Transfer Deadline Day – Reaction!
We’ve decided to list some of the more intriguing deadline day deals from August 2016, as well as voicing our opinions on those deals. Feel free to post your own thoughts below!
Sissoko – Newcastle United to Tottenham Hotspur – permanent
I wondered where it was that Sissoko was off to. I think it was more than apparent that he wouldn’t be at Newcastle United in the Championship after such convincing displays at the Euros for France, but I wasn’t honestly sure where he’d end up. It’s not that he’s short of talent; far from it. The problem with Sissoko is that he’s inconsistent. When it comes to powering through defences with pace and strength, he reminds me of Yaya Toure (similar levels of consistency, too, ironically!). The risk with him is whether he does it consistently enough, though, which I don’t think he has ever since he moved to England. He loves the spotlight, but needs to appreciate that he won’t be in the spotlight at Spurs. How that will sit with him, I don’t know. I also don’t know how Pochettino intends to consistently motivate him – that’ll be a very interesting thing to witness. Spurs could have a real gem of a signing here, but as things currently stand, I think that Newcastle United have come out of this transfer the better off, at least until Pochettino makes Sissoko more consistent.
David Luiz – PSG to Chelsea – permanent
I think that the aware for the strangest transfer of the window surely has to be David Luiz’s return to Chelsea. When they sold him to PSG for mega bucks, it was easily one of Chelsea’s best ever transfers. He’s not a complete idiot, David Luiz, but let’s just say that he’s error-prone, and there was no real place for him in Chelsea’s squad. Quite why they’ve decided to re-sign him is absolutely beyond me, in all honesty. He’s not set the world alight at PSG, and Chelsea have no more need for him now than they did then. I can only assume that his work-rate and flexibility appealed to Conte, who does like to switch systems regularly in each game, but aside from that, I really don’t know why Chelsea have brought him back to London. Very strange signing indeed.
Jack Wilshere – Arsenal to Bournemouth – loan
One of England’s former best prospects around has now ended up on loan at Bournemouth, eh? Doesn’t that say it all? No disrespect to Bournemouth, but if Wilshere is half as good as he was built up to be, he wouldn’t be playing there. For what it’s worth, I think that it’s a great bit of business for Bournemouth; they get to see if they can bring the best out of Wilshere with minimal risk, as he’s only on loan. Arsenal get to see if he can stay fit elsewhere, so it’s not exactly a negative for them. At this stage of his career, though, you have to question what’s left in Wilshere to salvage. The fella clearly has talent, but when players have a bad attitude like he does, it’s hard to take the risk on bringing him in, you know? I don’t think it’s surprising that AS Roma were after him; he’s as bad-tempered as most of their midfielders are, so he’d fit right in. Still, if anyone in the EPL can get the best out of Wilshere (or see if there’s anything left to save), then it’s Howe. He makes his players sweat blood and tears to wear the Bournemouth jersey, so it’ll be interesting to see if Wilshere returns from the dead, so to speak.
Slimani – Sporting Clube de Portugal to Leicester City – permanent
Leicester City have made some very strange signings pre-season, and this is one of them. I appreciate that they’re the EPL champions, and that allows them to draw more players in than usual, although the bigger stars still want to earn big bucks at bigger clubs. However, for the money that they’ve spent on him, is Slimani really the best that they can bring in? He’s very hard-working, puts himself about well, and has reasonable pace and good aerial ability. He’s a good all-rounder, basically, without being very good at anything. Quite what they hope to get from him that they don’t already get from Ulloa or Okazaki is beyond me. For example, I may not be a fan of Nigerian forward Musa, but I can at least understand why Leicester City have signed him – his raw pace. With Slimani, I just don’t know why they’ve bought him, and I think that Sporting have done the much better business here.
Balotelli – Liverpool to OGC Nice – permanent
This was a very interesting move for Balotelli. He’s running out of clubs that will actually give him the time of day now, and you have to question whether he’ll even be playing football professionally in the years to come. I just don’t get what the problem is with him, to be frank. Anybody who thinks he doesn’t have any talent is a complete moron. Not many strikers have his pace, strength, nor shot power all in one. His problem seems to be entirely mental, and no manager seems to be able to cure him of it. Nice may be an idyllic location to live in, but to get in that team, you have to work really hard. Hatem Ben Arfa found that out last season, and it made him into a better player. You can’t just coast at OGC Nice, though, so this is a real test to see if Balotelli has anything left to give or not. I don’t think OGC Nice lose anything by signing him for free, given the potential that he definitely has, but I have my reservations over whether Favre can get the best out of him, because nobody seems to be able to do so nowadays. If he can, though, OGC Nice have one of the top strikers in Ligue 1 on their books, which would make their upcoming campaign a lot more interesting than it currently is.
