Today starts the dawn of a new, weekly post series about all things… non-Championship. I would have done a Championship deadline day piece, but the topic is far too broad to leave the big guns out of it. So here are some players and clubs and players to watch today.
Since Wigan got relegated, everyone was expecting this huge exodus of talent, particularly from midfield. So, who exactly has left Wigan so far? Well, Alcaraz, Kone, and Joel Robles have all departed for pastures blue, Franco di Santo has left on a free, and Figueroa has hot-footed it to Hull. All of their talented midfielders remain contracted to the club, which will please Wigan fans to no end. As a result, I would largely expect a few Premier League clubs to put bids in for their talent as the window nears closure. Everton have seen a £10m move for James McCarthy get flat out rejected, and Newcastle remain interested. Similarly, the rumour is Crystal Palace have had a £2.5m bid for Callum McManaman turned down, but it seems that they have since turned their attentions to Forest’s Adlene Guediora and, perhaps ambitiously (and hopefully flat out not true), Arsenal’s Nicklas Bendtner.
All the talk surrounding Real Madrid has been about two things: Gareth Bale’s world record move, and deluded United fans thinking Ronaldo will actually return to Old Trafford. For those of you who missed it, Mesut Ozil is on the verge of a move to Arsenal, and Kaka has gone home to AC Milan. The word from Carlo Ancelotti today is that Fabio Coentrao will not be leaving, which personally saddens me because he’s too good to be sat on the bench every weekend, and I’d love to see him in the Premier League (come on Daniel Levy, do the usual). Other names linked with moves away are Angel di Maria, again possibly to Arsenal, and Karim Benzema, though a lack of striking cover may spell the end of any speculation surrounding him.
Joe Kinnear was brought in to sign all the players Alan Pardew needs to push for Europe once again. So far, he’s trolled him by signing QPR striker and previous Newcastle rejector Loic Remy on loan. That surely is some sort of prank. Rumour has it that they were on the verge of signing Aaron Hunt, until Kinnear pronounced his name wrong, and they have since moved on to Charles N’Zogbia… I jest and digress. In all seriousness, Newcastle need some players, any players, and James McCarthy is a linked name. If they don’t bring bodies into the club, expect them to face a very tough season.
It’s always been interesting to see what happens with this guy ever since he showed up on a London car park with a sign saying “will kick ball for food”, but it looks like he might actually be moving this deadline day around. Cardiff have been given permission to speak to the Nigerian forward and all we can do is pray and hope that it falls through and the drama can continue come January.
The remaining members of the Aston Villa bomb squad
Yeh, they aren’t moving. No one wants them. Stephen Ireland, Shay Given and Charles N’Zogbia and co. will continue to leech Randy Lerner’s money until their contracts expire.
They’ve finally come to life, and they’ve left it very late. Ozil is pretty much a done deal, and more look to be on the way in. Emiliano Viviano from Palermo will join to provide competition for Wojciech Szczesny. Angel Di Maria, Karim Benzema, Demba Ba, Yohan Cabaye have all been linked. And, to my knowledge, they havent been linked with a single defender, which is kind of what they need. Expect an influx of talent.
I don’t know why, and I don’t know who. But it’s SPURS. They WILL do something. Rumours are Hulk, Tom Ince, and Coentrao.
Manchester United, Marouane Fellaini, and Shinji Kagawa
Even with Liverpool, Newcastle and Arsenal all around, somehow Manchester United are this seasons soap opera. The fans are getting edgy. The board refuses to deliver. Why didn’t they hijack the Ozil deal? Wouldn’t Christian Eriksen have been the ideal creative midfielder? Why don’t they swoop for Juan Mata, seemingly becoming more and more available? Instead, they’ve gone for Ander Herrera, a player who plied his trade at underperforming Athletic Bilbao last season. £30m is the fee. He’d better be good. Additionally, Moyes seems to be far too focused on a player who doesn’t really fit the United mould: Fellaini. I can understand why, he’s an arial threat, and Moyes knows him well. He is not the answer. He isn’t a creative, natural CAM like a Gotze or an Ozil or an Eriksen. There is however a solution, one that really maddens me that Moyes has ignored…. PLAY KAGAWA. Just play him, he’s one of your best players. He can score, he can create, JUST PLAY HIM. It’s no wonder Dortmund fans are getting antsy, he’s too good to sit on the bench while TOM BLOODY CLEVERLEY plays EVERY GAME and he’s simply not good enough to pull on the red jersey. So David Moyes, you can sign who you like, I don’t care. But please sell Kagawa to a club who actually wants to play him and not waste him for the purpose of marketing in Asia. The rumours are that Dortmund and Atletico Madrid will bid for his signature, but I’ve heard rumours of a Premier League loan to Aston Villa for him… watch this space.