Transfer deadline day deals: The Verdict – Part 2

Posted on September 2, 2011

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Thanks for reading Part 1. For those of you who are interested, the ratings are based on the following factors

1. Need for squad strengthening

2. Were the requirements satisfied by the deadline day transfer deals?

3. Value for money

4. Essentiality of the signing

For example, Arsenal needed couple of experienced, creative midfielders  and defensive cover. They got in Mertesacker, Benayoun, Santos and Arteta. They did get value for money for the signings, but they never got around getting their principle targets like Yann M’Vila and Gary Cahill. Hence a B+ rating. Almost too good.

Newcastle United: 

In: – Davide Santon

Out: –

The Magpies used this transfer window to get rid of their dressing room leaders in Joey Barton and Kevin Nolan. Jose Enrique also left after criticizing the sale of Nolan on twitter. With a reported £45m in the coffers due to player sales, much was expected of Toon but what happened was the club hunted for bargain deals in France. Yohann Cabaye arrived and has looked mighty impressive, while fellow Frenchmen Marveaux, Obertan and Abeid and ex-Westham striker Demba Ba all arrived for a combined £8m. With the fans baying for the money to be invested in signing a replacement for Andy Carroll, there was last minute frenzy to get in a striker or two. Newcastle tried to literally hijack Fulham’s deal for Bryan Ruiz and they also reportedly failed with a bid for Liam Ridgewell. One bit of good news was young Italian defender Davide Santon arrived on deadline day from Internaionale. There are people who say that Santon, at just 20, is somewhat a lost talent. Pardew must be hoping that he thrives at St. James Park. The failure to get in a striker might come to haunt Newcastle.

Verdict: D. Carroll, Nolan, Enrique and Barton have all left and Cabaye, Santon and Obertan have arrived, but Newcastle are still a striker and a midfielder short. 

Norwich City:

In: –

Out: –

Paul Lambert, apparently is happy with his signings made earlier in the transfer window. Norwich didn’t bother even trying to sign anyone. I believe this is a very perilous tactic taken by them as their transfer dealings have been exclusively with the lower league clubs. Such tactics might work in the Championship, but the Canaries might find Premier League a complete different ball game. They have taken two points from three games so far and after being completely overrun by Chelsea, I thought that they would get few players with PL experience. But that was not to happen and I think Norwich will struggle.

Verdict: F. The pressing need for quality was there and was ignored.  

Queens Park Rangers

In: Shaun Wright-Phillips, Anton Ferdinand, Armand Traore, Jason Puncheon

Out: –

Tony Fernandes couldn’t have come in at a better time for QPR. The F1 duo of Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore had not sanctioned funds for transfer for the best part of the transfer window and once Fernandes took over, the need for opening the cheque book became imperative. Warnock has gone in for proven Premier League players like Luke Young, Anton Ferdinand and pulled of a coup of sorts in getting Barton and Wright-Phillips. Before the signings, QPR actually looked the weakest of the three promoted sides and now they have quality to survive. Warnock would be happy that the initial interest in his mercurial but temperamental captain Adel Taarabt had cooled off. The QPR fans would also hope that jason Puncheon is not the new Nigel Quashie.

Verdict: B-. Money was spent and spent well. QPR would have loved to have a proven striker though.

Stoke City:

In: Cameron Jerome, Peter Crouch, Wilson Palacios

Out: –

In my humble opinion, the absolute winners of the deadline day. Having already added Jonathan Woodgate and Mathew Upson on free transfers, Tony Pulis had money that could be spent and he invested that in the two most important areas – striking and midfield. Stoke usually pull of a couple of signings on the deadline day and this year was the same. In Peter Crouch they have a proven striker, eventhough his goalscoring record  has been patchy recently. I would say the acquisition of Palacios is an absolute coup as he fits the Stoke template perfectly. Cameron Jerome will provide solid backup and occasional goals, which would be more than welcome.

Verdict: A. Stoke City’s growing reputation was confirmed by the acquisitions of Woodgate and Upson and more recently Crouch. Job well done

Sunderland: 

In: Nicklas Bendtner

Out: Anton Ferdinand

Oh Steve Bruce! He bought himself a whole new team and still he is a striker short. Campbell is crocked, Ji and Wickham are young and inexperienced leaving Asamoah Gyan with the responsibility of scoring goals. Bendtner is a fine addition but the self proclaimed ‘best in the world’ is not even the best in the Sunderland squad. Deadline day move for Crouch didn’t work out and Bruce will be hoping his current forwards could score the goals. There is no denying that Bruce is under pressure to deliver.

Verdict: F. Inspite of knowing the problem area, adequate solution was not acquired. If Sunderland continue to struggle, expect Bruce to be gone swiftly. 

Swansea: 

In: Rafik Halliche

Out: –

Similar to Norwich, Swansea too did not bother much with the deadline day. Rafik Halliche has arrived on loan from Fulham. Swansea are yet to score their first goal in the Premier League and they cannot expect the excellent Michel Vorm to save them every single game.

Verdict: F. I expect Swansea to struggle.

Tottenham Hotspur:

In: Scott Parker

Out: Alan Hutton, Jermaine Jenas, David Bentley, Peter Crouch, Wilson Palacios

One would expect Harry Redknapp to be happy for retaining Luka Modric, signing Scott Parker and Adebayor and trimming the fringe players. But knowing the man, he would never be happy even if he had Messi, Ronaldo and Pele in his team. Spurs achieved what they wanted. Modric is still on their payroll, albeit unhappy, couple of signings with good PL experience have arrived and the fat has been trimmed. Parker is a very important signing for Spurs as they were completely overrun in the midfield by both the Manchester clubs. Adebayor, on his day, is a world beater and Redknapp would be hoping to cajole goals out of the Togolese. Spurs also allegedly failed to bring in Gary Cahill.

Verdict: B. Wilson Palacios should have been retained. 

West Bromwich Albion

In: –

Out: – Pablo Ibanez, Marel Cech

Roy Hodgson’s team is still a striker lite. Long has started well and he could forge a good partnership with Peter Odemwingie, but West Brom do not have good backup options in the event of injuries.

Verdict: C. 

Wigan Athletic

In: Albert Crusat, Shaun Maloney, Patrick van Aanholt

Out: –

Wigan lost Charles N’Zogbia earlier in the window and moved to plug the hole by signing Albert Crusat. Crusat, though vastly experienced, might struggle to adapt to the Premier League. Shaun Maloney would love to prove himself in England after his initial failed attempt with Aston Villa. van Aanholt, on loan from Chelsea, will provide good defensive cover as an understudy to Maynor Figueroa. But the biggest disappointment for Wigan would be their failure to sign a striker. Franco Di Santo might have scored a brace against QPR, but there’s no denying the fact that he is not reliable, atleast for now. Rodallega now faces the burden of spearheading the attack. There were a couple of bids for Odemwingie, but the striker decided to extend his contract with West Brom and that was that.

Verdict: C+. A striker would have been a welcome addition, but Wigan have dealt well in the market. 

Wolverhampton Wanderers:

In: –

Out: –

Mick McCarthy loves to finish shopping early on and he has done just that. Wolves look good for atleast one more season at the top tier.

Verdict: NO Rating.

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Posted in: EPL