Transfer Deadline Day: The best and worst?

Transfer Deadline Day in England lived up to its billing as Premier League clubs yet again left their transfers later than your average college assignment. Bizarrely, they insist on leaving complicated transfer dealings until the final hours of a three month window every season. Whatever the reason, our satiety to speculate about everything and anything in the football world was once more fulfilled with a number of interesting transfer stories emerging throughout the day.



In: Mesut Ozil (£42.4m from Real Madrid)

Arsenal will only pay one transfer fee for a player this transfer window but it is a stunning one at that. Derided all summer for failing to land summer targets of Gonzalo Higuain, Luis Suarez and Yohan Cabaye in spite of claims that money would be spent, manager Arsene Wenger pulled the rabbit out of the hat by securing the services of  German international Mesut Özil for a fee of £42.4 million. Wenger, a cautious spender at the best of times, has identified Özil as the player to bring Arsenal to the next level. He has brought to Arsenal a world-class talent. While his fee is substantial, Özil has proven himself internationally with Germany and Real Madrid. If his elegant style is not enough to seduce you, Özil has 112 assists in the past four seasons for club and country. Crucially, in beating their high spending North London rivals Tottenham and in signing a marquee player such as Özil, they have instantly reversed the doom and gloom present at the Emirates in the opening weeks of the season. Arsenal’s lack of squad depth may cost them but Özil has given them an invaluable boost in their battle to retain a place in the top 4 and beyond.

Honourable mention



In: Romelu Lukaku (Loan from Chelsea), Gareth Barry (Loan from Manchester City), James McCarthy (£13m from Wigan Athletic)   Out: Marouane Fellaini (£27m to Manchester United), Victor Anichebe (£6m to West Bromwich Albion)

It was a day of clever business on deadline day for Everton manager Roberto Martinez, bolstering his squad by signing two midfielders to replace the outgoing Marouane Fellaini. Everton also signed the highly-rated Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku on a season-long loan. Irish star James McCarthy joins a strong Irish contingent (Seamus Coleman, Darron Gibson) already at Everton and his progress at his new club will be of particular interest to fans of the Irish national team. Gareth Barry is an experienced midfielder who still has some worth in the league. It comes as a surprise that Lukaku was loaned out from Chelsea as many predicted that he would step up this season and lead the line for the London club. Everton will be delighted to add to a forward-line that was looking a little light after the departure of Victor Anichebe to West Bromwich Albion. They will also be pleased to keep a hold of their star full-back Leighton Baines. Although Everton will struggle to repeat or better their position of sixth last season, these signings have given them the ammo to give it their best shot.


Manchester United

In: Marouane Fellaini (£27m from Everton), Saidy Janko (undisclosed from FC Zurich)


Manchester United would like to apply for an extension for this transfer assignment. The champions may have signed a midfielder as per their wishes and Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini may well prove to be a success at Old Trafford but Manchester United’s transfer conduct on Deadline Day was uncharacteristically amateurish and can only be described as a logistical nightmare. It included reports of ‘impostors’ arriving at the Spanish league offices on Monday afternoon purporting to be representing United in negotiations for Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera. In the end, no fee was agreed at the release clause quoted. It stood at just above the initial bid that United had bid for Herrera a few days earlier. Negotiations for long-term target Leighton Baines and last-minute target Fabio Coentrao both broke down on Deadline Day. The deal for the left-back Coentrao fell through after the window had closed as Real Madrid had pulled the plug after failing to land a replacement in time to confirm the deal. United’s late £34m bid for Sami Khedira emphasised their desire to sign a second midfielder alongside Fellaini but that bid was also rejected. As the £23m clause for Everton’s Fellaini ended on July 31st, the club were forced to pay more for the player than they would have had a month earlier. It summed up what had been a messy transfer window for new chief executive Edward Woodward and new manager David Moyes, who after unsuccessful attempts to sign Fabregas, Thiago, De Rossi, Herrera, Khedira, Baines and Coentrao, had conducted their transfer business in this transfer window with no competency whatsoever.

Honourable mention

Newcastle United

In: None

Newcastle did little to defuse the unrest over the appointment of Joe Kinnear as Director of Football at the club being completely inactive on Transfer Deadline Day. Their sole signing of the summer has been striker Loic Remy on loan from QPR but Newcastle fans will worry about the progress of their team this year as they failed to reassure fans with any Deadline Day recruits. They will be pleased to have kept a player of Yohan Cabaye’s ability but they will be concerned by his refusal to play in the first round of matches amid speculation of an impending move to Arsenal. Players of this mentality will not be useful in a relegation battle should they be there. Newcastle have some capable squad but they finished 16th last season and there has been little to suggest a change in fortunes. It will be interesting to see if their strategy of bringing in young French internationals in previous windows will pay off and how long Kinnear and manager Alan Pardew can survive the backlash of the Newcastle faithful should they languish in a relegation battle.

Davy Gorman
Article written by
3rd Year TCD Student. Passionate about sports, particularly golf and football. From Monaghan.

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