Transfer Deadline Day Special
Any football fan enjoys deadline day. Whether it be Harry Redknapp’s voice, Jim White’s delighted face or even the sight of the Big Ben striking 11pm… we’re all buzzing for #DeadlineDay. This year was no different. Tension, ‘will he, wont he’ moments, drama, gaffs, fun, we had it all. In a summer window where the Premier League clubs spent a combined total of over £1bn, it was always going to be a great deadline day. In this piece, I identify the big moves of the day, and what it means for the rest of the season!
There is only one deal to kick us off… In a window where we had #Pogback, we now have #LuizBack… Which doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. Regardless, David Luiz has landed back in the Premiership. The £50m man from PSG was snatched by Chelsea with hours to go on deadline day, in a move believed to be worth £30m. With him, the Brazilian is sure to bring bad hair, ridiculousness and mistakes. So the key question is, why? Well, the obvious answer is that Antonio Conte clearly likes the idea of a 3 at the back for Chelsea. With Luiz, Chelsea now have 3 recognisable central defenders with Premier League quality and experience. We know Conte likes the system, as he used it at both Juventus and Italy at the Euros. Luiz can function as the ball playing centre back, in a role John Stones is beginning to relish at Manchester City. There is also the small matter of the fact that Luiz is a legend amongst Chelsea fans, recognised as a hero for his performance against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final in 2012, where he emphatically buried his penalty. Yet, it isn’t all positive news on the transfer. In the Brazilian’s last game for PSG, he conceded a penalty, for an absolutely scandalous challenge, whilst the Parisiens lost the game 3–1 to Monaco. Watch below….
So, the verdict remains out on the outlandish player. On his day, he’s sensational, capable of the absolute sublime. Remember his cracker against Fulham? Or his penalty against Neuer? Or his World Cup quarter final goal against Columbia? Yet, on the other hand, this is the man who is capable of the above, plentiful of errors in Germany’s 7–1 win against Brazil and getting himself substituted after 5 minutes against Manchester United and Chicharito. So we will have to see!
Its 5 years since Jack Wilshere shocked the world of football against Barcelona in Arsenals 2–1 win. The then 19 year old was sensational that night. Picking up the ball without fear and driving at the heart of the Catalonians, who were widely considered the greatest club side ever. But the young Englishman didn’t look out of place. Fast forward 5 years and its a drastic dissapointment. A cameo role in England’s dismal Euros campaign, a season plagued by injuries last year around and now a loan to Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth. Look, I don’t want to disrespect The Cherries, as I am a big fan of their football and work, but for a guy who was meant to be the most talented English footballer since Paul Scholes, this feels a tad anti-cliamatic. The truth is, Wilshere’s career has stagnated over the last several seasons. Of course, the midfielder has been desperately unlucky with injuries, but it does feel like his promise and potential got ahead of him. It’s worth remembering that other young footballers have recovered, emphatically, from injury setbacks, whether it be Aaron Ramsey or Wayne Rooney. Of course, I don’t mean this as a criticism for Jack, he’s suffered plenty of horrendous injuries, but in a season where he is finally fit and ready to go — why isn’t Wenger hanging onto him, if he was that good?
For Bournemouth, this is a really great signing though. A clear statement of intent from everyone associated at the football club and a testament to the abilities of Eddie Howe who was able to convince Wilshere to join and turn down moves to AC Milan and Roma. Whether or not the move can act as a catalyst to help the Cherries beat the drop is another debate. But lets hope it is!
Daniel Levy is no stranger to deadline day deals. The transfer of Dimitar Berbatov to Manchester United in 2009 raged on and on into the night on deadline day, whilst Gareth Bale’s move to Real Madrid was confirmed on deadline day in August 2013. This year was no different as Moussa Sisokko’s move from Newcastle to Spurs was announced late into the evening. The £30m deal is complicated by the fact that Spurs will pay in the form of instalments and conditional on the number of years the player stays at Tottenham, but it was still a big transfer to finish of the summer. A horrendous season at Newcastle, culminating in relegation, was followed by a series of impressive performances with France during their Euros run. Clearly a player with great potential, it’ll be interesting to see how Pochettino slots the Frenchman into his system at Spurs. Over 10 yards, his explosive pace and strength make him a real threat whilst he also possesses the technical ability to be a danger. Is a man that was subjected to ‘We want you to leave’ chants, by the Toon Army, worth any risk at all? Time will tell!
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