From Arsenal's late buys to Premier League returnees: Takeaways from the transfer window - Firstpost
Firstpost

From Arsenal's late buys to Premier League returnees: Takeaways from the transfer window


London: David Luiz and Moussa Sissoko made the two biggest moves on Wednesday as English Premier League clubs smashed spending records on the final day of the mid-year transfer window.

In late deals, Brazilian defender Luiz returned to Chelsea after two years at Paris Saint-Germain, while French midfielder Sissoko left Newcastle United for Tottenham Hotspur.

The two moves took spending for English top-flight clubs to around £1.17 billion ($1.54 billion, 1.38 billion euros), according to Sky Sports, a record for a single transfer window

Five things we learned from English Premier League transfer window in which a record 1.165 billion pounds ($1.54 billion/1.39 billon euros) was spent:

Same old story at Arsenal

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Arsene Wenger made Arsenal fans wait till the very end to sign two key players for the club in Schodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez. AFP

Arsene Wenger left it late again to rush through transfers on the final day of trading and the jury is out on whether his new boys will finally bring a title. While Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis said the squad was good enough to win the Premiership, Arsenal are only eighth after three games. Wenger ended up outlaying more than £50 million (60 million euros/$66 million) for striker Lucas Perez, a player they apparently earlier discounted, and German defender Shkodran Mustafi, who has yet to nail down a regular place in the German national side. Wenger is in the last year of his contract and his future could largely depend on if these two -- along with Granit Xhaka and Rob Holding -- provide the last pieces of a Premier League winning side puzzle.

Loan sharks find Premier League bargains

British goalkeeper Joe Hart poses upon his arrival for a medical check before joining the Torino football club from former club Manchester City on August 30, 2016 in Turin. England goalkeeper Joe Hart arrived in Turin on Agust 30 ahead of undergoing a medical that should see him sign a season-long loan deal with the unfashionable Serie A club. Hart, 29, has fallen out of favour with Pep Guardiola at Manchester City following the signing of Claudio Bravo from Barcelona and is set to join Torino in a bid to preserve his club future and international career following England's spectacular Euro 2016 exit. / AFP PHOTO / Marco BERTORELLO

Joe Hart was one of many Manchester City players offloaded by new manager Pep Guardiola. AFP

Loans provided a convenient way for Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola to rid himself of ballast even if the club is going to pay the wages of England goalkeeper Joe Hart at Serie A side Torino. It also allowed Guardiola to offload the troublesome Samir Nasri, who is all sweetness and light when he is playing but left kicking his heels could provoke discord. Liverpool took a different tack, cutting their losses by reportedly allowing misfit Italian striker Mario Balotelli to leave on a free transfer to Ligue 1 side Nice -- two years after they paid 25 million euros ($27.9 million) for 'Super Mario'. However, not every star played ball. Manchester United's German midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger declined a loan move to Sporting Lisbon infuriating Jose Mourinho. Schweinsteiger is seemingly content to train on his own and pick up a reported £190,000 a week salary.

Second chances

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David Luiz completed a shock return to Chelsea on Transfer Deadline Day becoming yet another player to make a return to the Premier League. AFP

The Premier League can be a forgiving place as several players have been offered a second chances, some returning at a vastly higher price. Prime among those is Paul Pogba, leaving for a song to Juventus and returning for a world record 89 million pounds (105 million euros, $116 million). Arsenal's new 35 million pound signing Shkodran Mustafi almost gave up football after a dispiriting spell at Everton as a teenager and will hope this is a far more positive experience. Chelsea have offered two players a second opportunity. The biggest surprise was the return of the rampaging if intemperate Brazil centreback David Luiz, whom Jose Mourinho had no regrets about selling in 2014. Spanish left-back Marcos Alonso arrives from Serie A side Fiorentina for a reported £23m. The 25-year-old is in somewhat more glamorous surroundings than his previous English forays, a loan spell at Sunderland and three seasons at Bolton.

Tougher foreign grip on Premier League 

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Premier League champions Leicester City signed Islam Slimani to add to the foreign imports to the league. AFP

England manager Sam Allardyce received a largely hostile press for his remark he would consider selecting foreign-born players for England if they met the criteria. However, the apparently ceaseless demand for foreign imports could add weight to his argument. About £720m of the £1.165 billion spent in the two months up to Wednesday went to foreign clubs, up from £585m in 2015. The likes of champions Leicester (Islam Slimani of Algeria), Southampton (Sofiane Boufal of Morocco) and perennial strugglers Sunderland (Didier Ndong of France) all broke their transfer records to sign foreign internationals rather than English talent.

Cherries harvest English talent

(FILES) This file photo taken on August 20, 2016 shows Arsenal's English midfielder Jack Wilshere warming up before the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Arsenal at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England. Jack Wilshere's fall from grace shows no sign of slowing as the Arsenal midfielder made a shock move to Bournemouth on a season-long loan on August 31, 2016. Wilshere was once regarded as one of the most promising youngsters in the Premier League, but Gunners manager Arsene Wenger has allowed the 24-year-old to leave the Emirates Stadium in a bid to revitalise his career. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFF

Jack Wilshere moved to AFC Bournemouth on a season-long loan joing a host of talented English players at the club. AFP

Bournemouth may be the one shining light in putting English talent in the shop window. They signed 20-year-old Jordon Ibe from Liverpool, for a record fee for them of £15m, highly-regarded teenager Lewis Cook from ailing football giant Leeds and took the talented but fragile England midfielder Jack Wilshire off Arsenal on loan. With a young English manager in Eddie Howe, who was mentioned in connection with the England job after Roy Hodgson's resignation, it is almost an English dream team

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