by Steven S
£490million spent in this summers transfer window just £10m short of the record amount spent back in 2008. As clubs continue to wallow in the ever increasing amounts of TV money being poured into the game from around the world financial fair play has taken on a new meaning. Yesterday was one of those days made for Sky finally able to report real deals not based on conjecture or phone taps.
So, where to start with summarising…I’ve always liked those end of window summary pages with the ins on one side, outs on the other with the amount spent in brackets etc. That would be just a copy and paste job from somewhere else and let’s face it; millions don’t read this (at all) for that kind of laziness.
Despite the arrival of three new faces, the club has turned in a profit following the sales of RVP and Song, almost followed by Walcott who agreed to stay at least in the short term this week. Year 8 of the transition.
Christian Benteke was confirmed for around the £7m mark also scooping up young striker Jordan Bowery from Chesterfield costing half a mill. Nathan Delfouneso has finally given up the ghost and has left on loan in search of regular football with Blackpool. Crewe Alexander skipper Ashley Westwood was also taken on a four year contract, along with Middlesbrough left back Joe Bennett. Paul Lambert using his scouting network in the lower leagues to his advantage.
A big spender during the summer as everyone knows. Yesterday Yossi Benayoun realised that returning to Chelsea had proved pointless, finding himself having to secure a return to Upton Park on loan for the season. The biggest move out of the club was Michael Essien joining forces with Mourinho once again in a loan for the year. Perhaps a change of pace will help him find the high levels of performance that made him such a dominant force before all of the injuries. A couple of seasons back Gael Kakuta was on the fringes of the Chelsea squad but now finds himself on loan to Vitesse Arnhem for 10 months. Youth development nowhere near the clubs agenda it seems.
Matthew Kennedy became another Scottish player to join the Moyes clan, the 17 year old secured for a ‘nominal fee’ and with Everton finally looking at real options in attack and the boy will have to wait a while. 22 year old Bryan Oviedo became the final piece of the puzzle leaving Copenhagen on a 4-year contract.
Dimi Berbie finally found a home. After what seems like an eternity of sitting under the shadows of the dugout with the face of a hound dog, Fulham offered him salvation. £5m is a considerable drop from the heady days of a £30m to United but he should be keen to make a point, from which Fulham will really benefit. Clint Dempsey was in danger of becoming the forgotten himself until Tottenham decided to snap him up. Not quite the Champions League football that the American had asked for. Ashkan Dejagah became another player from Germany to join up, with Kieran Richardson moving south from the North East.
Strikers. Everyone knows they need strikers. Things didn’t work out too well there. Andy Carroll is in London on loan with West Ham, leaving Borini, Suarez and er, that’s it. Oh yeah, there is Samed Yesil bought for £1m from Leverkusen but I wouldn’t hold my breath with that one for now. Meanwhile, the handsome Jay Spearing has been let loose to horrify the Championship defences for a season with Bolton. Charlie Adam was confirmed as a Stoke player for £5m early on during the day, making way for Sahin. Spartak Moscow made a cheeky bid for Joe Cole earlier in the week, rejected by the player who will find it hard to get game time back at Anfield. Although with Lucas now back out of the team injured for at least three months, he may pick up some fringe games when back from his own injury.
Javi Garcia popped out of nowhere in a £16m deal making up part of the £37million spent by City determined not to make their mark in the sand. The Scott Sinclair deal was in danger of collapse, the two clubs finally agreeing an initial fee of £6.25m, rising with add-ons. In his last year of his contract Nigel de Jong has seen his playing time dramatically reduce over the past season and has now left for AC Milan. Maicon left a decaying Inter Milan squad as some sort of cover, or more worryingly to start ahead of Clichy. Hilariously after ridding themselves of Stuart Taylor, Richard Wright has now become the third choice keeper at the club, likely never to be seen again on a football field. Young centre back Matija Nastasic was another bundled in the Mancini basket on the last day for a fee around £10m from Fiorentina. As part of that deal Stefan Savic was hoofed out of the club toward the Italian, much to the relief of City fans. That’s one down, one to go. Dzeko, this could be a long season…
Nothing to report here except the earlier mention of Berbatov’s departure to Fulham. All the business was wrapped up a week ago, Fergie seemingly content with his lot.
Same again here, no new additions to speak of. Youth team player Paul Dummett was loaned to St Mirren but no-one really cares do they. Come on.
And that’s three in a row. All the work was wrapped up last week ahead, not even a lousy youth team loan signing to speak of.
QUEENS PARK RANGERS
Joey Barton has joined Marseille which will hopefully end in yet another complete disaster later in the season. The deals just kept on coming thick and fast all week for the West Londoners, this summer adding 12 new players to the squad. Rob Green now finds himself as second choice behind the newly secured Julio Cesar from Inter Milan, told by Mark Hughes that he can leave in January if he is not happy with his lack of football. Jay Bothroyd left for Sheffield Wednesday with absolutely no hope of playing for the first team after reshaping of their attack in a season. Stephane Mbia became a QPR man transferring from Marseille along with Esteban Granero leaving Real Madrid this week.
