Grading The Deal; The Laudable Lewis Cook to AFC Bournemouth

Lewis Cook (YPOTY)

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The silly season is fully underway, as club “think tanks” seek to delve into the transfer market and attempt to strengthen their teams going into the new season, while also ensuring that they get the best possible value for money deals in a very competitive and largely inflated global transfer market. We at GSV have taken it upon ourselves to give you a comprehensive breakdown of some transfer deals in our Grading The Deal supplement, an exclusive and comprehensive guide catered towards the purists who seek to know more than the average fan regarding the wheeling’s and dealings in football today. Enjoy!

#TheSuperMarket

Leeds United Football Club can hang their hat on the club’s youth development academy’s ability to produce elite level ready young talents, many of whom often go onto have successful professional football careers in the game. Lewis Cook has followed Sam Byram by joining an ambitious English Premier League club after earning his stripes at Leeds United, while Byram chose to sign for West Ham United in January of 2016, Lewis watched on in agony as his move to The Cherries fell-through at the eleventh hour, when odds looked on for him to join Benik Afobe as the other hot English prospect signing for AFC Bournemouth. Eddie Howe is said to be a keen admirer of Lewis Cook and what he brings to the table, having scouted the wunderkind on numerous occasions over the course of last season, Cook will have been reassured of the opportunities he will have to further his development, in a team that seems perfectly suited to his dynamic game play.

Lewis Cook has made great strides in his relatively young professional career thus far, the lad has progressed in many regards due to regular first team exposure at a highly competitive level; while his potential ceiling remains extremely high, many have questioned just how far he could be in his development, were it not for having to play under 7 coaches during his time in the Leeds United first team, a spell that coincides with the rule of enigmatic & controversial Leeds United manager axing owner Massimo Cellino. A fresh start, and the lure of stability, in a culture that is not too dissimilar to what Leeds United have been aspiring to recreate within their illustrious club, will only serve Lewis Cook well as he continues to develop into the world-class talent he promises to become.

The departure of Matt Ritchie to Newcastle United for £12m had created a void in the Bournemouth midfield, Lewis Cook’s experience playing in multiple positions, and his effectiveness in different roles, garnered from playing differing systems, will have been great preparation for his new challenge in a team that looks to play their passing game while also adapting their structure to combat specific opposition threats. In Lewis Cook, AFC Bournemouth have secured the services of one of the hottest young prospects in English football, the transition from Championship to Premier League level will not necessarily be easy or without obstacles, but the structure in place at the club should allow the transition to be one that only progresses Lewis Cook’s development.

Lewis Cook

Bio

Full Name: Lewis John Cook

DoB: February 3rd, 1997 (19)

PoB: York, North Yorkshire; England

Nationality: English

Caps & Goals: u/16, 5 Caps | u/17, 15 Caps | u/18, 1 Cap | u/19, 9 Caps

Position/s: Deep-Lying Playmaker, Box-To-Box Midfielder, Attacking Midfielder, Advanced Playmaker, Trequartista, Inside Forward, Winger (L/R/C)

Height: 1, 75m

Preferred Foot: Right

Club: A.F.C. Bournemouth

Jersey No: Not Yet Assigned

Contract Expiry: June 30th, 2020

Transfer Fee: £6m + add-ons up to £10m

Former Club: Leeds United Football Club (2014-2016)

Development Nest: Leeds United Youth Academy (2004-2014)

2015/16 Club Stats: 47 Games, 2 Goals & 3 Assists

Total Career Stats: 85 Games, 2 Goals & 5 Assists

GSV Deal Grader: Matt Holland from West Ham United FC to A.F.C. Bournemouth on a Free Transfer in 1994 (4/5)

The Grand Stand View

Leeds United gaffer Garry Monk had withdrawn Cook from the England u/19 squad to compete in the 2016 UEFA European u/19 Championship, as he looked to work with the young starlet for a full pre-season, a decision that could eventually come back to benefit Eddie Howe and his Bournemouth side in the coming season, as they now have enough time to get Lewis up to pace with his new teammates. The England youth international was one of the talented young players who went onto win the 2014 UEFA European Championship in Malta; Lewis Cook is also one of the few players from that successful side to progress into fully fledged professionals, after that breakthrough tournament for many in the team, something that may translate into progress at the senior national team level over time, and with great effort invested.

