While this transfer window certainly has been one of the most interesting and expensive windows football has seen for quite a while, it was a few surprises on the final day that brought everything together.
From Neymar’s earth-shattering transfer fee all the way to Chelsea letting Nemanja Matic go thus handing Manchester United the final piece of the puzzle, the last three months have certainly seen a lot of action. With players moving to and fro for incredible amounts of money, there will always be winners, losers and a few surprises on the deadline day which certainly ties everything together.
Chelsea and Antonio Conte, for example, lost on out nearly four players which include Romelu Lukaku, Ross Barkley, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and even Fernando Llorente, while former Blues boss Jose Mourinho brought in Lukaku, Nemanja Matic, and Victor Lindelof to round off his squad.
But while things were certainly entertaining, it was the August 31st aka transfer deadline day that brought about quite a few surprises, here are a few.
Renato Sanches on a season long loan spell to Swansea City
Possibly the most surprising move yesterday was Swansea City swooping in for Bayern Munich youngster Renato Sanches, with the promising Portuguese man heading to the Premier League on a one-year loan from the Bundesliga Champions.
There is no question about it, this is an incredible coup for the Swans. Yes, despite the fact that it’s only a loan spell and it’s only for a year. Because as an 18-year-old, Sanches was easily one of Portugal’s best players at the Euro 2016, but the move resulting from that hasn’t worked out that well so far.
Sanches made fewer than 20 appearances for Bayern Munich last season and while fans expected a lot from the then 19-year-old, his performances wasn’t up to par. But despite the setback, he’s still considered as one of the top young talents in Europe and players like that are not available very often, particularly for sides that barely managed a upper-mid table finish.
Grzegorz Krychowiak on a season long loan to West Brom
West Bromwich Albion has pulled off another summer coup, as they made the first signing of the day with Grzegorz Krychowiak from PSG. Although the Poland international has only signed a one-year loan deal, Krychowiak will be a brilliant addition to Tony Pulis’ side.
His versatility to play as both a central defensive midfielder and even as a center-back will become extremely useful for the Baggies, towards the end of the season. Krychowiak also arrives with plenty of experience as the 27-year-old has two Europa League trophies to his name, and has won the French League Cup with PSG, among other honors.
West Brom however, has been on fire bringing in Arsenal’s Kieran Gibbs, Southampton’s Jay Rodriguez and Gareth Barry from Everton to pump up their hopes of staying in the Premier League.
Fernando Llorente to Tottenham Hotspur
With Chelsea looking at Fernando Llorente as a more experienced option up front for them and hoped to complete a deal for the Spanish international before the deadline. However, Spurs had other ideas and instead swooped in and snatched the Swansea man for £12 million on a two-year contract on deadline day.
The 32-year-old becomes the oldest player in Pochettino’s lineup and has been in fine form for Swansea City, scoring 15 goals last season as they fought to stay above the relegation line. The former Juventus man will play second fiddle to Spurs marksman Harry Kane but has no problem with that.
“I’m very, very happy to join Tottenham, an amazing club,” he said in a statement released after his arrival. “I can only say that I have come here to help Tottenham to win titles. I am 32 but I think I can learn a lot from Harry Kane and the other players.”
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to Liverpool.
Ever since Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain turned down a 180k a week contract extension from Arsenal, there was always going to be a major buzz around the 24-year-old player. However, with Chelsea among the short list to sign the English international offering him a rumored contract of 220k a week, things were as good as set in stone.
However, Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp appeared and Oxlade-Chamberlain, 24, joined Liverpool just days after the team defeated his former club 4–0 at Anfield. Which while is good news for Liverpool and the player, spells trouble for both Chelsea and Arsenal.
Capturing the relatively young Chamberlain helps the club bury Philippe Coutinho’s transfer saga, which still could make a reappearance as the Spanish transfer window deadline day is today.
Kylian Mbappe to Paris Saint-Germain
Kylian Mbappe, the incredible teenager who makes other teenagers judge themselves because when a18-year-old is “sent on loan with a future fee of €180 million” it certainly makes you think about your future. However, take nothing away from Mbappe who’s had a sensational season with Monaco, scoring 26 goals in all competitions shining in an incredible Monaco team.
The 2018 fee will make the Mbappe the second most expensive player behind current team-mate Neymar and will see the youngster sign a four-year contract. While it certainly no surprise to see the teenager move, despite critics and others asking him to spend another year at Monaco, it the club to which he moves that the biggest surprise.
With a host of clubs interested in the 18-year-old, from Arsenal, Chelsea, Barcelona and even Real Madrid, with Zidane’s side the favorites to sign the youngster, PSG swooped in and flew away with their man on deadline day. No-one would have believed the deal would ever go through, until the Parisians parted the seas for Neymar.