• Tuesday, 31 January 2012

    Deadline day: The good, the bad and the downright panicky

    January 31, the day when everyone awaits the visit of the Transfer Pixie and hopes they find the star striker/dominant centre-half in their stocking that was diligently hung over the fireplace the previous night. Only the good get what they want, while the very bad boys and girls get an Ade Akinbiyi. So who has been good and who ended up with the booby prize? Let's have a look at what highlights there were:

    Steve McClaren
    The former England manager has definitely been good this year. Indeed, his signing of Wesley Verhoek from ADO is perhaps more significant in terms of his recent career choices for Verhoek it was that McClaren wanted at Nottingham Forest only the board to blanch at the prospect of actually having to pay for him. By contrast, the FC Twente board were happy to compensate the Den Haag club and pay Verhoek some wages. Good bit of business that, replacing the outbound Mark Janko. McClaren also picked up Glynor Plet and hung onto Luuk de Jong. ADO got Ebi Smolarek which will also do nicely to replace Verhoek.

    West Ham
    Ravel Morrison. £650k. £1m agents fees. This just smells bad from the off.

    Swiped back Lucho Gonzalez from Marseille and got Janko from FC Twente, offsetting the loss of Fredy Guarín to Italy. That looks a good swap to us.

    The Olsson twins
    Someone at Blackburn has a dodgy internet history. File under P for panic buy.

    Donal McDermott
    After terrorising Huddersfield in four games for Bournemouth last season, the Terriers moved quickly to sign McDermott from Manchester City in the summer and then proceeded to either not play him or play him in a totally unsuitable position. He's well out of that and away to Bournemouth again where he'll probably do well. Good for him. Meanwhile Huddersfield are crying out for defenders and signed one, 19-year old Murray Wallace from Falkirk. And loaned him straight back there. Good for Falkirk, bonkers for Huddersfield.

    Took Philippe Coutinho on loan from Internazionale. It looked like he was working his way into Claudio Ranieri's first-team plans, but hadn't played for a bit. Instead, the 19-year old - marked out as one of the top 100 young players in the world by In Bed With Maradona - represents a bloody good bit of business for the Spaniards.

    Sotirios Kyrgiakos. Wayne Bridge. Panic!

    Sent Coutinho out on a low-risk loan to gain experience and brought in Guarín on loan from Porto with an option to buy. Again, that's a low risk move. If it doesn't work out, back he goes, but it will work out because he's a classy operator. They also bolstered their attack by moving Sulley Muntari on. Best of all, they palmed him off on their stadium buddies. Just good business all round.

    Kevin de Bruyne
    Not the player, but a transfer symptomatic of a sick system. Chelsea paid decent wedge for de Bruyne and immediately loaned him straight back to the Belgians. He'll be off out on loan somewhere next season too. See also Thibault Courtois, Gael Kakuta, Josh McEachran, Patrick van Aanholt, Jeffrey Bruma, Tomas Kalas. It's no wonder the Chelsea gaffer is the one to pop his head up above the parapets and call for B teams to play in England's lower tiers. It'd save him having to sort out loan moves for his stockpile of young players. Bad.

    Ryo Miyaichi
    Injury robbed Bolton of their two best midfielders - their two best players really - before a ball was kicked this season: Stuart Holden and Lee Chung-Yong. Miyaichi, more like the latter than the the former, is a talented player who did well on loan at Feyenoord last season. Bolton have a good track record in taking young players - Jack Wilshere and Daniel Sturridge, for two examples - and looking after them, so this looks a good move beneficial to all parties; Bolton, Arsenal and Miyaichi.

    There's probably more to be said and more analysis to be done, but frankly it's too much like hard work to sift through all the deadline day moves. What do you want from us? Anyway, time to put the Deadline Day Stocking away until the end of August now and Jim White can return to hibernation. Sleep well children and be good, unless you don't want the Pixie to come in summer.


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