Strengths

Dynamic young attacking English talents with potential world-class ability often catch the eye, due mainly to the rarity of such talents in English football, Lewis Cook is blessed with that almost unEnglish ability to take on players with his dribbling ability, and create space to be exploited simply via his ability to beat his marker 1v1. Blessed with a high level of creativity, to compliment his impressive technical gifts, Cook uses his attacking gifts extremely well and his movement on and off the ball allows him to remain a constant threat in midfield. While his final product still needs some work, Lewis has the ability to distribute the ball well at the elite level, and create attacking opportunities for his side when he goes on one of his mazy runs, that often destabilise opposition defensive lines.

Weaknesses

The lack of consistency in playing one specific role, where he can acclimate to playing for a prolonged period of time, has hurt Lewis in many ways; while the lad is blessed with the potential to do magical things on the ball, his decision making and anticipation of in-game situations has to improve, if he is to fully translate his potential into regular displays of elite level ability in the Premier League. Final product is a great issue of concern for many gifted young players, the pace of football today is prone to expose a player’s lack of composure or execution, now that one has even less time on the ball; Lewis Cook has to work on his final ball or action in attack, his assists and goals tally is not a true reflection of his ability as a player. If Lewis Cook is to eventually progress into playing his more naturally suited role of the deep-lying playmaker, his tackling and anticipation of space on the defensive end will also need to be worked on, yet there is no denying that the lad has many of the intangible gifts truly needed to flourish in a role that he has all the attacking traits to star in at the elite level.

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Grading The Deal; The Illimitable İlkay Gündoğan Moves To Manchester City

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The silly season is fully underway, as club “think tanks” seek to delve into the transfer market and attempt to strengthen their teams going into the new season, while also ensuring that they get the best possible value for money deals in a very competitive and largely inflated global transfer market. We at GSV have taken it upon ourselves to give you a comprehensive breakdown of some transfer deals in our Grading The Deal supplement, an exclusive and comprehensive guide catered towards the purists who seek to know more than the average fan regarding the wheeling’s and dealings in football today. Enjoy!

#TheSuperMarket

When the Jürgen Klopp led Borussia Dortmund outfit was gradually establishing their status as one of the pioneering teams of the modern era, with their heavy metal gegen-pressing game often leaving opposition sides looking overawed; the team was often kept together in midfield by a player that helped to fully integrate the deep-lying playmaker position in a high pressing side globally. İlkay Gündoğan is a player that is light-years ahead of most midfield players today talent wise; blessed with the ability to read a game as well as the best of them, while also having the technical proficiency to make magic with scrumptious passes that often lead to something positive happening for his side, Gündoğan is a premier level deep-lying playmaker of high regard. When Xavi Hernández was ranked as the premier regista is World football, he played the position better than anybody on the planet and exemplified al it meant to be a deep-lying playmaker in positioning and output on both ends of the ball. The baton was passed from Pirlo to Xavi, and many felt that it was firmly between Luka Modrić & İlkay Gündoğan as to who would wear that mantle for the next 5 years. İlkay suffered some injury setbacks, and his time away from the elite stage saw the further rise of players like Paul Pogba & Mateo Kovačić, who will now be seen as the rivals that he needs to compete against as he attempts to solidify his place as one of the best deep-lying playmakers of his generation.

The new Manchester City, under gaffer legendary Pep Guardiola, will need to have their own unique identity, one that allows for the coach to build his own foundation for the work ahead upon the great platform already laid in terms of infrastructure and operations. Many of the old-guard were long expected to make way for younger players that are expected to form part of the bright future being envisioned by the board, fans and the new technical team; a world-class like İlkay Gündoğan is a must have if Pep wants to bring his intricate game to England and enjoy any measurable success in a physically demanding league. The fact that he is looked at as somewhat of a low-key signing by some, due to his lack of output over the last 24 plus months, may just assist Gündoğan in acclimatising to his new surroundings and quickly getting up to the pace & intensity of the league, without too much expectation on him to lead the new-look side in what is expected to be a modified midfield. İlkay has the experience to know that this new challenge is one he must grab with both hands if he seeks to get his career back on track & prove his merit as a genuine world-class talent, one who could be a lot further on in his development were it not for injuries, that have combined to make him miss a total of 132 games, 88 of those from one injury, for the 2 clubs he has represented since 2009.

