Deadline day saw Premier League clubs splash over £120m on players, as there were some last minute additions to the squads, in preparation of a long season ahead. Surprisingly, Arsenal were the biggest spending club on deadline day as they smashed their previous transfer record, and signed Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid for £42.5 m. Everton and West Bromwich Albion also managed to reinforce their forward line with some useful acquisitions and Manchester United’s summer long pursuit of Marouane Fellaini, finally ended with the Belgian signing for Manchester United at long last.
So, let us look at the five best deadline day signings on 2 September 2013:
After having his every move, or in this instance, non-move in the transfer market, questioned by the media, Arsene Wenger managed a sensational deadline swoop for German international Mesut Ozil, in a deal that smashed their previous transfer record. Only a few years ago, he was labelled by Jorge Valdano as the player to “define the next decade at Real Madrid”. But the acquisition of Isco and Bale, coupled with the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo, meant that he would have become a bit-part player this year. And that is precisely the reason why Arsenal were able to snap up the talented 24-year-old German.
What Arsenal now have amidst their ranks, is a player who is able to blend creativity and efficiency almost effortlessly. After all, he has raked up 94 assists for club and country in the last three years and his technique and style will blend in seamlessly with the way Arsenal play their football. And inOzil, Arsene Wenger has finally managed to surprise Arsenal fans in the right way.
It was fairly obvious for all to see that Manchester United were in dire need of a central midfielder or two, before the transfer window closed shut. And although they let the Belgian’s buyout clause expire and ended up paying £4m more for him, Fellaini brings some much needed steel to the United midfield, which has lacked a physical presence, ever since the departure of Roy Keane in 2005.
Fellaini will add strength, height, goals and will bring something different to the United midfield. The fact that he is versatile and capable of playing both as a deep lying midfielder and as an attacking one thanks to his wide range of passing, means that United will have some options to choose from, when it comes to the middle of the park. More than anything else, he has proven to be the marquee signing that Moyes has craved for in his first transfer window as manager of Manchester United.
Liverpool managed a tidy bit of business, as they snapped up the highly promising 23-year-old centre back, Mamadou Sakho from Paris Saint-Germain. The young French defender is equally capable of playing as a left back too and has represented his country at every age-group and also has 14 senior caps for France and won the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year award in 2010/11.
His ineluctable talent and his no-nonsense style of play has drawn comparisons to Lilian Thuram. And aged just 17, he broke into the PSG first team and quickly established himself and was awarded the captaincy in no time, making him the club’s youngest ever captain. His style of play and experience at such a young age will mean that he will be an integral part of Liverpool’s plans in the coming years.
Although they lost Fellaini to United, Everton still managed to have a fantastic deadline day thanks to their triple swoop of James McCarthy, Gareth Barry and Romelu Lukaku, with the latter two arriving on season long loans from Manchester City and Chelsea respectively. And it is their purchase of Lukaku that is sure to get their fans excited.
After spending last year on loan at West Brom, Lukaku came back to Chelsea with the hopes of getting more regular first team football. But, when that wasn’t the case, he was quick to move to Everton, where he will fit in nicely as the main striker, and will enjoy playing with Leighton Baines, whose crossing has been Everton’s main goal threat. Lukaku will add steel and strength to the Toffees forward line and will hopefully be the man, whose goals lead them to Europe next year.
After three games and no goals scored, it was fairly obvious that West Brom were in dire need of some attacking reinforcements before the end of the window. They managed a coup, when they broke their transfer record to bring in Sunderland’s Stephane Sessègnon who will no doubt improve their attack and provide them with some much needed impetus, going forward.
The Beninese forward fell out of favour with the new boss Paolo Di Canio and wasn’t a regular fixture in their line-up and his move to the Baggies will provide him with yet another opportunity to showcase his plethora of skills.