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All Hail The Transfer Kings: Sunderland, Birmingham, Stoke City and Wigan

 All Hail The Transfer Kings: Sunderland, Birmingham, Stoke City and Wigan

The summer transfer window in the Premier League has ended, and surprisingly The Other 16 clubs in the Premier League showed their muscle Tuesday by capturing most of the transfer headlines. Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal were deathly quiet. Instead, it was the turn of clubs such as Sunderland, Stoke City, Birmingham City and Wigan Athletic who got most of the attention. And of course there was Tottenham Hotspur who predictably joined in in the action by possibly securing a last minute signing of Rafael van der Vaart, the Dutch attacking midfielder.

It’s encouraging to see Premier League clubs outside the Big Four being able to capture key signings. For starters, it’ll hopefully narrow the gap in talent between the Big Four and the also rans. But it also shows that it doesn’t always have to be the big clubs in the Premier League who can bring in the big names. Of course, money talks. But still, there are factors outside of money that often make a difference, so it’s wonderful news to see some talented players from around the world move to English cities that aren’t considered destination spots (Stoke-On-Trent, Sunderland, Birmingham, Wigan and others).

Out of all of the signings made on the final day of the transfer window, the one I’m most excited about is Asamoah Gyan, who for me was the iconic image that I’ll always associate with the 2010 World Cup. This was the man who lit up the World Cup for Ghana. He will be remembered for three key moments. The first was his thunderous shot in extra time against the United States that earned Ghana a spot in the quarter-final against Uruguay. Then in that match against Uruguay, he stepped up to take a last minute penalty after Luis Suarez handled the ball on the line. He struck it well but it hit the crossbar and bounced away, which then forced the game to go to penalty kicks. And last, but not least, he was the man who picked up the ball a few minutes later and – despite all of the doubts that must have been running through his head – took his penalty for Ghana and amazingly scored. As it turned out, Ghana ended up losing on penalties. But the memory of Gyan’s contribution during the World Cup will never be forgotten.

And now he has signed for Sunderland. This is one player I’m really looking forward to seeing how he adapts to the Premier League. Talk about an unpredictable and emotional man. I can’t wait.

Other than Gyan, here are some of the other key signings that were tied up on the last day of the transfer window:

Stoke City:

  • Eidur Gudjohnsen (Monaco),
  • Jermaine Pennant (Real Zaragoza),
  • Marc Wilson (Portsmouth),
  • Salif Diao.

Birmingham City:

  • Jean Beausejour (Club America),
  • Alexander Hleb (Barcelona),
  • Martin Jiranek (Spartak Moscow),

Wigan Athletic:

  • Franco Di Santo (Chelsea),
  • Tom Cleverley (Manchester United),

In the case of all three clubs listed above, these players will bring much needed quality to each side. This should make each of the above sides more competitive.

Of course, there were plenty of other transfers in the past week including Liverpool bringing in Konchesky and Meireles. But rather than dwell on the clubs at the top of the table, it’s time to give the other clubs the praise for signing several very exciting players.

About Christopher Harris

Founder and publisher of World Soccer Talk, Christopher Harris is the managing editor of the site. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, The Guardian and several other publications. Plus he has made appearances on NPR, BBC World, CBC, BBC Five Live, talkSPORT and beIN SPORT. Harris, who has lived in Florida since 1984, has supported Swansea City since 1979. He's also an expert on soccer in South Florida, and got engaged during half-time of a MLS game. Harris launched EPL Talk in 2005, which was rebranded as World Soccer Talk in 2013. View all posts by Christopher Harris →
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18 Responses to All Hail The Transfer Kings: Sunderland, Birmingham, Stoke City and Wigan

  1. OllieWillie says:

    Great moves by all the clubs……….Hleb and Gudjohnsen bring a level of celebrity and attacking flair that both Stoke and Birmingham are missing. They’ll play a huge part in where they finish this season.

    Wigan have made positive moves that’ll surely help them remain up, whether or not that’ll happen remains to be seen. Clevery and Di Santo offer youth, exuberance and attacking flair, something Wigan need desperately.

  2. Drew says:

    Newcastle brought in some great transfers too.
    James Perch
    Dan Gosling
    Sol Campbell
    Cheick Tiote
    Hatem Ben Arfa

    All for a total of £5M.

    Now we have a midfield with serious depth, and finally some assistance for Carroll.

    • Simon says:

      Drew,
      How so those signings add to your midfields depth??? The only midfielder there is gosling and he is out till after christmas!!

    • Pork Romeo says:

      Wonder about the wisdom of NUFCs transfers. Tiote and Ben Arfa are listed as midfielders. I hope they do not disrupt squad spirit as the Newcastle midfield looks tight and disciplined. Perch will need time, he still looks a bit unsettled to me. As always, the Toon could use some defenders.

      Good article Gaffer. Was quite surprise at Stoke’s haul of transfers. Just what they need as well, I reckon.

      • Drew says:

        Simon,
        As the person above me stated, Ben Arfra and Tiote will be played in the midfield.

        Also, if you look how Hughton has been playing the midfield, we now have at least 3 people who can play anywhere in the middle. This will especially come in handy when the injuries start up later this season. We’ll be able to keep up this 4-5-1 that’s been working well (and will probably be even better if we stick Ben Arfa behind Carroll rather than Nolan).

        Pork Romeo, I had the same reservations, but Hughton has proven to me that he is more than capable so far. I hope he doesn’t play them until he’s sure they’re fitting in with the team style of play.

        Also, I think Perch looked great during the Wolves match, but that’s just me.

  3. Decker says:

    One day does not make for a great transfer window. Wow, the smaller clubs a.k.a. “The Transfer Kings” really narrowed the gap….

    Arsenal – Koscielny, Chamakh, Ebecilio
    Chelsea – Ramires, Benayoun
    Liverpool – Meireles, Cole, Jovanovic
    ManC – Toure, Miler, Balotelli, Silva, Kolarov, Boateng
    ManU – Hernandez, Smalling, Bebe

    Last check, the transfer window started in the beginning of summer, NOT August 31.

    • IanCransonsKness says:

      Koscielny – looks well worth it at £9.5m, snigger.

      Bebe – Djemba Djemba mark II.

    • The Gaffer says:

      Decker, the article was about the transfer deadline day, not the whole transfer month. Usually the Big Four capture all of the headlines on the last day. Yesterday, they did not.

      Cheers,
      The Gaffer

      • Decker says:

        Gaffer, then you shouldn’t label it “The Transfer Kings” based on one day. Other clubs got the players they wanted weeks ago, thus didn’t have to wait until the last day. I have no issue with the article itself, just the misleading headline.

  4. SanDimas1988 says:

    Do you really have to put that picture as the lead to the article? Every morning when I get to work I look forward to checking out the updates to EPL Talk, then I just get depressed seeing that. You’re really ruinining my day today…

  5. I think Sunderland paid a bit over the odds for Gyan, sure he got a lot of goals in the World Cup but only one of them was from open play.

    In any case, from my standpoint, it is funny to see the mackems slowly bankrupt themselves :)

  6. Clampdown says:

    Does this mean Stoke will be able to now produce something more compelling than a Delap long throw into the box?

  7. Gaz Hunt says:

    I was really hoping we’d secure Cole and get rid of Babel. I think he’s a top player that just needs a new club to really get going. I guess the same could be said of Babel.

    Looking at the Liverpool message boards, however, I’m in the minority. Most of them we’re rating Babel higher than Cole and very upset that this idea was even in consideration. I have no idea why.

  8. Edward Sasam says:

    Interesting to see how Asamoah will fair in the EPL..

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