Sam Allardyce says he has never been through such a bedeviling transfer period. Clearly, he wasn’t the only Premier League manager with difficulty in filling January needs, but for whatever reason, importing players to Upton Park seemed a bridge especially too far.
Allardyce wrote in a newspaper column just before the final deadline: “The transfer window is in its final throes and I would say we’ve looked at 100 possible deals this month. … I can’t remember ever negotiating as many deals in a transfer window and, if you look across the board, it has been the same throughout the Premier League.”
The late acquisitions of Italian internationals Marco Borriello and Antonio Nocerino helped ease some of the transfer window frustration. Some of it – there is still clearly a big fight ahead in Allardyce’s bid to avoid relegation.
Marco Borriello (Roma, loan), Antonio Nocerino (AC Milan, loan), Jaanai Gordon (Peterborough, $5.7m), Roger Johnson (Wolves, loan), Abdul Razak (Anzhi Makhachkala, loan), Pablo Armero (Napoli, loan).
Blair Turgott (Rotherham, loan), Paul MCallum (Hearts, loan), Jordan Spence (MK Dons, loan), Modibo Maiga (QPR, loan), George Moncur (Partick Thistle, loan), Mladen Petric (released), Razvan Rat (released).
Borriello, 31, has seven caps for Italy. No, that’s not exactly Paolo Rossi as Azzurri all-time strikers go, but he’s got something. Having scored once in 11 Roma appearances this year, a change of address can’t hurt, and maybe can find some of the 2008 form, when Borriello flirted with the Italian Serie A scoring leadership.
At the very least, he provides some cover for the inconsistent and unreliable Andy Carroll.
Nocerino (pictured above, in the middle), 28, has 15 caps for Italy, most prominently as a member of the country’s European Championships team from 2012. While he’s not completely useless, he had become surplus around AC Milan, even more so now Michael Essien’s arrival from Chelsea. It’s fair to ask if a midfielder in such poor from around the San Siro is the man who can help the Hammers dodge relegation?