How Alabama transfers performed in their Week 2 matchups

Roll Tide Wire takes a look at how some former Alabama players performed this past weekend at their new schools.

Alabama lost a good bit of their players from a season ago to the transfer portal. Some of the more notable ones were Jahleel Billingsley, Agiye Hall, Drew Sanders and Stephon Wynn. Each contributed in some way whether it be on defense, offense, or even special teams.

In total, 26 of the players that were on last season’s roster are no longer with the program following the 2021-2022 season. That is one more than what the recruiting class brought in. Nonetheless, Alabama has had to move on and find replacements since then. The Tide landed five transfers via the transfer portal: Jermaine Burton, Tyler Steen, Tyler Harrell, Eli Ricks and Jahmyr Gibbs.

Several of the transfers have made significant contributions so far at their new schools. Today, Roll Tide Wire will take a look at how some of Alabama’s transfers performed in Week 2 at their new schools.

5 reasons Alabama rolls over the Texas Longhorns

5 reasons Alabama rolls over the Longhorns

The Alabama Crimson Tide travel to Austin, Texas where they will face the Texas Longhorns in the most highly anticipated non-conference matchup of the season. Alabama enters the game as a rather large favorite.

This is the first time these two universities have met since their clash in the 2009 National Title game when Alabama came out victorious 37-21. Aside from that, there are plenty of other intriguing headlines such as former Tide offensive coordinator, Steve Sarkisian, taking over the reins at Texas to take on his old boss. Additionally, a few Alabama players have used the transfer portal to wind up at Texas like Agiye Hall and Jahleel Billingsley. Regardless of what Coach Saban says, this one is personal.

So here are five reasons why the Tide will walk away victorious:

Simeone basically admits Atlético benching Griezmann to avoid activating €40m purchase fee

Things are going to get real awkward unless there’s a solution soon

Antoine Griezmann is in an unenviable situation at Atlético Madrid.

Griezmann is back with Atlético in the second season of a two-year loan from Barcelona, but that loan contains a clause that is making life extremely awkward for him and his manager Diego Simeone right now.

Should Griezmann play more than 45 minutes in more than half of Atlético’s games over the two-season loan, then the club would be obliged to purchase him from Barca for €40 million.

And it’s pretty clear that Atlético would rather not pay that fee.

Griezmann has been used off the bench in all three of his appearances this season, during which he’s scored two goals. That comes after he started 21 of his 26 league games for Atlético last season.

As speculation over the club intentionally benching him grows, Simeone essentially confirmed that was the case in a press conference on Friday.

When asked if he was being told by Atlético higher-ups to limit the Frenchman’s minutes, Simeone said: “They have known me for 10 years. I am a club man and always will be.”

This situation, unsurprisingly, isn’t going down well with Griezmann. According to L’Equipe, the 31-year-old has asked Atlético to negotiate a lower fee with Barcelona and activate the purchase clause as soon as possible.

Here’s hoping that some kind of an agreement can be reached, because this is only going to get more awkward as the season goes on.

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Eddie Howe is mad teams are trying to milk Newcastle for all of its Saudi money

Strange things happen when your team is injected with an unending supply of funds

Newcastle coach Eddie Howe has accused his team’s rivals of artificially inflating the price of their players after the club was frustrated on transfer deadline day.

The Magpies fell short in their pursuit of several targets, including Leeds winger Jack Harrison, Leicester midfielder James Maddison, West Ham defender Harrison Ashby and Arsenal defender Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

To Howe the reason none of those players are with Newcastle is clear: the club’s never-ending supply of Saudi money.

When asked if domestic clubs were making it difficult on his team, Howe told a press conference: “That’s true, I would say so. That was definitely something we felt in the market. Domestic clubs didn’t want to be seen to be helping us. We’ll have to take that, that is part of where we are at the moment.

“We have certainly found there is no one there ready to do us a favor. It’s the narrative regarding us that has changed. If there is anything domestically, teams will put their price up if it is Newcastle. That is the same around the world, that is something we are having to deal with.

