As the window slammed shut across Europe and the majority of the world, clubs panic bought and finalized deals up and down the leagues, in some cases in the final minutes. Here is a look at the highlights from one of the most eventful deadline days in years:
David Beckham – Free Agent to Paris Saint Germain (FREE)
The former England captain had several weeks more to complete this deal, as he was unattached from a club, but both parties managed to give us some excitement. Beckham returns to European football with PSG, aged 37 on a five-month contract, and he’ll give all his wages to a Paris children’s charity. Mr Beckham, you are a legend.
Mario Balotelli – Manchester City to AC Milan (£19m)
This one had been in the makings for weeks, but Balotelli was finally confirmed as an AC Milan player in the early hours of deadline day morning. Balotelli returns to Italy after a three-season spell in England, where he made his name as one of the most charismatic and eventful players in Premier League history. Price tag is similar to that which Man City originally paid, but at 22 he still has a lot to give in his career.
Christopher Samba – Anzhi Makhachkala to Queens Park Rangers (£12.5m)
Harry Redknapp is known for dipping in the transfer market when required but this is surely a step too far. £12.5m for a decent defender, but I am not sure he is worth that much – or the reported £100,000 a week wages. Nevertheless, Samba is likely to sure up the weak QPR defense, and replace the now departed Ryan Nelsen.
Jack Butland – Birmingham City to Stoke City (£3.5m)
This is the bargain of the day, if not the window. One of England and Europe’s top upcoming goalkeepers finally signs for a Premier League team, for a deal that could rise to a mere £3.5m. David De Gea is believed to have cost Manchester United around £17m – I hope that puts this in to context. Butland has been recalled for England (vs Brazil) this month, but Stoke fans will have to wait until next season to see him in their shirt, with the 19-year old returning to Birmingham on loan.
Nacho Monreal – Malaga to Arsenal (£8.3m)
Arsenal fans were pleading for a new signing, and in the final hour they got one. Spanish 26-year old left back, Nacho Monreal signs on a 4 and half year deal from Malaga, as cover for the now injured Kieran Gibbs. However, Monreal won’t be able to play in the Champions League this season as he had already for Malaga.
Danny Graham – Swansea to Sunderland (£5m)
This one is reasonably big for the Premier League. Sunderland need another man to get them the goals, with Steven Fletcher heavily relied on this season. Reports were coming in early in the day, and it wasn’t until some fans managed to sneak a picture of the 27-year old posing in a Sunderland shirt that the deal was confirmed. A decent price tag for a decent player.
Willian – Shakhtar Donetsk to Anzhi Makhachkala (£41m)
Willian‘s deal is reported at that fee – and if true really shows the state of modern football. Money, money, money. And Anzhi have bucket loads of it. Tottenham had been chasing the Brazillian attacking midfielder, but the Russian club blew any competition out of the water with a stunningly high fee. He is an upcoming, technically gifted 24-year old, who I’m sure we’ll hear more of in the coming years.
Peter Odemwingie getting himself in more than a bit of trouble
There was no hiding the fact that Odemwingie wanted to leave West Brom for QPR (Why, however is unknown). But the 31-year old Nigerian took things into his own hands by driving to Loftus Road in an attempt to force the deal through. West Brom, rightly so, weren’t getting bullied into the nonsense and stood their ground. Odemwingie turned up, hung about for a bit, then left. Bizarre. He’s now surely lost all respect from West Brom fans, whilst making a breach of contract and severely damaging his reputation. Oops.
“I will still leave the club. It is only a matter of time.” – Odemwingie to Sky Sports News
So, for me, other than that crazy story, the Beckham deal was the most interesting, 37 yet still playing for one of the top clubs in Europe. But Jack Butland’s switch is quite simply a steal. Well done those who work at Stoke, they’ve paid way under the expected price, in an era where transfer fees tend to rocket above sanity.
With the emergency loan window still open there is still negotiations that could be finished. An interesting story of transfer madness came in England’s League 2 with Swindon Town and Cheltenham Town. Both teams were set to seal a deal that would trade some of their key figures to one another (Luke Rooney & Marlon Pack) but the deals fell through leaving both players, fans and clubs in a strange position, however, the loan option may rescue the idea.
By Stowe Gregory @stowegregory