Best of the rest
Away from the headline deals involving Mesut Özil and Marouane Fellaini, it was still a busy day of Premier League activity on transfer deadline day. Adam Bate assesses some of the key bits of business.
By Adam Bate - Follow @GhostGoal
Last Updated: 05/09/13 5:57am
Arsenal's dramatic acquisition of Mesut Özil on transfer deadline day for a club record fee stole the headlines, while Marouane Fellaini's much-anticipated move to Manchester United also went through in the final hours of the window. The deals for Özil and Fellaini have been covered in depth here and here respectively, but they weren't the only transfers to go through on a hectic day. Now we take a look at the best of the rest of the deadline day activity...
Gareth Barry - Everton
The £100k per week wages will have left some Everton supporters feeling queasy but Gareth Barry is an experienced and adaptable player who should ensure the exit of Marouane Fellaini is a relatively seamless one. Fellaini has been asked to take on a more defensive role this season and Roberto Martinez's change of style has seen his pass completion rate go from 79 per cent to 89 per cent. But in Barry he has purchased a player more suited to the task. Not only is the England international a reliable distributor of the ball, he is unfairly dismissed as a conservative passer. Of the 50 players in the Premier League with an 86 per cent passing accuracy last season, Barry ranks in the top 10 for key passes. He could be a good fit for Martinez's Everton.
James McCarthy - Everton
Barry wasn't the only midfield arrival at Goodison Park on deadline day and it is the permanent signing of James McCarthy that will have Toffees fans excited. Wigan may have been relegated last season but not many had negative words for the Republic of Ireland midfielder as his promptings from the centre of the field indicated an ability to perform in more illustrious company. McCarthy was among the top six passers in the Premier League last season and those who were sceptical about Martinez's ability to change Everton's style might be of a different opinion now this man is involved.
Mamadou Sakho - Liverpool
With Daniel Agger, Martin Skrtel and Kolo Toure already at the club and no goals conceded in three games so far this season, the centre of defence might not have been a huge priority for Brendan Rodgers this transfer window but the Liverpool boss still did some great business with the acquisition of Mamadou Sakho. Reds fans are already getting excited by the fact that the France international had the best pass completion rate of any Ligue 1 player to attempt more than 1000 passes last season but - as his clearances against Valencia in the graphic below indicate - he is also a strong player capable of defending his own penalty area.
Victor Moses - Liverpool
Rodgers has relied upon the subtle skills of Philippe Coutinho and Iago Aspas thus far to support Daniel Sturridge, while the pace of Raheem Sterling offers a good alternative from the bench. But the run of clean sheets will have to come to an end some time and even with Luis Suarez to return, three goals from three games suggests further attacking options will also be welcome. Victor Moses is that man. A robust forward with the touch to mix it with the pass-masters, his direct approach could prove an important weapon for those moments when the nut does actually require a meeting with the sledgehammer.
Fabio Borini - Sunderland
As one forward walks into Melwood, another leaves and Fabio Borini is unlikely to look back on his season at Liverpool with much affection. He arrived having made Italy's Euro 2012 squad and on a high after a breakthrough season with Roma but his big-money move failed to ignite as he failed to earn a single Premier League start after September. Comfortable in any of the forward roles, it will be interesting to see how he is used by Paolo Di Canio - a coach who appears to favour 4-4-2. Borini had his best moments playing ahead of a creative midfield that included Francesco Totti and Erik Lamela but will playing alongside a target man and feasting off crosses be to his liking?
Ki Sung-Yueng - Sunderland
The loan signing of Ki Sung-Yueng from Swansea looks a safer bet for Sunderland than the aforementioned Borini. Indeed, it is a little surprising that the South Korea international has been allowed to leave the Liberty Stadium after playing an important role last season. He enjoyed the best pass completion rate of any Premier League player - more Leon Britton than Leon Britton, it seems. That's the sort of ball retention that could help transform Sunderland and give their talented wide men the platform to play.
