Transfer Deadline Day has become as much a part of English football as FA Cup Final Day, shameful as it is to admit. The latest one did not disappoint the lovers of this unique occasion – Jim White holding court on Sky Sports News, big named players arriving in private jets, and 2 hour extension to allow the last few deals to go through.
But what actually happened? Manchester United were the big players in this transfer window, bringing in some stellar names – Radamel Falcao, Angel Di Maria, Daley Blind, Ander Herrera, Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and Luke Shaw. The signing of Angel Di Maria broke the British transfer record at £59m, but the biggest scoop was attracting Radamel Falcao to the club with only minutes remaining. Falcao and his agent have spent all Summer trying to attract the attention of Real Madrid, but when it became obvious they weren’t interested, he decided to accept the consolation prize of picking up £345,000 a week at Old Trafford.
Apart from over £150m worth of transfer fees, what also left Old Trafford was their reputation of being a club that wouldn’t ‘buy trophies‘ and that would always promote youth. The signs were good when they appointed Louis Van Gaal, who has a record of elevating young players to the first team, and yet within 10 weeks he’d decided to forget all that and become the 5th highest spending Premier League manager of all time – quite some achievement, given what’s gone before!
So what of the other big clubs? Arsenal brought in Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona, and also Danny Welbeck, who was considered surplus to requirements at Manchester United. Many Twitter wags were quick to pounce on the fact that he will be the only player in the Arsenal dressing room with a Premier League Winners Medal!!
Liverpool appeared to buy most of Southampton’s team – Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana and Dejan Lovren. They also added the new clown prince of British football – Mario Balotelli, so one way or another he will make Match of the Day more entertaining! Slightly under the radar they picked up Alberto Moreno who looks capable of being a star turn from left back.
Manchester City were pretty quiet in their dealings, but with the talent already in their squad and the restrictions of Financial Fair Play, it’s probably little wonder they were quiet.
Chelsea were active quite early, picking up Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa, who looks like providing the goals that they needed last year. They still had time to let a few old favourites go, Ashley Cole left for Roma and Frank Lampard for a stint in the MLS. To balance this out they brought another old favourite Didier Drogba back to the club. Their final bit of business was to wave goodbye to the now usurped ‘most expensive player in British football’ Fernando Torres. He’s decided to carry on missing from 5 yards in Milan rather than West London!
An awful lot of comings and goings, but we’ve got a long wait before we see how this will effect the destination of all the silverware!