Deadline Day Frenzy In Europe
Arsenal was undeniably the most active Premier League team, signing three experienced players in midfielder Mikel Arteta from Everton, full-back Andre Santos from Fenerbahce and center-back Per Mertesacker from Werder Bremen on permanent transfers, with another midfielder Yossi Benayoun arriving on a season-long loan from Chelsea.
The flurry of deadline-day signings comes after a dismal start to Arsenal’s
season saw the team earn just one point in three games while conceding 10 goals.
Arsenal also saw a few players exit the club with Danish international striker Nicklas Bendtner joining Sunderland on a one-year loan, and full-back Armand Traore signing for Queen’s Park Rangers. QPR also signed winger Shaun Wright-Phillips from Manchester City, and sent defender Anton Ferdinand to Sunderland.
Portuguese playmaker Raul Meireles made a very late switch from Liverpool to Chelsea after the player handed in a transfer request approximately thirty minutes before the deadline, according to Sky Sports News. Meireles scored five goals and had five assists in 32 starts last season.
Stoke City bolstered its squad significantly by adding forward Peter Crouch, who will add to the aerial threat alongside Kenwyne Jones, and England Under-21 international forward Cameron Jerome to further bolster its attacking options.
Crouch scored 12 goals for Tottenham last season, with Jerome adding five for the relegated Birmingham. Stoke also added central midfielder Wilson Palacios from Spurs. These positive moves could see Tony Pulis’ men push for a coveted top-six finish this season.
Out-of-favor Manchester City striker Craig Bellamy joined Liverpool for the second time in his career on deadline day. The Welshman previously played at Anfield in the 2006-07 season. Bellamy will replace David N’Gog, who moved to Bolton.
The Reds also sent Joe Cole to Lille after a disappointing 2010-11 season marred by injuries, and allowed Christian Poulsen to leave for French club Evian.
Aston Villa picked up two Tottenham players in defender Alan Hutton and midfielder Jermaine Jenas, who joins on loan. Birmingham center-back Scott Dann left the relegated side for Blackburn, which also picked up Everton forward Yakubu. Everton made some very late loan-signings in midfielder Royston Drenthe from Real Madrid, and striker Dennis Stracqualursi from Argentine club Tigres.
Fulham picked up FC Twente’s Costa Rican winger Bryan Ruiz, who scored nine goals in the Eredivisie last year. Martin Jol also signed striker Andre Pierre Gignac on-loan from Marseilles. Gignac had an impressive 11 goals in only 24 appearances for Olympique.
Outside of England, the talented 24 year-old Dutch winger Eljero Elia says he spurned interest from several Premier League clubs to join Italian giant Juventus. Inter Milan revamped its forward roster by signing Uruguay’s veteran striker Diego Forlan from Atlético Madrid, and Mauro Zárate from Lazio. Forlan netted 17 goals for Atlético last season in all competitions, while Zárate scored nine in 28 appearances.
Neon Tommy’s Take
Which deadline day transfer do you consider to be the most shrewd signing?
Adi: Mikel Arteta, by far. His Premier League experience will benefit Arsenal’s young squad and at 29 he could be the perfect mentor for Arsenal’s young midfield prodigies--Aaron Ramsey, for example.
Omar: Arteta. While not flashy, he can pass, score, and tackle. Just the type of player Arsenal need to replace Fabregas while also adding steel to their midfield.
Which transfer did you least expect to happen, and why?
Adi: Raul Merieles’ transfer was quite shocking, especially considering the news about his transfer request broke only 30 minutes before the window closed--which means either that Chelsea did a deal in a very quick fashion, or Liverpool was keeping his transfer request low-key.
Omar: Owen Hargreaves. I honestly did not expect a Premier League club to go in for him, especially one as big as Man City, which has plenty of defensive midfielders already. I can't see him doing anything other than sitting on the bench and maybe playing some Cup matches, but he might add experience and a winning mentality to the team.
Which team improved the most over the summer?
Adi: Manchester City. They have truly shown how important money is in the 21st century by signing almost every player they could possibly want this summer. The signings of players like Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri will make them a force to be reckoned with, not only in England but in Europe as well, assuming Mancini is able to make this star-studded squad work as a unit.
Omar: Since the departures of Fabregas and Nasri, Arsenal has made the signings that will help its team the most. The addition of five potential first-team starters including two national captains in Benayoun and Park, and a German international with 75 caps in Mertesacker will vastly improve the squad. It may take time for them all to gel, but the Gunners became a very deep team overnight after being short-staffed in many positions.
[Editor's Note: A previous version of this article state that Raul Meireles is Spanish. He is, in fact, Portuguese. Neon Tommy regrets the error.]
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