World Football: Ranking the 10 Biggest Deals on Transfer Deadline Day
It certainly was a hectic, and fun-filled, transfer day in football as the last scramble for new players until January contained more than its fair share of twists and turns.
With more than a few moves that went right down to the wire, here are the 10 biggest deals that went down on the last day before the transfer window slammed shut.
10: Nicklas Bendtner to Juventus on Loan
Italian champions Juventus threw Bendtner a last-minute life vest, allowing him to escape Arsenal, yet again on loan (via BBC).
Bendtner, who was on loan last season with Sunderland, has never been able, or arguably given the chance, to be at his best with the Gunners.
9: Esteban Granero to QPR
Granero, who struggled to find playing time for Real Madrid, completed his move to QPR relatively early on the final day of the window (via ESPN Soccernet).
Granero, a Spanish youth international, will likely see much more time with QPR and have a chance to flourish.
8: Michael Essien to Real Madrid on Loan
This deal was one that seemed shocking at first, but with some reflection, makes sense (from ESPN Soccernet).
Essien, who only started 10 league games for Chelsea last season, is 29 years old, not a regular first-teamer and has not been the same player since injuring his ACL in 2008.
The injury has required multiple surgeries and Essien, who was once the cog of the Chelsea midfield, has only played one full season in the last four.
Going to Madrid is a no-lose situation for Chelsea. Essien is reunited with Jose Mourinho, who was always able to get the best out of Essien. If Mourinho can get Essien’s career back on track, it works out great for Chelsea as Essien returns a rejuvenated player.
If Mourinho can’t get Essien back to form, it is no great loss for Chelsea, who have been dealing without having Essien for the past few seasons.
7: Maicon to Manchester City
This one seemed to be a bit of a head-scratcher as it happened, as City sold defensive midfielder Nigel de Jong earlier in the day and then signed Maicon, an outside back (h/t CNN).
Even though de Jong wasn’t in the starting XI for City that often last season, he is a proven quantity and, at 27, still relatively young for a player at his position.
Maicon, on the other hand, has looked to be past his best and, at 31, may be set up for a season of getting torched by the speedy wingers of the EPL much like he did so famously two years ago in the Champions League by Gareth Bale.
6: Javi Garcia to Manchester City
Early on the transfer deadline day, City somewhat surprisingly sold Nigel de Jong and then signed Maicon in a move that was not like-for-like.
While City still had Gareth Barry and Yaya Toure to fill its holding midfielder responsibilities, Toure has been playing well as an attacking midfielder and Barry has had some recent injury problems.
However, very late in the day, so late it hasn’t even appeared on some “official” transfer lists, Manchester City announced (via Manchester City website) that they had signed Spanish international and holding midfielder Javi Garcia.
5: Dimitar Berbatov to Fulham
Having lost Moussa Dembele and realizing they were likely to lose Clint Dempsey as well, Fulham made a smart, and relatively cheap, move to bring Berbatov to Craven Cottage (from CNN).
Even though Berbatov is 31 and has never been the most fleet-of-foot striker, he was the EPL’s Golden Boot winner just two years ago when he scored 20 goals for Manchester United in the 2010-2011 campaign.
Surplus to United’s needs this season with Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and Chicharito ahead of him in the pecking order, this move makes sense for all sides involved.
4: Hugo Lloris to Tottenham
In a bit of transfer day drama, French national team captain Hugo Lloris was sold to Tottenham (per CNN). Part of Tottenham’s big moves on the last day of the window, Lloris is only 25 years old, but already considered one of the top goalkeepers in the world.
Lloris has also been named Ligue 1’s Goalkeeper of the Year twice.
While there is no doubt this is a big move, it was a surprise one as Tottenham already have a top-notch goalkeeper in Brad Friedel. Let the battle ensue.
3: Edison Cavani Re-Signing with Napoli
Cavani, one of the hottest strikers in Europe, was part of one of the more dramatic non-moves on transfer deadline day.
At a press conference held today, Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis began with “At times marriages come to an end. Unfortunately Edi wants to go to England, to that cold city of Manchester, and there's a plane ready to take him there.”
However, Cavani himself quickly gave away the gag, as he was laughing through the statement.
The press conference was actually being held to announce that Cavani has signed a new five-year contract with the club which reportedly contains a 60 million Euro buyout clause (via the Daily Mail). That clause makes it very likely Napoli will be able to hold on to Cavani for years to come.
2: Rafael van der Vaart to Hamburg
In another bit of a last-day surprise, Tottenham agreed to sell Rafael van der Vaart to Bundesliga side Hamburg (via CNN).
Last season, van der Vaart played in 33 of Spurs' 38 EPL games, helping to lead Tottenham to a top-four finish. That finish would have been good enough for Spurs to be playing in the Champions League this season had Chelsea not semi-miraculously won the competition, which effectively knocked Tottenham out.
This is a risky move for Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas. With the loss of Luka Modric and van der Vaart, Tottenham may struggle in the midfield to hold the ball and create the opportunities needed for positive results.
1: Clint Dempsey to Tottenham
Coming into today, few had predicted Dempsey could have gone to Tottenham, but on deadline day, anything can happen.
This move is a big deal for a number of reasons (h/t CNN).
First, it was such a long-lasting saga. Over the summer, Dempsey was repeatedly linked with a move to Liverpool, but no deal happened.
Then, Dempsey and Fulham had a falling out as the club claimed Dempsey was refusing to play and Dempsey took to Twitter to defend himself.
Then, even late into the last hours of the transfer window, Liverpool was still playing games over the transfer fee before Tottenham swooped in.
The second reason this is such a big move is that Liverpool looks to have egg on its face. After reportedly tapping up Dempsey, Liverpool waited until the last day of the transfer window before making a move for Dempsey.
And that move only came after Liverpool got rid of forward Andy Carroll on loan to West Ham and Charlie Adam to Stoke City. Now, Liverpool heads into the season having only one proven striker in Luis Suarez.
If results don’t go Liverpool’s way this season, look for a fan revolt at Anfield over their poor transfer moves from today.
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