Top 5 Deadline Day signings
There was no sign of Harry Redknapp being interviewed at the wheel, no images of Peter Odemwingie stranded in a car park, and no Sky Sports News interviewers were pestered by members of the general public.
It wasn’t vintage, but there was a flurry of last-minute transfer activity in the January transfer window. We look at the top 5 signings on Deadline Day…
1. Denis Suarez (Barcelona to Arsenal) – Loan
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) January 31, 2019
‘Suarez to Arsenal’ brings back fond memories of the Gunners’ ludicrous £40m and one pound offer to buy Luis Suarez from Liverpool in 2013, to the backdrop of laughter from the watching world. Liverpool owner John Henry further put the boot in, asking on Twitter, “What do you think they’re smoking over there at the Emirates?” Brilliant.
This was officially signed off yesterday but Denis got a fond farewell message from his namesake Luis today. The youngster has been at Barcelona for the past three years and, worryingly, has made only two appearances in La Liga so far this season.
Suarez brings bags of potential and fits the mould of Unai Emery’s side, but the 25-year-old has struggled to settle at any club he’s been at. This is yet another loan signing for the midfielder, but it represents an opportunity to impress in the Premier League in the hope of a permanent move in the summer.
It’s now or never for the Spaniard.
2. Peter Crouch (Stoke City to Burnley) – Undisclosed
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) January 31, 2019
Crouch was the darling of the BBC in 2018 after the first series of That Peter Crouch Podcast. You’d be forgiven for thinking that the 38-year-old striker had retired several years ago. Fresh from their draw at Old Trafford in the week, this will add further buoyancy for Burnley in an otherwise wretched season so far.
Surprisingly, Crouch has been with Stoke City since 2011 but no Deadline Day is complete without him being linked to a move away. It’s finally happened.
Crouch joins an illustrious list of former England internationals who have rocked up at Turf Moor in the denouement of their careers (and some of these you may think ‘did they really play for Burnley?’) – Paul Gascoigne, Ian Wright and Andy Cole to name a few.
Poor old Sam Vokes was a makeweight in the deal (stop laughing at the back) and gone the other way to Stoke City. Crouch has a better goal-per-minute record for England than Gary Lineker and Michael Owen, and Burnley are undoubtedly getting one of the best English marksmen around over the past few years. Only time will tell whether he can still cut it in the top-flight.
3. Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United to Shandong Luneng) – Undisclosed
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) January 31, 2019
Everybody’s favourite elbow-wielding specialist finally secured his long-awaited move away from Old Trafford on Deadline Day. The Belgian has signed for Chinese side Shandong Luneng.
Since taking the reins at Old Trafford, Ole Gunnar Solksjaer has favoured pace in his starting line-ups, which has marginalised Fellaini, Romelu Lukaku and Juan Mata. Tuesday night saw the final nail in Fellaini’s Manchester United coffin as it took a series of substitutions from Solksjaer to rescue a late draw at home to Burnley.
The time seems right for Fellaini to make his move elsewhere, although it feels slightly too early for a final payday in the Chinese Super League. Like many before him, expect Fellaini to make a swift return to the Premier League next season once his pockets have been sufficiently stuffed.
4. Emile Smith-Rowe (Arsenal to RB Leipzig) – Loan
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) January 31, 2019
This one went slightly under the radar in the midst of a flurry of last-minute activity. The highly-rated youngster has agreed to move to RB Leipzig on a loan deal until the end of the season, which manager Unai Emery believes will give him ‘valuable competitive action’. We wrote here about the promising young Gunner’s story so far.
Gone are the days where a loan deal means you’re being marginalised from the first-team set-up, and it feels like the right time for him to get first-team action elsewhere. It’s worth remembering Harry Kane went on four loan spells away from Tottenham as part of his early development.
The 18-year-old becomes the latest in a long line of youngsters who have made the move to the Bundesliga, folowing Jadon Sancho, Reece Oxford, Chima Sean Okoroji and Reiss Nelson.
Smith-Rowe has previously talked about his shy demeanour, so a move away from home should help build his confidence for a bright future in the Premier League. Watch this space.
5. Miguel Almiron (Atlanta United to Newcastle United) – £20m
— B/R Football (@brfootball) January 29, 2019
Newcastle broke their club record by signing striker Miguel Almiron for £20m. Amazingly, it’s beats the £16m paid for Michael Owen back in 2005. Almiron has long been tipped as Major League Soccer’s finest talent.
Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez has been tracking the Paraguayan for over a year, and Almiron’s flexibility to play in a range of positions will be key. The Spaniard’s unflinching patience with the Newcastle hierarchy continues to baffle, but Benitez finally has his man.
Almiron has 13 caps for Paraguay and has become well-known in the MLS for his pace and a stunning left foot. The investment represents a gear shift at Newcastle but in the long term it may ultimately not be enough to placate an expectant and disillusioned fan base.