SPORTS Early deals eclipse deadline-day desperation


Early deals eclipse deadline-day desperation

China Daily

10:58, October 07, 2020

Edinson Cavani (left) and Thomas Partey joined Manchester United and Arsenal respectively on transfer deadline day. (Photo: Agencies)

LONDON-English Premier League clubs embarked on a final flurry of spending on Monday before the international transfer window slammed shut.

Manchester United and Arsenal made the biggest headlines on deadline day with deals for Edinson Cavani and Thomas Partey respectively.

AFP Sport looks at how the top teams fared in the summer market:


What do you give the manager who has everything?

Heading into the final days of the transfer window, it seemed Jurgen Klopp's desires had been well catered for as he bolstered a squad that powered to the title last term and won the Champions League just two seasons ago.

Klopp's headline addition was Spain midfielder Thiago Alcantara, who arrived from Bayern Munich for 20 million pounds ($25 million). The Reds boss also spent 41 million pounds on Wolves forward Diogo Jota, while Greek leftback Kostas Tsimikas arrived from Olympiakos as back-up for Andrew Robertson.

But Sunday's astonishing 7-2 defeat at Aston Villa cast a fresh spotlight on Liverpool's squad and the glare wasn't entirely flattering.

Liverpool has conceded 11 goals in just four league games this season, with Joe Gomez looking especially vulnerable amid suggestions Klopp should have brought in a centerback to provide competition for the berth alongside Virgil van Dijk at the heart of the defense.

Manchester City

Frustrated by the defensive deficiencies that ruined City's bid for a third successive title last season, Pep Guardiola spent over 100 million pounds on two centerbacks.

Nathan Ake was signed from Bournemouth for 41 million pounds, but after the Dutch international was part of a back four that conceded five goals at home to Leicester, Guardiola decided to double down on the position with a 61-million-pound move for Benfica's Ruben Dias.

Dias is regarded as a natural leader and he will need to live up to that billing as City has looked bereft of organization and fight since Vincent Kompany's departure to Anderlecht last year.

Ferran Torres' 20-million-pound arrival from Valencia seemed an extravagance given City's wealth of options on the flanks.

Manchester United

Lurching from one bungled deal to another, United endured a troubled transfer window that added to boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's problems on the pitch.

United's third-place finish last season raised hopes of a big leap forward fueled by a host of star signings, but instead they became embroiled in a protracted and ultimately unsuccessful pursuit of Borussia Dortmund forward Jadon Sancho.

Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, who takes the lead on United's transfer deals, also failed to land Aston Villa playmaker Jack Grealish and Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele.

Signing former Paris Saint Germain striker Edinson Cavani, 33, on a free transfer on deadline day smacked of desperation and did little to appease frustrated fans still fuming after Sunday's 6-1 thrashing by Tottenham.

Porto leftback Alex Telles also arrived on Monday for 13.5 million pounds, but neither he nor Donny van de Beek, who joined last month from Ajax for 40 million pounds, are likely to set pulses racing.


Snap judgment suggests Frank Lampard was the transfer window's big winner.

Looking to close the gap on Liverpool, Lampard convinced Blues owner Roman Abramovich to bankroll a 200-million-pound spree that landed German forwards Timo Werner and Kai Havertz, Ajax playmaker Hakim Ziyech, Leicester defender Ben Chilwell, Rennes keeper Edouard Mendy, plus Thiago Silva on a free transfer.

Whether Lampard will be able to gel those new signings into a cohesive unit is the question that will define Chelsea's season.

Chasing pack

The teams hoping to break into the top four all strengthened their cases with some astute deals.

Arsenal met a 45-million-pound release clause to sign Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey just minutes before the deadline, a deal that followed their signings of Chelsea winger Willian and Lille defender Gabriel Magalhaes.

The return of Gareth Bale on loan from Real Madrid was a coup for Tottenham, which also signed Matt Doherty, Sergio Reguilon and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

Unbeaten table-topper Everton has been revitalized by the arrival of Colombia playmaker James Rodriguez from Real Madrid, while Carlo Ancelotti's rebuild included deals for Allan, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Ben Godfrey and Robin Olsen.


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