Transfer deadline day deals: The Verdict – Part 1

Posted on September 1, 2011

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Well, the mayhem is over and the transfer window has shut firmly for the next four months. We saw a flurry of activity yesterday, especially towards the end. How did the clubs fair on the deadline day? Who got themselves a great deal? who go conned? lets dive in

Arsenal:

In: Per Mertesacker, Andre Santos, Yossi Benayoun, Mikel Arteta

Out: Nicklas Bendtner

Arsenal were unnaturally active on the deadline day, especially in the last couple of hours, pushing through deals for Arteta and Benayoun. The defeat against Liverpool and the absolute pummeling by Manchester United caused fan fury and made Arsene Wenger open the purse strings. Though Benayoun and Arteta are no Fabregas and Nasri, they bring a different option to the Arsenal midfield. Arteta’s vision and range of passing and Benayoun’s trickery and drive will be welcome additions to the now anemic Arsenal midfield. In Mertesacker, they have recruited someone who will provide them with that much required aerial presence in the defense and Andre Santos has been drafted in as a direct replacement for Clichy.

Verdict: B+. An inspired transfer drive from Arsenal. The signings should stabilize and refresh their team. 

Aston Villa: 

In: Alan Hutton, Jermaine Jenas

Out: –

Aston Villa were not very active during the whole of the transfer window. They sold Ashley Young and Stewart Downing and got only Charles N’Zogbia to replace them. Also having farmed out Jean II Makoun on loan to Olympiakos, Alex Mcleish will now relish having the dynamism of Hutton and the experience of Jenas in his squad. A central midfielder was of paramount importance for Villa following their limp displays against Fulham and Wolves. Though there was a last ditch effort to bring in Joe Cole, I for one am happy that move petered out. The purchase of Alan Hutton shows that McLeish is still not convinced with his young options at Right-back.

Verdict: C. The Villa squad was not enhanced, only replacements were signed. 

Blackburn Rovers:

In: Scott Dann, Yakubu

Out: –

Steve Kean should be a happy man. His bosses have backed him with transfers this season and now the onus will be on him to deliver. The sale of Phil Jones early in the window was a blow, but new recruit Scott Dann will provide more than an able replacement. Yakubu will provide more options upfront and traditionally he starts on fire for his new teams. So Kean can expect few goals from him. Perhaps the biggest news to transpire from this transfer window’s close would be retaining Chris Samba.

Verdict: C+. Venky’s have done their bit. Now it’s Kean’s turn.

Bolton Wanderers: 

In: David N’gog, Gael Kakuta

Out: –

Owen Coyle has sought to replace the loss of Johann Elmander and Daniel Sturridge with the £4m acquisition of David N’gog and the loan capture of Kakuta. Both these players had been marked for great things in the future and Coyle would be hoping it would be with the Wanderers. Coyle’s loan acquisitions over the last couple of years have turned out to be very successful and he would hope that Kakuta could have a similar impact. Like Blackburn, the biggest success for Bolton would be retaining the services of Gary Cahill, who was the subject of a last minute bid from Tottenham. Cahill is entering his last year of contract and has indicated that he would not extend it, so it is a bit of a gamble taken by Coyle.

Verdict: C-. Bolton still need a good goal scorer. David N’gog might become one, but currently he is not. 

Chelsea: 

In: Raul Meireles

Out: Ulises Davila, Patrick van Aanholt, Yossi Benayoun, Gael Kakuta

Well, Raul Meireles provided the much required last moment drama by submitting a transfer request an hour before the close of the transfer window. I wouldn’t blame him though. Early indications from Anfield showed that they were ready to sell the Portuguese international and the guy had made his mind to leave. When Chelsea came knocking, it was an easy decision for him. Chelsea would hope Meireles could bring the best out of Torres. The Portuguese is a good acquisition and I would say it was Liverpool’s loss letting him go. They also farmed out few young players and fringe players out on loan.

Verdict: C. They wanted Modric, they got Meireles. Chelsea is still a work in Progress with the old guard waning. 

Everton: 

In: Denis Straqualursi, Royston Drenthe.

Out: Jermaine Beckford, Yakubu, Mikel Arteta

It’s tough being an Everton fan these days. Almost all the transfer talk surrounding the Toffees is about which players would be leaving the club, not vice-versa. This transfer window was more of the same with the likes of Phil Jagielka, Marouane Fellaini, Mikel Arteta, Jack Rodwell and Leighton Baines being linked with other clubs. Arteta did leave for Arsenal after asking for a transfer at the 11th hour. Everton also lost Jermaine Beckford and Yakubu on deadline day to Leicester and Blackburn respectively. David Moyes has an unenviable job. The last player purchased by Everton was over two years ago and the squad is diminishing by the year. Moyes couldn’t prevent the Arteta transfer once the player himself wanted Champions League football. Also, when new moneybags Leicester came with a £4m offer for Beckford, Everton couldn’t refuse, fully knowing that their current strike force consists of the perma-crocked Luis Saha and Anichebe. Such is the perilous state of their finances. They have brought in an hitherto unheard-of striker from Argentina and the temperamental Dutchman Royston Drenthe – both on loans. Moyes and the Everton fans would be hoping to survive this season and for some fresh investment  into the club

Verdict: D-. This was beyond David Moyes. But Everton haven’t added quality over the last couple of years and are now decreasing in quantity as well. 

Fulham:

In: Bryan Ruiz, Zdenek Grygera, Orlando Sa

Out: Rafik Halliche

Fulham needed some firepower desperately and hence the move for former FC Twente hitman Bryan Ruiz seems like a fantastic bit of business. Grygera will offer a great deal of experience and Orlando Sa will provide back-up. Fulham will also be relieved that no clubs took special interest in their stars like Zamora, Hangeland or Dempsey. Jol’s team has struggled in the first three games, but he would be hoping to improve on the performances with the current draft of recruits

Verdict: B-. The problem areas were identified and plugged. Job well done. 

Liverpool:

In: Vilyan Bijev, Craig Bellamy

Out: Raul Meireles, Joe Cole, Christian Poulsen, David N’gog, Phillip Degen

Kenny Dalglish would have suddenly realized that he didn’t have any back up striker and moved for Craig Bellamy. The temperamental Welshmen returns to the club, he left for West Ham after three years. Bellamy will provide Liverpool with good dynamism but after more than a year away from the game at the highest possible level, he will have to prove himself again. Meireles’ loss is the Reds’ biggest loss in my humble opinion. Dalglish’s recruitment drive over-stacked their midfield options and hence the Portuguese left. The loss of other fringe players won’t bother Liverpool a bit and they would be only too happy to take them off their wage bill.

Verdict: C. A good signing, but a bad loss. I’m calling this down the middle

Manchester City: 

In: Owen Hargreaves,

Out: Shaun Wright-Phillips, Craig Bellamy.

Manchester City had completed their transfer business well in advance, so the move for the former Manchester United midfielder was their only bit of business for them. This came right out of the left field and surprised even their own team members. Hargreaves on his day is a very good performer and would provide backup to the star-studded City midfield. I don’t expect Hargreaves to get that much playing time for City. Mancini also got rid of Bellamy and Wright-Phillips.

Verdict: No Rating. City didn’t bother with the deadline day. 

Manchester United: 

In: –

Out: –

United had shut shop long back and didn’t bother afterwards. I think we would never know if the mooted Wesley Sneidjer move was for real or not.

Verdict: NR

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Posted in: EPL