Poor Arsene Wenger. Despite announcing to the world that he would have his mobile phone turned on for the duration of Transfer Deadline Day the Arsenal manager must have been using it to play Angry Birds, because he certainly didn’t make any signings.
Last summer Arsenal wined and dined Alexis Sanchez in order to persuade him to spurn Liverpool and move to the country’s capital. It worked, Sanchez signed for the Gunners and was arguably one of the best players of the 2014 – 2015 season. But what difference did it actually make? In 2013 – 2014 Arsenal finished fourth in the Premier League with 79 points, they got knocked out of the League Cup in the fourth round, knocked out of the Champion’s League in the last sixteen and won the FA Cup.
In the 2014 – 2015 season, having added Sanchez to the squad, they improved their position in the league by finishing 3rd but were only able to amass 75 points, four less than the season before. The fared worse in the League Cup, dropping out in the third round, and went out in the same stage of the Champion’s League. They also went on to win the FA Cup again.
Arsenal fans can be forgiven, then, for expecting the club to go out and make a few signings this summer, with most feeling that a world class striker should be top of the list. Deadline day will have come as a crushing disappointment for Gunners fans, therefore, with the club adding no one to their ranks on the final day of the transfer window. They have added Petr Cech to their squad and many pundits think he’ll make a real difference, but he alone won’t be enough to push the London club on to a title challenge.
Tactics Tim has played something of a blinder this transfer deadline day. Involved as he was in no less than six transfers. If Arsene Wenger spent the day taking out his SIM card, giving it a rub and calling Orange to check his phone was working properly then Sherwood was the opposite, looking at three different mobiles and trying to answer them all at the same time.
Starting with the outgoings, then, and Villa were able to move three players on to various locations. The first such departure was that of 24 year old Nathan Baker who has gone to join Bristol City on a season long loan. The central defender has made 88 appearances for Villa having made his way through their youth system but has found himself on the outside looking in after the arrival of Tim Sherwood into the manager’s hot seat.
Left sided midfielder Riccardo Calder has headed off to Dundee until January. The 19 year old hasn’t yet made an appearance for Villa’s first team, but is very much seen as a player for the future by Sherwood. Meanwhile 25 year old left back Joe Bennett has also headed out on a loan until January. The defender has left the midlands to ply his trade with Bournemouth until the new year.
Incoming wise Villa have brought in Tiago Ilori from Liverpool on a season long loan with an option to buy at the end of it. The 22 year old centre back was told he has no future at Liverpool by Brendan Rodgers, with the manager keen to look at other defensive options. The 22 year Portuguese international is full of potential, though, and Sherwood will be delighted to have brought him in for the season.
Villa have also been able to secure the signing of one of their chief targets of the summer when Joleon Lescott agreed to make the move from West Bromwich Alboin to their Midland rivals. The 33 year old cost the Villains £2 million and has signed a two year contract. Sherwood said of the boyhood Villa fan, “Joleon is a player who has great Premier League experience and he’ll be a huge help to the younger members of our squad”.
Finally Villa have also brought in an 18 year old goalkeeper named Matija Sarkic. The young stopper has signed a three year contract with the Midlands club and arrives from Anderlecht. All in all a very satisfactory window for Tim Sherwood and his Aston Villa cohorts.
The biggest signing for the Cherries on transfer deadline day was undoubtedly Glenn Murray. The 31 year old joined Crystal Palace from Brighton in May 2011 and scored 47 goals in 125 appearances for the Eagles. Palace fans were sad to see him leave, a fact that will give Bournemouth fans a large degree of encouragement. He has signed a three year contract and has cost the Cherries in the region of £4 million.
Eddie Howe has also brought in Joe Bennett from Aston Villa. The 25 year old signed a new contract with Villa yesterday before agreeing to head to the south coast on a six month loan. The Cherries missed out on Jonathan De Guzman when the former Swansea man ruled out a move to the club, but they were able to bring Tomas Andrade in on a season long loan from River Plate. The 19 year old has come in with an option to buy after Max Gradel was ruled out for up to six months.
Lee Camp, the 31 year old goalkeeper who made 13 appearances for Bournemouth in their Championship winning campaign last year, has had his deal cancelled by the club. He has moved on to Championship side Rotherham.
There were five bits of business involving the defending Premier League champions yesterday, with two incomings (sort of) and three outgoings (sort of). Having missed out on John Stones from Everton it was clear that Chelsea were going to try to bring in some cover at the back. Nobody foresaw the players they went for, though.
26 year old Senegalese defender Papy Djilobodji has signed a four year deal at Stamford Bridge, costing the club £4 million to bring him in from Nantes. Meanwhile the club have also spent £4 million to sign 23 year old Michael Hector from Reading. Unlike Djilobodji, however, the youngster will not be given the chance to make an impression on Chelsea’s first team as he will head straight back to the Royals for the rest of the season. He’ll play under former Chelsea player, youth team coach and Jose Mourinho’s one time assistant manager Steve Clarke at the Madjeski Stadium.