Hart – Manchester City to Torino – loan
Well, Hart’s going to be a busy boy in Italy, isn’t he? Nutcase Serbian boss Mihailjovic has already set his stall out as Torino boss by making them attack more than ever, so Hart’s not going to have it easy here. I don’t think he’ll find it easy to settle; the Italians have plenty of dirty tricks to use from set pieces, so there’ll be a period where he struggles, I am sure. However, when he adjusts, I think he’ll do very well. He’s agile, he’s determined, and he’s quick. That’s what Torino need, to be fair. If he can develop his composure more, he’ll be a very good addition to Serie A. In my view, this is a risk-free move for both clubs as Torino get to trial a very good goalkeeper for nothing other than wage costs, and City get to try and develop a goalkeeper that they want to keep, but can’t use unless he increases his skillsets. I think it’ll be a good move for Hart, but I don’t think he’ll learn enough for Guardiola to welcome him back next year. That said, who is to say that Guardiola will still be at City next season? He never stays anywhere for long, and City never keep managers for long, so the door will be ajar, I am sure.
Nasri – Manchester City to Sevilla CF – loan
Great bit of business for both clubs here. City know that Nasri is a gifted player, but as ever, he’s not consistent with it. Under a manager like Sampaoli at Sevilla CF, you have to be ruthlessly consistent, confident, and extremely good on the ball. Nasri has the ability to be a wonderful asset for Sevilla CF, but the Andalusians are going to have to gauge if he’s consistent enough to be one for them or not. If he is, City may just bring him back, because that will then make him a Guardiola player. Still, he’s a very sulky individual, so he may just choose to move to another club anyway. The move to Spain should prove how good Nasri really is, though, because there’s nowhere to hide in a Sampaoli team.
Bony – Manchester City to Stoke City – loan
I don’t even the task ahead of Mark Hughes here. How do you consistently get the best out of a striker like Bony? There’s no doubting his ability as a target man, but he’s horribly inconsistent nowadays. Maybe it’s just City that did that to him, because before then, he played very consistently for Sparta Prague, Vitesse Arnhem, and Swansea City respectively. I don’t doubt that Stoke have brought in a potentially very good player, but whether he can be bothered or not is another matter entirely.
Mangala – Manchester City to Valencia CF – loan
I don’t know what Mangala hopes to get from this loan move, I really don’t. The EPL is not a ball-playing league for defenders, which is fortuitous, because Mangala is not good at such. However, he still found it hard to cope there because of his poor positioning. Now he’s going to a league where his positioning isn’t as key, but ball-playing will be, so he’s going to unlock a whole new set of problems to contend with, and will make himself even less likely to be picked up on a permanent basis by another club. Valencia CF are a joke defensively as it is, and the signing of Mangala is just completely bizarre. Probably yet more interference from the upper echelons at what is rapidly becoming a Spanish circus.
Martins Indi – Porto to Stoke City – loan
As far as I am concerned, this is one of the best signings of deadline day. If any defender was born to play EPL football, it’s Martins Indi. He’s big, strong, quick, and composed. I like him a lot. I guess clubs haven’t taken a risk on him before now because of his temperament, but he should prove to be a terrific signing for Stoke. I think his departure will hurt Porto, but it should help Stoke to no end.
Enner Valencia – West Ham United to Everton – loan
Sometimes, I just don’t get West Ham United. Why loan Enner Valencia out to a Premier League rival club when they’ve not brought anyone in that is better than he is? The mind boggles. Valencia is quick, strong, and good in front of goal. Sure, he’s had a difficult period, but he’s not suddenly become a poor striker. He needs confidence, and a manager that believes in him, and I think he’ll find that at Everton. This is a very good striker. Just imagine what will happen if he and Lukaku link up properly at Everton! Teams won’t be able to handle their attack at all. Great bit of business by Everton; strange business by West Ham United.
Henriksen – AZ Alkmaar to Hull City – loan
I’m glad the Norwegian playmaker finally has his shot in English football. I honestly don’t know if he’s good enough to make it at this level, but we’ll soon find out. He’s at the kind of club he needs to be at to learn about the EPL style, and it’ll be interesting to see if he can cut it. I think he’s got quick enough feet, and a good footballing brain, so he should be able to do well here. He’s not afraid to work hard, either. His departure will damage AZ Alkmaar considerably, particularly with striker Janssen having left too, but whether it’s a good move or not for Hull remains to be seen. It’s risk-free, though, so that makes it worthwhile, in my view.
