This transfer window will be unlike any other. The finances of many clubs have been greatly affected due to coronavirus. This means teams all over Europe will need to look at cheap, effective signings rather than the usual big names. That made me wonder: Who are some of the best players who play outside of Europe who can be bought cheaply?
Ariel Lassiter, Alajuelense
Ariel Lassiter, son of striker Roy Lassiter, might be one of the most underrated players in the world right now. Lassiter plays for Costa Rican side Alajuelense after being released by MLS side LA Galaxy in January 2019. The Costa Rican winger has enjoyed a superb season, scoring 21 goals with 14 assists, and a move to Europe could be on the horizon. Lassiter is just 25 years old and valued at slightly over $300k. This could be a bargain signing for a team that decides to make a move on him. An ideal team for Lassiter would be newly promoted Leeds United, who are looking at several wingers including free agent Aaron Lennon. However, Lassiter is young but still has experience in Costa Rica and the USA, so it could be a good move for all parties involved.
André-Pierre Gignac, Tigres UANL
André-Pierre Gignac has helped make the Mexican Liga MX very popular. The French striker made a stunning career move in 2015, allowing his contract with successful French side Marseille to expire. Gignac, just 29 at the time, was linked to Turkish giants Galatasaray among others, but instead chose Tigres UANL in Mexico. Since then, Gignac has played over 200 games for Tigres and scored 128 goals with 32 assists. This season, Gignac has starred, scoring 22 goals as well as gathering six assists. There might be some downside to signing the French forward as Gignac is 34, turning 35 in December, but he can still easily be a short term fix. Galatasaray were interested in 2015 and might be a good option, as Radamel Falcao is planning on leaving the Turkish club after a poor season.
Baghdad Bounedjah, Al Sadd
Baghdad Bounedjah had a superb 2018/19 season. Bounedjah, who plays in the Qatar Stars League, scored 39 goals with eight assists in 22 league games as Al Sadd won the league. He then scored 13 goals in 12 Asian Champions League games as Al Sadd reached the semifinals, losing 5-6 on aggregate to Saudi club Al Hilal. However, Bounedjah did manage to get his hands on another trophy, scoring the winner as Algeria won the African Cup of Nations 1-0 over Senegal. Bounedjah hasn’t slowed this season, and the Algerian striker is proven despite being just 28. He would be a good option for Everton, who have been looking for a striker to replace struggling Moise Kean.
Daniel Tenenbaum, Maccabi Tel Aviv
A Brazilian-born Israeli goalkeeper, Tenenbaum came through the ranks at famous Brazilian club Flamengo. Tenenbaum joined Maccabi on loan and moved to the Israeli club permanently in 2017. This season, Tenenbaum has been superb. He did not play in the Champions League or Europa League qualifiers for Maccabi, which may be why they were eliminated. Tenenbaum has played 33 games in all competitions this season and kept an incredible 27 clean sheets and has conceded just eight goals. The 25-year old would be a great signing for ambitious German club Hertha Berlin, whose current goalkeeper, 35-year old Rune Jarstein, is nearing the end of his playing career and Tenenbaum would be a great backup or even potential starter.
Brenden Aaronson, Philadelphia Union
One of the stars of the MLS Is Back Tournament, Aaronson showed his ability in the Union’s 3-1 Quarter-final win over Sporting Kansas City. Aaronson finished the game with an assist, but could have had at least two more as well as a goal that scraped the post. Aaronson is 19 and is being watched by Scottish champions Celtic as well as several Bundesliga teams including Borussia Monchengladbach. He’s definitely one to watch and is almost guaranteed to join a top-tier European team this summer. A good suitor might be Bayer Leverkusen, who could replace Kai Havertz, a young attacking midfielder expected to join Chelsea, but selfishly I don’t want Aaronson to leave.
Keep an eye out for these players in the future, as they could be involved in some big transfers! There are so many players I didn’t mention, like Sporting KC star Gianluca Busio or young Corinthians and Brazil goalkeeper Matheus Donelli, but who do you think should have made the list?
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