So who managed to pull their players in while the window was still open and what teams had their fingers smashed when the window slammed shut?
Since those of us in the world of fantasy EPL football have little or no life and what life we have revolves around our fantasy rosters, what do these moves mean to managers looking for help?
The top teams with the most need are clearly Arsenal and Tottenham. Arsenal had a vault full of money from the sale of Cesc and Nasri and made some moves for their disgruntled supporters as outlined below.
Sir John believes Spurs wisely signed Adebayor on loan from Manchester City and that he will be an immediate upgrade to the front line when he plays Wolves on September 10. His fantasy salary is bargain basement. But what about the deals that were made as the window was falling like a guillotine?
Fantasy salaries are still to be determined on most of the players mentioned below; however, here are thoughts on the top names headed to new teams:
1. Park Chu-Young to Arsenal. Arsene Wenger is likely to insert the 26-year-old South Korean from Monaco into his starting lineup immediately to take some of the defensive attention away from Robin Van Persie. Probably a good fantasy pickup at a salary that will should be modest.
Park may wonder what he is getting into after watching the 8-2 stomp Man Yoo put on the Gooners; however, once Arsenal gets Wilshere, Sagna, Song, Diaby and later Gervinho back, the Gunners can’t possibly be any worse than they were at Old Trafford. And they have an EPL newcomer as their first game after the international break.
2. Joey Barton to Queens Park Rangers. The Newcastle to QPR bad-boy carries a 6.2 fantasy salary and a police blotter heavily soaked with ink. QPR’s midfield is upgraded with Barton and SWP now ready to team with Taarabt. The question remains, is there any scoring help from the Ranger front line?
3. Armand Traore to Queens Park Rangers. Another QPR addition as Arsenal sheds a defender who arrives with a fairly high salary of 5.8 million.
4. Scott Parker to Tottenham. The West Ham midfielder comes off a season filled with personal honors and relegation disaster during the Undertaker’s regime. Parker arrives at White Hart Lane with a good attitude and a different mind-set than his fellow mid-fielder Luka Modric who wimped out and told ‘Arry he did not want to play against Man City. With the transfer window shut, Sir John opines that Modric will resume being the professional he’s shown in the past and form a good partnership in servicing Adebayor and Rafael VdV. Parker may gain more fantasy points than Luka and is a good buy.
5. Owen Hargreaves to Manchester City. This is a gamble that (shock!) won’t cost Manchester City any money. Hargreaves comes at no cost and if he is physically able to play, it will be a wonderful comeback story; however, don’t look for the former Man Yoo legend to play all that much next to Silva, Nasri, Toure, Barry, Milner, and eventually DeJong. The Hargreaves move is likely to bolster City for non-EPL competition, which means any fantasy manager putting him on their roster at any price will be wasting a position and throwing budget money away.
6. Davide Santon to Newcastle. The former Inter fullback is just 20 and not likely to carry a big fantasy salary. The Magpies are stingy on defense, so this is a good fantasy selection.
7. Sebastian Coates to Liverpool. The Reds get a 20-year-old highly valued defender from Nacional; however, fantasy managers should wonder how much is this guy going to play with defenders like Carragher, Skrtel, Agger, Kelly, Enrique and eventually Glen Johnson available for Kenny Dalglish.
8. Per Mertesacher to Arsenal. With the Gooners defensive line in a state of incompetence and shock, the 6’6” German 26-year-old center half comes with 75 international caps. Even so, he may be slower on his feet than Wenger was while walking to the locker room following last Sunday’s defeat. At 10 million pounds, Mertesacher arrives having drained far less from Arsenal’s budget than the ridiculous 17 million pound price tag that was attached to Bolton’s Gary Cahill who wound up staying with the meandering Wanderers.
9. Craig Bellamy to Liverpool. An interesting bundle of energy and controversy returns to Anfield. How much playing time Bellamy gets is uncertain especially with Suerez in command of the front line. Andrew Carroll can’t be pleased with the addition. I would not invest a fantasy transfer or money in Bellamy.
10. David Ngog to Bolton. Ngog has been a “no-go” for most of his EPL career. Kevin Davies and Ivan Klasnic are about it for quality strikers at Bolton but I would not invest fantasy resources in the 22-year-old Frenchman who plays rather soft and has a 5.5 million salary.
11. Andre Santos to Arsenal. The 28-year-old Brazilian comes in to shore up the ravaged defensive line for Wenger; however, future clean sheets don’t appear to be stacked in the Gunner’s linen closet.
12. Zdemel Grygero to Fulham. The 31-year-old defender comes on a free transfer from Juventus. The Cottagers need offense, not defense.
13. Bryan Ruiz to Fulham. Now this is what Fulham need. The 27-year-old Winger from FC Twente via Costa Rica brings offense and transfer day insurance on a day Jol thought he might lose Dempsey. A good fantasy risk for those managers already in relegation poo.
