It’s something which Premier League teams won’t have to deal with from next season. Many players returned from the international break to brand new clubs and took part in their first round of fixtures with their new teammates. This will all change with the new rules but we still had one more season of deadline day debuts. It was a big weekend for managers who had the first opportunity to showcase their new acquisitions to fans and pundits alike. For some, it was a joyous justification full of optimism but others will be searching their pockets looking for a receipt.
In a recent interview with Betway, the original ‘super agent’ Jon Smith outlined how transfers are supposed to happen. Negotiations should start “three to four months” before the transfer window even opens claims Jon who represented Diego Maradona during his time at Napoli.
“Unless you get to the middle of August and someone’s just bought your left-back.
“If that wasn’t on your radar, then you have to jump some hoops very quickly.”
There were more than few clubs ‘jumping hoops’ on deadline day this season with no fewer than 15 deals taking place on 31 August involving Premier League clubs. After delays and the continuation of the loan window, there were another eight in the days which followed.
Swansea City were perhaps the busiest with Fernando Llorente going out and both Wilfried Bony and Bayern Munich’s Renato Sanches coming in. Spurs added Llorente and brought in Serge Aurier from PSG. Chelsea also added a right-back with the addition of Davide Zappacosta as well as Danny Drinkwater from Leicester City. Drinkwater wasn’t the only player to move between Premier League clubs late on with Tim Krul swapping Newcastle for Brighton, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain moving to Liverpool and Mamadou Sakho swapping Liverpool for Crystal Palace.
Very few of these players will have enjoyed their first appearances for their new clubs. Many were involved in either a humiliating defeat or an embarrassing performance but some will be pretty pleased with their respective moves. Let’s take a look at some of the best and, of course, the worst.
Davide Zappacosta is the only deadline day capture to actually play in a winning team. The Italian right-back came off the bench and put in a decent shift on the flank during his side’s 2-1 win at Leicester City. Fellow new boy Danny Drinkwater didn’t have to travel far for his first game as Chelsea player. He will have been pleased with what happened on the pitch despite not setting a foot on it.
He’s not the only one in that regard. At Spurs, neither Llorente nor Serge Aurier took part in their 3-0 victory over Everton. Tim Krul watched his new side Brighton win and there will be some happy new signings at Watford. Marco Silva’s side secured an excellent 2-0 win away at Southampton without the help of new signings Molla Wague, Orestis Karnezis or Marvin Zeegelaar. The trio faces a tough test to get in a winning side.
It’s hard to discuss this without immediately singling out Renato Sanches. Stats have been widely reported of his woeful debut for Swansea City and with good reason. He had a stinker during the Swans’ 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United, squandering possession an almost impressive 23 times. At times, the criticism has been a little unfair. He’s a 20-year-old who is drastically lacking in confidence and has just swapped the German champions for a rain-soaked South Wales. It was a whirlwind few days for Sanches who showed some quality but is clearly missing match sharpness. The Swans’ other new signing, Wilfried Bony is in the same boat. Glimpses of talent but looked unfit and off the pace at the Liberty.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain hasn’t had the best few weeks on the pitch despite securing a big-money move off it. He lost 4-0 to Liverpool in his last game for Arsenal before losing 5-0 to Manchester City in his first game for Liverpool. He was drastically better at the Etihad than he was for Arsenal at Anfield but his performance was so bad that day it’s barely a compliment.
So, it was hardly the first weekend many Premier League players had dreamt off when they made their deadline day moves. Renato Sanches is some way away from living up to the hype and Wilfried Bony didn’t fare much better. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was on the wrong end of another thrashing while his former side Arsenal secured a 3-0 victory just an hour later. Others enjoyed their first matches a little more. Davide Zappacosta had a decent cameo and the likes of Danny Drinkwater, Tim Krul and the trio at Watford must have made some pretty smug onlookers. A few winners but a lot more people thinking twice about their late decisions.