A ghost town. Even the tumbleweed took the day off.
The deal for Uruguayan winger Gaston Ramirez was completed for an undisclosed fee, although it is likely to be close to £14m which places a huge amount on pressure for the player to become THE man at the club. A couple of other little loans out of lower tier players and job done for the Saints.
How old was that lad with the Heineken can dribbling on the Sky camera last night? Shameless product placement. As we already mentioned, Charlie Adam signed up, Tony Pulis also completing the signing of American midfielder Maurice Edu from Rangers. Steven Nzonzi was captured for a bargain £3.5m considering the amount of reported interest and he is English. Quite packed in midfield, Pulis will be hoping the new arrivals shake up some of the complacency currently on show with the side.
Danny Rose was taken on loan from Tottenham, making him the only player to join the club after their £20m+ splurge last weekend.
Pablo Hernandez should be the main to replace the departed Scott Sinclair, coming in at just under the price the English forward was sold for at £5.5m. A few other players left on loan but quite a few players in this summer, so more than enough for Laudrup to be getting on with.
Modric finally resolved the deal with Real Madrid in a deal around £35m once all the details are sorted. Spurs also signed up to some sort of ‘partnership’ with Real, which probably means “we’ll sell anyone you want when you are ready to spend”. Last day mayhem as usual, with rumours that Redknapp was sitting in his car on his driveway in the hope someone may ask him a question. The transfer of Dempsey was already mentioned, replacing Rafael van der Vaart who has returned ‘home’ to Hamburg closer to his family and weakening the Spurs first team. Hugo Lloris will replace Brad Freidel as number one by the end of the month, a £12m fee being agreed late in the day. Dembele travelled from West to North London to make it three attacking midfielders into one position. £22m had been agreed to sign Moutinho from Porto, only for an agreement over personal terms not to be found and a bid for £11m or so put to Shaktar for Willian also failed earlier in the week.
WEST BROMICH ALBION
Andy Carroll was a huge capture on loan for the season and will compliment the team’s style of play perfectly. Goals for newly promoted sides are at a premium and he will deliver at least 15+. He was the only signing of the week but probably the most vital of their whole summer.
Roman Golobart joined Tranmere on loan. That’s all they’ve got. Stability and financial sense. Anyone would think they want to stay afloat.
There was some football during the week, Liverpool and City playing out a decent 2-2 draw at Anfield whilst Stoke and Arsenal could only manage a 0-0 in the earlier game. In the Europa league both Newcastle and Liverpool did just enough to secure qualification for the group stage. Newcastle were drawn in Group D with Club Brugge, Bordeaux and Maritimo, whilst Liverpool face Udinese, Eto’o at Anzhi Makhachkala and Swiss side Young Boys in Group A. Tottenham, having automatically qualified, were placed in Group J against Panathinaikos, Maribor and Lazio, who have invited Paul Gascoigne as special guest to the match.
Fulham and Stoke crashed out of the COcUp midweek, Stoke down 3-0 at one point to Paolo Di Canio’s Swindon, battling back to lose 4-3 in the last minute of extra time. The big guns join the fray for the next round with quite a few all Premiership ties lined up. Manchester United entertain Newcastle, Manchester City host Aston Villa, West Brom face Liverpool, Wigan travel to West Ham, QPR hoop-off against Reading and Leeds play at home to Everton.
A small matter of the Champions League draw was also decided Arsenal and Manchester United picking up straight forward draws that should be easy enough to pick their way through. Chelsea have landed Juventus who will be keen to make an impression back in Europe to build on their title win last season. Shakhtar Donetsk and FC Nordsjaelland make up the other two teams in a not so straight forward group for the defending champions. Manchester City face up to another tough qualification being lumped in with Real Madrid, Ajax and Borussia Dortmund. They will be hoping to at least get into the knock out stage this season and if they ever wanted a chance to pit themselves against Europe’s best, here is another chance.
To coincide with the closure of a few transfer windows across Europe, Michel Platini repeated the UEFA mantra surrounding Financial Fair Play, warning that spending has to be in line with the guidelines set out or teams will face punishment. With the amount spent in the UK alone yesterday you struggle to see if anyone is listening at all to the message of restraint, in a week that also saw spending in the Premier league pass £4bn over the past decade. A staggering amount of money. A look at the bigger picture also shows a stand off approach by money of the owners of the clubs in the league, bar Chelsea and Manchester City. A £30m loan from the Fenway Group to Liverpool marks the only other sign of investment whilst the Arsenal and United owners seem content to leech on the money.
But let us not finish on a sour note, as many fans have new players to get behind and hope for a change in fortunes at their clubs. The transfer window is now finally, officially, bloody well shut. The Sky clock has been reset in Murdoch’s living room and countdown to the next one begins. I need a lie down. Toodles.