The English Premier League transfer deadline was just hours away, yet analysts and fans alike were still waiting on that big late transfer that would change the dynamic of the 2011-2012 season.
Arsenal was in need of some serious improvement after a series of big-name departures and a shaky start to the season. The team made several late moves that will encourage fans, including signing German international defender Per Mertesacker and Everton midfielder Mikel Arteta.
Other late transfers which made headlines was Stoke City’s buzzer-beating move for Tottenham striker Peter Crouch, who was signed in the final minutes for a club record £10 million pounds ($16.3 million).
"The future is bright for Stoke," Crouch told the Stoke City Web site. "There are a lot of good players here, it has been a stable Premier League club for a few years now, it has excellent backing from the Chairman and it's top class supporters, so it's a great time to be part of the Club.
"As you can see from the other signings which have been made recently, the Club is really moving in the right direction and looking to do big things now."
Chelsea made another transfer move late in the evening Wednesday to secure former Liverpool midfielder and Portugese international Raul Meireles on a four-year deal. Meireles handed in a transfer request to his club only a few hours before the deadline but managed to get a deal in place with the London club in the waning hours of the evening.
Other notable moves from the last day of the transfer window were:
Craig Bellamy from Manchester City to Liverpool
Yossi Benayoun (loan) from Chelseal to Arsenal
Joe Cole (loan) from Liverpool to Lille
Royston Drenthe (loan) from Real Madrid to Everton
David Ngog from Liverpool to Bolton
Scott Parker from West Ham to Tottenham
Bryan Ruiz from FC Twente (Belgium) to Fulham
Shaun Wright-Phillips from Manchester City to QPR
Here is a list of all transfers by date, and also a handy list by team. Who were the winners and loser in the EPL transfer window? I think Manchester City and Liverpool made some of the best moves, with Liverpool’s signings of Charlie Adam, Jose Enrique and Stewart Downing giving them three EPL-ready impact players to add to an already talented squad.
While Arsenal made several roster moves, it has yet to replace the midfield quality that it lost in Nasri and Fabregas. Benayoun and Arteta, while good additions for depth, do not provide near the attacking creativity and quality that are needed. I think Arsenal should start looking now at the January transfer window with an eye towards a big-name signing which will reenergize the fans and team alike.
Manchester City’s signings of Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri will give a dangerous attacking squad even more depth, and their early-season successes have given many of their rivals cause to be concerned. Tell us your thoughts in the comments.