Sunday, February 8, 2009

Transfer window shut; Keane back at Spurs, Arshavin a Gunner.

It was quite an interesting transfer period, even if there were far less players on the move than expected. The biggest move, of course, was Arsenal's capture of Russian attacking wizard Andrei Arshavin from Zenit St. Petersburg, a move that ruffled the feather of many managers around the league.

Arsenal's manger, Arsene Wenger, doesn't dispute the fact that the transfer went through right at the deadline, BUT, the FA had agreed to extend the deadline for a few hours for any team that could show that their potential moves were hindered by the horrible weather in England on deadline day. So the bottom line is that Arshavin will wear #23 at Arsenal, no matter how much Aston Villa or anyone else whines.

Other big names were noticeably absent from the moves this January. Manchester City (surprise, surprise) and Tottenham were the biggest spenders, parting with about 50 mil and 45 mil pounds respectively. City's big story, however, wasn't one of the transfers that went through, but Kaka's rejection of their LUDICROUS 107 million pound bid. Pressure was heaped on the Brazilian former world-player-of-the-year, with many saying that accepting this record-shattering offer would ruin football. Honestly, I don't know if I would go that far, but I do think that kind of money has no place in the transfer window, and I wouldn't be all too upset if Platini's salary cap legislature ends up happening, even though it probably won't.

City brought in veteran Newcastle keeper Shay Given (saving him from the sinking Toon ship), Dutch midfielder Nigel de Jong, unsettled West Ham striker Craig Bellamy, and Chelsea's substitute left back Wayne Bridge, letting striker Jo out on loan to Everton. Spurs brought back three, count-em, three former players; Pascal Chimbonda from Sunderland, Jermain Defoe back from Pompey, and finally, Robbie Keane, freeing him from his Liverpool nightmare. Also brought in were veteran Chelsea keeper Cudicini and one of Wigan's two players with any talent, Wilson Palacios.

Other notable transfers: Quaresma makes last minute loan deal to Chelsea, teaming up with former national team coach Scolari. Emile Heskey bolsters Aston Villa's increasingly threatening roster. Jimmy Bullard swaps Fulham for Hull City for 5 million, N'Zogbia joins Wigan.

Best transfer team: Tottenham Hotspur. Cudicini is probably the best deal of the window as a free transfer, and although Keane and Defoe can't stand each other, they both bolster Spurs' attack significantly, and if Palacios can live up to his potential, he could be a superstar in a year or two.

Worst transfer team: Fulham. To be frank, what was Roy Hodgson thinking? Jimmy Bullard is his best player, and with another relegation fight looming, letting him go could be their ticket to the Championship.

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