Image from liverpoolfc.com
Transfer deadline day always throws up some surprises, a number of bargains and a few absolute rip-offs.
It's a bit like panic shopping on Christmas Eve. You've got to go home with something, anything, to keep people happy—you end up paying well over the odds for a coveted item that was much cheaper a month ago (Marouane Fellaini), you try for something reliable and hope it's well received (Gareth Barry) and you splurge on one big gift that you think might, just might, be worth it (Mesut Ozil).
One big difference—you can't return the players within 30 days if they turn out to be a terrible mistake.
In a window that saw spending upwards of £670 million in the Premier League alone, a total of £140 million was spent on deadline day.
Some clubs did some very shrewd business, while others, like Manchester United, had a bewildering day of trading.
Over the following slides we look at which teams got the best value for money on deadline day, focusing mostly on sides in the English top flight, where the majority of action happened.
Which player would you like to add to the list? Let us know in the comments below!
All transfer information sourced on Transfermarkt, unless otherwise indicated.
Stephane Sessegnon—A bargain for the Baggies?
Up until deadline day, West Bromwich Albion had not parted ways with any cash.
Many Sunderland fans were sad to see the back of Sessegnon. The former Le Mans and Paris Saint-Germain player having racked up 97 appearances, 18 goals and 20 assists for the Black Cats.
Anichebe's 26 goals in 167 senior appearances for the Toffees may not be the best strike rate in the top flight, but he could be the perfect fit for West Brom.
Between them, Anichebe and Sessegnon should add a lot more to the Hawthorns side, going forward. In West Brom's first three games of the 2013/14 season they have been sorely lacking—landing just four shots on target and yet to score a goal.
Steve Clarke's side will miss the presence of Romelu Lukaku this season, but Anichebe and Sessegnon will add a strong, physical and creative attacking element that the Baggies would otherwise be without.
The West Midlands club also welcomed Marseille midfielder Morgan Amalfitano on a season-long loan and goalkeeper Lee Camp moved on a free transfer to provide cover for Ben Foster.
WBA on deadline day:
In: Victor Anichebe (Everton, £6m), Stephane Sessegnon (Sunderland, £5.5m), Lee Camp (Norwich, free), Morgan Amalfitano (Marseille, loan)
Out: Peter Odemwingie (Cardiff City, £2.5m)
Kaka—Has returned to AC Milan.
The 31-year-old had his best years at Milan, where he won Serie A, the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup and numerous personal honours including FIFA World Player of the Year.
Hopefully the story won't follow the same script as that of Andriy Shevchenko, the former club hero who flopped upon his return to the Rossoneri.
The Brazilian hasn't played consistently over the last four years at Real Madrid, so it's hard to gauge what kind of impact he will have at Milan, if any.
But it's worth a try.
The move could rejuvenate him—the player is worshipped at San Siro, he will receive nothing but support and adulation from the stands and, if he can remain injury-free, he could play a part for the side this season.
Kaka told the Milan Channel (via the Independent):
It's been two weeks that I thought if I could come back, a return to Milan would be ideal for me.
In the last few days, I've been dreaming of hearing the fans sing my name in the San Siro again.
Financially, Kaka's return will have a big effect on Massimiliano Allegri's team and should not be underestimated. This is the player that, according to Eurosport's James Horncastle saw "season ticket sales at San Siro collapsed from 41,606 to 25,984, a fall of 37.5 percent" when he left the club in 2009.
A free transfer for such a decorated player still represents great value in the transfer market.
AC Milan on Deadline Day
In: Kaka (Free)
Brendan Rodgers—Bought well this summer.
Brendan Rodgers had a busy summer of signings. Deadline day was no different, with three new players arriving at the club.
Liverpool also saw Dani Pacheco and Fabio Borini leave Anfield on September 2, the former signing for AD Alcorcon and the latter joining Sunderland on loan.
In Tiago Ilori, the Reds have an exciting proposition for the future. Somewhat an unknown commodity, London-born Ilori is a Portugal U20 player who had a breakthrough season at Sporting Lisbon last season. He can play in central defence, as a defensive midfielder and is known for his speed, strength on the ball and his imposing 6'3" frame. Whether £7.2 million represents good value for Ilori remains to be seen.
