Transfer Window Winners And Losers
While Manchester United’s stunning capture of Radamel Falcao dominated deadline day coverage, other Premier League clubs were quietly adding quality to their sides.
We look at who, apart from United, did best yesterday and who suffered a more miserable day than the Sky Sports reporter that had a dildo shoved in his face.
With their coffers boosted by the £12 million sale of Shane Long, manager Steve Bruce had a healthy kitty to play with. Of all the bunches of rowdy teenagers lurking behind Sky Sports reporters yesterday, Hull City’s group seemed the happiest with their lot.
Their chants of “Ben Arfa, Ben Arfa” were answered when the mercurial Newcastle United winger eventually signed on loan. If Bruce can tame his indiscipline, and the Frenchman regains full fitness, he’ll be an exciting addition to the Tigers squad.
Bruce also smashed the club’s transfer record with the capture of Palermo’s Abel Hernandez. The £10 million Uruguayan will fill the void left by Long’s departure and had a decent scoring record in Serie A with 31 goals in 111 appearances. Joining Hernandez will be his compatriot Gaston Ramirez, on loan from Southampton.
He’s never really hit top form for The Saints but if he can reproduce his performances while at Bologna, City will have another hit on their hands. Finally, it’s not that long ago that Mohamed Diame was linked with the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool. His form faltered at West Ham, however, and his £3 million fee seems appropriate for the central midfielder.
After the exodus from St. Mary’s earlier this summer, Ronald Koeman has worked tirelessly to correct the deficiencies in his squad. Toby Alderweireld should be a capable replacement for Dejan Lovren, the Belgian international arriving on a season-long loan from Atletico Madrid. He featured in the Champions League final last season and Belgium’s World Cup adventure. Sky reporters struggled pronouncing his surname yesterday but he should become a household name among Premier League followers.
More intriguing is the £10 million signing of Sadio Mané from Red Bull Salzburg. The Senegal international scored an impressive 45 goals in 86 appearances for the Austrian side from midfield. Southampton’s offensive options seem more healthy with Mané, Long and Graziano Pelle replacing the misfiring and unloved Dani Osvaldo and the ageing Rickie Lambert.
But perhaps Southampton’s biggest triumph of deadline day was their ability to hang on to Morgan Schneiderlin and Jay Rodriguez, despite Spurs’ continuing interest.
On Sunday night, Arsenal’s transfer window requirements included a central defender, a combative midfielder and a world-class striker. Rumours circulated that they were in pole position for the signature of Falcao. Twenty-four hours later, they ended up with a £16 million Danny Welbeck.
Granted, Arsene Wenger had done the majority of his business swiftly, securing Alexis Sanchez, David Ospina Mathieu Debuchy and Calum Chambers early in the window. However, it was probably mis-guided of the Gunners boss to spend such an important day refereeing a charity match in Italy.
Fans have not been placated by Welbeck’s arrival and the Gunners face the next few months relying on the England striker and the much-maligned Yaya Sanogo to lead the line. The club remain in need of central defensive back-up, with an inquiry for Manchester City’s Matija Nastasic rebuffed, and a powerful midfielder. Yet again, Wenger’s stubbornness could come back and haunt their title ambitions.
The Manchester United midfielder was desperate for a deadline day move but potential deals with Everton, Aston Villa and Hull City fell through, leaving Cleverley in limbo at Old Trafford. He’s clearly unwanted by Louis Van Gaal, with bids in the region of £7.5 million accepted for the 25-year-old.
However, his £60,000 a week wage demands scuppered a move away, and Daley Blind’s confirmed arrival at United exacerbated Cleverley’s miserable day. He faces a season on the fringes in Manchester, as his contract is up next summer and will be able to sign a pre-contract agreement with potential suitors in January.
His preference to sit on the bench at United and collect his wages over guaranteed first-team football will do nothing to endear him to Red Devils fans and could have a critical impact on his international career.