It’s dubbed as Christmas Day for football fans, as transfer Deadline Day swept across the globe in a frantic day and night of action.
Clubs across the world were scrambling to get last-minute deals finalised before the transfer window slammed shut. Premier League giants Manchester City, Spanish title holders Real Madrid and Italian powerhouses AC Milan were working late into the night to get deals done, however Australia’s own Sydney FC may have acquired the biggest coup of all.
Late last night Sydney confirmed the arrival of former Juventus striker and Italian international Alessandro Del Piero. The World Cup, Champions League and six-time Italian Serie A title winner signed a $2 million deal last night, making him the highest profile player to ever compete in the A-League. Del Piero remains Juventus’ most capped player (705 appearances), as well as their highest ever goal scorer (289 goals) and will add a lot to the expansion and growth of football in Australia.
Tottenham’s Rafael Van Der Vaart has joined his former side Hamburg for £10.5 million. The Dutchman was deemed a required player at White Hart Lane, however his desire to rejoin the German outfit and the substantial fee forked out by the club was enough to sway Tottenham into letting go of their star player. Spurs attempted a last-minute signing of Portuguese midfielder Joao Moutinho as a potential replacement, however couldn’t pull of what would have been a club-record £22 million acquisition.
AC Milan signed Premier League title-winner Nigel De Jong from Manchester City for an undisclosed fee. The Dutchman was surplus to requirements at the Etihad Stadium, and chose the move in an effort to benefit his career. Milan hope that he will add grunt to their light midfield stocks.
Stoke City completed the signing of Liverpool midfielder Charlie Adam for £4 million. The creative player is believed to have been wanted for his vast range of passing abilities, which will suit Tony Pulis’ long-ball tactics. In a busy day at Stoke, they also completed deals for Rangers’ Maurice Edu and Blackburn’s Steven N’Zonzi. However they had offers for Jordan Henderson, Tom Huddlestone and Wilson Palacios turned down.
Swansea winger Scott Sinclair completed his £8 million move to title-holders Manchester City. The youngster had wanted to leave for the Etihad Stadium throughout the summer, however stalling negotiations between the two parties had prevented the deal from going ahead earlier.
Manchester City also boasted their defensive stocks with the signing of Brazilian full back Maicon from Inter Milan. The defender signed for the champions for an undisclosed fee.
Tottenham were able to complete a virtual steal by signing France’s national team captain and Lyon keeper Hugo Lloris for just £8 million. The shot-stopper is a proven leader and will presumably take over from the 41-year-old Brad Friedel.
Fulham were able to make a few handy additions to their squad on Deadline Day. Manchester United’s Dimitar Berbatov completed a £4 million move, despite rumours and speculation linking him to just about everywhere throughout the day. Fulham also signed Sunderland’s Kieran Richardson for an undisclosed fee.
Newly-promoted Southampton sprung a major coup by acquiring Uruguayan winger Gaston Ramirez for £11.8 million. The wide man was linked to Liverpool and Tottenham throughout the summer, however chose the Saints over the European hopefuls.
Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner joined Italian title-holders Juventus on a season-long loan deal. It was believed Bendtner was after a permanent move to Italy, however couldn’t secure the deal.
Manchester City signed Fiorentina defender Matija Nastastic in a deal worth £10 million plus young Serbian defender Stefan Savic.
Liverpool missed out on Fulham forward Clint Dempsey, who joined Tottenham for £6 million. Dempsey had publicly voiced his ambition to play at Anfield, however the Reds couldn’t find the funds to sign him, forcing him to move to White Hart Lane.
In a frustrating day for Liverpool, they also missed out on Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge, after an apparent loan deal for the player fell through.
Chelsea’s experienced midfielder Michael Essien joined Real Madrid on loan after the Blues refused to sell him to Arsenal.
Swansea replaced Scott Sinclair with Spanish winger Pablo Hernandez. A fee of £5.5 million had been agreed upon yesterday, however it remained until today before the midfielder officially signed.
Chelsea’s Yossi Benayoun rejoined his former side West Ham on a season-long loan deal.
Controversial QPR captain Joey Barton signed for French side Marseille on a season-long loan deal. The midfielder is in the midst of serving a 12-match ban for a red card obtained on the final day of last season.
Manchester City then completed the final signing of Deadline Day, leaving until the very last minute to complete the £16 million acquisition of Benfica midfielder Javi Garcia. The Spaniard was in Manchester throughout the day, completing a medical examination, however only agreed to personal terms just seconds before the window slammed shut.
Hopefully that rundown was enough to give you a fair understanding of how this season’s Premier League squads will shape up.
Riley Beveridge (Follow him on Twitter: @RileyBev)