He’ll join the other 38,000 players that Chelsea own but have farmed out on loan, as will Victor Moses, Nathanial Chalobah and Lucas Piazon. 24 year old Moses hasn’t been fancied by Mourinho since he returned to the Chelsea dugout, spending the 2013 – 2014 season on loan at Liverpool and the last campaign on loan at Stoke. There had been talk that he would leave the club permanently this summer, but instead the winger has signed a new contract and then headed out to join Slaven Bilic’s West Ham.
Nathaniel Chalobah, meanwhile, will be delighted at the warm welcome he’s sure to get when he joins Napoli on his year long loan. Speaking of the decision to sign the 20 year old midfielder the Serie A side’s coach said, “I don’t know anything about the player. If the club picked him then he must have some quality. I train whoever the club puts at my disposal”. A ringing endorsement, there can be no question.
The final Chelsea player no one knew existed that has headed out on loan is Lucas Piazon, the 21 year old forward who joins Michael Hector at Reading. Having joined Chelsea in January of 2012 the Brazilian has since been sent out to Malaga, Vitesse Arnhem and Eintracht Frankfurt. He is living proof that by 2020 73% of all footballers will have “loaned from Chelsea on their CV”.
No incomings on the final day of the season for Alan Pardew’s Crystal Palace, but two outgoings. Glenn Murray left plenty of Eagles fans distraught when he opted to head out of the club in search of regular football at Bournemouth and Adlene Guedioura was sold to Watford for an undisclosed fee. The 29 year old has spent previous spells on loan at the Hornets and has now signed a three year contract to head there permanently.
Remember when Aaron Lennon signed for Everton on loan and was photographed looking really, really happy? Well there must have been fireworks going off behind his eyes yesterday when he was signed up to the Toffees permanently. The 28 year old, who impressed at Goodison Park when he joined in February of last season making fourteen appearances and scoring two goals, has signed a three year contract for an undisclosed fee. His contract was due to run out at the end of the season so the Blues snapped him up, leading Roberto Martinez to say, “He had a major role in the second half of our season and we’re looking forward to Aaron kicking on and continuing to enjoy his football, as well as being the productive player we know he can be”.
Having stood firm in the face of Chelsea’s repeated and rather naughty attempts to lure John Stones away from Merseyside, Everton have also been able to bring in another centre back in the form of Ramiro Funes Mori. The 24 year old passed his medical last week but was finally granted a work permit yesterday ahead of a £9.5 million move, signing a five year contract. The player, signed from River Plate, will have impressed Everton fans with his initial interview when he said, “Everton did everything to bring me over and I wanted to come. They have a lot of good players so I’m very happy to be here. When I heard about Everton’s interest, I didn’t think twice and I’m going to give it 100% every time I go out there to play”.
One incoming and one outgoing for the Foxes this summer, with 22 year old Academy graduate and defender Liam Moore joining Bristol City on loan until January. Moore played a vital part in Leicester’s promotion campaign of 2013 – 2014 and featured eleven times for them last season. Moore is keen to get himself some game time and believes his best chance will come by heading to the Championship side for a few months.
As for incomings, Claudio Ranieri was delighted to tie up the loan of Nathan Dyer for the remainder of the season. The 27 year old has been at The Liberty Stadium since 2009 but has found his opportunities to be limited this season after the arrivals of both Jefferson Montero and Andre Ayew. He’s only made two appearances for the Swans this season, though, and so jumped at the chance to head to The King Power Stadium.
Brendan Rodgers was delighted to get all of his business done early in the transfer window this time around, especially when you consider that last time he ended up having to sign Mario Balotelli. The result of that early business was that the Reds weren’t interested in bringing anyone in on transfer deadline day.
They did, however, use the opportunity to move a few people on in order to clean up their books. They came incredibly close to getting rid of the king of the selfie Jose Enrique when both West Brom and Sunderland appeared to show an interest, only for the 29 year old to decide that he’s quite settled on Merseyside and getting paid £68,000 a week to take photos of himself and play on the PlayStation was preferable to moving elsewhere in the country.
One player they did move on was Tiago Ilori, the Portuguese centre back that Brendan Rodgers was full of praise for when the club signed him in 2013. He has headed to Aston Villa on season long loan and Tim Sherwood will then have the option to buy him at the end of that period. Many Reds fans think it’s a mistake to have sent the player away from the club given the combination of amount of games they’ve got this season with the poor start the defence has had in the league so far.
