Claudio Ariel Yacob (Cost: Free, Market Value: £2.5-£3m)
25 years old: Right footed defensive midfielder
Strengths: Yacob’s best traits are his vision and anticipation. Yacob is an above average long distance passer. He also has above average heading ability. Other strong qualities include stamina, strength, marking and work rate.
Weaknesses: Yacob has a really high cards to games ratio. He can often make silly or poor challenges. His positioning is not always the best, which is the most important part of his position. He’s not much of a scoring threat and is heavily reliant on his right foot. His speed is also average at best.
Need to knows: Yacob was actually once scouted by United and Arsenal along with Benfica and West Ham. His market value has taken a significant drop as he was once rated £6m+ player in his early years. Three caps for Argentina including a goal against Ecuador. He has dual nationalities with Spanish as his second. He was also made captain at the age of 21 for his former club.
Overall: (B) The reason many teams were interested in Yacob was because they were aware of his availability this summer. Like Mikel once was, Yacob can be a liability in the midfield because you do risk a sending off with him on the pitch. A player with Yacob’s experience should be better positioned and level headed. Yacob is a cross of Xabi Alonso and a young Mikel. He can be brilliant and provide the perfect pass but he’s a risk to have on the pitch.