However, Rodgers acquisition of Victor Moses from Chelsea is a fine piece of business. The 22-year-old has joined Liverpool on a season-long loan and is likely to be filling the gap that Stewart Downing left. Moses is an exceptionally fast, versatile player who can be deployed in any attacking position. Just like Daniel Sturridge, he is hungry to prove that he can cut it at a big Premier League side and may see that Liverpool provides the perfect stage.
Mamadou Sakho's arrival is also great value if his reputation is anything to go by.
Signed from Paris Saint-Germain, the imposing 23-year-old looks like the perfect candidate to partner Daniel Agger in central defence.
The Frenchman captained PSG at just 17 years of age and has been touted as a future captain of Les Bleus.
This report by Four Four Two said of the player:
Sakho grew to become one of France's best defenders. An absolute powerhouse at the back, with an immense physical frame, maturity beyond his years and a fierce aggression in all aspects of his defending.
He may not have an instant impact as he adapts to life in England, but I imagine that, in the future, Sakho may be seen as one of Rodgers' greatest buys.
Liverpool on Deadline Day
In: Mamadou Sakho (PSG, £16.7 million), Tiago Illori (Sporting Lisbon, £7.2 million), Victor Moses (Chelsea, loan)
Out: Dani Pacheco (AD Alcorcon, free), Fabio Borini (Sunderland, loan)
Deadline day deal—Everton's James McCarthy.
It's a little ironic that David Moyes' replacement, Roberto Martinez, had such a successful transfer window at Everton.
The Scot, whose purse strings were always tight at Goodison Park, had trouble finding new players to join him at Manchester United, whereas Martinez had one of Everton's best transfer periods in years— proving that you don't have to break the bank to add excellent players to your squad.
The best bits of business happened on deadline day.
Selling Marouane Fellaini for £27.5 million set the tone. Manchester United were bidding £28 million for both the Belgian and Leighton Baines just weeks ago, and the Red Devils paid over the odds to get their man on deadline day—his buyout clause having expired in July, as seen in the Guardian.
However, it's the players coming into the club that represent such great value.
Romelu Lukaku joined the Toffees on a season-long loan from Chelsea. Last season, the Belgian enjoyed incredible success for West Bromwich Albion, where he scored 17 Premier League goals.
Martinez also brought Gareth Barry in from Manchester City, where he was getting increasingly frozen out of the starting XI. Barry, at 31, is still a top player—he has a lot to give and a wealth of experience to add to the Everton squad. Barry's loan move to Everton was an inspired signing.
Central midfielder James McCarthy was Everton's most expensive signing. He joined the club for £13.4 million on deadline day. The 22-year-old played under Martinez at Wigan and is likely to be paired in a defensive role alongside Barry in midfield.
McCarthy is quicker than the Englishman, good with both feet and has years ahead of him. With so much potential, McCarthy is another great asset for the side.
Everton on Deadline Day
In: James McCarthy (Wigan, £13.4 million), Romelu Lukaku (Chelsea, loan), Gareth Barry (Man City, loan)
Out: Marouane Fellaini (Man United, £27.5 million), Victor Anichebe (West Brom, £5.1 million), Franciso Junior (Vitesse, loan)
Mesut Ozil—Arsenal's star signing.
And it was money well spent.
Ozil may be the most expensive player in this list, but he represents great value at almost any price.
Famously, the German is the midfielder with the highest number of assists across Europe over the last two years, tied only with Barcelona's Lionel Messi.
The 24-year-old makes a key pass every 22.1 minutes, makes 2.9 key passes a game and bagged nine goals and 13 assists in 23 La Liga appearances last season, according to Whoscored.com.
He won La Liga and the Copa del Rey with Real Madrid, where his sale prompted disbelief from his former teammates. Sergio Ramos and Sami Khedira have expressed their surprise at Ozil's exit, and Alvaro Arbeloa said he thought the move was a "joke," as seen on ESPN.co.uk.
Despite the club failing to sign a defensive midfielder and strengthen in central defence and up front, Ozil's addition to Arsene Wenger's side and to the Premier League is huge.
The purchase of the Germany international was an almighty coup, one that promises to change the face of Arsenal's season.
Arsenal on Deadline Day
In: Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid, £42.5 million), Emiliano Viviano (Palermo, loan)