“That is why we have walked away from a few deals because I think it is important we are not seen as that club that will pay what is asked. I think it has to be fair.”

Despite the deals that didn’t go through, Newcastle spent a fair amount in its first summer window since being taken over by the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia last October.

Newcastle spent around £130 million on players, including £60m on striker Alexander Isak, while they didn’t generate any income on player sales.

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AC Milan rescues Sergiño Dest from his Barcelona purgatory

The 21-year-old will join the Serie A champion on loan with an option to buy

Sergiño Dest has joined AC Milan on loan from Barcelona, the Italian club has announced.

The USMNT right back will join the Serie A champions on a season-long loan, with a €20 million purchase option at the end of the season that would see him sign a contract through 2027.

For Dest, a move away from Barcelona was badly needed after he was sidelined by head coach Xavi to begin the season.

When asked if Dest was an option at right back, Xavi said: “He knows what the situation is.”

With that message received loud and clear, the 21-year-old has opted to continue his career in Serie A after spending just over two seasons with Barcelona after joining from Ajax in 2020.

In Milan, Dest looks set to compete for minutes at right back with Alessandro Florenzi and Davide Calabria, though he has also shown the ability to play at left back.

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It’s transfer deadline day, so let’s track the big deals

Many teams have concluded their transfer business, but many more have not. Today is their day!

It’s deadline day! There have already been plenty of signings this transfer window but there’s nothing like a hard cutoff to get agents, teams and players scrambling.

We’ll be tracking all of the big moves here as teams look for that final piece to secure a title, stave off relegation, or just keep their supporters at bay.

USMNT striker Ricardo Pepi moves to Groningen on loan

Pepi’s heading to the Eredivisie

With the No. 9 role for the U.S. men’s national team up for grabs, Ricardo Pepi is on the move.

The USMNT striker is leaving Augsburg for a season-long loan with FC Groningen in the Eredivisie. Groningen did not announce further details, but Fabrizio Romano has reported there is no purchase clause involved in the deal.

“(Groningen) is a big club here in the Netherlands,” Pepi told the club’s site. “They’ve developed some great players: Luis Suarez, Virgil van Dijk, Arjen Robben. These are world-class players. I know this is a great club for me, and it’s gonna be a good season.”

“Ricardo is a great talent, who has an international reputation,” said Groningen technical director Mark-Jan Fledderus. “At the beginning of this month his name was mentioned to us and we have already had a conversation with him. Shortly afterwards his situation at Augsburg changed and his arrival seemed no longer an option for us. Until yesterday. We acted very quickly on this and last night Ricardo drove to Groningen to complete his transfer today.”

The move comes at a critical time for Pepi’s USMNT hopes. The competition for potential strikers on Gregg Berhalter’s roster for the World Cup is suddenly fierce, while Pepi’s candidacy has fallen off. Since making the jump from FC Dallas to Augsburg, Pepi hasn’t scored a goal at club level, and his last goal with the national team came back in October of last year.

Even with that drought and the addition of Bosnian striker Ermedin Demirovic as a new starter, Pepi had still appeared in every Augsburg match this season. However, he had clearly become a second-choice option for head coach Enrico Maassen, even with Augsburg generally playing with two strikers. So far this year, Pepi has 107 minutes spread across five appearances in all competitions, and only one start.

In that regard, a move to Groningen and the notoriously free-scoring Eredivisie makes sense. For one thing, Groningen needs the help: they’ve scored five goals in four games this season. It’s also a league where Americans have scored plenty of goals, going back to the days of Michael Bradley at Heerenveen and Jozy Altidore at AZ.

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Chelsea spending spree continues with £75m deal for Wesley Fofana

Chelsea’s back atop the list of Premier League spenders

Chelsea, who broke their club record transfer fee for a defender earlier this summer, has broken that record again.

The Blues have signed defender Wesley Fofana from Leicester City in a deal worth a reported £75 million. That expenditure comes just weeks after Chelsea had signed Marc Cucurella in a deal that could be worth £63 million if the various add-ons all come into play.

