Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Transfer Window Closes

Premiership clubs shrugged off the woes of the financial markets with a hectic final day of the latest transfer window. There were several eye catching deals but the question is whether there was any method amongst the madness?

Arsenal, fresh from their weekend humiliation at Old Trafford signed reinforcements with the signing of Mertesacker in central defence surely a much needed one. Brazilian left back Andre Santos also joined but it will remain to be seen how he settles in to Premiership football.

Given that Arsenal already have Wilshire, Ramsey, Rosicky, Arshavin and Walcott, the signings of Arteta and Benayoun are curious ones at best. Arteta is a quality player but surely further lightweight and injury prone attacking midfielders were not the priority for Arsenal at this juncture. The departure of Bendtner on loan to Sunderland merely depletes their centre forward options whilst not bringing in any funds whilst the incoming Chu Young Park remains a very unknown quantity.

On a separate note, Bendtner should possibly consider replacing his father as his agent after he failed to secure any of his highly anticipated moves to either Inter, Bayern or Barcelona that his parent had so publicly trumpeted. The Nou Camp, Sunderland is not Nicklas.

Spurs it would seem have largely stood still in terms of balance by moving on Crouch whilst bringing in Adebayor and bringing in Parker whilst selling Palacios. Crouch will be 31 later this year so 12M looks like decent business and Parker should instill more discipline than the card prone Palacios. Hutton and Jenas have also been moved on to Villa Park, the prior on a permanent basis as Alex McLeish continues his policy of buying Scottish which served Birmingham so well. Much for Spurs this season will depend on how Adebayaor settles down and on rehabilitating the deeply upset Luca Modric.

Chelsea, duly unable to shop in Harrods moved their attention to Tescos as they picked up a cut price alternative to Luca Modric in the shape of Raul Meireles from Liverpool for 12M, it is hard to envisage he will have the same impact as the Croat would have done and the title should be now well beyond their reach. They also have the considerable problem of keeping Torres, Drogba, Anelka, Kalou and Sturridge and Lukaku happy after turning down loan approaches for the last two.

Stoke appear to have done possibly the best business. Crouch looks expensive for his age but with their much maligned style of play he will be a real handful and Palacios will add further steel to an already abrasive side. Stoke should have a good season.

It is hard not to fear for Everton after the sale of Mikel Arteta. Jermaine Beckford was not a regular but he was at least an attacking option for a team that has so few. Royston Drenthe and Denis Stracqualursi will add numbers to the squad but the cupboard looks increasingly bare.

Like Stoke, QPR have used the last days of the transfer window to recruit players that can have a material effect on their season. In Barton, Anton Ferdinand, Wright Phillips and Armand Traore they have signed four players of Premiership quality and experience and their prospects of survival are now much improved.

Fulham splashed over 10M on Bryan Ruiz from FC Twente but it remains to be seen whether the striker will be able to replicate Eredivise form in the Premiership, certainly the bigger European clubs showed little interest in the player.

Of the rest, Bolton increased their attacking options with David N'Gog and Chelsea's Gael Kakuta who completed his obligatory seasonal loan move. Blackburn signed Scott Dann and Yakubu and Newcastle have signed young defender Davide Santon from Inter Milan in what may prove to be a bargain purchase.

The most interesting piece of business however may prove to be Manchester City's signing of Owen Hargeaves. It is not beyond the realms or reason to suggest there is a large element of mischief regarding this transfer as should he not be fit enough to play, City will have lost nothing and should he prove his fitness and form, it will be seen as one in the eye for their neighbours in the red half. Hargreaves has undoubted quality and a huge amount of experience, he may just turn out to be an excellent and shrewd signing, should his knees fail him however, City will have lost nothing - No Nonsense.