EPL Transfers: The 10 Biggest Winners on Deadline Day
Last night saw the end of the summer transfer window, and, like always, there were many dramatic last-minute signings across the Premier League.
Following their 8-2 defeat to Manchester United on Sunday, Arsenal were the busiest team yesterday, completing four signings, including the pictured Mikel Arteta, as they look to retain their place in the Top Four despite a horrific start to the season.
Manchester United were quiet and didn't complete any signings on the final day, as their transactions were completed in June and July.
A day later, it is clear that some teams and players will be happy with the business completed yesterday, and this slideshow presents ten 'winners', both players and teams, who should consider themselves happy with yesterday's actions.
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Following one of the worst days in recent Arsenal history on Sunday, manager Arsene Wenger began to finally spend money in the transfer market, and his purchases could well save his season.
The fact that Arsenal conceded eight against Manchester United forced Wenger into making some much-needed defensive reinforcements yesterday.
The signing of Per Mertesacker appears to be exactly what they need, a 6'6'' Center-Half to help defend set-plays who also provides experience in a dangerously inexperienced back-line, which has seen teenagers Ignasi Miquel and Carl Jenkinson already called upon to play at Center-Back at some time this season.
The signing of Andre Santos could also prove to be successful, although only time will tell as to whether he can adapt to the Premier League having been fairly successful at Fenerbahce and broken into the Brazilian team.
However, the most exciting transfers seem to be the additions to the midfield, with Mikel Arteta (more about him later) and Yossi Benayoun joining. The pair give Arsenal some creativity in midfield, something that they were lacking following the departure of Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas.
These signings could well save Arsene Wenger, after he has been under pressure all summer and especially so after the defeat on Sunday.
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Craig Bellamy finally managed to leave Manchester City yesterday, and signed for the best possible club by joining his former team, Liverpool.
Bellamy has been one of the victims of City's increased spending under Roberto Mancini, after playing well under Mark Hughes, who Bellamy had previously played under at Blackburn and with the Welsh national team.
Because Mancini placed more faith in the likes of Mario Balotelli, Carlos Tevez, Edin Dzeko and summer signing Sergio Aguero, it was clear that Bellamy would have to look elsewhere for first-team football.
After going on loan to Championship side Cardiff last season, where he nearly helped his hometown club to the Premier League, he joined Liverpool yesterday on a permanent basis.
The move is perfect for him because it means that Bellamy has another shot at Champions League football under a fast improving Liverpool team, something that teams like Stoke City and QPR, who were both looking to sign the Welshman, couldn't offer him.
Plus, it gives the 32-year-old one last opportunity to play at a top Premier League side.
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The best thing that Manchester United could've done yesterday was to stay quiet on deadline day, which is exactly what they did.
Despite all of their major rivals making deals on the final day, United wisely stayed silent, as they already possess a squad with enough talent to win the league and compete in Europe once again.
Wesley Sneijder has been linked with a move to United in the summer ever since Paul Scholes announced his retirement in May, but United chose against buying the Dutchman, which should prove to be a wise decision in the future.
Buying Sneijder would've been harsh on the likes of Tom Cleverley and Anderson, who have both been exceptional so far this season.
I feel that United made all of their necessary signings earlier in the summer.
Buying Phil Jones from Blackburn gives United more depth at Center-Back and a future leader of the defense, while Ashley Young gives them another threatening player on the wing, and although the jury is still out on David De Gea, he still has the potential to fill the goalkeeping position vacated by Edwin van der Sar.
No panic buys were needed at Old Trafford, and praise should go to Sir Alex Ferguson for staying quiet yesterday.
Queens Park Rangers
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One of the promoted teams who, judging by their performance in the first three games of the season, could struggle, have given themselves every chance of staying up after a deadline day that saw them add to the signings of Joey Barton and Luke Young, which were both made over the weekend.
The most impressive of these signings was Shaun Wright-Phillips, who spent a combined total of almost ten years at Manchester City with a spell at Chelsea in between, and therefore brings Premier League experience to a team that severely lacks any. Despite only starting two games for Manchester City he, just like Craig Bellamy, can still bring quality to his new team, despite being cast out at Eastlands.
The signing of Anton Ferdinand, although he isn't exactly as good a defender as his brother, and may not even break into the first team immediately, can at the very least provide depth in defense, as he can play as a fullback as well as his preferred Center-Back position.
These are two signings who, as well as Barton and Young, give QPR more strength in midfield and defense, which could just see them towards safety.
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It is hard to believe that, after Scott Parker's performances last season, he could've spent this season in the Championship.
But, the winner of the Football Writer's Player of the Season award moved to Tottenham yesterday, and there is no doubt that he deserves to play in the Premier League.
His performances last season earned him a call up to the England team for the first time since 2006, and it would be difficult for Parker to remain in contention for an England place with Euro 2012 coming up if he remained in the second tier.
