The transfer window has finally shut for another year. Let’s take one final look at the winners and losers from this year’s window before getting back to the football.
Chelsea gave a little and got a lot. They signed Loic Remy from QPR for the tiny figure over £7.1 million. The small fee brought them in a big time goalscorer. Remy has proven his goalscoring ability while playing the final half of his first season with QPR two years ago, and during a loan spell with Newcastle last season.
In his forty Premier League games prior to this season the Frenchman netted twenty goals – his pedigree will only grow with the talent that Chelsea will put around him. Of course he will be subservient to Diego Costa, but he adds depth to the Chelsea striking core.
The addition of Remy opened up the possibility for Chelsea to loan Fernando Torres to AC Milan which serves as a symbiotic solution for both striker and club. Torres is offered the opportunity to play weekly and regain his previously lethal form, which will allow Chelsea that chance to move him elsewhere permanently for the highest possible figure.
Chelsea also offered Marco van Ginkel up to AC Milan. Van Ginkel will get first team opportunities, but more importantly Chelsea now compile with Premier League and UEFA regulations on the number of foreign players eligible in a given squad.
Swansea didn’t make any significant signings, however it was the lack of a departure, as opposed to the bringing in of anyone, that makes all the difference to the Welsh side. Wilfried Bony had names such as Arsenal and Monaco linked to him and there was a set buyout clause in his contract estimated at close to £20m, which was not reached.
Although the money would have been great to Swansea’s finances, losing Bony at such a late stage would have made it almost impossible to replace him and therefore retaining the services of the Ivorian was a real coup for Garry Monk and Swansea.
Swansea also took Jose Canas off their wage bill while also added Madou Barrow to help offer extra bodies up front.
Steve Bruce was very active on the last day of the window, to the delight of all Tiger’s no doubt. Hull City broke their transfer record to secure the services of Uruguayan striker Abel Hernandez for from Palermo. Hernandez is just 24-years-old and netted 14 goals last season in the Serie A.
Hull also managed to nabbed Mohamed Diame from West Ham United, while they further increased their strikeforce by adding Gaston Ramirez on a season-long loan from Southampton. Hull already brought in Michael Dawson, the former Tottenham captain, a few days prior to the window closing.
Neil Warnock joined the Palace party late and many felt it would be too late to make a proper dip into the transfer market prior to the window closing – the very opposite was the case. Palace strengthened their midfield by bringing James McArthur in from Wigan which will prove to be a great signing for Palace.
Palace were also able to bring Kevin Doyle back to the Premier League which will help their goal scoring options as well as adding depth to their backlines with the addition of Zeki Fryers from Tottenham.
The return of prodigal winger Zaha from Manchester United a few days prior to the transfer deadlines concludes a good day’s work from Crystal Palace.
This was a major coup for Arsenal. Not only did the manage to beat their London rivals Tottenham to Danny Welbeck’s signature but Wenger was also able to pull the deal out at the last moment despite the lateness of their enquiry.
Welbeck is a talented striker and full of pace, along with a great work ethic and willingness to run his socks of closing down from the front. More importantly Arsenal have a striker other than Yaya Sanogo to call upon while Giroud is out injured.
Arsenal were able to sign the former Man United striker for £16 million, which is the same price United paid for Daley Blind. Considering he is proven in the Premier League and is also English the fee is relatively small.
Louis Van Gaal did some good business on the final day of the window by bringing in the Dutch defender/midfielder Daley Blind. Blind came from Ajax and will help bolster the weak defensive core of United, however he is far from the solution.
The signing of Falcao on paper seems like a great deal for United and gives them one of the strongest striking combinations in the league, but the details of the deal are mindboggling. The Colombian is set to be the highest paid player in the league prior to kicking a ball – earning £360k+ a week – while the loan deal is set to cost the English side somewhere in the region of £10-12m for the season.
There is an awful hint of desperation from Manchester United in this dealings of signing Falcao, and the biggest issues with United is the positions that they failed to address. An elite centre back to control the backlines and offer leadership was greatly needed as was an out and out holding midfielder, neither of which were acquired. Yes, Blind can play in that position, but would he offer the same protection as someone like Nigel De Jong? Or even Arturo Vidal?
United also lost Danny Welbeck – a player of significant talent, who was home grown, to league rivals Arsenal, they offered Hernandez to Real Madrid on loan, and sent another homegrown talent, Tom Cleverley, to Aston Villa. The window was a very messy one and screamed of desperation from United.
QPR not only lost one of their best strikers in Loic Remy, but they also failed to sign a replacement – albeit the replacement they had in, Fabio Borini, was overpriced, and probably a notch down from the Frenchman he would be replacing.
QPR also missed out two prospective loan opportunities. One was the Brazilian defensive target Bressan from Gremio, while Jermaine Defoe – who could have been the perfect player to fill the void of Loic Remy, also fell through.
Harry Redknapp did manage to add Sandro to their ranks, but the defense and frontlines were really the main areas of focus that QPR needed to strengthen.
Micah Richards has departed on a season-long loan to Italy, which is great for him and Roy Hodgson, but is bad for Manchester City. City spent £32m bringing in Mangala from Porto when in fact they had a quality centre half in the Englishman who has fallen out of contention.
Richards is a valuable asset to have in a squad as he can play inside or outside on the right of defense, while he can also be pushed a little further forward if needs be. But the biggest mistake on Pellegrini’s part was allowing Alvaro Negredo return to Spain.
City are left with just three strikers, one of whom (Sergio Aguero) is just returning to full fitness and tends to have some propensity to become injured. Considering City expect to be fighting on all fronts at home and in Europe the casting of Negredo to Valencia is just nonsensical.
Craig Farrell, Pundit Arena.