We asked our various football correspondents to comment on the transfer window:
I never enjoyed the last day of the window. Working on a national daily, I hated sucking up to agents, pulling favours from managers and hanging around the car parks of cold, wet training centres for a whiff of a transfer. The two big stories on the day were Pep Gardiola coming to Manchester City and John Terry leaving Chelsea. Only Stoke and Newcastle spent big. Most clubs either avoid the window and do their business earlier in the season. Of course you can do a loan deal at any time so I wonder for how much longer the transfer window, especially the final day, will be hyped up?
We were disappointed not to sign a big name striker who can reliably score goals. Scalak from Czechoslovakia might be the man but he is yet another wide forward and we already have Knockaert, Lua Lua, Murphy, Baldock and March. Hemed, our only true centres forward has lost his touch. We also brought in the experienced Steve Sidwell. Alan Tanner speaks well of him after his Fulham stint. We have loaned Rohan Ince to Fulham as we have so many in centre midfield. After the signings – or lack of them- the best we can hope for is the play offs.
We are under a transfer embargo and can only loan players. We got in Rohan Ince of whom Ivan speaks highly. He played in the last play-off side and most of the games that season and is a powerful enforcer. We also got the Portuguese forward Zakaria Labyad but missed out on the Palace keeper. Most interesting of all is the Arsenal interest in Ryan Sessesgnon, captain of the England under 16 team. We are certainly producing youngsters in the Academy run by Huw Jennings who at Southampton discovered Wayne Bridge, Kenwyne Jones, Gareth Bale and Oxtead-Chamberlain . So far he has brought on Patrick Roberts and Mousa Dembele. Sadly though 6 coaches/managers in 2 years have hindered the development of the likes of Christensen and Hyndman. The club is big on analytics and a Austrian defender Michael Midl was signed based on these findings. He is not six foot tall so I need to be explained how analytics works as we already have one defender on the short side Bodurov who hardly makes the bench and we leak goals from corner and set plays with no aerial dominance.
Fiorentina were active in the market they brought in Costa from Genoa, Telo from Barvcelona, Zarate from West Ham as well as Benalouane and Kone. Going the other way Mario Suarez to Watford and Pepito Rossi to Getafe last night we beat Carpi 2-1 with the winner from Zarate in the dying minutes. More worryingly Tuttosport carried a story that coach Paolo Sousa wants to leave at the end of the season because of the owners lack of ambition. It’s difficult to know how to read this. If Allegri goes from Juve to Chelsea Sousa as an ex player would be an attractive replacement.