Two Minute Warning
Cole, Ba and Holtby: Hit or miss?
Of the many deals already done this month, some stand out more than others. Joe Cole’s return to West Ham from Liverpool, Demba Ba’s switch from Newcastle to Chelsea and the pre-contract arrangement for Schalke’s Lewis Holtby to join Tottenham in the summer have all got tongues wagging. Cole and Ba have impressed for their new clubs so far, but will these transfers go down as successes or failures in the long term? The Life’s a Pitch team give their view.
“Hit!” is the emphatic response of the Mirror’s John Cross when asked about Cole’s homecoming. “I think it’s a really good move for him, it suits all parties. He set up both goals with delightful deliveries for James Collins in his first game back for West Ham [against Man Utd]. Given the chance, he can either play wide or in midfield. I just think it will work out well for him.”
John’s colleague at the Mirror, Martin Lipton, is even more confident that Ba will prove to be excellent value for the reported £7m it cost Chelsea to secure his release from Newcastle. “Chelsea have got goals from Newcastle, simple as that. He works defenders, he makes centre-halves go in places they don’t want to go. He’s an out-ball in the air, he’s purposeful: he will be an extremely good signing. He will get 12 to 14 goals for Chelsea before the end of the season. He could be the biggest hit of the year.”
And although Holtby’s debut for Spurs will have to wait until the 2013-14 season, footballer-turned-journalist Adrian Clarke is already excited. “A clever signing from André Villas-Boas. What Spurs have missed since Luka Modric and Rafael van der Vaart left is a player who can pick a pass from in behind, slide those balls through to score goals from midfield. They’ve got goals from Clint Dempsey and Gylfi Sigurdsson, but they haven’t got that craft and I think Holtby will add that to Tottenham. It might take him a while to find his feet, but I see him being a hit: he’s quality.”
Watch the full video discussion by clicking on the play button in the image above.
Follow Life’s a Pitch on Twitter @BTLifesaPitch
Watch Chelsea, Tottenham and West Ham live on BT Vision:
Man Utd v West Ham, 8pm, 16 January, ITV1 (FA Cup third round replay)
Chelsea v Arsenal, 1pm, 20 January, Sky Sports 1
Tottenham v Man Utd, 3.30pm, 20 January, Sky Sports 1
Don’t have BT Vision? Find out how to get it