Manuel Pellegrini decided to opt for quality over quantity this summer, splashing the Sheikh’s cash on £49 million man Raheem Sterling, £54 million Kevin de Bruyne, £32 million defensive midfielder Nicolas Otamendi, £8 million Patrick Roberts from Fulham, Enes Unal for £2 million and Aston Villa’s flip-flopping captain Fabian Delph for £8 million. That meant that there wasn’t much for them to do on transfer deadline day except sit back and watch their city neighbours make fools of themselves.
Ah Louis Van Gaal. He spent last season making the Manchester United fans laugh with his crazy antics and now has decided it’s only fair that the rest of the league get to have a chuckle at his expense too. Having already played the “didn’t want him anyway” card when the club missed out on Pedro, LvG spent yesterday cursing the moron at the club who chose to send David De Gea’s transfer papers to UEFA in a PDF format from a Sinclair C5.
Having seemingly agreed a deal with Real Madrid for their goalkeeper that would have seen Keylor Navas travel to Old Trafford as part of the package, the whole thing fell apart for reasons nobody quite understands but that seems to have plenty to do with somebody somewhere getting something to do with paperwork horribly, horribly wrong.
Allow us, for a minute, to quote Alex Ferguson. When Manchester United missed out on Lucas Moura in 2012 the whiskey drinking knight of the realm had this to say, “I find it quite amazing that a club can pay €45 million for a 19 year old boy… When somebody’s paying €45 million for a 19 year old boy you have to say the game’s gone mad”. How would United’s greatest ever manager feel about the club’s decision to pay nearly €49 million for a 19 year old, we wonder? Especially considering the deal could rise to nearly €79 million depending on appearances. That’s right, United have paid Monaco £36 million for Anthony Martial with the possibility of the fee rising to £58 million if certain conditions are met. It makes Martial the most expensive teenager of all time and Manchester United’s third most expensive signing.
The arrival of the French under 21 international somewhat overshadowed the signing of Regan Poole, the 17 year old Newport County defender who has arrived for a fee of £100,000 that might rise to £400,000 if he breaks through at Old Trafford. It also meant nobody is talking about the shock departure of Kieran O’Hara, with the 18 year old goalkeeper heading to Morecambe on a one month youth loan. Nobody saw that coming! Or cared, actually, but whatever. It’s Manchester United so we’ve got to mention it, to be fair.
Having signed 300 more French players this summer and seen most of them sent off already, Newcastle didn’t need to do much on the final day of the window. Steve McClaren would have liked to have seen another incoming or two but instead he oversaw the departure of Haris Vuckic to Wigan Athletic. The 23 year old has joined the Northern club on a loan until the end of the season.
Alex Neil was able to bring in two and move on three on the final day of the transfer window, with Tony Andreu and Vadis Odjidja-Ofoe heading off to Rotherham on loan. Andreu the 27 year old French midfielder, has headed to the Yorkshire club until January whilst the 26 year old Belgian midfielder Odjidja-Ofoe is heading there for just a month. Meanwhile 28 year old Bradley Johnson has left the Canaries to sign a four year contract at Derby County, leaving his former club with a cheque for £6 million. He scored 15 goals in 45 appearances as the Canaries gained promotion to the Premier League, so he heads to Derby with some pedigree.
Neil has also been able to bring two experienced players into Carrow Road on season long loans, with Matt Jarvis joining from West Ham and Dieumerci Mbokani heading to the club from Dynamo Kiev. 29 year old Jarvis has appeared 90 times for the Hammers since joining in 2012, whilst Mbokani, also 29, has been described by Neil as being “…a big, strong number nine. He can take the ball in, he’s mobile and he’s a real threat in the box”. The club have an option to buy him if he impresses, so Neil will be hoping he gets some good performances out of the DR Congo international.
Just the one bit of transfer news for Southampton on the final day of the transfer window. Ronald Koeman finally got his man when the club agreed a £13 million fee with Celtic for their central defender Virgil van Dijk. The 24 year old joined the Scottish champions in 2013 and was the subject of interest from numerous Premier League clubs but felt that Saints were the right fit for him. He said, “Southampton is the perfect step for me right now. I want to play as much as possible, get settled in quick and show everyone what I’m capable of and do well with the team”.
Despite late attempts to sign Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, Stoke fans will have to make to do with Ibrahim Afellay and Xherdan Shaqiri as the players far too good for the club this summer. No deadline day transfers of any kind means that we don’t have anything else to say about Mark Hughes and his merry men.
Sunderland’s start to the season has been, well, a little bit rubbish meaning that Dick Advocaat can be excused for wanting to bring in some new faces to brighten things up a bit at The Stadium Of Light. Having already signed Fabio Borini from Liverpool for a fee that could rise to £8 million, Advocaat turned his attention to another of the top four challengers in Tottenham Hotspur’s DeAndre Yedlin. The 22 year old American defender has only made one appearance for the London club and will be relishing the chance of some more regular game time in the North East. He said, “I’ve heard fantastic things about Sunderland and the supporters from Claudio Reyna and Jozy Altidore… Claudio speaks very highly of Sunderland boss Dick Advocaat from his time at Rangers”.
