The Story of the Transfer Window – Part 2

by Bob Smith

Sneijder GalatasarySo the January transfer window of 2013 has come to an end and £127.8m has been spent. It wasn’t so frantic, however, plenty happened over the course of the month and the final part will take a look at all that went on, including the infamous ‘Deadline Day’.

There was a slight lull in events during mid-January as the window calmed down a bit. This was before Newcastle decided to raid France in order to turn around their season. They had been chasing Frenchman Loic Remy of Marseille and he looked destined for St. James’, however QPR swooped and offered mega-bucks, luring him to West London. This seemed to spark some rage as they went on the offensive, signing a further four French players, on top of Debuchy in a foreign raid. First up was Montpellier’s central defender, Mapou Yanga-M’Biwa for a fee believed to be around £6.7m. The big man was to be just the first player to cross the channel for football in the upcoming days.

In between all this was the move of Dutch playmaker Wesley Sneijder. The midfield maestro had fallen out with Inter Milan months ago and hadn’t really featured this season, leading to him wanting a move away from the club. The club he chose was Turkish giants, Galatasaray and they managed to pick him up for an incredible £8.4m! This was an absolute coup in my opinion for a world class player who was one of the only players who performed for the Netherland at EURO 2012. Many football fans were disappointed that he chose to go to Turkey as they wanted a chance to see him in the Premier League. For some time it had seemed like that might just happen after he was linked with Liverpool, however it just wasn’t to be.

The next part to Pardew’s master plan involved bringing in Yoan Gouffran from Bordeaux, he was the third Frenchman to join in the window on the 23rd January. The next day he was joined by Massadio Haidara from French club Nancy for an undisclosed fee. Haidara had bee linked with a number of Premier League clubs including West Ham but he chose Newcastle, a decision perhaps influenced by his French companions already at the club. This move happened on the same day that long time QPR, Arsenal and Tottenham target Yann M’Vila finally left Rennes. However, it was not for any of those clubs, he decided to go to Russian outfit Rubin Kazan for a fee rumoured to be around £9.6m. Another part of the Russian jigsaw as their league continues to attract an influx of stars to join them as it grows.

The 25th January was a rather busy day and involved a move for an exciting young player from the Championship joining the Premier League leaders. Wilfried Zaha had lots of clubs chasing him throughout January but eventually he struck a deal for him to join Manchester United. After recently making his England debut, the Crystal Palace gem joined the Red Devils for around £15m. However, the deal also involved Zaha going back on loan to Crystal Palace for the remainer of the season, so we’ll have to wait a little while yet to see him playing in a Man United shirt. This was also the day that completed Newcastle’s French swoop as they picked up midfielder Moussa Sissoko from Toulouse for an undisclosed fee. Sissoko went on to impress in his debut for the Magpies in a win at Villa Park. Another notable move was made by Diego Lopez as he moved from Sevilla to Spanish giants, Real Madrid. In my opinion this was another indication that Iker Casillas’ time as Real Madrid number one was coming to an end. Lopez is a top class shot-stopper and £3.8m was some good business by Madrid, perhaps he will be the replacement for the long-standing legend that is Casillas.

The days leading up to deadline day itself were rather quiet with only 2 deals of note. Lewis Holtby joined Tottenham with immediate effect after the clubs had agreed a deal for him to join in the Summer but Spurs couldn’t wait and decided to bring the move forward. The German midfielder cost just £1.5m, many think this will be good value for money. On 30th January, Liverpool splashed the cash again in brining in Brazilian midfielder Phillipe Coutinho. They paid around £8.5m for the youngster and many are tipping him as a player for the future.

Deadline day arrived and so did all the normal crazy antics with players being rumoured to join one club whilst signing for another. Aston Villa did their business fairly early, bringing in Yacouba Sylla, many think this was a foolish move as it has been long said they are a team that needs experience and Sylla is just 22. Stoke signed young American Brek Shea eventually as they seemed to spend ages trying to negotiate a work permit, he is a promising young talent so keep your eye on him! Paul Scharner rejoined old club Wigan on loan and hours lates was pictured in a fur coat and a Wigan hat in ASDA, deadline day at it’s best! The first major deal to happen involved QPR as they signed former Blackburn man Chris Samba. The powerhouse joined from Anzhi for a fee of around £12.5m, a risky buy from a club in a poor position who will be in huge trouble financially if they don’t beat the drop. Another deal that raised a few eyebrows was the swap deal between Norwich and Leeds. It had been well publicised that Leeds hero Becchio had handed in a transfer request and as it happened, he got his wish as Norwich City signed him in exchange for Steve Morrison going the other way.

QPR were again in the headlines as they signed Jermaine Jenas, however that wasn’t the whole story as he turned up at Loftus Road only to be locked out! Eventually they did let him in but he was left red-faced in front of the cameras. Sunderland signed Swansea man Danny Graham for £5m, surprising move by the forward after he was booed when playing for Swansea at Sunderland in the week! Stoke completed their dealing for the window with the signing of promising young Birmingham goalkeeper, Jack Butland. They grabbed the 6 foot 4 keeper for just £3.5m, although the deal involved him going back to Birmingham for the remained of the season so similar to Zaha, we won’t see him playing for his new club for a while. Arsenal surprised many by forking out a fee believed to be between £8m-£10m for Spanish internnational left-back Nacho Monreal. They were desperate for some cover in that position as Keiron Gibbs recently tore his hamstring and unsurprisingly, they’re reluctant to play the rather unpredictable Andre Santos. Perhaps the biggest deal of the day was that of former England captain, David Beckham who joined PSG on a five month loan deal. He claimed that he would donate his wages to a French children’s charity, a nice gesture, however one that is all too rare in football with the millions that float around in my opinion.

Finally, the story that got everyone laughing was one that didn’t actually result in a transfer. West Brom striker Peter Odemwingie had stated on his twitter that he wanted to leave the club and had been linked with QPR. The Sky Sports cameras picked him up at Loftus Road and interviewed him where he seemed to be pretty certain that QPR would be his next club. However, it turned out that West Brom had not actually given him permission to go there and QPR would not let him in! Embarrassing doesn’t quite cover it for the Nigerian!

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