Done Deal: Transfer activity from Deadline Day, September 2

Leave a comment

It’s over, finally, and here’s the carnage – today’s transfers from Europe’s top five leagues. Good luck, and see you in January:

ENGLAND

Arsenal – Özil. Arsenal bought Mesut Özil, shattering their transfer record to do so. They also secured a loan deal for Palermo’s Emiliano Viviano, who will compete for playing time in goal.

Aston Villa – Libor Kozák, a 24-year-old forward from the Czech Republic, makes his way from Lazio to Villa Park. The $7.8 million move sees the international arrive on a four-year deal.

Cardiff City – Peter Odemwingie has finally found a new home. Having never regained West Brom’s trust after showing up on QPR’s doorstep last January, the Nigerian international moves to Wales for $3.9 million.

Chelsea – In addition to loaning out Romelu Lukaku, the club sent defender Sam Hutchinson to the Eredivisie, where he will spend the year on loan at Vitesse. From late Sunday: Former Porto speedster Christian Atsu was purchased from Porto and immediately joined Hutchinson on loan at Vitesse.

Crystal Palace – One day after taking on Jimmy Kebe from Reading, the Eagles have added 26-year-old Aaron Mariappa from the Royals. Palace also added Scottish creator Barry Bannan from Aston Villa and 22-year-old defender Jack Hunt from Huddersfield Town. Peter Ramage moves from the Eagles to Barnsley on a one-year loan.

Everton – Former Wigan midfielder and Irish international James McCarthy rejoins his former coach, moving from the Latics. Everton gives up $20 million to get him. The Toffees also added Gareth Barry and Romelu Lukaku, snagging them on one-year loans. Francisco Júnior, a 21-year-old midfielder, goes on loan to Vitesse of the Eredivisie.

Fulham – Elsad Zverotic, a 26-year-old Montenegrin defender/defensive midfielder, joins the Cottagers from Switzerland’s Young Boys. He’s made over 30 appearances for this national team. The club also loaned prospect Cauley Woodrow to Southend United and 20-year-old forward Marcello Trotta to Brentford.

Hull City – 20-year-old defender Conor Townsend will spend the season at Carlisle United, sent out on a year-long loan.

Liverpool – In what may be one of the most significant deals of the window’s last day, Liverpool added Paris Saint-Germain’s Mamadou Sakho, somebody with the talent to slot right in to Brendan Rodgers’ back line. The reported price was $20 million. Tiago Ilori cost slightly less from Sporting Lisbon, the 20-year-old defender moving to Anfield for $10.9 million. Victor Moses, not a part of José Mourinho’s plans at Chelsea, arrives on loan, while Daniel Pacheco was loaned to Alcorcon.

Manchester City – Abdul Razak got some time last year under Roberto Mancini. This year, that time will have to come in Dagestan, with the  20-year-old midfielder loaned out to the Russian Premier League side.  Harry Bunn, a 20-year-old forward, will spend the season at Sheffield United.

Manchester United – Marouane Fellaini’s deal got done. The Everton midfielder joins for a reported $42.5 million. The Red Devils also found a home for Bebé, with Paços de Ferreira taking on the Portuguese for the season. Nick Powell, one year after being purchased by the club, goes out on loan to Wigan. Fabio Coentrao’s move, however, does not appear to have gone through.

Norwich City – Jacob Butterfield, a 23-year-old defender who was not in Chris Hughton’s plans, takes a step down, landing at Middlesborough of the English Championship.

Stoke City – In one of the more curious signings of the day, the Potters added Austrian enigma Marko Arnautovic, paying $3.1 million for the 24-year-old attacker who has also had spells at Twente and Inter Milan. He moves to the Britannia from Werder Bremen, joining Stephen Ireland, who played for Mark Hughes at Manchester City. The Potters lost Ryan Shotton, however, allowing the young defender to leave for Wigan Athletic, with Michael Knightly also departing on a loan to Burnley.

Swansea City – Swans turned to one of Michael Laudrup’s old stomping grounds, Getafe, to take Álvaro Vásquez, a 22-year-old striker, on loan.

Sunderland – Andrea Dossena is back in the Premier League after the man who brought him in for his failed spell at Liverpool, Rafa Benítez, sold him to the Black Cats. Whether Dossena’s ready to play a conventional left back, let alone in the Premier League, will be tested. Manager Paolo Di Canio also brought in Fabio Borini, another Italian, who moves on a season-long loan from Liverpool.

