Transfer deadline day is one of the most anticipated days of the football calender for fans and teams alike. The rumours hit new levels, people claim to see players at local airports, people say they are related to someone at the club who has just seen someone enter, the list goes on. However, what fans don’t realise is just how hard it is to actually sign a footballer. It isn’t as easy as football games make out. For example, you can’t just make a bid, have it accepted and then offer them a contract and they accept, then boom, they are your player, oh no, it takes a lot longer than that. Once you have a bid accepted, there is then a medical which can take up to three hours. There is then paperwork that seems to go on for days, then you have to agree personal terms, then more paperwork. So to sign a player, it certainly takes a long time, but who had a successful deadline day and who had one to forget?
The main winners were Queens Park Rangers, who managed to sign 12 players over the summer, including two big name signings on deadline day. Stephane M’Bia from Marseille and Esteban Granero from Real Madrid joined Mark Hughes’ men in addition to the other 10 players he had signed before-hand. Mark Hughes has made it clear that he doesn’t want to be as close to relegation as the club were last year and he has certainly shown intent with his transfers this summer. The like of Park Ji-Sung, Junior Hoilett, Julio Cesar, Esteban Graneo and M’bia really shows that Hughes wants his side to be near the top half of the table, rather than the bottom.
A deadline day wouldn’t be a deadline day without mega-rich Manchester City making a few purchases and that is exactly what they did. However the names didn’t have the gloss of previous signings like Robinho or Sergio Aguero, instead they brought it: Scott Sinclair, Richard Wright, Maicon and Javi Garcia. Despite spending well over £50m in the summer, City manager, Roberto Mancini, was said to be very annoyed with the transfer dealings at the club and some reports even suggested he was tempted to walk out of the club because of it. But still, four new signings all in one day is still seen as a busy day in the market whether Mancini is happy with the signings or not.
Another team that had an interesting deadline day was Tottenham. It was a day that saw club favourite Van Der Vaart leave for Hamburg which left a lot of fans worrying at the fact they had lost the Dutchman and also Luka Modric earlier in the window and only brought it Moussa Dembele as a replacement. That looked like it was going to change when reports came out that Spurs and Porto had agreed a £22m fee for Joao Moutinho. However, that deal fell through right at the end of the day when the club and the player couldn’t agree on personal terms. This meant Tottenham started to look elsewhere and brought in want-away Fulham centre forward, Clint Dempsey for £6m. In addition to the two ex-Fulham players, Villas-Boas also brought in French captain and goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris.
That is what it is like when you have a successful day, but what happens if you have a nightmare, like Liverpool. It was also 99% certain that Liverpool were going to sign Clint Dempsey and that was one of the reasons why Brendan Rodgers let Andy Carroll join West Ham on a season-long loan, but that all went wrong when Liverpool only bid £4m for the American international, which Fulham rejected straight away. The loss of Andy Carroll and the failing to sign another striker has left Liverpool with just two recognised strikers and one of them being completely new to the premiership. This leaves Liverpool in a lot of trouble in the quest to find goals and the lack of depth is a really worry for Brendan Rodgers.
Liverpool easily had the worst day, but Fulham come a close second. Very early on in the window they let Danny Murphy leave the club who was a very influencial player for them and also their captain. Later, they then lost Moussa Dembele to Tottenham, another influencial and top class player and then to top it all off, on deadline day, they lost easily their best player in Clint Dempsey to Tottenham as well. Not only did they lose them all, they also failed to bring in suitable replacements which is a real worry for Martin Jol and which could lead to Fulham having a very tough season.
So in deadline day things can either go very well or very badly. Sometimes it’s even best, to not do anything at all.
Alex William Batt