At The Scouted Hub we are always intrigued at the number of deals during the various world transfer windows, and the last few months have been no exception. However, there are always a couple of transactions that stand out to us for various reasons.
It could be the uniqueness of the deal structure or maybe that it represents a new regional trend. Or it could simply be a player we feel has been overlooked. Regardless, we wanted to highlight some of what we believe are the most intriguing transfers that have occurred in this latest window.
Diego Rossi, LAFC to Fenerbahçe - The constant evolution of MLS.
The vast majority of younger talented player sales in MLS have been American players, driven mainly by rules changes several years ago for homegrown players. Rossi would be one of the first young international players to leave and take advantage of the rule changes first implemented prior to the 2020 season that allows MLS clubs to profit more from the selling of foreign and domestic players. These changes, as well as others including the U-22 Initiative, have seen an increase in buying younger talents, especially from South America, but the sales have not been forthcoming – until now.
Rossi is a 24-year-old with LAFC in MLS that looks close to a move to Fenerbahçe. He can play various attacking positions, won the MLS Golden Boot in the shortened 2020 season, and was one of the key members of the first two LAFC sides that have been one of the best in North America. LAFC is mid-table this season, and Rossi is their 2nd highest-paid player at around $1M a season in the deal he signed upon coming over from Peñarol in Uruguay for the 2018 season. It will be interesting to see how he does in Turkey as he is skilled, versatile, and extremely smart. However, his most outstanding attribute is his off-the-ball movement, which is among the MLS’ best.
We would expect to see this as the very beginning of a trend that should continue this winter and increase going forward. Several clubs were actively acquiring young foreign talent in the past two years since the most recent changes were implemented and will be looking to cash in soon. Additionally, we believe the market for buying foreign talent will continue as MLS evolves into more of a developmental destination, especially for South and Central American talent.
Jaminton Campaz, Deportes Tolima to Gremio – Next generation Colombian talent.
While talent freely flows from the top leagues in Brazil and Argentina to Europe, talent in other South American leagues is often overlooked. Colombia is rich in footballing talent, but few European clubs - Genk with Jhon Lucumí, Carlos Cuesta, and Daniel Muñoz, Porto with Luis Díaz - have acquired players directly from the Colombian league. Even with recent changes to English work permit rules increasing the importance of the Copa Libertadores and making it easier for some South American talents to move directly to England, only Wolves took advantage. They signed centre-back standout Yerson Mosquera for less than €2m from Atlético Nacional. While certainly, the aforementioned players make up the core of young Colombia talent, perhaps the one that got away was the diminutive dynamo, Jaminton Campaz, who was scooped up by Grêmio this summer.
Perhaps it was the lack of comparative history at Tolima or the small stature of Campaz. Still, Grêmio thought highly enough of Campaz to make him one of the top 20 most expensive transfers in the history of Colombia's top flight. Campaz is a former winger and left-back that operated mainly in the left half-space for Tolima. He's got a fantastic left foot and is dangerous on set-pieces and shots from distance (and led all midfielders in Liga Dimayor in shots). He's also effective in getting the ball into the penalty area (3rd of all midfielders in passes into the penalty area p90) and creating from deep (6th for midfielders in second assists p90). Although his production for a 21-year-old is impressive, it's his speed and intensity, both in attack and defence is what makes him so exciting as a prospect.
While we believe clubs in the ever-increasing competition for global footballing talent will be taking chances on young talents from lesser recruited areas, it still doesn't seem to happen as often as we'd expect. Even in regions with a history of talent, such as Colombia, whether it's work permit or transfer negotiation complications, they aren't often accessed directly by European clubs. However, it's hard to ignore the significant value that Genk and Porto have likely realised in acquiring the aforementioned talent. It will be interesting to see how Jaminto Campaz does in Brazil and if European clubs missed a golden opportunity to get a great talent from outside the 2 top leagues in South America.
Jesper Lindstrøm and Jens Petter Hauge - Scandinavian pipeline at Eintracht Frankfurt.
Scandinavian football has become an increasingly important talent factory over the past few years, as the Danish Superliga has taken centre stage alongside the Swedish Allsvenskan and Norwegian Eliteserien. As a result, two of the most impressive Scandinavian football products have ended up at the same place for a combined €19 million - a bargain for the quality Eintracht have delivered.
Jesper Lindstrøm is a 21-year-old Danish attacking midfielder who has arrived in Frankfurt for just €7 million after double-digit tallies in both goals and assists for Brøndby IF helped them to their first Danish league title in over 15 years. After breaking onto the scene as a teenager, ‘Jobbe,’ as he is nicknamed, went from strength to strength in 2020. Providing a significant creative threat with intelligent and direct passing and an array of stunning goals, it was Jobbe’s brilliance that made the difference for Brøndby, and he will be hoping for more of the same in the Bundesliga.
Jens Petter Hauge is a 21-year-old winger who arrived at Frankfurt for €12 million from AC Milan, just a year after his €6 million arrival from Norwegian Eliteserien champions Bodø/Glimt. Hauge’s meteoric rise to football fame came in a record-breaking season for Bodø, who won a 30 game season by 19 points and with a goal difference of +71, in no small part thanks to Hauge’s 14 goals and 9 assists in just 18 games before leaving for Milan halfway through the season - at which point Bodø hadn’t lost a single game. Hauge had a great start to life in Milan but unfortunately struggled to hold down a firm starting place. He leaves Italy, though, still a tremendously talented footballer who poses a real goal threat even at Bundesliga level. Moreover, he can add even more menace to an already dangerous Eintracht attack.
The pair have had a great start to life in Germany and, after two starts and a sub appearance each, Hauge already has his first two goals for the club while Lindstrøm leads the side with eight key passes.
We take great notice of Scandinavian football, and so has the rest of Europe this summer, as the likes of Kamaldeen Sulemana, Mohamed Daramy, Frank Onyeka, Victor Nelsson, Anders Dreyer, Sead Hakšabanović, Jesper Karlsson, and Philip Zinckernagel have all departed this summer.
Still, a fresh group of faces has already shown great potential in their place. The Scandinavian market provides excellent deals for technically gifted footballers with great experiences for young ages, and we fully expect the upward trajectory for the leagues to continue long into the future.