Defenders have been moving all over the place in the early weeks of the summer transfer window in Europe. Here we look at some of the top moves.
John Brooks to Wolfsburg
The U.S. International stays in Bundesliga as the most expensive American player ever coming in with a reported 20 million euros. The lefty center back had some inconsistent stretches during his time with Hertha Berlin, but his sheer stature and athleticism will give Wolfsburg a powerful presence on the back line.
The hefty center back comes in at an overpriced transfer fee for a Wolfsburg side who are in complete disarray. Their mishandling of a talented young star talent like Julian Draxler was well documented as they let him go to PSG in the middle of the season with no replacement. This points to a lack of direction from the club, especially as they just barely staved off relegation this past season in Bundesliga. His inconsistency and imaturity will be a concern for a rebuilding squad with other talented players like Ricardo Rodriguez, Mario Gomez, Luiz Gustavo, and Jakub Blaszczykowski. John Brooks will have to prove his worth right away.
Transfer Grade: C-
Mateo Musachio to AC Milan
The Yellow Submarines leader of the back line has made his way to the fashion capital of the world in Milan in an opportunity to reinvigorate his own career while giving Milan some similar energy at the same time. Coming in with an undisclosed fee, the experienced Argentine defender brings something this Milan team has not had very much of in recent years – dependability.
The ex-Villarreal captain will be a first choice starter for the upcoming season and shows the kind of intent to contend in Serie A to try and hold on to the coveted youngsters that Milan boasts. While eerily similar to the Adil Rami deal a few years back when the French defender moved on from Valencia to Milan, Musachio looks to bring Milan up from the other side of the rebuild after years of turmoil and struggles both financially and on the pitch.
Transfer Grade: A+
Arsenal Fullbacks: One in, One out?
Sead Kolasinac comes to Arsenal with two other left backs already in the squad in the form of Nacho Monreal and out-of-favor Kieran Gibbs. His free transfer from Schalke shows the kind of shrewd business that Arsene Wenger is known for, and looks to be a good addition to the ranks as well to provide good competition to Monreal. He led the Bundesliga in assists for defenders with five last season, showing his ability to get up and down the left flank and get quality crosses into the box. The 23 year-old Bosnian and Herzegovinian left back provides good depth at defense and is good business for the Gunners. However, that good business may come at a price as Catalan media outlets have reported that right back speedster and ex La Masia product Hector Bellerin has agreed to terms with Barcelona.
Transfer Grade: B-