#TransferDeadlineDay: The Hangover

Waking up after Transfer Deadline Day is normally like waking up after a particularly egregious house party. You feel grubby, hungover, you’re missing items of clothing and know you’ve done something embarrassing but can’t quite remember what. Hopefully photos don’t exist.

Today is different. Magician Jim White might have been on hand, orchestrating the Sky Sports bi-annual exercise in smoke, mirrors and hilarious statistics, Spurs fans were panicking on my timeline as usual and Jeff Hendrick’s transfer to Burnley got more coverage than it probably warranted, but unlike most Deadline Days past, stuff actually happened. Good stuff.

A bunch of English players agreed to go abroad. Big Joe Hart to Torino. Andre Wisdom to Red Bull Salzburg. Joleon Lescott to AEK Athens. We’ve been moaning for years how English players insularity and unwillingness to leave these fair shores for the untamed wilds of La Liga or Serie A is as much to blame for the national team’s inertia as foreigners coming over here stealing all our football, so while it’s not a window of Barry Venison to Galatasaray proportions, it feels like a huge deal.

So one can’t help be vaguely disappointed that Jack Wilshere chose to stay in the Premier League with Bournemouth, when anyone who’s spent any time watching his career was nodding sagely in the direction of Italy, stroking their chin and saying “It would have been good for the lad.”

Apparently the deal to Roma was blocked by Arsenal, who were still smarting after the Serie A club refused to enter negotiations about their centre back Kostas Manolas; a move from the same school of self destructive petulance that brought us a bid of £40m plus £1 for Luis Suarez back in 2013.

But AC Milan were in for him too. A.C. Milan.

On the BBC’s post mortem last night, Jermaine Jenas felt it was important Wilshere stay in the Premier League because his lack of fitness means few have seen him put in a solid season of top flight football. On one hand, that’s true, but it’s hard to imagine that Wilshere fighting for a spot in the Rossoneri first eleven and tearing the league apart with the bursting runs England need so desperately is going to evade the attention of Sam Allardyce.

And anyone who’s watched Wilshere’s career will be in no doubt that the subsequent back page headlines any success at Milan would garner would be more beneficial for both player and country than front pages he usually appears on.

Still, it’s a cracking result for Bournemouth. Wilshere thrived under Owen Coyle at Bolton and if you don’t believe Eddie Howe will use him well, you didn’t watch any Bournemouth games last season. Your loss.

I still think Milan would have been the better punt though. If nothing else, when Wilshere’s inevitably tibia shatters under the weight of his own shorts, he’d be yards from the Milan Lab.

Best football medical facility in the world, Ruud.


Kelly Welles