Get the full round-up with Part 1 here.
Queens Park Rangers
After taking a good long look at their disjointed defence, undulated club management, and weak team spirit, shopaholic Mark Hughes decided to buy a new squad. In came Junior Hoilett from relegated Blackburn, under-used Park Ji-sung from Manchester United, butterfingers Robert Green from West Ham), old Kiwi Ryan Nelsen from Spurs, forgotten slaphead Andrew Johnson from Fulham, monobrowed wingback Jose Bosingwa from Chelsea, forgotten man and talented midfielder Esteban Granero from Real Madrid, and dynamic Cameroonian powerhouse Stephane Mbia from Marseille. It should be noted that most of these players were scooped up for a sum of nil bar the last two. Fabio also joined on loan from Man U.
Heading out but in no way balancing the books were; big fat goalie (who is in no way worse than Green) Paddy Kenny to Leeds, aerial threat Heidar Helguson to Cardiff, and bizarrely the man who follows trouble around himself, Joey Barton, went on loan to Marseille where ‘his heart belongs’. Danny Shittu was released into the wild where he gored a rhino and then was signed by Millwall. Obviously.
The newly promoted side bought Welsh fullback Chris Gunter from Nottingham Forest, youth academy product Adrian Mariappa from Watford, once Liverpool starlet Danny Guthrie from Newcastle, and Premier League journeyman Nicky Shorey was snapped up after being released by West Brom. Somehow, Reading also managed to better Fulham to the signing of the man who shoots and scores Pavel Pogrebnyak.
In the outbox were players to small to mention because, really, Reading can’t afford to be chucking players away.
The Saints will be looking to stay with the Premier League audience that their stadium was made for, and have brought in the talents of striker Jay Rodriguez who cost them a pretty penny from Burnley, promising ex-Crystal Palace fullback Nathaniel Clyne, and almost unbelievably, hotly tipped and London 2012 impresser Gaston Ramirez from Bologna. The Uruguayan was captured from under the noses of such clubs as Liverpool.
Dan Harding missed his chance in the top flight as he was sold to Nottingham Forest, who also were on the receiving end of the loaning of football league hitman Billy Sharp.
Brought in to bolster the immovable object that is the Potters were; former Wolves winger Michael Kightly, Charlie ‘that 80 yard ball will come off one day’ Adam from Liverpool, and defensive midfielder Steven Nzonzi from Blackburn who should feel right at home.
The part man part bandage that constituted Jonathan Woodgate was released to Middlesbrough to make the bill a bit lighter. Ricardo Fuller was also released after a quiet season. Fuller was always a player that I rated for Stoke, a real handful for a back four, he did a job no one else wanted and never asked for thanks.
The Black Cats were busy splashing some cash to strengthen an underperforming team. Louis Saha was a freebie from Spurs or Everton or wherever he was, joining him was Spanish defender Carlos Cuellar from Aston Villa, combative striker Steven Fletcher from Wolves, City waterboy Adam Johnson, and Spurs loanee Danny Rose who may finally decide which one out of defence, midfield, and attack he is.
Making way were Michael Turner to Norwich, Ahmed Elmohamady loaned to Hull, and Kieran Richardson to Fulham. The man influence by a dollar like a Taiwanese prostitute, Asamoah Gyan also made his trip to Al-Ain permanent. Enjoy that swimming pool of money Asamoah!
The Welsh total footballers probably had a busier window than they would have liked, not that they wouldn’t have been expecting it; after the departure of Rogers, a player loss was inevitable. To strengthen and replace, Michael Laudrup bagged: the three caps/4 goals Spaniard Michu from Rayo Vallecano to replace Sigurdsson, brash defender Jose Manuel Flores from Genoa, Canadian born attacker Jonathan de Guzman loaned from Villarreal, and the exciting wideman Pablo Hernandez from Valencia, a player that will fit excellently in the Swan’s system.
The two big outgoings were Joe Allen to Liverpool and Scott Sinclair to Man City’s bench, and also the failure to keep Sigurdsson permanently. To me, despite the obvious talents of Allen, the Swansea team seems to have gotten stronger.
Spurs are never short of a few dealings and this window was no different as they overhauled their squad dramatically. Belgian playmaker Mousa Dembele was purchased from Fulham, Emmanuel Adebayor fitted right back into his loan spot permanently from Manchester City, Jan Vertonghen, a defender with good feet was bought from Ajax, the scorer of spectacular goals Gylfi Sigurdsson came from Hoffenheim, France’s captain and world beating keeper Hugo Lloris came from Lyon to duke it out with Friedel, and stroppy yank Clint Dempsey left Fulham.
It’s not all good news though. Worryingly, Spurs have let a pretty talented eleven leave. Gone are Sebastian Bassong to Norwich, Vedran Corluka to Lokomotiv Moscow, Steven Pienaar back to Everton, Niko Kranjcar to Dynamo Kiev, Ryan Nelsen to QPR, backup backup keeper Ben Alnwick to Barnsley, Croatian goblin Luka Modric to Real Madrid, Louis Saha to Sunderland, Danny Rose to Sunderland on loan, totally under-appreciated and underplayed forward Giovani dos Santos to Real Mallorca, and cult hero Rafael van der Vaart to Hamburg.
Obviously these big changes are going to have impacts. Spurs are now short on strikers and short on creativity – their chances are going to have to be taken. Dempsey seems like an afterthought when it became clear vdV was going, although he does score ‘Deuce’ acted despicably at Fulham (from an outsider’s view) and clearly had his mind set on a move to Anfield. Once again, Tottenham failed to suitably strengthen their defence.
The Baggies kept fairly quiet on the transfer front due to their suitably balanced squad. They purchased Ben Foster from Birmingham and brought in the new Drogba, Romelu Lukaku on loan from Chelsea. They actually have an impressive front line to be feared now.
Some of the dead weight cut includes; Keith Andrews to Bolton, Nicky Shorey to Reading, Simon Cox to Nottingham Forest, and hard working Somen Tchoyi and Paul Scharner into the blue.
Big Sam was busy pulling strings in order to bring in Premier League quality players that will help the club dig its claws into that sweet spot above relegation. Talented crosser Matt Jarvis came from Wolves, Alou Diarra cam from Marseille, James Collins came from Aston Villa, once unbeatable Jussi Jaaskelainen moved from Bolton, Mohamed Diame came from Wigan, and Liverpool’s Andy Carroll and Chelsea’s Yossi Benayoun were brought in on loan. So basically a new team around Noble and Nolan then.
The players culled for this were: Julien Faubert to Elazigspor, Freddie Sears to Colchester, Abdoulaye Faye to Hull, Nicky Maynard to Cardiff, and Papa Bouba Diop and John Carew forced to fend for themselves.
Wigan solidified their overperforming/underperforming (delete as applicable) team with: hot and cold striker Arouna Kone from Levante, mistake prone but competent Ivan Ramis from Real Mallorca, and Ryo Miyaichi on loan from Arsenal.
Despite probably making a few mil, the squad didn’t really get much stronger due to the losses of: Chris Kirkland to Sheffield Wednesday, Mohamed Diame to West Ham, Hugo Rodallega to Fulham, and Victor Moses to Chelsea.
Oh yes, the rumours never stop with transfers! Due to a shareholder dispute and a lack of paid wages, all manager eyes may be turning to China for two free agents. No it’s not Owen and Heskey’s holiday destination, the financial problems may see Didier Drogba and Nicolas Anelka’s contracts terminated.
Check out Part 1 if your club wasn’t up there.