for goal especially on free kicks, and therefore, he can pop up with the odd goal once in a while.
Joel Matip – Liverpool
The Cameroon international is one of the steals of the summer by Jurgen Klopp, having inked a pre-contract back in January.
The 25 year old can play both as a centre half and as a right-back. He is also an established international for Cameroon, and with time on his hands, can definitely add more to his game.
Matip is comfortable with possession, and had a pass completion of 83% in the Bundesliga.
He is a disciplined defender, having only been booked 3 times the whole of last season. His other strengths lie in his ball interception skills having at least 3 interceptions per match.
He therefore will surely become a star for Liverpool, and a player that most top clubs missed to spot.
The biggest of them all… is on the way
The three players are likely to shine for their new clubs. And for free, they truly are major steals.
Once confirmed however, Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s move to Manchester United will be the biggest among all free transfers this summer.
Written by Brian Humphrey
Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum
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