Although Parker is joining from a club in a lower division, he could be key for Tottenham this season as Spurs are somewhat short of midfielders after losing Jermaine Jenas, Wilson Palacios and Jamie O'Hara in the summer, and could well play as a holding midfielder alongside Luka Modric and behind Rafael van der Vaart.
Even if this isn't what Redknapp has in mind, it is clear that Parker will play a role this season as Spurs look to return to the Champions League, and the fact that he is competing for the Top Six rather than promotion makes him a winner on deadline day.
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In perhaps the most surprising transfer completed on deadline day, Owen Hargreaves completed a move to Manchester City, despite his worrying injury record, which has meant that he has played just four times in the past three seasons.
But, the 30-year-old has been given another opportunity at Manchester City, who have taken a chance on a player who, on his day, has proved to be one of the nation's top central midfielders.
Hargreaves was offered a contract at West Brom in the summer, but refused on the basis that he could get an offer from a bigger club, which he now has, with the opportunity of Champions League football, and the chance to compete for the title once again, rightly proving too good to turn down.
It will of course be difficult to break into a team that boasts so much talent in midfield, but Hargreaves will be willing to fight for his place, having spent most of the past four years at Manchester United trying to gain match fitness.
For the opportunity given to Hargreaves, he was definitely a winner yesterday.
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Over the past few seasons, Stoke have done a decent job in the Premier League, staying clear of relegation trouble and slowly but surely growing as a football club, shown by the fact that they managed to reach the FA Cup final and qualify for the Europa League, both are firsts for the midlands side.
But to really challenge the Top 10, where they are aiming for in their fourth season in the top flight, they needed to create a dangerous attacking force to push them into the top half of the league, which the signings of Cameron Jerome and Peter Crouch yesterday helped them do.
It means that Jerome, Crouch, Kenwyne Jones and Jonathan Walters will all compete for starting places up front, which means that Stoke have a physical presence up front and could put pressure on weak defenses and smaller teams. Combined with the fine delivery that will be provided by Matthew Etherington and Jermaine Pennant on the wings, and of course those long Rory Delap throw-ins, the new strike force will have every opportunity to shine.
Stoke also brought in Wilson Palacios yesterday, which gives them another quality player in midfield. Having dropped out of contention at Tottenham after they qualified for the Champions League in the 2010-11 season, Palacios has a lot to prove and has shown at Tottenham, Wigan and Birmingham that he can be one of the better holding midfielders in the division.
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One of the most underated Premier League players in recent years, Mikel Arteta now has the opportunity to shine at one of the top sides in the country.
Arteta, a central midfielder who has become more of an attack-minded player and a playmaker since joining Everton from Real Sociedad in 2005, could be a fine playmaker at Arsenal, who lost two in the form of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri earlier in the summer.
At 29 years of age, Arteta will be one of the oldest players on the Arsenal team and could provide valuable experience for a team that severely lacks any, shown by the fact that six of Arsenal's starting eleven against Manchester United on Sunday were 22 years old or younger.
Although Arteta is by no means as good a footballer as Cesc Fabregas, he is still a quality player who could be a key playmaker as Arsenal look to retain their place in the Top Four, as long as he can stay clear of injury.
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Often labelled as one of the major reasons for Arsenal's failure to win trophies in the past few seasons, Nicolas Bendtner has found an escape route from the Emirates via a loan deal to Sunderland.
This is a good move for Bendtner for a few reasons.
Firstly, he will be keen to prove his potential at a club where he will probably get more playing time at Steve Bruce's side, and stands a better chance to fulfill his potential, which we have seen at points in his career in North London, most notably his hat-trick against Porto in the Champions League in 2010.
The fact that the deal is a loan also benefits Bendtner, as he won't be under the pressure that a hefty transfer fee often puts on a player.
Bendtner, a player known for being confident, has the opportunity to prove that he can meet his own expectations in the North-East.
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Despite not making any of the headlines that some of the transfers by Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City made over the past few days, Bolton did well yesterday.
They brought in David N'Gog from Liverpool, Gael Kakuta from Chelsea on loan, and most notably kept Gar Cahill, despite interest from the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham over the summer.
Signing N'Gog for a fee reported to be about £4 million could be risky considering that he mainly featured from the bench throughout his time at Liverpool, but could still prove to be a worthwhile investment if he can link up with Kevin Davies and Ivan Klasnic.
Gael Kakuta could be a good signing, even if he has only signed on loan for the rest of the calendar year. He has shown potential during his rare appearances at Chelsea and during a brief loan spell at Fulham last season, and gives Bolton another option on the wing, which could be key considering that Lee Chung-Yong broke his leg in July.
Keeping Gary Cahill could also be crucial, but don't be surprised to see him leave in January, as his contract runs out next summer and Bolton won't want to risk him leaving on a free.