The transfer window in the Premier League is the perfect definition of organized chaos. Clubs ask for outrageous sums of money for their star players and every pundit, news outlet, and blogger debate who will go where and for how much. The climax to the whole summer long circus is deadline day, which in England’s top flight is on September 1.
The flurry of transfer activity on the final day has always been a spectacle to admire. Some clubs manage to hold onto their key assets, while others nervously accept cut price bids, while still others significantly overspend to get their targets. Deadline day can produce legends just as easily as flops. In honor of this fabled day finally coming, we have put together a list of the best and worst deadline day signings. The rankings go from 10 being the worst of all to 1 being the best. Without further adieu, here is our list:
Transfer: Deportivo La Coruna to Newcastle (2008)
Price: £5.7 million
Xisco arrived from Spain in the summer of 2008 and was pegged to be one of the new, great young talents coming out of the country. The only problem: no one told then manger Kevin Keegan. The board signed the striker without telling the manager, so Keegan promptly resigned. Over 5 seasons, the Spaniard had 9 appearances and 1 goal. When Xisco was finally sold some years later to Spanish side Cordoba CF, legend has it that Keegan sent Newcastle owner Mike Ashley a card with saying “I told you so.”
Transfer: Real Madrid to Manchester City (2008)
Price: £32.5 million
Robinho was the first big signing when City’s Arab owners took over the club. After choosing City’s rebuilding project over a move to Chelsea, Robinho stated “Chelsea made a great proposal on the last day and I accepted.” When asked if he meant Manchester City, he stumbled into an apology. This set the tone for his stay as the Brazilian never lived up to his inflated price tag. Robinho left two years later after inconstant performances and seasons that saw him sold to AC Milan for a paltry £15 million.
8) Radamel Falcao
Transfer: AS Monaco to Manchester United on loan (2014)
Price: £6 million
While Falcao wasn’t a full transfer, his £6 million pound move to England was a disaster. The striker, who nearly had an average of a goal a game, seemed like an iron clad signing. The Colombian went on to score only 4 goals in 26 appearances. His time in Manchester was hampered by injury, bad press, and the inability to really find his feet in the fast paced English game. It seems almost ludicrous to sign a player, even of Falcao’s potential quality on loan for only a season for such an amount of money. His reputation severely dented, Falcao slumped back to France, where he would eventually join Chelsea on a similar deal.
7) Danny Welbeck
Transfer: Manchester United to Arsenal (2014)
Price: £16 million
While Welbeck has yet to truly settle into life in London, his performances for club and country have shown the promise the young striker has. After being deemed a surplus to requirements in Manchester, the striker moved to London, where his few goals have been nonetheless important. He scored his hat trick in an important Champions League tie with Galatasaray and actually knocked former club, Manchester United out of the FA Cup with a goal. Arsene Wenger has asked fans to be patient with Welbeck as he believes the Englishman has a lot of goals to give. Only time will tell.
6) Marouane Fellani
Transfer: Standard Leige to Everton (2008)
Price: £15 million
Before Fellani’s giant afro was plying its trade in Manchester, its owner was becoming a cult hero on Merseyside. In 2008, Fellani turned down moves to Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Bayern Munich for a spot in the starting XI at Everton. His performances for the club were outstanding and raised his stock to the point that former Everton manager David Moyes brought him with him to Manchester. Fellani’s time at Everton improved the squad to record finishes in the league and made him a cult hero for the Toffees for years to come.
5) Daley Blind
Transfer: Ajax to Manchester United (2014)
Price: £13.8 million
Blind has been somewhat of a revelation since his signing from Dutch club Ajax back in 2014. By far the most consistent of all of Louis van Gaal’s signings, Blind has been deployed as a left back, left wing, center back, and center defensive midfielder. His ability to perform in multiple positions whenever the team needs him make Blind a great signing. While the jury is still out on whether or not he can become a midfield mainstay, his contributions to the team have nonetheless been important.
4) Muset Ozil
Transfer: Real Madrid to Arsenal (2013)
Price: £42.4 million
Ozil is one of the more polarizing players in the game, but there is no denying he has talent when he wants to. Some fans say that Ozil is lazy and can fade away in games, but just when you think he is out, he pops up with a game winning goal or assist. Since his move to London, there has been nothing but praise for the German. When he is on, Ozil is nearly unstoppable. It will take another season or 2 to really see what the attacking midfielder is capable of, but when paired with the likes of Wilshere, Ramsey, Sanchez, and Cazorla, Ozil might become the signing everyone thinks he is capable of.
3) Carlos Tevez
Transfer: Corinthians to West Ham (2006)
While Tevez has gone on to successful spells in Manchester and Turin, he can never forget he made his name at West Ham. The Hammers picked him up from Brazil along with Javier Mascherano and together they turned the team around. On the final day of the 2006/2007 season, West Ham played Manchester United knowing that only victory would keep them from being relegated over Sheffield United. Tevez scored the unlikely game winning goal in a 1-0 win that kept the Hammers from relegation. Although he departed soon after, Tevez’s impact at West Ham was massive as he almost single handedly kept them in England’s top flight for another season.
2) Ashley Cole
Transfer: Arsenal to Chelsea (2006)
Price: £5 million
Cole’s move across London seems like a bad idea even on the surface with both teams loathing each other. To make matters worse, Cole’s time at Arsenal did not end on a happy note. According to his biography, Cole nearly “swerved off the road” when he heard Arsenal were only going to offer him £55,000 a week. Cole is one of the best deadline day singings of the Premier League era because of what he has accomplished at Chelsea. Cole was for a long time one of the best left backs in the world and won countless trophies with the Blues. £5 million seems pretty cheap for such an influential and important player nowadays.
1) Wayne Rooney
Transfer: Everton to Manchester United (2004)
Price: £20 million
One of the greatest English talents in recent memory, the signing of Wayne Rooney by Sir Alex Ferguson on deadline day in 2004 is by far the most important and far reaching. To further help his case, Rooney scored a hat trick in the Champions League on his debut in the demolishing of Fenerbahce. Since then, he has closed in on Sir Bobby’s Charlton’s United scoring record, while picking up many trophies and individual awards along the way. He has been a mainstay at Old Trafford ever since his arrival and has become a cult hero to millions.
That completes out list of the best and worst summer deadline day deals in the Premier League.