Cuadrado – Chelsea to Juventus – 3-year loan
Every week or so, I see something about Juventus that makes me think that they’re the best-ran club in the world, and this is yet another example of that. What other club can get away with a 3-year loan deal for a brilliant winger, effectively saying that they want him for now, but not when he’s over the hill? It’s pure madness. Cuadrado is one of my favourite players to watch – if he’s in the mood – because he’s got it all. This is yet another fantastic signing for an already ridiculously strong Juventus squad. I’m running out of superlatives for the squad that Juventus have, and the intelligence that they run their club with. This is a great bit of business on their part, and real puzzling business on Chelsea’s part.
Markovic – Liverpool to Sporting Clube de Portugal – loan
Well, Mr Markovic won’t be too popular in one half of Lisbon, will he? Once a darling of SL Benfica, he’s now opted to don the white-and-green of Sporting, and that won’t sit well with SL Benfica, I am sure. Whether he has a good career remaining in football or not remains to be seen, however. I don’t know if he’s lost his appetite, or if he has attitude problems, but somewhere along the line, one of Serbia’s most promising footballers has gone off the rails. He’s not been able to play consistently well anywhere he’s been, and that’s a real problem for a player. Still, if any manager in Portugal can get the best out of him on a regular basis, it’s Jorge Jesus. That’s probably why Markovic has taken the risk of joining Sporting, really – Jorge Jesus was his mentor at SL Benfica too – and Markovic just doesn’t have anywhere else to turn. He needs to start over, and Sporting are a good club to do that at. He’s got the talent to be one of the Liga Sagres’ best players, but only Jorge Jesus will decide if that’s possible or not.
Gnabry – Arsenal to Werder Bremen – permanent
This is an absolutely baffling transfer from Arsenal’s perspective. One of their more talented youngsters has now signed for a poor Bundesliga team, where he’s bound to excel, before moving on to bigger and better things. I just don’t understand what Wenger is doing sometimes. Gnabry is a natural dribbler, capable of wreaking havoc wherever he plays, and instead of easing him into Arsenal’s team, he’s just been flogged to a desperate Bremen team, who are obviously looking for a replacement spark with Kruse on the sidelines for a substantial period of time. It’s a great signing for Bremen; they’ll be able to sell him for four times what they’ve paid for him in a couple of years’ time, I am sure. I just don’t know why Arsenal have sold him, though.
Garay – Zenit St.Petersburg to Valencia CF – permanent
I may not understand Valencia CF signing Mangala, but I at least understand them signing Garay. He’s experienced at this level, dirty, strong, quick – he’s everything that Valencia CF need in their back four, basically. I think it’s more likely that he’s going to physically harm Mangala than opposing strikers, though, because Mangala is more likely to make his life uncomfortable than the others are! This is a good move for Valencia CF, though. Their defence is a joke; they needed someone like Garay to make it more presentable.
Carcela – SL Benfica to Granada – permanent
And the magic effect of boss Jemez continues to show through, although now with new club, Granada. He’s made some brilliant signings for the Andalusian team already as he bids to make them into Rayo II, and this is an example of how he intends to manage it. He’s loaned Pereira from United, and signed Carcela from SL Benfica, to be two of his main attacking threats. Both are small, strong, great with their feet, and need to learn how to work hard, which is where Jemez comes in. These are the type of players that Jemez will get the most out of, and if he does, then Granada have two very good attacking midfielders. Granada are on the cusp of being a good attacking team; Jemez just needs a bit more time to integrate his newbies. They’re already an impressive side, though – be wary of them when betting!
Riviere – Newcastle United to Osasuna – loan
I think that this deal suits both clubs rather well, really. Riviere never really adjusted to life in Newcastle United, so he won’t be missed. At Osasuna, all that they ask is that you work hard, which Riviere does. He’s not prolific, but that’s ok; nor are they! His pace and work-rate should give Osasuna a good option up front, though, whether through counter-attacks, or just simple long balls. Osasuna were desperate to add a bit of quality and experience up front, and they’ve got that risk-free here. Riviere may just be able to relaunch his career here, if he takes his opportunities. Clever move by both clubs.
Torosidis – AS Roma to Bologna – permanent
I can’t understand this one at all. A couple of years back, Torosidis was widely acknowledged to be a key part of AS Roma’s back four. Now he’s off to join a constantly improving Bologna side, and I can‘t help but feel that AS Roma are going to regret losing him. Torosidis can play anywhere across the back, and he’s good in all of those positions. Bologna needed defensive reinforcements, and now they have one. They’ve made some good pre-season acquisitions to further strengthen an already good squad, and I can only see them getting better, and better. I don’t understand AS Roma’s logic here, but I believe that Bologna have made a good signing.