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

June 26, 2010 - Rustenburg, South Africa - epa02224853 Ghana's Asamoah Gyan (L) celebrates after scoring the 2-1 lead in front of USA's Jay DeMerit (C) and goalkeeper Tim Howard during the FIFA World Cup 2010 Round of 16 match between USA and Ghana at Royal Bafokeng stadium in Rustenburg, South Africa, 26 June 2010.

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.

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  1. Edward Sasam

    September 2, 2010 at 12:57 pm

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

  2. Gaz Hunt

    September 1, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    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.

  3. Clampdown

    September 1, 2010 at 11:05 am

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

    • Yespage

      September 1, 2010 at 12:52 pm

      That’d be nice. Stoke City can apply pressure and having Delap helps a bunch because the defense can’t just kick it out of bounds… and with every throw comes a scoring opportunity, that can weigh heavily on a defense. But Stoke need to have more efficiency on the counterattack. They’ll send one guy out against four… again and again… it doesn’t work too well.

    • IanCransonsKnees

      September 1, 2010 at 1:52 pm

  4. Rob McCluskey

    September 1, 2010 at 7:59 am

    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 🙂

    • Dave C

      September 1, 2010 at 9:05 am

      Does anyone know why they got rid of Kenwyn Jones? I thought he did pretty well for them?

  5. SanDimas1988

    September 1, 2010 at 7:59 am

    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…

  6. Decker

    September 1, 2010 at 1:15 am

    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

      September 1, 2010 at 2:55 am

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

      Bebe – Djemba Djemba mark II.

      • The Gaffer

        September 1, 2010 at 6:42 am

        Let’s hope Koscielny improves. El-Hadji Diouf smoked him last Saturday down the wing which led to Blackburn’s goal.

        The Gaffer

    • The Gaffer

      September 1, 2010 at 6:44 am

      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.

      The Gaffer

      • Decker

        September 1, 2010 at 9:17 am

        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.

  7. Drew

    August 31, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    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

      September 1, 2010 at 4:12 am

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

    • Pork Romeo

      September 1, 2010 at 5:44 am

      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

        September 1, 2010 at 8:21 am

        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.

  8. OllieWillie

    August 31, 2010 at 10:57 pm

    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.

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