Yes, I know that I'm using a well worn gimmick here but how can you have something like a Transfer Deadline pass without going over the winners and losers in some form or another? It just wouldn't be right. It would be especially wrong to ignore this long-standing media convention when I get to list myself as one of the big winners of the day. No, not because I had any personal victory related to the deadline but because I had the two highest scoring players during yesterday's action - Gareth Bale and Craig Bellamy - in my fantasy squad while surprisingly few of my opponents in my private league were there with me. I jumped from 4th to 2nd place and barring a crazy day from Robin van Persie (never something you want to bet against) I'll stay in front of Jeremy for the first time in a while which is always nice (cut to Jeremy saying "grrr" somewhere in the Southern California sunshine).
Other than a brief chance to brag before my team inevitably falls apart this weekend as the cosmos has its revenge on me for my hubris, this is also one of the big chances of the year for me to do something that I really enjoy which is trying to make sense of player moves. It was a relatively quiet day compared to years past but there's always a story even when the story is that not too much happened. With that, away we go (after the jump):
- Queens Park Rangers - The most active team of the deadline got much stronger in both attack (Bobby Zamora and Djibril Cisse) and defense (Tayo Taiwo and Nedum Onuoha) as the key acquisitions. In addition to making the team better, there's also some fantasy value in Cisse, Taiwo, and Onuoha).
- Everton - I don't know how good Nikica Jelavic will be but we already KNOW that Louis Saha has been crap this season and Bilyaletdinov has been adequate but not great so getting Landon Donovan, Darron Gibson (who has likely already paid for himself in the 3 points collected from City yesterday), Pienaar, and Jelavic on a tight budget means that Jelavic can be only average and this will still be a great month for Everton. I do enjoy intelligent moves in the market and Everton rarely disappoint.
- Manchester United - A minor win but signing a player away from City in addition to catching them in the standings was probably a fun Tuesday for Sir Alex and the others around Old Trafford even if the core need in the center of midfield hasn't been addressed.
- Swansea City - Blog Favorite Gylfi Sigurdsson (yup, I said it) has been very good since coming over from Germany early in the month and Josh McEachran offers some potential as he starts to get more minutes and may well help the Swans as the long season starts to take a toll on a line-up that may not be used to playing this long at this level.
- Financial Fair Play - I don't think that anyone is exactly sure how all of this is going to play out once the rules officially go into effect but you certainly saw some evidence of caution among the big spenders (not only in the Premier League but elsewhere in Europe as well). It may turn out that there are some loopholes but given the recent form of Chelsea and Manchester City you would have expected big, expensive, flashy moves in years past. Not so this year. This will make the summer and potential moves for players like Eden Hazard or Lucas Podolski very interesting. Will the valuations be lower? Will fewer teams be involved?
- The Teams Chasing Fourth - None of them made a single move that seems likely to have an impact on their chances of gaining the coveted Champions League spot. Newcastle's move for Papiss Cisse (and keeping Demba Ba) are likely the two most important moves from this group and it comes from the club that few expect to really be in contention for 4th place come April and May.
- Chelsea - In dire need of SOMETHING to keep them from really bottoming out and yesterday's late draw wasn't it.
- The Relegation Threatened - There aren't many teams that seem to be in danger now that QPR has executed both a managerial and playing squad upgrade. Really, the group seems to be Rovers, Wigan, Bolton, Wolves, and probably West Brom. Of that group, not a single move was made that seems likely to have a major impact on the chances of these clubs to stay up. Maybe Ridgewell could improve Albion's defense a bit. Bassong certainly can't hurt Wolves defense. Hard to imagine Miyaichi making a Sturridge-like impact at Bolton or a second Olsson Twin making Rovers back line impenetrable. Very odd that no one was spending given the financial motivation to stay up.
- Young Players Looking to Move Soon (and their agents) - If Financial Fair Play appears to be a winner then anyone looking forward to the sort of big money move that City and Chelsea (plus Barcelona, Real, and PSG) have been making possible may not be nearly as frequent going forward. That means that selling clubs, young star players, and their agents may have to drastically readjust their expectations. Other sports have shown us that this rarely happens quickly so it may be that the pace of transfers slows down as clubs and players adjust to the new reality (if, indeed, there is a new reality rather than just a brief illusion of same).
- Carlos Tevez, Nigel de Jong, and Manchester City - City's one signing of a defensive midfielder can't be a good sign for de Jong's future. Tevez goes on the list because he can't seem to find anyone willing to take him on despite his obvious talent. City goes on the list because of their failure to ditch Tevez AND the poor performance against Everton yesterday. Their trajectory