Thomas Vermaelen Joins Barcelona

Thomas Vermaelen Joins Barcelona

Thomas Vermaelen Joins Barcelona

Thomas Vermaelen has signed a 5 year deal with Barcelona after completing his £15 million move from Arsenal.

EPL Club Manchester United were also interested on the 28 year old Belgium International but pulled out of the deal when Arsenal asked for a player, believed to be Chris Smalling, in part exchange.

Thomas Vermaelen is the second defensive addition of the transfer window by Barcelona. Last month, they confirmed the signing of Valencia’s French defender Jeremy Mathieu for €20 millions.

Barcelona’s defence was a weak point last season, when they failed to win major silverware for the first time in 6 years, and coach Gerardo Martino was replaced by former Barcelona and Spain midfielder Luis Enrique.

Thomas Vermaelen will be competing for a place with Spain international Gerard Pique, Frenchman Jeremy Mathieu, and Barcelona academy graduate Marc Bartra. Barcelona starts their La Liga campaign, when they will be chasing a fifth title in 7 years, at home to Elche on 24 August.

More on Thomas Vermaelen:

Thomas Vermaelen joined Ajax youth academy in 2000 and won the 2003-04 Eredivisie title in his first season with the club. He then had a loan spell with RKC Waalwijk before rejoining Ajax and winning the KNVB Cup and Johan Cruijff Shield. After Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s departure in 2009, Vermaelen served as club captain for the remainder of the season. He then joined Arsenal in 2009 and was included in the PFA Premier League Team Of The Year for that season. Following former captain Robin van Persie’s transfer to Manchester United in August 2012, Vermaelen was named club captain for Arsenal.

Vermaelen’s career has been hampered by injury and he made only 21 appearances in the 2013-14 season after falling behind Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker in the pecking order.

A left footer, Vermaelen usually plays as a left sided centre back and can play at the left back as well. His key attributes includes aerial ability, leadership skills and quickness with the ball at his feet.

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Patrice Evra Signs For Juventus

Patrice Evra Signs For Juventus

Patrice Evra Signs For Juventus

Manchester United left back Patrice Evra has joins Juventus as the English Premier League Club undergoes their transformation under new manager Louis van Gaal.

Evra has signed a 1 year contract with United just 8 weeks ago, but the left back has since been given the permission to leave Old Trafford. The 33 year old’s move to Turin has been put in doubt following the resignation of Juventus manager Antonio Conte, but his replacement Massimiliano Allegri was keen to continue the club’s pursuit of the player.

Patrice Evra who has been in Manchester United for 8 years is on holiday at the moment, but was announced as a Juventus player by the club on Monday. Juventus club statement read, “Juventus announces that the agreement with Manchester United for the definitive acquisition of the right to the player Patrice Evra Latyr for £1.2 million payable in 2 instalments: £600,000 at international transfer release and £600,000 by July 1, 2015. The purchase value may increase by a further maximum of £300,000 should Juventus qualify for the UEFA Champions League in 2015/16. Juventus have signed Evra to a 2 year deal.”

More on Patrice Evra:

Patrice Latyr Evra was raised in France and began his football career playing for various clubs such as his hometown club CO Les Ulis and CSF Bretigny. In 1997, he had a stint at professional club Paris Saint Germain. A year later, Evra seized his first footballing opportunity in Italy after signing for Marsala in Sicily. He made his professional debut with the club and joined Monza in the ensuing season. A year later, Evra returned to France and played for Nice. While at Nice, Evra converted from a midfielder to a full back.

In 2002, Evra joined Monaco and contributed to the team that won the Coupe de la Ligue in 2003. He also featured in European competition for the first time in his career and in the 2003-04 season, was the starting left back on the Monaco team that reached the 2004 UEFA Champions League Finals.

Evra moved to English Premier League Club Manchester United in January 2006. While playing for Manchester United, Evra has won the Football League Cup in his debut season at the club. In his second season, he establish himself as first choice left back and has since won 5 Premier League titles, 1 UEFA Champions League Title, 1 FIFA Club World Cup, 3 League Cups, 4 Community Shields Titles.

Evra has also been named to the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) Team of the Year on three ocassions. in the 2008-09 season, he was named to both the FIFPro World XI and the UEFA Team of the Year.

Evra is a France international, with 61 International Caps to date.

On leaving Manchester United, Evra said, “After a great deal of thought I have decided the time is right for me to leave Manchester United. It is the biggest decision of my career as this club is, and will always remain, in my heart.”