Marko Arnautovic - Stoke
You've all heard the stories about Mario Balotelli's bad-boy buddy. "Marko is a fantastic guy but he has the attitude of a child," said Jose Mourinho during his time coaching Marko Arnautovic at Inter. "Mario Balotelli is his best friend and he happens to have the same qualities. This is not easy." The Austrian's former national team boss Didi Constantini once axed him from the squad claiming he would not return until he had "fundamentally changed". Mark Hughes obviously fancies his chances of succeeding where those before him failed. Perhaps he'll give Steve McClaren a call - Arnautovic scored 12 goals from him at Twente back in 2008/09.
4 - Romelu Lukaku was the only player in the Premier League last season to score 4+ goals with his left foot, right foot & head. Versatile.- OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 2, 2013
Romelu Lukaku - Everton
Only last week, Sky Sports writer Daniel Storey was making a compelling case for Romelu Lukaku to get his chance at Stamford Bridge but the Belgium international has had to look elsewhere for first-team football and Everton looks a good fit. Playing as the forward pivot ahead of a talented midfield, Lukaku can expect to develop his game under Martinez. His impressive record for West Brom last season suggests he might pick up some goals on the way as well...
|Premier League goals - 2012/13|
|Player||Goals||Goals per 90 mins|
Victor Anichebe - West Brom
Although a tally of 18 goals in 131 Premier League games makes the Nigeria international an underwhelming acquisition by the normally miserly West Brom at £6million, as the above table shows, his goals per game record last season was more encouraging. There is competition for places in the attacking positions at the Hawthorns but Anichebe could prove a specific asset with his ability to hold the ball up for his side.
Stephen Ireland - Stoke
There was a time when Aston Villa were perceived to have got the best of the swap deal with Manchester City for James Milner. But it feels a long time ago now. Mentality rather than ability is appears to be at the root of the problem but it will also be interesting to see whether Mark Hughes sets up a system that can allow Ireland to flourish. Stoke have played 4-5-1 in each of their first three Premier League fixtures with erstwhile full-back Marc Wilson holding so there would appear to be scope for Ireland to play the forward-thinking midfield role in which he once had such potential. After making just 50 starts since his nine-goal season for Hughes' Manchester City in 2008/09, whether he can seize such an opportunity remains to be seen.
Cameron Jerome - Crystal Palace
The loan signing from Stoke certainly has Premier League experience and his 11 top flight goals in a defensive set-up at Birmingham in the 2009/10 season shows that Cameron Jerome can score at this level. But 10 goals in 84 appearances since then suggests Crystal Palace would be unwise to stake their survival hopes on the 27-year-old striker. At least Ian Holloway has attacking options and his willingness to rotate his squad will ensure there are chances for Jerome to shine - something that left him frustrated with life under Tony Pulis in the Potteries.
Libor Kozak - Aston Villa
With Christian Benteke and Nicklas Helenius already at the club, Villa wouldn't have been your first pick if asked to name a side that needed to add a tall forward to their roster. But the signing of Libor Kozak fits the Paul Lambert mould - a hard-working young player yet to make good on his raw potential. Given that Helenius appears set for a deeper role off the frontman, Kozak's initial role is likely to be as Benteke's deputy so there will be time to adapt to his new surroundings. Expect cup plundering to be his area of expertise...
8 - Libor Kozak was the top scorer in the UEFA Europa League last season, ahead of Cavani and Cardozo (both seven). Warrior.- OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) September 2, 2013
Peter Odemwingie - Cardiff City
It may have come seven months later than he had hoped but Peter Odemwingie finally got his deadline day move away from West Brom. Given the subsequent failure of Queens Park Rangers, he may well count himself fortunate to have pitched up in Cardiff instead. South Wales could be an exciting place to be if the win over Manchester City is anything to go by and Odemwingie has form with Premier League new boys - he scored 15 goals for the Baggies on their top-flight return in the 2010/11 season. Malky Mackay would no doubt settle for a fraction of that tally if Odemwingie can perform an effective job-share with Craig Bellamy on the Cardiff right-wing.