Sky Blues' Early Transfer Haul Forces Hands of Manchester United and Arsenal

Phil KeidelContributor IISeptember 2, 2013

Fellaini's Heisman pose to Everton saved United significant embarrassment at the transfer window's close.
Fellaini's Heisman pose to Everton saved United significant embarrassment at the transfer window's close.Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Expecting Manchester City to go hard again at the close of the summer transfer window was folly given all they had already accomplished.

Of City's four splashy summer signings, only Stevan Jovetic has yet to play for the club in a Premier League match. The other three (Fernandinho, Jesus Navas and Alvaro Negredo) have all contributed.

Negredo, in particular, saved City significant embarrassment with his deadlock-breaking marker against Hull City.

So City only threw ante money into the pot at the end, landing Martin Demichelis from Atletico Madrid. The £3.5 million City paid to acquire Demichelis is a rounding error in comparison to the approximately £90 million City had already parted with in the transfer window.

It is tempting here to do one of those sportswriter-y turns of phrase where the scribe suggests that the cheapest signing will be the most important one of them all. That would be too clever by half in this instance, though.

Demichelis is an experienced player who is now playing for City manager Manuel Pellegrini for the third time. Certainly Pellegrini trusts Demichelis, or he would not have spent even £3.5 million on a player who went from Malaga to Atletico Madrid on a free transfer in July.

Then again, former City manager Roberto Mancini seemed to have faith in Maicon last season. Everyone knows how that turned out. Demichelis is essentially an insurance policy against Vincent Kompany's iffy hamstring. Demichelis also projects to put more pressure on Joleon Lescott to find his form, like, now.

The timing of City's transfer cash outlay was calculated and intelligent. City had their four prominent summer signings in camp through much of the offseason and therefore available for the league opener against Newcastle United.

The downside (if you can call it that) is that a couple of City's Premier League rivals are going to get all of the bold headlines in British tabloids on Tuesday.

Manchester United finally completed their will-he-or-won't-he courtship of former Everton midfielder Marouane Fellaini.

Credit Everton here. As reported by Richard Jolly of, "Fellaini has cost £27.5 million - almost double the £16m United valued him at when submitting a joint, £28m bid for the midfielder and left-back Leighton Baines last month."

Put simply, Everton knew they had United stuck, and Everton extracted maximum value from the defending Premier League champions in the deal. United could not afford to have this transfer period end without making a) one huge signing and b) an upgrade in the midfield. In Fellaini, United got both.

Good thing, too, because United three-putted from 10 feet on their botched move for Atletico Bilbao midfielder Ander Herrera, per Mark Ogden and Chris Bascombe of The Telegraph.

Unbelievably, Fellaini's move to United was the second-biggest Premier League news of the summer transfer period.

Arsenal—not a misprintdropped £42.5 million on Real Madrid midfielder Mesut Ozil, according to David Hytner of The Guardian.

That is about £40 million more than anyone thought Arsenal would part with in this window. Funny what a lone North London derby win (at home, no less) will do. 

The close of the summer transfer window thus leaves City fans feeling a bit left out of the party.

It bears remembering, though, that by the time Fellaini has sorted himself out at United and Ozil is bedded in at Arsenal, it will be October in the Premier League.

Credit United and Arsenal for making two big signings.

Credit City for getting theirs first, saving the last-minute scrambling for less-organized organizations.