If you were looking for a flood of big-money deals on transfer deadline day, you were left sorely disappointed.
However, an absence of such multi-multi-million pound moves doesn’t mean that deadline day wasn’t without its share of drama.
Here’s a rundown of what happened, what didn’t, and what still might.
Robinho Trades Manchester For Milan
Remember when Robinho moved to Manchester City and everyone was shocked (including him, I think)? Seems like so ling ago, doesn’t it?
Two years after that blockbuster move, and with the same fanfare but far less drama, Robinho moved to AC Milan for a reported 18m. The Brazil star has penned a four-year deal with the Rossoneri to end his short, disappointing stay in England.
Analysis: Excellent move for everyone, including City, who will get back more than half of what they paid for him, which is what they were looking for. 32.5m was a bit much, 18m is going to be a bargain.
Sunderland Land Gyan
A few days ago, Sunderland had Darren Bent and not much else. Now, you can bet Steve Bruce is smiling after breaking the club record (which his Bent buy had set) by signing Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan from Rennes for more than 13m.
Analysis: Some might not be impressed and say it’s a bit much, but this is brilliant business for Bruce. He now has a top-notch 1-2 punch up front, and even better, both are still relatively young. If Gyan’s injury past is just that, he has limitless potential, and it will pay off big for the Black Cats.
Hleb Highlights Birmingham’s Triple Swoop
It was a very busy and productive day for Alex McLeish and Birmingham. The Blues pulled off a loan deal for former Arsenal star Alexander Hleb, and they furthered bolstered the attack by signing Chile international attacker Jean Beausejour from Club America for an undisclosed fee. McLeish also strengthened his backline with a move for former Spartak Moscow captain Martin Jiranek.
Analysis: Birmingham gave the Premier League’s big boys last season. Expect much more of the same, and I also look for them to make a real run at the top seven or eight. High expectations? Sure, but they’re more realistic than some might think.
Stoke Get Busy
And very busy, at that, signing Portsmouth star Marc Wilson and completing loan deals for Eidur Gudjohnsen and Jermaine Pennant. Yes, Jermaine Pennant.
Analysis: All good moves for Tony Pulis. Wilson has a very bright future, Gudjohnsen is a proven commodity in the Premier League, and the Pennant move is low risk, high reward, if he plays like he’s capable of.
Schalke Spend Big
After losing their first two league matches, it was clear that Schalke 04 needed to spend before the deadline. They did just that, landing striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar from AC Milan and Spanish playmaker Jose Manuel Jurado from Atletico Madrid, with both costing in excess of 10m.
Analysis: Money very well spent by Schalke. Huntelaar should find his old scoring touch in the Bundesliga, and Jurado is a player who can notch 10+ goals and just as many assists, a la former Schalke target Zvjezdan Misimovic.
Roma Loan Borriello
With both Robinho and Zlatan Ibrahimovic arriving, AC Milan had to offload both Huntelaar and Marco Borriello, with the former Genoa star joining AS Roma on loan with a view to a permanent move.
Analysis: Solid move. Roma take care of a need without spending money they don’t have.
Hoffenheim Snap Up Sigurdsson
One of the most exciting prospects outside of the Premier League is off to Germany, as Hoffenheim signed Reading midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson for a reported 6m.
Analysis: He’ll be a star in the Bundedliga, no doubt about that. Hopefully there’s a sell-on clause in there for Reading.
Given And Schwarzer Stay Put
With Shay Given electing to stay at Manchester City, that meant Arsenal were left out in the cold in their pursuit of Fulham’s Mark Schwarzer.
Analysis: And that’s why you can’t always wait until the last day to fill a need.
Liverpool Miss Out On Cole
Carlton Cole is still a West Ham player, unfortunately for Liverpool, despite reportedly offering Ryan Babel and Lucas Leiva.
Analysis: Disappointing for Liverpool, but hey, they did get Paul Konchesky, at least. I hear Robbie Keane was available. Oh, wait…
Santa Cruz Stays At City
And despite speculation about a move first to Lazio and then to Fulham, Roque Santa Cruz is still a Manchester City player, unfortunately for him.
Analysis: To dip into a bit o’ netspeak, LOL at his comments. I’m sure the wages are nice, but not having splinters in uncomfortable places is even better, as he clearly knows. Back to seriousness though- injuries to those ahead of him could change his fortune quickly, but short of that, the first ghing he should do on January 1 is ask the club to dial up Fulham, Lazio, and anyone else who needs a striker come the winter window. Future City fringe players, please take note.
Deal! Well, Maybe…
Leave it to Harry Redknapp to provide some last-minute drama.
Today, Redknapp will find out whether or not their late move to land Dutch playmaker Rafael Van der Vaart from Real Madrid is valid.
Analysis: He’s no Benjani, that’s for sure. If it goes through (I suspect it will), it’s an excellent spot of business for Redknapp to land VDV for 8m when he would’ve cost more than twice that anytime before deadline day.