soccernet blog
On The Move
September 1, 2010
Posted by Mark Lomas on 09/01/2010

Another August 31 has gone by and another transfer window has slammed shut, with a sense of optimism building among those fans whose clubs moved for new faces to strengthen for the final time before January. Soccernet assesses the deals.


Rafael van der Vaart could still be heading to Spurs © Getty Images

The shirt presses have been warmed up ready for an influx of supporters buying the replica shirts of their new heroes - though one must feel this particular activity is more likely to be reserved for Sunderland fans welcoming Asamoah Gyan than Liverpool fans with Paul Konchesky.

The kind-hearted people at the Premier League moved the deadline from midnight to 18.00 BST this year - though this was apparently not enough for Spurs who are still trying to thrash out a deal for Rafael van der Vaart - so there have been a good 15 hours to digest a day of last-minute deals...

The day's biggest deal - certainly in financial terms - was Robinho's €18 million switch from Manchester City to AC Milan, a transfer that gives the Brazilian an opportunity to prove that he still possesses both the talent and application to thrive in one of Europe's top leagues. It is not clear how he will fit into a Rossoneri front three already boasting Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Alexandre Pato and Ronaldinho - but don't be surprised if either Robinho or his toothy compatriot return to their homeland with their tails between their legs come January, having become frustrated by a lack of playing time.

World Cup star Asamoah Gyan will now be hoping to recreate his impressive summer form for Ghana on a Premier League platform after Sunderland broke their transfer record to provide Darren Bent with a strike partner of note. Bent will undoubtedly be happy to have someone to help shoulder the Wearsiders' goalscoring burden, but it is bad news for Fraizer Campbell - who will certainly find himself out of favour if the Black Stars striker shines brightly at the Stadium of Light.

There are plenty of players whose transfers were driven by a desire to prove themselves, and the arrivals of Eidur Gudjohnsen and Jermaine Pennant at Stoke could be inspired as the pair will be determined to prove their Premier League credentials once again. Similarly, goal-shy Dave Kitson's departure from the Britannia Stadium to Portsmouth sees him move to a level where he has previously flourished.

Loan moves outweighed actual signings on deadline day, with Birmingham's capture of Alexander Hleb appearing the most astute piece of business. Arsenal fans bemoaned his sale to Barcelona back in 2008, and if he can come anywhere near replicating the sort of displays that earned him that move to the Nou Camp, he will be an extremely valuable addition. Other notable short-term moves included Emiliano Insua from Liverpool to Galatasary - surely a pre-cursor to a permanent deal at a later date, Armand Traore heading to Juventus and Wigan taking a punt on highly-rated Manchester United youngster Tom Cleverley.

On the continent, Real Madrid defender Royston Drenthe joined the Hercules revolution on loan, with David Trezeguet having also joined the newly-promoted La Liga side. AC Milan striker Marco Borriello decided to cut his losses at the San Siro following a raft of new arrivals, moving to Roma until at least the end of the season, while Kakha Kaladze has ended his nine-year association with the Rossoneri after signing for Genoa. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar has also left Milan, ending a disappointing spell by joining Schalke - where he will form an exciting looking strike force with Raul.

Fresh pages and new chapters are the order of the day for all those who have moved, but with most supporters used to false dawns and failure to live up to hype, it remains to be seen which
players will enjoy a happy ending.