Several anticipated moves in football have occurred throughout history, Cantona to United, real Ronaldo to Barcelona, Ronaldo to Madrid and Bale to Madrid to mention a few in a very long list. Today, this writer looks at the Top 10 “if only” transfers in the last decade. As always, it’s fascinating to imagine the possibilities that exist in the beautiful game and as a writer, well, this is simply why I love my job.

Robin Van Persie (Arsenal to Manchester City)

Isn’t this the question? Would Manchester United have won the title if RvP had gone to City? Few would agree, fewer still would even consider saying it out loud. RVP was quite simply the difference between United and every other team in the league. He missed a penalty at Southampton, only for him to score a hat-trick in the dying minutes of the game to secure all three points. From then on, there was no stopping him.

Ronaldinho (PSG to Manchester United):

Hindsight is 20/20. But what if? Ronnie is quite simply the best player I have ever seen on a pitch. So, there is that wonder? Would he have made it in England? Would English defenders have tried to dull that special brilliance that made him shine? It’s tough to know and all we can do is imagine, what if the greatest player of all time played for Manchester United? And yes, I know I said the past decade, but, how could I skip this.

Suarez (Liverpool to Real Madrid):

At the peak of his powers, Suarez is the best striker in the world. Period. He is a ferocious beast that torments defences in a way Benzema has never (and will never) for Los Blancos. Part of the claim for Benzema is that he is the perfect foil for Ronaldo but, it is arguable that Suarez would be even better. The possibilities? Endless.

Suarez (Liverpool to Arsenal):

40 million + 1. We’ve all heard the stories, Wenger trying to play a fast one on Liverpool and instead annoyed them. The danger is gone so I must confess, I was absolutely terrified at the thought of Suarez leading the line at Arsenal. And if you didn’t, you’re deceiving yourself. Suarez had been on godly form for Liverpool and combined with Sturridge and Sterling had formed one of the deadliest front threes in the world. It’s crazy to think just how recent it is.

Klopp (BvB to Liverpool in 2013):

We all know how this Liverpool team is now. But, imagine if Klopp had Suarez, Sturridge and Sterling in 2013?! Liverpool might’ve gone a couple of gears up and the annihilation of most of the teams in the league would’ve been almost certain.

Thiago Silva (AC Milan to Barcelona):

At one point, the best central defender in the world. When he was leaving AC, he had his pick of clubs all over the world.  But imagine if he went to Barca and joined Pique as the central pairing. How much better would Barcelona be? How scary a thought is this?

Eden Hazard (Chelsea to Real Madrid):

Will He? Won’t He? Summer is almost upon us and Real Madrid haven’t made a statement purchase for two years. Gareth Bale seems like a lifetime ago. But here, we have Eden Hazard, easily the most talented player in England and at 25, still able to take it up a few notches. If CR7 completes his transformation into the new Zlatan, the left wing will be up for grabs and with Hazard would melt into that role like a hot knife to butter. His goal against Arsenal was brilliant and (get this), he has scored that type of goal against everyone else in the top 6 bar the two Manchester teams. He is a demon in waiting and we can only imagine the kind of player he’d transform into when he has Ronaldo, Bale, Kroos and Modric as his partners in crime.

Toni Kroos (Tottenham to Barcelona/Manchester United):

Both teams needed him, neither team got him. He is the orchestrator and his appearance on the pitch elevates his midfield to a different level. He would have been the perfect replacement for either Xavi the legend at Barcelona or Paul Scholes the god at United. And it has showed. Barcelona, in a bid to live after Xavi, transformed into a more direct side focusing more on their terrorizing trio of Messi, Neymar and Suarez. And it has paid dividends. But the cracks have shown and a Xavi-esque player would’ve been welcome in some crunch games these past few seasons. As for United? They’ve been languishing in the wilderness of mediocrity for three seasons, a Kroos elevation would’ve been quite welcome, ‘nuff said. There are very few players like Kroos in world football and there isn’t a single player like him on his level. Peerless

Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United to Barcelona):

What if Ronaldo went to Barcelona instead of Real. Would he have stifled Messi? Or Vice Versa? Or would Pep have helped him raise his game to an ungodly level? Cristiano – Eto’o/Henry – Messi. Think about that front three for a second. Cristiano and Messi are actual demons and Eto’o and Henry are just a level below them. Facing them would be a terrifying experience. And (for the sake of opposition defenders), we should be glad it never happened. What’s the fun in that?

Lionel Messi (Barcelona to Real Madrid):

Messi – Ronaldo – Bale or Messi – Suarez – Neymar. Which one scares you the most? Honestly? I’m not sure, the first seems more complete but the second seems more…electric. Needless to say, you can be 99% sure this will never happen Because Messi at Real Madrid would signal the end of the observable universe as we know it.

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