Falcao, Welbeck, Negredo…Names of Transfer Deadline Day – the good deals and the bad.
A jam-packed transfer deadline day started with the improbable news that Manchester United were on track to sign Radamel Falcao on loan, and the Colombian’s switch to Old Trafford continued to dominate headlines for much of the day. However, he was clearly not the only exciting move on the last day of the window, with Hull City in particular doing some unexpected deals as the total summer spending in the Premier League alone passed £842 million…
Monaco to Manchester Utd, Loan
Background: The prolific striker exploded onto the scene at Porto, continue to set off fireworks at Atletico Madrid and finally looked set for a move to one of Europe’s real elite last summer. He instead joined Monaco, where he scored 11 goals in 20 Ligue 1 games before and injury in January ruled him out for the rest of the season and the World Cup.
Good/Bad Deal: There are move caveats than you can shake a stick at, but this is a good deal for United even at a hefty £6m just for a one-year loan. The Red Devils needed a defender and midfielder more, and you hope their medical team was diligent enough to ensure his injury was behind him, but the Colombian always, always scores goals. The 28-year-old bagged 72 in 87 for Porto, 70 in 91 for Atletico and nine in World Cup qualifying. Man Utd’s side is imbalanced, but in the most gloriously exciting way possible.
Here’s how the Falcao deal unfolded on a dramatic deadline day, and here’s us naming him the number one best striker in world football last year.
Man Utd to Arsenal, £16m
Background: Man Utd through and through, you would have expected Welbeck to be the kind of player to benefit from Louis van Gaal’s arrival at Old Trafford, but a continuing lack of opportunities has led to him moving to one of the Red Devils’ rivals.
Good/Bad Deal: This could be a really excellent acquisition for Arsenal, whatever grumbles their fans might have about Welbeck not being in the top pool of forwards they wished to fish in. The 23-year-old is fast, possesses clever movement and sharp on the ball. He looks a perfect foil for their midfield, and is a better finisher than he is given credit for, netting at a rate of 0.55 goals per 90 minutes last season, the same tally as Romelu Lukaku at Everton.
Ajax to Manchester United, £16m
Background: A fantastic couple of year at Ajax have turned around Blind’s career when it looked likely he was set to fade out of the picture in Amsterdam. The Eredivisie Player of the Year last season, Blind’s great year continued with some fine performances at the World Cup, leading to Van Gaal opting to bring him to Old Trafford.
Good/Bad Deal: This doesn’t look like the smartest piece of business from United and if Blind is a regular at the base of their midfield, it is a demonstration of the lack of quality they have in that area. The 24-year-old is adaptable, but his best position is at defensive midfielder and whether his technical, passing style in that role is best suited to the Premier League is highly doubtful.
Hatem Ben Arfa
Newcastle to Hull, Loan
Background: Frozen out at the Magpies after four seasons, the former Marseille and Lyon winger managed to escape St James’ Park in the closing hours of deadline day.
Good/Bad Deal: A great deal for Hull, who could gain a brilliant player with no real risk of having to manage him if Ben Arfa’s attitude issues come up again. The 27-year-old was a frequently inspired figure when in the fold at Newcastle and if he fancies it, he could be the pick of Hull’s extensive list of signings. Professionalism is the test though – that is what Steve Bruce wants.
Red Bull Salzburg to Southampton, £10m
Background: The 22-year-old Senegal international was key part of the exciting Salzburg side that romped to victory in the Austrian Bundesliga last season and sprung a few surprises in the Europa League, including a 6-1 aggregate win over Ajax. Having lost coach Roger Schmidt to Bayer Leverkusen over the summer, and lost to Malmo in the Champions League playoffs, Mane’s departures is another blow for the Austrian club.
Good/Bad Deal: For all the crisis talk at Southampton, they have finished the summer in an excellent position and Mane looks another savvy acquisition. The 22-year-old scored 45 goals in 87 games for Salzburg, is ludicrously quick and well-versed in pressing after playing under Schmidt.
Atletico Madrid to Southampton, Loan
Background: Another Belgian who has been linked with the Premier League for several seasons, Alderweireld arrives in England a year later than expected after a frustrating debut campaign at Atletico.
Good/Bad Deal: On paper this looks like a coup for the Saints. The 25-year-old is a regular international, can play at centre-back or right-back and was undoubtedly impressive in his years at Ajax. However, Alderweireld is cumbersome, error-prone and not ideally suited to the Premier League. It wouldn’t be surprising if he wasn’t first choice at St Mary’s.
Manchester City to Valencia, Loan
Background: After a rip-roaring start to life at the Etihad last season, where he scored 17 goals before the turn of the year, Negredo tailed off dramatically and failed to find the net in his last 16 games for Man City. Currently injured, the 29-year-old will likely relish the chance to hit his straps again in La Liga when fit.
Good/Bad Deal: This is a bizarre choice from City, who have left themselves with just three senior strikers, two of whom are notoriously injury-prone. Negredo finished the year poorly, but was vital to City for long stretches earlier in the season, and Valencia will be delighted to have a proven goal-scorer in their ranks.