Just one bit of transfer news from the Swans and we’ve already covered it – Nathan Dyer has joined Leicester City on a season long loan. The Welsh club’s supporters won’t be too disappointed, though, as Gary Monk has already had a blinding transfer window thanks to the arrival of Andre Ayew if nothing else. Ayew played the pass of the season so far in the game against Manchester United at the weekend, setting up Bafetimbi Gomis to hit the winner. The Swans are one of just three times that remain unbeaten so far in the Premier League, so Monk won’t be too downhearted that he hasn’t brought anyone else in.
Two bits of deadline day news for Spurs, and both of them have already been covered. Smiley happy Aaron Lennon has joined Everton for an undisclosed fee and DeAndre Yedlin has headed off to The Stadium Of Light for a season long loan with Sunderland. All of which means that poor old Harry Kane, the great hope of White Hart Lane, will carry the weight of the attack on his over-hyped shoulders.
Having already been one of the busiest Premier League teams in the transfer market, it’s no surprise that Watford got involved with more than a couple of transfers on the final day of the window. 19 year old striker Obbi Oulare joins the likes of Eden Hazard, Christian Benteke and Divock Origi as being Belgian forward players who have moved to the Premier League, joining the top flight new boys from Club Brugge on a five year deal for an undisclosed fee.
29 year old Algerian midfielder Adlene Guedioura comes in from Crystal Palace on a three year deal having previously spent time with the Hornets on loan, whilst Colombian forward Victor Ibarbo, 25, joins on a season long from Cagliari.
There weren’t only incomings, though, with Quique Sanchez Flores deciding to move on a number of players. 22 year old Connor Smith, the midfielder, has headed to Stevenage on a one month loan in order to get some game time, and Matej Vydra has reunited with Steve Clarke at Reading, having previously worked under the ex-Chelsea assistant manager at West Brom. Gabriele Angella, who has been at Watford for two years and made 36 appearances for the Hornets in last season’s promotion campaign, has joined Queens Park Rangers on a season long loan. Finally Miguel Layun has joined Porto for the season, with the Portuguese club having an option to buy the Mexican international for £4.4 million next summer.
Now that Watford can’t spend any more money or sign any more players they just have to figure out how to do the basic things of scoring goals and trying to win matches.
Having signed every defender ever, Tony Pulis was only involved in one deadline day deal and it’s another one that we’ve already discussed. Joleon Lescott, the boyhood Aston Villa fan, has left The Hawthorns in order to play for the team he supported as a youngster. The Baggies have received £2 million in exchange for his transfer.
It wasn’t quite the whole story for the West Midlands club, though, with Saido Berahino a quick trip down the motorway away from going full Peter Odemwingie on us. The striker was the subject of several bids from Tottenham Hotspur, with the Baggies refusing to allow the talented youngster to leave on the cheap. That led him to take to Twitter to send the rather bizarre message, “Sad how I can’t say exactly how the club has treated me but I can officially say I will never play Jeremy Peace”. Just as well, really, as Al Pacino’s Jeremy Peace was wonderful and unlikely to be played better any time soon.
Still basking in the glory of going to Anfield and parking the bus with the handbrake off or some such thing, Slaven Bilic got a little bit giddy on transfer deadline day. As we’ve already mentioned he sent Matt Jarvis out on loan to Norwich City, but it was the incomings that most Hammers fans will be pleased to see. Alex Song, having spent time at the club on loan from Barcelona last season, evidently enjoyed himself so much that he decided another season long loan would be great for his development. Victor Moses, meanwhile, adds West Ham to the list of Premier League clubs he’s been on loan with by joining them for a year.
25 year old Nottingham Forrest winger Michail Antonio has joined the London club for an undisclosed fee believed to be in the region of £7 million – a figure that will delight Bilic given he’s scored four goals in five games for Forrest so far this season – whilst Nikica Jelavic has left Hull City for a return to the Premier League with the Hammers. Jelavic has cost the club around £3 million and has signed a two year contract with the option of another two years at the end of it.
That’s it! This transfer window has seen over £870 million being spent, with £210 million going between Premier League clubs, £75 million being paid to the football league and an incredible £585 million heading oversees. It saw the £55 million arrival of Kevin De Bruyne from Wolfsburg to Manchester City, the most expensive teenager in history and the four clubs competing in the Champion’s League spending a combined gross of roughly £340 million – around 40% of the total amount spent by all Premier League clubs combined.
Here at A Blog Of Two Halves we hope we’ve kept you entertained with our sometimes irreverent, often irrelevant transfer rumours and news summary pieces and with a little bit of luck we’ll be back in January to do it all over again! On second thoughts…