There were plenty of late signings on transfer deadline day that stole the headlines. Marouane Fellaini finally completed his move to Manchester United, Arsenal astonished everyone with their signing of Mesut Ozil and Gareth Bale got his ‘dream move’ to Real Madrid. Here are my brief thoughts on 20 of the final day signings that caught my eye…
After it became clear that primary target Romelu Lukaku would be moving elsewhere in a loan move, it was understandable to see West Brom move for Victor Anichebe. Anichebe is a very similar player in terms of his physicality but Everton will be delighted to have received £6m for a player who scored just 18 league goals in 131 matches. The striker will now face tough competition from new team mates Markus Rosenberg, Shane Long, Nicolas Anelka and Matej Vydra for a starting spot.
Is Gareth Bale worth upwards of £85m? Probably not, but such is the inflated market of football transfers and the marketability of the player that this is the price Real Madrid were prepared to pay to land the Welshman. There can be no denying Bale is a fantastic player and it will be interesting to see how much of an impact he can have in a side already featuring the talents of Cristiano Ronaldo and Isco.
Gareth Barry was always going to struggle for games at Manchester City this year and a loan move to Everton suits all three parties involved. Man City no longer have to pay his wages, Barry will get much more game-time than he would have done at the Etihad and Everton have a very experienced and capable central midfielder. Perhaps it is hoped that Barry will take over Phil Neville’s role as a quiet, unassuming, experienced midfield leader?
Barry Bannan played 22 times under Ian Holloway in 2009-10 when he was loaned out from Aston Villa to Holloways’ then club Blackpool. The pair will again be reunited, this time on a permanent basis, after Bannan signed for Crystal Palace on deadline day. Holloway will hope that Bannan offers something different from Kagisho Dikgacoi and Jose Campana in midfield, most notably a better range of passing and an eye for goal.
After impressing for Roma in 2011-12, Brendan Rodgers splashed out £10.5m in his first summer at Liverpool but the Italian striker’s career at Anfield never got going. Fabio Borini played just 20 matches in all competitions, after being hampered by first a broken foot and then a dislocated shoulder. Perhaps a move up north to Paulo Di Canio’s ‘Italian revolution’ at Sunderland is exactly what the striker needs to get his career back on track?
Tom Carroll had several options to go out on loan but chose to be reunited with Harry Redknapp in west London. Redknapp has always rated the young English midfielder and this is going to be a big season for Carroll in the Championship. Carroll will need to use this loan move to show that he has the ability and consistency to play regularly in the Premier League rather than the Championship.
Manchester United and David Moyes finally got their man, although they have spent over £4m more than they needed had they decided to activate the Belgian’s release clause earlier in the summer. Marouane Fellaini is certainly an upgrade on Tom Cleverley, and will provide some much need grit in midfield, as well as goals from deep. However, having been linked with the likes of Cesc Fabregas, Daniele De Rossi and Ander Herrera, Moyes will be hoping that his trust in Fellaini is rewarded immediately.
Jack Hunt will have been on the radar of a whole array of high-end Championship and lower-end Premier League clubs, having impressed at right back for Huddersfield Town in the last two seasons. Hunt played 50 times in 2011-12 as Huddersfield gained promotion to the Championship and last season saw Hunt, still only 22, play 44 times for the Terriers. Joel Ward is currently Crystal Palace’s first choice at right back but Hunt will provide him with some decent competition.
The signing of Tiago Ilori is certainly one for the future with Martin Skrtel, Daniel Agger, Mamadou Sakho and Kolo Toure all likely to be ahead of the Portuguese centre back in the pecking order. Ilori was actually born in London and can still represent England at senior international level but for now will just be looking to continue his development under a manager that has never been afraid to give youngsters a chance.
