THE close of the transfer window saw Premier League clubs battling to get season-saving deals over the line before time ran out.
Here SunSport columnist Troy Deeney runs the rule over five of the biggest last-minute moves and reveals who will be a hit… and who could be a big-money miss.
Wesley Fofana was one of many high-profile players signed by ChelseaCredit: Getty
Wesley Fofana (Leicester to Chelsea)
If you remember when Liverpool bought Virgil van Dijk, we all called that ridiculous.
I’m not saying Wesley is Van Dijk but he is a very, very good footballer.
Young, fresh and ready to learn from someone like Thiago Silva.
It is an environment that demands the best.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Barcelona to Chelsea)
Good signing. It is what Chelsea needed and a position they have been crying out for all summer.
He knows the Premier League and could really hit the ground running if given the service.
The Blues managed to secure the services of ex-Arsenal skipper Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on deadline dayCredit: Getty
Antony (Ajax to Man Utd)
Unbelievable footballer, skilful and technically gifted but do Manchester United need another winger?
I don’t understand that project.
At the start of the window they wanted a midfielder, now it’s a winger.
Manchester United brought in Antony from Ajax in an £85.5million dealCredit: Getty
Alexander Isak (Real Sociedad to Newcastle)
I have to give a shout out to this guy.
I spent some time with him in Mykonos in the summer.
He is a real good boy, good people around him. He is a natural striker and goalscorer.
Alexander Isak scored on his Newcastle debut in the 2-1 defeat against Liverpool on WednesdayCredit: Alamy
Neal Maupay (Brighton to Everton)
I am not sure on this one. How will it work? When Dominic Calvert-Lewin plays, it is long balls and crosses into the box.
I wouldn’t say Neal thrives on that. He is a good finisher but may struggle in that system.
Striker Neal Maupay swapped Brighton for Everton in the summer transfer windowCredit: Getty
Who are ya? Deadline day is fun for players
For us players, deadline day can be quite entertaining.
We were actually going through it all at Birmingham on Thursday with a couple of signings and more rumours and links and medicals being booked.
You end up turning into a fan yourself. Who is he? What’s his name? You are googling them and some names you haven’t heard of or you don’t know their background.
We were sat down eating breakfast and we have got two lads who have left, and we were laughing saying that they would have normally been with us.
We then trained, came back in and then had a few players expected to come in by lunch. That’s just how quickly it works.
At 9am we are two players down and by 2pm we have one in.
It is very, very rare that we know what is going on with transfers at our own clubs. You can sometimes suss it out, like a fan does, if there is too much noise around one guy.
And if your club is signing someone, you’re thinking: ‘I hope he is not my position. I hope he is not replacing me’. It is natural.
On the flip side, you get excited about good players getting in and start thinking how he will improve the team.
And once they’re in, it is about getting them settled as quickly as possible so they can hit the ground running on the pitch.
I felt that myself. I moved from Walsall to Watford in 2010 on the morning of the first game of the season, a Friday night game away at Norwich.
I signed at 11am and by the time I got to the group it was around 4pm and the game kicked off at 7.45pm.
I had a few hours to get to know people’s names and it was difficult for me. I was 21 at the time. Having experienced that, it is now my job to make new players feel welcome.
We had a guy whose first day was on Thursday, so the first thing I do is go over, introduce myself. If you need anything at the club or around the area, give me a shout.
Are you up here on your own? Do you have family? Are you single? You have kids?
Let’s get to know you as quickly as possible, let’s get you in the WhatsApp group chat, let’s get the banter flying and make it as seamless as possible.
You keep trying to integrate them for as long as it takes but some players are introverts. They don’t trust you and want to be in the group chats. It is difficult.
There are times in the back of your head when you’re thinking: ‘Cheeky b*****d, I’m trying to help you’.
But you often forget, we only spend three or four hours a day together.
The other 20 hours you have life going on, and they could have issues we aren’t used to or don’t know about.
Not all humans get along and not everyone thinks the same but if that person keeps rejecting help then at some point they will end up not fitting in with the group.
From most player perspectives it is about getting through it, and once the window is done you know this is our group now and what we are trying to do.
I know people who were talking about leaving this summer because they aren’t playing. Suddenly that changes and they want to stay again.
I have also had players from other clubs who I have played with before calling me saying: ‘I’ve got these options, what do you think?’ or debating over whether to join a Scottish club but commute from London.
SunSport’s top 10 deals from deadline day
That may sound weird but if it is a Tuesday and you want to go and have a cup of tea with your mum, it is a long old way back.
The transfer window is now shut and opens again in January.
To a normal civilian, that isn’t too long but if you are going to work every day knowing you’re not playing, you can feel like you have to make a rash decision that could affect your whole career and personal life.
It is key to stress too that it isn’t just players who demand to leave.
Often, it is managers and clubs who want players out. It works both ways.
After this weekend, that’s when you can start to judge a team.
Traditionally, you would like the window to close before the season starts but, realistically, that wouldn’t work.
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