As the big Ben of London chimed away, the numbers flashed across the screen. Over 1.1 billion has been spent by premier league clubs. Boggling to say the least. Trying to wrap your head around such a huge figure makes your head spin. From a moral point of view the plaudits for football at grassroots level will certainly come out holding the placards demanding for home grown players. What’s the purpose of premier league academies then when a minnow promoted club breaks its transfer record fee twice in a month? The championship was also not left behind as 215 million Euros was splashed by the second tier of English football, a record. Of course this was coming due to the TV deals that PL clubs have received. According to the premier league, 5.13bn has been pumped in. 126 games to be televised by Sky while 42 to be televised by BT. The average cost of showing per game would be 10.19m Euros. Jesus. But couldn’t this money be re invested anywhere? The only caveat was on wages .why not use the monies to review the ticketing system so as to allow more fans a chance to watch the games live? Just my thoughts though.
The stand out transfer was undoubtedly that of David Luiz. Flashing back to 2014 when he was penning his farewell letter when leaving Chelsea. Calling PSG a new challenge and a new stage. Well about two seasons later and a measly 8 goals, the geezer makes a sensational 32m return to his London club. First off, the fact that he was taken on deadline day speaks volumes about his priority. All summer they have been linked to Bonucci, Chiellini, and Koulibaly among others but they all turned down Chelsea’s offers. Luiz therefore comes in as their fourth choice defensive cover. He’s 29 years old. Are they really progressing with Cahill and Terry already in their 30s? In two seasons Luiz will be just like Terry. Also he did not force his way out. As an ardent watcher of Unai Emery, he sets his teams out in a possession style of play thereby requires his backs to be good with the ball at their feet. From pre-season, it was clear was Unai was angling towards. Thiago Silva and Marquinhos were his first choice centre backs. He merely gave Luiz a lifeline by fielding him against Monaco. All he got was a horrendous show, a dubious penalty given away and a substitution early in the second half. From that moment on it seemed clear he was out of the manager’s plans; PSG’s Joe Hart. So when Chelsea came knocking, PSG was only happy to open the door (window?). Definite Nay for me.
Another sticking point for me has to be Lucas Perez. Arsenal were playing Alexis Sanchez in that centre forward role which just went on to show how dire the need for an attacker was. After being linked to Higuaín, Lacazette, Mahrez and Vardy, they end up with Lucas Perez. The Spaniard scored 17 goals last season.it was a decent return but then it’s the Spanish League. Not that surprising considering the amount of space Spanish attackers usually have. A look at the numbers, shows you that of the 15 goals that Perez scored from inside the box, he had picked the ball from outside the box and proceeded with it to the box before shooting on 8 of these occasions. We all know how compact PL defending is. Where will he get the space? He’s also used to a counter attacking set up much like Vardy as opposed to a possession-based style of play which Arsenal is notorious for. It’s only the second time in the Spaniard’s career that he has reached double figures in terms of goals. Two season wonder maybe? To add to this, Squawka informs you that 12 of his 17 goals came before Christmas. He only scored 5 goals in the second half of last season. For a team that usually bottles it in the second half of the season, signing a player whose form dips at around the same time, when they need is their stars to show up is certainly not a wise signing. His stature is also not strong in the air and given the physicality of the league, I see him struggling. Di Maria is a notable victim of this physicality. However it’s not all glum for the new boy. He served up 8 assists showing his playmaking skills. He also has the ability to play out wide which will give his manager options and he is genuinely a lovely player to watch going forward.
To the one that really got tongues wagging. Moussa Sissoko. What a roller coaster this guy’s agent has had. To be honest he hardly sparkled to life at Newcastle last season with only 7 assists and a solitary goal which is why the club and his agent set his valuation at 15 million as he wasn’t looking to play in the second tier. The Euros were drawing to a close and yet no club had made a formal enquiry for him. So the man took the law into his own hands and used that starting spot in the Euro final to market himself. Going in for the tackles, winning the ball back decently before making 50 yard dashes wish Portuguese players bouncing off his burly body in the name of defending before blazing his effort over the bar. He did this about four times to the delight and roar of France supporters. Why? I don’t know. By the 30th minute he was spent, sweat running down his face. To his proposers, he was a man who was giving everything for his team. His agent must have been happy with his client putting himself out there. Little did he know Mike Ashley had other plans, slapping a 35m price tag on the Frenchman a few days later. No one was going to pay that right? Well deadline day madness came and reports were that Everton had agreed a deal in principle to pay the 30 million. Personal terms had also been agreed. However one hour to the end of the window, reports flooded in that Spurs and matched the Everton’s fee and it would now go down to the wire. Ronald Koeman phoned Sissoko to congratulate him on his move. To his surprise the call went unanswered. A room had been prepped at Merseyside in anticipation for his medical and with doctors on standby, a private jet had been fuelled and was taxiing on the highway, ready to deliver him to Merseyside: Dead Silence. A few minutes past the 11oo Hrs BST, Sissoko tweeted a picture of himself holding a Tottenham Hotspurs jersey. Wait I thought his phone had a problem? Moussa do you copy? Kudos for Everton for holding out the Enner Valencia announcement. In doing so, they seemed to have at least saved face.
In my opinion, he would have been an excellent signing for Koeman. Koeman is revolutionising Everton with big name signings. He’s strict on training regimes and a strict style of play with barrel chested midfielders. Sissoko would have been a perfect fit right here. At spurs not so much. My first problem with this is that this does not look like a Pochettino signing. Have we ever seen Mauricio sign a 27 year old player? Pochettino has always insisted on youth and this deal seems kind of forced down his throat. Convincing me that David Levy sanctioned this move will be very difficult. Levy forking out 30million for a 27 year old? Come on! Moussa Sissoko or panic buy? I’m having problems distinguishing the two. This has got to be the biggest panic buy in recent history. How do you even start justifying this? Who does he bench? Definitely not Dier or that Monster Wanyama. Dembele is also on his way back. Sissoko played down the right at the Euros. Last season, he created 51 chances at Newcastle. In the same amount of games. Eriksen created about 150 and Lamela created around 100 chances. More than double what Sissoko did? Over to you Tottenham.
However it was not all glum on the last day. Wilshere to Bournemouth was the standout move for me. I’ve always had my (negative) reservations on Wilshere but this move might be just what he needs to re energise his career. Ten years on and we are yet to see the future of English midfield earlier promised. At Bournemouth he will get playing time. Eunan O’Kane has been chalked off on loan, harry Arter will definitely get his customary yellow card owing to dissent (read overzealous nature) , Surman seems to be in a rut leaving Wilshere to partner new signing 18 year old Lewis Cook in midfield. Exciting times indeed for the South Coast team!
13 clubs broke their transfer fee record. Whether the fans will be singing the names of the new signings or cursing their managers for brainless spending remains to be seen.
But who came up with that #POGBACK hashtag though? Yuck!!