Five best deals of transfer deadline day feat. Watford signing, centre-back and shock Tottenham signing
Thursday arguably represented one of the most dramatic instalments of transfer deadline day in recent memory, with a number of big issues needing resolving and some late, late deals taking place.
The ‘will he, won’t he’ situations of Alexis Sanchez and Virgil van Dijk may have fallen into the category of the latter, but there were plenty of intriguing and sensational transfers still completed on August 31.
The Boot Room takes a look at five of the best deals made in the Premier League on a hectic day.
Hands up, who called this when they went to bed on Wednesday evening?
Perhaps the unseen shock of the day came in the battle of London as Tottenham snuck up on arch-rivals Chelsea to swoop in and secure the superb signing of Swansea City striker Fernando Llorente.
Harry Kane was Tottenham’s sole striker last season and their lack of strength in depth was firmly exploited when he suffered an injury, with Vincent Janssen not capable of providing the same threat.
And it seems that Mauricio Pochettino has well and truly pulled a rabbit out of the hat with the Spanish forward this time around, with Llorente arriving in north London after scoring 15 times during last year.
If Fernando Llorente to Tottenham was a shock move due to its sudden nature, Renato Sanches’ switch from Bayern Munich to Swansea City was a shock because of simply how spectacular and elite it was.
Swansea manager Paul Clement must have utilised all of the contacts that he built up from his tenure as assistant coach at Bayern last year to pull this one off – it is just an incredulous, out-there transfer.
The 20-year-old will provide bundles of energy and tenacity during his season-long loan, adding much-needed character to the Swansea midfield, and his box-to-box nature will make him effective at both ends.
Despite his tender years he’s already won countless domestic and international trophies, and the impact that his technical ability and intelligence in possession will bring cannot be underestimated.
The arrival of Sanches means that, in the window, players have moved from Bayern Munich to Swansea and from Paris Saint-Germain to Stoke and West Brom – and on that note it may be time for a lie down.
Most people would have breezed over this done deal the second it popped up as breaking news courtesy of the fact that nobody’s really heard of him, but it’s an excellent bit of work by Watford.
Marvin Zeegelaar has struggled to settle down in his career to date but, since arriving in Portugal in 2015, he’s come on in leaps and bounds and has proven he can add flair to his defending.
Watford’s frailties on the left-side of defence have been exploited so far this season, with boss Marco Silva insistent on strengthening his options there, and he’s found himself a very nifty – and cheap – player in the 28-year-old.
The Dutchman is strong and sturdy in defence but will bring pace, power and a desire to push into attack to Vicarage Road, and with Kiko Femenia on the opposite flank it makes for an intriguing watch.
You could almost hear the sound of thousands of Crystal Palace supporters rejoicing on Thursday afternoon when Liverpool’s firm resistance over a deal for defender Mamadou Sakho finally cracked.
It’s no secret that Palace have wanted the French international back ever since his short loan spell came to an end last season, with Sakho inspiring them to five clean sheets and, arguably, top-flight survival too.
His cameo endeared him to the Selhurst Park faithful and new boss Frank de Boer wasted no time re-igniting interest in taking him in on a full-time basis, with a £26 million move beating the deadline.
An incredibly late move that was seemingly in the balance during the whole of deadline day, Leicester City secured the signing of Sporting Lisbon’s Adrien Silva to replace Danny Drinkwater.
It was only an hour before the deadline that Drinkwater arrived at Cobham to undergo a Chelsea medical – around the same time Silva was flown in to Leicester’s base – and it just served to prove prior theories and assumptions that Craig Shakespeare wouldn’t sell without a replacement lined-up.
Whilst Drinkwater was an excellent servant during the Foxes’ title-winning season, Silva has a plethora of experience at the highest level and has spent his whole career dominating midfields.
A move to the Premier League will no doubt prove to be more competitive than the Portuguese Primeira Liga but Silva has the discipline to be successful, and he will tighten up the Leicester midfield well this year.
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