Aston Villa would have wanted to get rid of Stephen Ireland permanently this window but it will be interesting to see how the Irishman does under Mark Hughes, the manager that got the best out of Ireland during his time at Manchester City. With Stoke lacking creativity in the final third, the signing of Ireland seems like a decent move for the Potters and Villa will be desperate for Hughes to want to make the move a permanent one.
Since moving from Milan to Real Madrid in 2009, it’s fair to say that Kaka had been nothing more than a shadow of his former self; in four seasons at Madrid Kaka scored 29 times and had 32 assists in 120 matches, compared to 95 goals and 46 assists in 270 matches in Italy. A reunion at the San Siro could see the Brazilian called up again to the Brazil squad if things go to plan, just in time for the World Cup.
Mali international Jimmy Kebe has long been a star for Reading since joining from French club Lens in January 2008. The winger has been one of the most consistent performers at the Madejski Stadium over the years and last season was his first chance of showing he could impress in England’s top tier. However, his season was cut short through injury but Ian Holloway has given Kebe a second chance to prove his worth at this level and the winger will want to repay the faith he has been shown.
Having been told he would have a part to play in Chelsea’s season this year, Romelu Lukaku now finds himself on loan at Everton, who perhaps did the best business of any side on deadline day. Lukaku is exactly the type of striker Riberto Martinez’s side needs; quick, powerful and with a proven eye for goal. Everton can be considered a bigger club than West Brom and so this is another challenge that Lukaku should relish.
James McCarthy had been linked with a whole host of Premier League clubs ever since Wigan’s relegation from the Premier League last season was confirmed. The midfielder has bags of creativity and passing ability but will also need to help replace the goals of Marouane Fellaini. With manager Roberto Martinez already familiar with McCarthy, this could be a fantastic signing for both parties.
Victor Moses has been competing with the likes of Juan Mata, Andre Schurrle, Kevin De Bruyne, Eden Hazard and Willian for one of two wingers’ roles this season and so it’s no surprise that the Nigerian has opted to move out on loan to a high-flying Liverpool side. Playing with the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho should help Moses flourish at Anfield and this signing could well be a stroke of genius from Rodgers.
After failing to force a move from West Brom to QPR last January, it was always a certainty that Peter Odemwingie would be at a new club come the end of this transfer window. It shouldn’t be forgotten that Odemwingie actually has a good record in the Premier League (30 goals in 87 matches for a mid-table club). Cardiff already have Craig Bellamy, Nicky Maynard, Joe Mason, Rudy Gestede, Fraizer Campbell and Andreas Cornelius at the club so Odemwingie might have to wait patiently for a chance.
After a nervous wait on Monday afternoon, Arsenal finally confirmed the capture of Mesut Ozil on a long-term contract. Having waited patiently for Arsene Wenger to make a marquee signing this summer, Arsenal’s fans have certainly been rewarded with the capture of the highly influential German playmaker, who iss still just 24 years old. The thought of a midfield consisting of the likes of Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott and now Ozil is very exciting indeed.
It’s a shame that Nick Powell didn’t find a loan move to a Premier League club but playing in the Championship for Wigan will still give the Englishman plenty of much needed experience. With Marouane Fellaini moving to Old Trafford on deadline day, it makes sense for Powell to spend a season away from Manchester in order to get as much game-time as possible, something he hasn’t had since signing last season.
Mamadou Sakho is still only 23-years-old but since making his debut in 2007-08 the central defender, capped 13 times by France, has played nearly 200 times for France’s biggest club. Having been squeezed out the door this summer with the signing of Marquinhos from Roma, Sakho had been linked with a move to Liverpool throughout most of this window. He has the potential to develop further as a player but will already be expecting to slot in alongside Daniel Agger.
Since moving from PSG to Sunderland in January 2011, Stephane Sessegnon has always been a key creative player in the side, making over 87 league appearances in two-and-a-half years. During that time the Benin international scored 17 goals, creating a further 15, and won Sunderland’s player of the year in his first full season. His move to West Brom will hopefully give the Baggies some much needed creativity and flair in the final third.
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