İlkay Gündoğan

Bio

DoB: October 24th, 1990 (25)

PoB: Gelsenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia; Germany

Nationality: German

Caps & Goals: 16 Caps, 4 Goals & 3 Assists

Position/s: Deep-Lying Playmaker, Box-To-Box Midfielder, Attacking Midfielder, Advanced Playmaker, Trequartista

Height: 1, 80m

Preferred Foot: Right

Club: Manchester City Football Club

Jersey No: #16

Former Clubs: VfL Bochum II (2008-2009), 1. FC Nürnberg (2009-2011), Borussia Dortmund (2011-2016)

Development Nest/s: SV Gelsenkirchen-Hessler 06, Schalke 04, SSv Buer, VfL Bochum

Transfer Fee: £20m

Contract Expiry: June 30th, 2020

2015/16 Club Stats: 40 Games, 3 Goals, 7 Assists & 2 Yellow Cards

Total Career Stats: 210 Games, 23 Goals, 27 Assists & 16 Yellow Cards

GSV Deal Grader: David Silva, from Valencia CF to Manchester City, June 2010 for £26m (5/5)

The Grand Stand View

İlkay Gündoğan did well to overcome the spinal compression injury that ruled him out for a year from August of 2013 to September of 2014; he is currently sidelined with a dislocated patella, which has had him out of action since the 2nd of May 2016, Manchester City will have to use their vast medical resources to manage the physical regiment of Gündoğan and help him stay as fit as possible. İlkay is expected to miss the 1st few games of the season as he shrugs off his injury, but the one ca trust that he will be fighting to prove his worth once he is fully fit and ready to play.

The transfer fee is a relatively small outlay for a player of İlkay’s repute; the players rather sketchy injury record, the fact that he had a year left to run on his Dortmund deal and his willingness to explore a new challenge have all combined to allow City to truly steal a world-class player, for a fee that wouldn’t buy you a decent young prospect in the current transfer market. The considerable savings on the deal should allow the spending to continue, as Pep looks to build the team he feels is armed with the weapons to play his attacking game.

UEFA EURO 2016 Young Guns To Watch; Dele Alli, England

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#TheTalentScout

There is an age old belief within football circles that you cannot win anything with a side dependant on youngsters, yet me being the firm believer in youth development that I am, I cannot help but hope that the young stars of the future on display at the 2016 UEFA European Championships take this opportunity that fate has afforded them to make the world of football sit up and truly appreciate the magnificence that these wunderkinds have been created to grace us with. A plethora of talented players will be keen to showcase their talent in the 15th edition of the UEFA European Championship; we at GSV would like to hone our binoculars in on the u/23 players that will be looking to etch their mark on the global game, without further ado, we present to you the UEFA EURO 2016 Young Guns To Watch. Prendre plaisir!

#YoungGunToWatch

England

#20

Dele Alli

Bio

Full Name: Bamidele Jermaine All

DoB: April 11th, 1996 (20)

PoB: Milton Keynes, England

Nationalities: English, Nigerian

Position/s: Deep-Lying Playmaker, Box-To-Box Midfielder, Attacking Midfielder, Advanced Playmaker, Winger, Inside Forward (Left/Right/Centre)

Height: 1, 88m

Club: Tottenham Hotspur Football Club

Club Career Record: 134 Games, 34 Goals, 26 Assists

National Team Record: 9 Caps, 1 Goal, 1 Assist

The Grand Stand View

The breakout of a number of young players in English football has heralded something of a renaissance for the Three Lions, just as many English fans are still licking their wounds from previous international tournaments, where the Golden Generation 1.0 failed to live up to their lofty expectations. The rise of a rare talent like Dele Alli has even made many begin to question if an over-reliance on players from top academies and clubs, has lead to England overlooking good players who starred for smaller sides in the past, or were developed at some of the lesser fashioned institutions.

The talent and potential of Alli are undeniable; a footballer that isn’t typically “English” in his playing style by any stretch of the imagination, the leggy midfielder has the engine to run non-stop for 90 minutes without losing much of his industry of diminishing his influence on a game. Something of a rarity in modern football, Dele is a goal-scoring and chance creating midfielder who can also put himself about, putting in challenges with the same ease and determination on both sides of the ball, although he does sometimes seem to be careless in some instances. We may have all seen flashes of his petulant and more immature side in the season gone by, but the increased responsibility of becoming a key player for club & country, in only a matter of months, will help assist in maturing the youngster at a steady rate that allows him to keep growing as a footballer.

Dele now has the perfect opportunity to repay the faith many have invested in him, by helping this Golden Generation 2.0 go further than their predecessors, and bring some success to a hungry and demanding fan base. The versatility and tenacity of Alli will add bite and flexibility to a side that is yet to fully play its best XI on a consistent basis; England will be looking at Dele to translate his club scoring form into some important goals for the Three Lions at EURO 2016.