Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughDeadline Day Report - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Deadline Day Report - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Deadline Day Report

After a relatively dormant transfer window this January, we were looking for some big movements on the classic ‘final day.’

Unsurprisingly, we have seen the teams who are struggling – or under threat – spend most of the money.

We’ve witnessed Mark Hughes’ QPR sign eccentric French frontman Djibril Cissé and Fulham-favourite Bobby Zamora.

There was some interesting gossip that Liverpool were attempting to hijack the Cisse deal and bring the 30 year-old back to Anfield for the second time, but that fairy tale never materialised and the striker has moved to London, hoping to keep Rangers in the Premier League.

West Bromwich Albion have signed the influential defender Liam Ridgewell from their Birmingham neighbours, meaning that the 27 year old has now played for 3 of the 4 big midland teams – with only Wolves to call on next. Although the Blues were relegated last season, Ridgewell is a proven Premier League player and captain, and will certainly sure up the Baggies recently leaky defence.

Everton have captured Nikica Jelavić from Rangers on a 4-and a half year deal, costing £5.5m. The striker has been in terrific form this season with a total of 17 goals in 22 matches – some of them being beauties. He could be an effective recruit if he makes the step up to the Premier League, and could give Everton the goals that they have been so desperately lacking so far this season.

They have also welcomed back an old favourite on loan, South-African midfielder Steven Pienaar. He will add a touch of class to their otherwise strong midfield and take some pressure off the likes of Tim Cahill and Jack Rodwell. It seems that Moyes has done well at the very last minute.

While the sale of Bobby Z to QPR may have surprised many Fulham fans, they will welcome the signing of Russian striker Pavel Pogrebnyak. Often a starter for the Russian national team, the 28 year old has got World Cup experience, but has unfortunately only scored 1 goal in 16 performances so far this season. He has shown the quality before, and hopefully The Cottagers will see it soon to help steer them away from trouble. 

Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill has taken a risk with Manchester City veteran left-back Wayne Bridge, who had a nightmare for West Ham last season, but has got plenty of experience and knows that this loan spell may be his last chance to shine at the top level.

It was a frustrating day for strugglers Bolton Wanderers, who missed out on their main man Wilfried Zaha. The 19 year old has been instrumental this season, and Palace held firm on their valuation – rejecting the Potters’ £5m bid. They did manage to acquire young Marvin Sordell from Watford in a £3m deal. The striker has scored 10 goals so far this season, but few Bolton fans will be overly excited by this addition to the squad.

Blackburn Rovers have also acquired Martin Olsson’s twin brother Marcus, in one of the more stranger deals of the day.

The top clubs have also dipped their hands into their pockets, albeit frugally.

Chelsea have snapped up Belgian wonderkid Kevin de Bruyne, although the player has admitted that he will probably go on loan next season so we shouldn’t expect to see him ripping up the Premier League anytime soon.

Spurs made one of the more unforeseen approaches this January, with a move for injury-prone and out-of-form striker Louis Saha. The deal is a loan for the rest of the season, with the option to extend the deal with a 1-year contract afterwards. The Frenchman has struggled so far this season, but we must remember that the service he is getting at Everton is not quite of the quality he will receive at Tottenham. Of course, time will tell whether Harry has misjudged this one, but Saha will probably not start too many games and will be looking to make an impact off the bench to begin with. Who knows, a change of environment and a move back to London might bring out the best in the formally prolific striker. 

Tottenham have let Sebastian Bassong disappear on loan to Wolves, which could be a superb signing for Mick McCarthy at the midlands club. In a deal that has been on the cards for a while, Harry Redknapp has also allowed striker Pavlyuchenko to leave, and is currently in discussions with Lokomotiv Moscow. The Russian window doesn’t close for a few weeks so there is no rush to finalise it before England’s deadline.

Manchester United have offloaded their highly-rated youngster Ravel Morrison on West Ham – in a deal that has surprised a few United fans. Only time will tell if Fergie has made a mistake and got rid of a gem there.

Manchester City have looked to bolster their already bulging midfield with the capture of 32 year old Chilean David Pizarro. Undoubtedly a proven talent, but should Mancini rather be focusing on his defence? The young Savić has looked nothing short of a disaster in his brief stint replacing captain Kompany at the back, and many City fans would rather not see him on the pitch again anytime soon.

It seems that want-away Argentine Carlos Tevez is set to stay at City for the duration of the season, and it is a huge surprise that he did not find a new club this January. Mancini wants to get rid of the striker once and for all, and doesn’t want the uncertainty that would hover over a loan.

In summary, we haven’t seen anywhere near the scale of spending that we have in previous years. Reportedly, the total amount spent is close to £55m, in contrast to over £220m last January. Perhaps clubs are feeling the pinch or perhaps the ‘financial fair play rule’ is beginning to have effect. The distraction of Premier League matches on the night of the deadline cannot have helped either – with Wigan’s Roberto Mantinez complaining about this specifically with regards to prospective deals surrounding Hugo Rodallega.

Loans have become more and more common, especially in January, and this definitely reduces the ‘risk factor’ – perhaps making it less exciting for the fans but a better idea for managers and players.

There have been some intriguing signings this January, and yesterday in particular. Perhaps not the world-class stars that we might hope for, but it will certainly be interesting to see how the new recruits affect their clubs and what effect it will have on the table.

Matthew Goolding

Football Friends bring you the latest Football News
and opinion from football fans around the world.