“I trained this morning with the team and it’s a dream for me. I’m very excited to start playing games for the fans and the club,” Fofana told the Chelsea team site. “I’m here to win trophies: the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup, everything. I came here to win and the club is built to win trophies so I’m here to continue that.”

At just 21, Fofana already has 37 Premier League starts, and would have a higher number if not for missing most of last season after a gruesome preseason injury just over a year ago left him with a fractured fibula and dislocated ankle.

He’ll be expected to become first-choice for Thomas Tuchel alongside Kalidou Koulibaly—another pricey summer acquisition for Chelsea—and the ageless Thiago Silva, which would allow Reece James to move back out to the right flank. With Tuchel toggling between a back three and back four (he used the latter in a 2-1 loss to Southampton on Tuesday), Fofana will have plenty of competition for playing time.

The move takes Chelsea back to the top of the Premier League spending charts this summer. Data from Transfermarkt says that the new ownership group led by Todd Boehly has spent $296 million since taking over, bringing in 18 players in the process. That puts them around $33 million clear of Manchester United, who have been spending wildly without necessarily seeming to know why.

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Manchester United finally signed Antony and it was very expensive

Expectations will by sky high after United paid Ajax an initial €95 million for the winger

Manchester United has finally got its man, and it was not cheap.

The Red Devils announced they have reached an agreement with Ajax for the transfer of winger Antony in a deal worth an initial €95 million, which could rise to €100m.

The Dutch side apparently managed to squeeze out an extra €5m to get the deal over the line after it rejected a €90m offer for the Brazilian last week.

That rejection prompted Antony to go public with his demands, telling Fabrizio Romano in no uncertain terms: “I want to leave.”

Expectations will be sky high for Antony, who scored 24 goals and provided 22 assists in 82 appearances for Ajax after joining from Sao Paulo in 2020.

The winger will be reunited with ex-Ajax coach Erik ten Hag, who took over United before the current season.

Under Ten Hag, United’s summer signings have taken on a Dutch theme, with Lisandro Martinez also joining from Ajax, Tyrell Malacia coming on board from Feyenoord and former Ajax playmaker Christian Eriksen also signing.

The only player to join United this summer without a connection to the Netherlands is Casemiro, who signed from Real Madrid earlier this month.

Those signings have taken United’s expenditures in the current transfer window to over £200m.

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Antony is through being subtle about wanting to join Man Utd

“I’m not asking Ajax to release me, I’m asking Ajax to sell me”

Antony is ready to play hardball with Ajax.

The winger has made it clear he wants his current club to sell him to Manchester United, amid multiple reports on Friday that Ajax had rejected a €90 million offer from the Premier League side.

The Brazil international has said he’s been trying to leave the Dutch side since February and now, he’s frustrated to see his club’s sky-high valuation prevent him from moving to Old Trafford.

“Since February of this year, my agents came to Amsterdam to inform Ajax of my desire to leave the club to face a new challenge and that some interested clubs would arrive and with them, certainly a great offer,” Antony told Fabrizio Romano in an interview.

“During the window months, meetings continued and I also received a proposal from Ajax for a contract renewal. I made it clear once again: I want to leave.

“Today, in a meeting with the club, I expressed my old interest in leaving, only this time with a considerable offer on the table. Others had already arrived! Ajax refused with argument that they only have five days to replace me.

“I’m not asking Ajax to release me, I’m asking Ajax to sell me with the highest bid ever for Eredivisie player. I’ve been insisting on this theme since February so that the club could rebuild the team with peace of mind.”

It’s not clear if United will return with another improved bid for Antony, with the club also linked to PSV’s Cody Gakpo, and Chelsea’s Christian Pulisic.

Over the weekend, Ajax head coach Alfred Schreuder said he believed Antony would stay at the club — taking a shot at United failing to qualify for this year’s Champions League in the process.

“I have a good feeling about it. Of course, it’s difficult. I understand the lad,” Schreuder said.

“But he plays for Ajax, so these clubs do come knocking on the door. We are playing in the Champions League and I don’t think Manchester United are.”

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