Top 10 Deadline Day Moves

It only comes round twice a year and it’s always far more exciting than Christmas. Christians have Easter, children have birthdays, but for us football fans, the most important dates on our calendars are August 31 and January 31. Yes, it’s transfer deadline day. Prepare yourselves for a day of endless rumours of who goes where. Has Michael Owen been spotted in a Brighton supermarket? Did Fernando Torres really check into that Liverpool estate agent? And surely that wasn’t Lionel Messi in the dark sunglasses making his way through Leeds/Bradford Airport with a load of LUFC officials in tow. Either way, put your work on hold, pop on Sky Sports News and settle down for the day. But not before you’ve enjoyed The Coin Toss’s Top 10 Deadline Day moves.

  • Rafael van der Vaart, August 2010 – This one had everything. Tottenham transfer activity on the final day of the window. A close call as to whether the paperwork had been completed in time to seal the move. And it was a star player brought to the Premier League for a bargain price as well. Spurs sealed a last gasp £8 million move for the Dutch international midfielder, a move that was left late as Rafa’s proposed switch to Bayern Munich fell through the day before. Still, Tottenham and Real Madrid thrashed out a deal with two hours to spare and Spurs made a world class acquisition to aid their Champions League campaign.
  • Robinho, August 2008 – The deal that announced Manchester City as real contenders on the European stage. Following theAbu Dhabi United Group’s takeover earlier that day, manager Mark Hughes was given an infinite amount of cash to spend on deadline day. He gave a perfect demonstration of City’s new found wealth, snapping up Brazilian superstar Robinho from Real Madrid for £32.5 million. Although rumour has it Robinho thought he was signing for Chelsea, a deal was completed just before midnight and City had their marquee man. Unfortunately it didn’t turn out to be a match made in heaven asRobinho struggled to adapt to the Premier League, but it could have been worse as City were also chasing the man below…
  • Dimitar Berbatov, August 2008 – This was an ongoing transfer saga throughout the summer, as Tottenham reported Manchester United for breaking league rules by unsettling the player after admitting their interest. A deal looked unlikely and when Manchester City had a bid accepted for the Bulgarian hitman, the striker headed north for contract talks. However, Sir Alex craftily whisked him away in a taxi from the airport and swooped with a late move, breaking the club’s transfer record with a bid of £30.75 million. If only he’d known…
  • Carlos Tevez/Javier Mascherano, August 2006 – One of the more bizarre moves to be completed on deadline day, but West Ham fans couldn’t believe their luck when two Argentinean internationals landed at Upton Park in 2006. Neither could Alan Pardew, who had been offered the players as a result of third party ownership, a move that ended up with the Hammers lucky to avoid a points deduction after irregularities were found in the transfer. Mascherano had little effect and soon left for Liverpool, but Carlos Tevez’s goals proved priceless in their fight against relegation, keeping the club up on the final day with a goal against Manchester United.
  • Andrei Arshavin, January 2009 – Whatever Arsenal fans think of the Russian now, they cannot escape the excitement that surrounded his deadline day move from Zenit Saint Petersburg. The deal was on/off for most of the window and Arshavin in fact departed his London hotel on deadline day morning with the intention of going home. However, Arsene Wenger finally met Zenit’s asking price with two hours of the window left and after complications due to compensation payments from the player himself and poor weather conditions in England, the move wasn’t actually completed until 24 hours later. It was all worth it though, as the midfield maestro soon marked his arrival in the Premier League with a four goal salvo against Liverpool.
  • Robbie Keane, January 2009, January 2010 – Keane has to be included in this list for two moves on deadline day, although this isn’t difficult as the Irish striker has had more clubs than Tiger Woods. Firstly, Keane rejoined Spurs for £12 million after a disappointing spell at Liverpool, but his second spell at White Hart Lane didn’t last that long either, as the next January, Keane joined Celtic on loan after falling down the pecking order in manager Harry Redknapp’s plans. The forward in fact almost made it onto this list on four occasions, indeed his move from Leeds United to Spurs in 2002 was two days before deadline day and his move last year on loan to West Ham was also completed just a day before the window shut. Shame he went to Villa early this season.
  • Ashley Cole/William Gallas, August 2006 – Another deadline day move that sent shockwaves around the country. Colepublicly fell out with the Arsenal board after Chelsea tapped up the England international the previous season. The left back made it quite clear he wanted to make the switch across London, especially given the size of the contract on the table. The two clubs couldn’t agree a few however, and with directors still locked in a bitter dispute, a deal looked unlikely. However, William Gallas’s falling out with Mourinho over playing out of position at left-back at Chelsea paved the way for a deal, as a figure of £5 million plus the Frenchman was agreed for Cole’s services. And so the legend of ‘Cashley’ Cole was born into existence.
  • Marouane Fellaini – It’s not often Everton spend big, so this deal for the Belgian midfielder is well worth including in the list. David Moyes is never allowed a free reign on the chequebook, but he somehow persuaded Chairman Bill Kenwright to part with £15 million to sign the man with the giant afro. The record signing from Standard Liege had been attracting interest from Europe’s biggest teams and therefore the Toffees pulled off a massive coup bringing him to Goodison Park. Fellainihasn’t disappointed either, displaying a level of tenacity and skill in the middle of the park that has seen the big boys sniffing around him again.
  • Fernando Torres/Luis Suarez/Andy Carroll, January 2011 – How could you forget the striker switch-around that occurred on the last day on January the previous year? The Suarez deal had been in the pipeline for some time, but wasn’t officially completed until Liverpool freed up some funds, funds that eventually came from the sale of Fernando Torres. Having handed in a transfer request two days before, following an earlier bid rejection from Chelsea, the Spaniard completed his move early in the day for £50 million. This then prompted Kenny Dalglish to go and find a new striker, which unfortunately led him to Andy Carroll. He made the Newcastle centre-forward the most expensive British player of all time at £35 million, swooping on deadline day to the astonishment of the footballing world. Anger on Tyneside soon turned to amazement as they made a ridiculous profit on a man who had scored just 11 Premier League goals in his entire career. It is unlikely the Premiership will ever see another deadline day like this one.
  • Wayne Rooney, August 2004 – It’s easy to forget that Manchester United brought Rooney in from Everton way back in 2004 now the striker has been at the club so long. In fact, they completed the deal on deadline day for a fee of £27 million after the young forward produced some sensational performances at Euro 2004. United only revealed their interest after Newcastle had a bid accepted for Rooney, but England’s talisman chose to head to Old Trafford instead of joining the ToonArmy. The rest, they say, is history. 

Tom Mordey @ The_CoinToss