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Summer transfer window Q & A with smarterscout's Dan Altman

It's been a spectacular summer for football, with exciting men's tournaments in Europe and South America, and there's much more to come. But now that the first of July has passed, the summer transfer window is in full swing for much of the football world.

Dan Altman, creator of smarterscout, took some time to answer questions about possible moves on Twitter... and there were a lot of them! Here's a selection with his answers and some supporting visuals:

Statistically, what Prem signing that's gone the most under the radar will make the biggest impact for their team this coming season? (@DraftLad)

Enoch "Computer" Mwepu going to Brighton may be big. He's a great finisher, and they've missed that. But they still need a CF who can finish.

Who would you say would be the 3 perfect defensive midfielders for Man United? (@OddsOnFPL)

I doubt they're going to sign three this summer! We'll see if they sign even one.... But if you have Paul Pogba, you want to keep Pogba – you just need someone playing next to him who can hold things down like N'Golo Kante. Easy to sign Kante, right? Well, they might consider Tyler Adams.

What strikers should West Ham pursue in this transfer window? (@AndrewMonk_)

That's a tough one. If they want someone who plays a bit like Michail Antonio, but younger, and is a great finisher, then maybe Andrea Belotti? He's part of the furniture at Torino but won't be playing European football anytime soon.

Are there players for whom covid has had a notable impact on their performance or development? (@MaxSefton)

Great question. Probably the most vivid example was Allan Saint-Maximin, who had a rough bout of "long covid" just when he had a lot of eyes on him. That and his other injuries may have delayed a move to a top club.

Which EFL players would be good signings for Premier League teams? (@TheDonOfSorare)

That would be telling! A big part of what the smarterscout platform does is to adjust stats from one league to the standards of another. But we've written about Harry Pickering before. He had an awesome season at Crewe and is now at Blackburn, one to watch.

If Southampton can’t get Brandon Williams on loan, who should they look at to provide cover at both fullback spots? (@LucasRead)

I think you'd want someone to play like Ryan Bertrand did in 2019-20, when he was really effective in attack. Juan Miranda from Betis might work out – he's a smarterscout young prospect, though he needs to develop a bit in attack.

Which CB makes the perfect partner for Harry Maguire according to your statistical model? (@ManUtdSZN)

Jules Kounde would be a good player to bring along, as he shares some attributes with Victor Lindelof but is more aggressive. Raphael Varane may not be a long-term solution, and he's also a bit slack like Lindelof.

I'm curious as to your thoughts on Boulaye Dia's ability to contribute on a Champions League team. I like the stylistic profile but I'm concerned about his level. (@VillarrealUSA)

Dia seems to play a bit too safe at CF, with really high ball retention but not enough decisive passing. He's also a bit low in his shooting frequency, though the quality of his shots is fine. And for a reasonably big man, he's poor in the air. Second striker might suit him best.

Arsenal have been strongly linked to Aaron Ramsdale, reportedly to compete with Bernd Leno, to the surprise of many fans. Is there anything that shows he has the potential to be a great GK? (@faraax77)

Ramsdale's shotstopping really recovered last season after being in the dumps on and off for a couple of seasons. He's great in 1v1s when he comes out, but he's a bit weak in the air and consequently on headers from dead balls. His ball retention was low even at Bournemouth. But he's young.

Do you think Dusan Vlahovic can be a successful striker at a bigger club than Fiorentina (e.g. Juventus, big EPL clubs, etc.)?

He's a smarterscout young prospect, so we think he will continue to develop and improve. Right now his aerial work has been a big focus, which can sometimes be a niche role at a big club. Ball retention is low so far. The club's style would have to play to his strengths.

Which strikers would be a realistic shout to join Brighton? They do need finishers which might be the final piece of the puzzle. (@IamAliElaraby)

Maybe someone like Raul de Tomas or Smail Prevljak would work for them?

Thoughts on Saul Niguez potentially moving to LFC? (@PalMalhi)

If the idea is to replace Georginio Wijnaldum, it might be a decent fit, since Niguez is an aggressive defender who's not so focused on attacking. He's also very good in the air and does get into the box. But he's not so good in 1v1s, which could be a liability in the Premier League.

[Photo: Anna Nessie]

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