14. Yossi Bennyoun to Arsenal. The 31-year-old Midfielder is no Cesc or Nasri; however, he will bring energy to a lackluster center of the Arsenal attack, but will he get serious minutes? He is nowhere near his form before the Achilles rupture. He and Torres worked well together at Liverpool, so he might do well with the Dutchie. With Chelsea unloading several players, are other teams merely getting pub scraps? His one-time big fantasy salary has plummeted to 6.1 million.
15. Scott Dann to Blackburn. The Birmingham defender leaves one relegated club for what may be the worst team in the EPL? Hard to figure that one out. Not a good fantasy investment. Two relegation fights in two years? Lots of luck.
16. Shaun Wright-Phillips to QPR. The hustling height-challenged midfielder goes from zero prospects at Man City to helping the Rangers survive the EPL. Barton and SWP give QPR a new look and new attitude in midfield. I would be more inclined to use fantasy resources for Barton than the 29-year-old midget who was a one-time England international. He carries a 5 million fantasy salary.
17. Wilson Palacious to Stoke. The 27-year-old Honduran midfielder never had that much success at Spurs after coming from Wigan. Stoke need offensive production in midfield; however, one wonders if Wilson will be any more famous than Wilson in the movie “Castaway”. His 4.9 fantasy salary might be worth a gamble.
18. Mikel Arteta to Arsenal. Just before Big Ben chimed, Mikel Arteta left Everton for the Emirates. The Spaniard has had a so-so career in the north and has struggled with frequent injuries and an occasional case of hot-headedness. If nothing else, Arse is showing the Gooner nation he is in business to stay in business and be in contention for silverware. Arteta is another in what is now a crowded Arsenal midfield and carries a 6.1 million fantasy salary.
19. Gael Kakuta to Bolton. Yawn. More pub scraps involving a midfielder with no prospects of playing time at Chelsea. The 20-year-old Frenchman with a 5 million fantasy salary was loaned out last season at Fulham and will do the same at Bolton while providing salary relief to the Blues.
20. Raul Meireles to Chelsea. The fastest transfer of the day. Thirty minutes after telling Liverpool he wanted out, the former player signed with his old manager. He comes as damaged goods with a neck/shoulder injury and will contend with Mata, Malouda, Lampard & Company for playing time. He had an explosion of fantasy points over several weeks last season with Liverpool, but not much since. At 6.2 million, buyer beware.
21. Cameron Jerome to Stoke. The former Birmingham striker is not likely to bring big fantasy rewards. Stick with Kenwyne Jones. But then again, Jones was about all Tony Pulis had up front, so Jerome may help.
22. Anton Ferdinand to QPR. The Sunderland defender, now with a newly stocked QPR has never delivered many fantasy points and will continue to play in the shadow of his famous brother. Fantasy salary is 5.1 million.
23. Alan Hutton to Aston Villa. Not much fantasy potential here as the Scottish defender moves from Spurs. Has no fantasy points and a 5.7 million salary. Thanks but no thanks.
24. Jermaine Jenas to Aston Villa. Another of ‘Arry’s lads makes a lateral move. Hardly a fantasy midfield point-getter even at 5.5 million.
25. Nicklas Bendtner to Sunderland. The Arsenal striker has had his king-size ego punctured in a loan move to a mid-table team. Can Steve Bruce get the Dane’s head screwed on right? Bendtner’s fantasy salary of 5.7 million seems to be a good investment considering Sunderland’s front line is dismal especially since Gyan has fallen out of favor.
There was one other deal that had a bizarre twist:
Spurs turned down an offer from the London Zoo for Peter “The Giraffe” Crouch and sold him to Stoke.
Sorry, I couldn’t resist that. Crouchy was dealt in a last-minute transaction and although likable, is no longer a Spur in the side of Tottenham’s supporters. Crouch has a modest 6.3 million salary.
As always happens, just before the transfer window closes, there were rumors about this player and that player going to this team or that team that were beyond wild. Clint Dempsey to Arsenal was a howler. The Wesley Sneijder to Man Yoo deal was like the Terminator that keeps being crushed only to reassemble itself. Why would SAF want to tinker with what he has now? Sneijder stayed put.
Sir John cannot believe the 40 million pounds Spurs turned down for Luka Modric. If you examine his past numbers, he is just not worth that much. The problem is that the late offer did not give Spurs any time to secure a player of that worth and obviously they did not want to wait for the January transfer window.
Finally, an ESPN Soccernet headline gave Sir John a chuckle. It read: “Joe Cole linked with shock loan to Lille.”
The shock is that any team would bring in the Chelsea-Liverpool flop. The 29-year-old is a good guy who works hard and that’s about it. Now that he has signed with Lille, I guess all you can say is that England improved its trade deficit by exporting him to France.
Let the new-look EPL resume September 10! Along with thousands of fantasy managers, I can hardly wait.