Carlton Cole to Liverpool; Mark Schwarzer to Arsenal; Ryan Babel in a helicopter heading for West Ham or Spurs….transfer deadline day at times promised so much, but in typical fashion delivered precious little in terms of genuine excitement for Premier League fans.
Instead, we were left to mull over Sunderland smashing their transfer record for a striker who is best known for skying a penalty in the 120th minute of a World Cup quarter final, Jermaine Pennant’s return from his Spanish adventure, and Harry Redknapp’s latest attempt to dispell the common perception that he’s a wheeler dealer.
The biggest news of the day came from Serie A where Robinho jetted in to complete his move from Manchester City for a reported fee of £18 million plus add ons. It was almost two years ago to the day that the Brazilian headed for Eastlands on what was arguably the most exciting deadline day to date.
Robinho, who will wear the number 70 shirt for the Rosseneri, was all smiles as he tends to be when joining a new club, and promised to give his all for the cause. “I hope to satisfy all the Milan fans, I’ll train hard to make it happen,” he said. “I want to make them all happy.” He will join fellow new recruit Zlatan Ibrahimovic and international colleagues Ronaldinho and Alexander Pato to form, potentially, one of the most exciting forward lines in the world. The deal was only able to take place however once Marco Borriello had left for Roma in a deal worth £1.6 million for a season-long loan with a view to a £13 million permanent move next summer.
Back on UK soil, Spurs have yet to complete the signing of Real Madrid’s Rafael Van der Vaart at the time of writing, and they may not at all with reports that the necessary paperwork was not submitted in time. One deal that did go through at White Hart Lane was the loan signing of Croation goalkeeper Stipe Petiklosa who will act as cover for Heurelho Gomes.
Sunderland smashed their transfer record to swoop for Ghanaian international Asamoah Gyan for a fee believed to be in the region of £13 million. The 24 year old has signed a four year deal at the Stadium of Light and replaces Kenwyne Jones who joined Stoke City in the summer.
Speaking of Stoke, they were quite busy themselves, picking up Marc Wilson from Portsmouth, Eidur Gudjohnsen from Monaco, and Jermaine Pennant from Real Zaragoza. The latter two are loan deals, while striker Dave Kitson and midfielder Liam Lawrence left for Pompey as part of the Wilson deal.
Birmingham City look to have been the real winners from yesterday, picking up three solid signings in the shape of former Arsenal man Alexander Hleb on loan from Barcelona, Chilean international midfielder Jean Beausejour, and defender Martin Jiranek from Spartak Moscow.
It was a case of one in, one out for Liverpool in terms of left backs as Paul Konchesky completed his move from Fulham and Emiliano Insua headed for Galatasary on loan until the end of the season. Wigan snapped up Franco Di Santo from Chelsea on a three year deal and highly rated Manchester United winger Tom Cleverley on loan, while DJ Campbell has joined Blackpool.
Three players leaving England temporarily are Everton’s Joseph Yobo, Manchester City’s Felipe Caicedo and Arsenal’s Armand Traore who have joined Fenerbahce, Levante and Juventus respectively.
Other notable deals on the continent included Mikael Silvestre joining Werder Bremen, Jose Manuel Jurado swapping Atletico Madrid for Schalke where he will be a team mate of Klass-Jan Huntelaar, and 2006 World Cup winner Mauro Camoranesi leaving Juventus to sign a one year deal with Stuttgart.
Fax machines around Europe struggled under the weight of expection as the clock ticked over to the closure of the window, and my 17 hour stint of transfer action finally came to a close.
Was it worth it? Definitely not. Will I do it again come January? Absolutely.