September 1 marks the closure of the transfer window until January, thus the date typically marks a flurry of activity amongst Europe’s elite and here’s Sports Pundit’s review of the day’s action.
English Premier League
Of all the European clubs, it seems the English sides have a propensity to act like a slack student and do their business at the last minute. Indeed, the English Premier League provided plenty of September 1’s action with a few of the relegation threatened clubs deciding to get busy.
Struggling Portsmouth, who’ve worryingly started the league season with four straight losses, have been the most active of any club, but perhaps the signings have proved slightly underwhelming with a hint of desperation shown by the south coast club.
Manchester City’s Israeli defender Tal Ben Haim is probably the pick of the bunch, while the additions of Watford’s Mike Williamson for £3m and Hassan Yebda on loan from Benfica offer rather unknown qualities at this level. Pompey also had a move for Aston Villa full-back Nicky Shorey fall through, representing a desperate last day scramble down at Fratton Park.
Going the other way, Pompey have sent goal-shy David Nugent out on loan to Burnley, but the major loss is Croatian international Niko Kranjčar, who has joined Tottenham. Spurs also made a move for Sunderland’s Anton Ferdinand but nothing materialised of their interest.
Another relegation threatened club, Hull City, signed Stoke’s Senegalese centre-half Ibrahima Sonko on loan following the departure of the club’s 2007/08 and 2008/09 Player of the Year Michael Turner.
Stoke City, on the other hand, have covered Sonko’s loss by signing Sunderland’s Welsh defender Danny Collins, while second-last Bolton have added another forward option in the form of Croatian hitman Ivan Klasnic.
Towards the top, Aston Villa have been busy improving their depleted defence (in the wake of Martin Laursen’s retirement and the departure of Zat Knight and Gareth Barry in the summer) with West Ham’s James Collins signing on, while Manchester City’s Richard Dunne looks likely to join but the Birmingham club have been forced to wait on his signature.
Everton too, have bolstered their defence with Dutch centre-half Johnny Heitinga arriving from Atletico Madrid for £6.2m, as the Toffees seek a replacement for Manchester City bound Joleon Lescott.
Meanwhile, Chelsea captain John Terry has signed a new deal with the London club securing his future at Stamford Bridge until 2014. Terry was the subject of much speculation with big-spending Manchester City interested in the England international.
Spanish La Liga
Barcelona have made a few late changes by completing the €25m deal for Dmytro Chyhrynskiy from Shakhtar Donetsk, whilst allowing Eidur Gudjohnsen to head across the border to French Ligue 1 club Monaco.
Heitinga’s departure to Everton, leaves Atletico Madrid one short in defence and for a side who continually concede too many goals, the departure of the Dutchman may hurt.
Italian Serie A
Lazio’s Macedonian star Goran Pandev was the subject of plenty of talk on deadline day, but in the end the forward will remain in Rome, for the time being. Internazionale and Genoa both were interested in Pandev, but nothing eventuated.
Title-chasing Juventus bolstered their defence by signing World Cup winner Fabio Grosso from Olympique Lyon, while unsettled Ricardo Quaresma edged for a move from Inter but nothing materialised for the Portuguese winger.
It is finally official, Franck Ribéry will stay at the Allianz Arena. For now, at least. Real Madrid’s interest in the Bayern Munich superstar wasn’t enough for the Bavarians to strike a deal and Ribéry will now play his part in the club’s title challenge alongside new signing Arjen Robben, who scored twice on his debut last weekend. It is a major boost for Bayern who accounted for the reigning champions VfL Wolfsburg 3-0 on Saturday.
There was no deal either for Schalke’s Brazilian Rafinha who had been linked with a switch to Bayern, while Hertha Berlin’s interest in Andriy Voronin petered out with Liverpool’s asking price too high for the cash strapped capital club.
Hertha, who currently sit in the bottom three having lost their last 3 Bundesliga matches, have been able to make some changes, with experienced Florian Kringe arriving on loan from Dortmund along with Adrian Ramos from Colombia and Brazilian Cesar.
French Ligue 1
Paris St-Germain were busy with Jérome Rothen heading out to Scottish giants Rangers on loan, whilst they secured forward Peguy Luyindula’s signature with a new deal lasting until 2012.
Nice were the big spenders on deadline day, splashing out €2.5m for Lyon’s Anthony Mounier, in a bid to boost their frontline, while Monaco, who gained Gudjohnsen, allowed young winger Djamel Bakar to move to stuttering Nancy.
Elsewhere, Dutch giants Ajax added young Brazilian talent Kerlon on loan from Inter, while Steve MacClaren’s FC Twente signed Wellington from Hoffenheim and Australian international David Carney. And Belgian club Standard Liege, who’ll compete in this season’s UEFA Champions League, signed Tottenham’s out of favour full-back Ricardo Rocha.