Premier League Football transfers saw Gareth Bale leave Tottenham Hotspur in a record breaking deal. Arsenal spent big to land Mesut Özil, Chelsea pinched Willian from Spurs, whilst Manchester United just managed to sign Marouane Fellaini.
"Mesut Ozil’s arrival has been the best news since the departure of William Galas."
Whether you are a football fan or a football wife, transfer deadline day is the highlight of many people’s lives.
The joy or pain depending on who you support alongside the last minute ‘Will they or won’t they?’ deals keep us all glued to the screen whether you are at school, work, play or just sat at home in your armchair with a cup of tea.
This year’s transfer window was no different in revealing the biggest kept secret in the world of football. I hear you screaming ‘No no not the Gareth Bale saga!’
The Gareth Bale situation was perhaps one of the longest transfer sagas ever recorded and it finally saw its conclusion with Spurs chairman, Daniel Levy eventually giving in to the massive demands of Real Madrid.
The key transfers and signings for the big clubs are as follows:
The biggest ever transfer fee for a football player exchanged hands between Tottenham Hotspur and Real Madrid with the latter paying in the excess of £85 million, beating the previous record held by Cristiano Ronaldo when he left Manchester United.
Tottenham Hotspur however, were very acute and bought in Paulinho [from: Corinthinas], Roberto Soldado [from: Valencia], Étienne Capoue [from: Toulouse], Erik Lamela [from: Roma], Nacer Chadli [from: FC Twente], Vlad Chiriche? [from: Steaua Bucharest] and Christian Eriksen [from: Ajax] before selling Bale.
Many believed it was the end of Spurs, but Daniel Levy hit back with the above seven signings to silence the critics.
Deadline day began both early and frantically with the bombshell that Mesut Özil of Real Madrid was having his medical in Germany for Arsenal. This story alone sent shockwaves throughout the world of football, because out of all the clubs it was in fact Arsenal being linked to a player who would cost in the region of £42 million.
Many Arsenal fans were probably being picked up off the floor in astonishment as they had never heard of such a huge sum being spent on a single player. Yes, they are linked with every player across the world but with never anything materialising because of Arsene Wenger’s policy of not spending money and bringing in young players for the future.
As it edged ever closer to the final bong at 11pm, fans started to wonder if this was just a gimmick, until it was LIVE to the Emirates Stadium for ‘Breaking News’ and confirmation that Mesut Özil had signed for Arsenal for £42.4 million and sending the crowd that had gathered into sheer ecstasy.
“Mesut Ozil’s arrival has been the best news I’ve heard since the departure of William Galas,” said a fifteen-year-old boy on the Arsenal Mumbai Supporters Club Facebook page.
Chelsea spent £32 million on Willian Borges da Silva from FC Anzi Makhachkala [Russian club], signing him from under the noses of Tottenham. Willian had already passed a medical for Spurs, only for Mourinho to intervene and take him to Stamford Bridge instead.
Christian Atsu also arrived at the bridge from Porto but was immediately loaned back to Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem. Victor Moses left for Liverpool on loan and what surprised many people was the exit of Romelu Lukaku to Everton on loan.
Secretly, Liverpool did their transfer business very early in the day with the capture of Victor Moses from Chelsea [on loan], Mamadou Sakho [£18 million] from Paris Saint-Germain and Tiago Ilori [£7 million] from Sporting Lisbon.
Simultaneously, Fabio Borini [loan: Sunderland] and Daniel Pacheco [to: Alcorcón] left Anfield. One Liverpool fan from the Official Liverpool Supporters Club Pakistan said: “The depth and quality in the squad is a huge improvement.”
The reigning champions Manchester United struggled to bring in players. All summer United bid and failed to land Cesc Fàbregas from Barcelona. After this came the double bid for David Moyes’s former Everton players Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini.
Everton stood firm and rejected all bids, making it clear that Baines was not for sale and United had to activate Fellaini’s release clause of £22 million. This story then went stale for a little while.
On the final day, news broke that Manchester United were in negotiations with Atheltico Bilbao’s Ander Herrera and that the Spanish player would be willing to join the champions of England.
However the deal broke down as Manchester United were not willing or unable to pay the £32 million release clause and the related taxes and charges.
Fans around the world must have been wandering what on earth has happened to Manchester United since the departure of the great Sir Alex Ferguson, had the Old Trafford outfit lost it’s pulling power of bringing in some of the world’s finest players. Very rarely have players rejected the chance to play for the mighty reds of Manchester.
Very close to the 11pm deadline, the news that every Manchester United fan had been waiting for all day arrived with the announcement that Marouane Fellaini of Everton had put pen to paper and signed from Everton for £27.5 million. But the one that got away was the signing of Real Madrid’s Fabio Coentrao.
Many Manchester United fans complained about the lack of signings in this window. However, one person from MUFC India Fans remarked:
“To all united fans who are complaining about the lack of transfers, I would like to ask you one thing, should United be known for creating superstars or buying them?”
With the majority of the clubs buying, selling and loaning out players in the biggest transfer window, the time has now come to settle down into their respective clubs and fight for one of the most prestigious crowns in football, the English Premier League. Who will conquer and who will fail?
Josy Joseph an award-winning investigative journalist from New Delhi is set to release his new book – A Feast of Vultures.