Left back position is likely to be replaced by new United signing Luke Shaw.

Manchester United Signs Luke Shaw

Manchester United Signs Luke Shaw

Manchester United Signs Luke Shaw

Luke Shaw completes his move to Old Trafford for £30 million from Southampton and beomes the world’s most expensive teenager.

Shaw signed a 4-year deal worth £100,000 a week after United fought off late interest from chelsea to seal their second signing of Louis van Gaal. The first being the signing of Athletic Bilbao Ander Herrera for £28.5 million.

Initially, Southampton has rejected United’s bid of approximately £27 million but accepted Shaw’s sale when it became apparent that he wanted to leave SOuthampton. The fee rose to £31 million, with United having an option on his contract for a fifth year. The 18-year-old’s move to Old Trafford advanced after England’s early exit from the World Cup.

Luke Shaw’s move to United completes a remarkable rise for left-back, who became the youngest player to feature at the World Cup when he played the full 90 minutes against Costa Rica on Tuesday.

On completing his signing for United, Luke Shaw says, “I am thrilled and excited to be joining Manchester United. I have been at Southampton since I was eight years old and I would like to thank them and the fans for everything they have done for me. I want to continue to progress my career and joining United is the ideal place for me to do that.”

More about Luke Shaw:

Shaw joined the Southampton academy at the age of 8 and became a regular in the under-18 team from age 15. He made his Southampton debut at the age of 16 in an FA Cup tie and has since emerged as one of the most highly rated youngsters in Europe, with Real Madrid and Bayern Munich also tracking his progress.

On his 18th birthday, he signed a new 5-year deal with Southampton. He was named as one of the 6 players on the shortlist for the PFA Young Player of the Year award. Also, he was selected as left bak in the PFA Team of the Year.

Despite the Red Devils’ success in signing Shaw, former Manchester Unites Paul Scholes has criticised the move. Scholes felt that the club should have spent the money on a striker instead.

Writing in his Paddy Power blog, Scholes says, “For that money I want a centre-forward who’s going to score 30 goals a season.”

Will Luke Shaw be able to establish himself as a first choice left back ahead of experienced Manchester United Patrice Evra? Or will Scholes be proven correct in his criticism?

Stay in touch with Soccer Pitches Word Press Site from more updates on the 2014-15 English Premier League Season.

manchester united signs herrera

Manchester United Signs Herrera

Manchester United signs Herrera on 4-year deal.

Manchester United have signed Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera after the player bought out his contract with Athletic Bilbao.

United had a bid of £28.85 million for the 24 year-old rejected on Thursday but the deal was soon finalised before Athletic Bilbao revealed that Herrera had paid compensation to complete the transfer.

This is Louis van Gaal first signing as Manchester United manager with the acquisition of the Spanish midfielder. Herrera activated his £28m buy-out clause which would have risen to £32m after 1st July to facilitate the move.

Bilbao-born Ander Herrera moved to his hometown club from Real Zaragoza in 2011, making a total of 128 appearances and scoring 11 goals. On completing his transfer to Manchester United, Herrera said, “Signing for Manchester United is a dream come true. I have played at Old Trafford for Athletic Club in the UEFA Europa League and it was one of the highlights of my career so far.”

“I have joined United to do all I can to help the team reach the club’s objectives. Having arrived on Tuesday I’m excited to now be living in Manchester and I can’t wait for my first game in United’s famous red shirt.

“I will never forget my time with Athletic club and I’d like to thank the fans and staff for all their support and above all wish all my fantastic former team-mates all the best for the future.”

Herrera caught the eye at Old Trafford in March 2012 when Bilbao pulled off a shocking 3-2 victory in the first-leg of their last-16 Europa League tie. Manchester United have since attempted to sign the talented midfielder last summer but failed to complete the deal on the deadline day. Herrera has now signed a 4-year contract, with United holding an option to extend his stay by a further year.

Ryan Giggs has so far been impressed with the signing of Ander Herrera.

Giggs said: “Ander is a fantastic young player, with great energy and creativity. We believe him to be one of the brightest young prospects in Spain and I am certain he will be a big hit with the United fans.

“I’m delighted he has made the decision to come to Manchester and play his part in the club’s future. I’m looking forward to seeing him in action on our summer tour to America.”

Will Herrera indeed be able to add control into the Red Devils’ midfield? Well, we’ll have to wait for the season to find out.