Tottenham – Fans will be sorry to see Benoit Assou-Ekotto go, the Cameroonian sent on loan to Queens Park Rangers for the season. Thomas Carroll will join Assou-Ekotto at Loftus Road.

West Bromwich Albion – Now Steve Clarke can throw numbers at the problem. The Baggies didn’t add a center forward upgrade, but they did get Victor Anichebe from Everton, giving West Brom another attacking option. Stephane Sessegnon also arrives, the Malian international moving from Sunderland. The Baggies also added 29-year-old goakeeper Lee Camp on a free from Norwich as well as Morgan Amalfitano, a surprise loan acquisition from Marseille.

SPAIN

Atlético Madrid – Toby Alderweireld had been linked to a number of Premier League clubs, yet the former Ajax defender ends up at the Vicente Calderon, with the fee undisclosed.

Getafe – After being bought from Arsenal de Sarandi last monthBenfica has loaned 24-year-old Argentine Lisandro López to the Madrid-based club. López has appeared four times for his country.

Sevilla – Talented Russian international Denis Cheryshev will get his first prolonged taste of senior-level competition with the Rojiblancos, the young attacker set to spend the season on loan from Real Madrid.

GERMANY

Eintracht Frankfurt – Attacking midifelder Tranquillo Barnetta, squeezed out at Schalke, will spent the campaign at Eintracht, the clubs having agreed to a year-long loan.

Hamburg – Part of a virtual loan swap between the teams, HSV get 21-year-old striker Pierre-Michel Lasogga. The Bayer 04 youth product has yet to appear at the senior level.

Hertha Berlin – Norwegian midfielder Per Skjelbred, who moved to Hamburg from Rosenborg in 2011, will spend the year in Berlin, on loan from HSV. Hertha also secured a loan deal for Tolga Cigerci, Woflsburg’s 21-year-old midfielder.

Nürnberg – Makoto Hasebe, a Japanese international who’d been out of favor at Wolfsburg, found a new home on deadline day, the defensive midfielder set to replace Serdar Tasci on a two-year deal.

Stuttgart – 19-year-old Bosnian striker Mark Maletic moves to the Dutch second division, Stuttgart having loaned the prospect to FC Oss.

Werder Bremen – 20-year-old defender Florian Hartherz has been sold to SC Paderborn, currently sitting near the bottom of the Germany second division. He’ll be joined there by Johannes Wurtz, the 21-year-old forward sent to Paderborn on loan.

ITALY

Catania – It will be strange to see Jaroslav Plasil  in something other than a Bordeaux kit, but the Czech midfielder moves to the Serie A on loan.

Hella Verona – Young forward Juan Manuel Iturbe joins the newly-promoted side on a one-year loan from FC Porto, the Argentine attacker having been loaned to River Plate earlier this year.

Milan – The Kaka deal from Real Madrid, agreed between clubs yesterday, became official on Monday.

Parma – Joel Obi needs playing time, which he was unlikely to get at Inter Milan. He’ll spend the season on loan at Parma.

Sampdoria – Midfielder Birkir Bjarnson moves to Sampdoria, the 25-year-old Icelandic international having spent last season at Pescara, who’d just recently secured his full rights from Belgium’s Standard Liege. Samp also took 18-year-old Andrea Petagna on loan from Milan.

FRANCE

Bastia – One day after getting Milos Krasic on loan, Bastia have added Ryad Boudebouz from Sochaux, the Algerian winger another injection of talent for the Corsican club.

Marseille – OM finally completed the much-discussed purchase of Florian Thauvin, signing the young attacker to a five-year deal after the 20-year-old had held out from Lille to force a deal. The reported fee is $19.8 million.

Monaco – Another victim of Monaco’s buildup, Greek international Giorgios Tzavellas moves back to his home country, completing a move to Europa League-bound POAK, who finished runners-up to Olympiakos last season.

Nantes – The French side agreed to take 28-year-old midfielder Banel Nicolita on loan from St. Etienne. The right-sider spend six seasons at Steaua Bucharest.

Rennes – Silvio Romero, a 25-year-old Argentine attacker, moves to France, ending his three-plus seasons with Lanús. Over his 105 Primera Division games, Romero scored 28 goals.

Sochaux – Thomas Guerbert, a 24-year-old midfielder from Meaux, moves to this third club in four years, leaving Dijon. The club also takes on 22-year-old Emmanuel Mayuka on loan from Southampton.

Toulouse – 23-year-old Swiss defender François Moubandje makes the step up from Servette FC , the Swiss club having been relegated from the country’s first division.

Valenciennes – Another club benefitting from Monaco’s overstock, Valenciennes will have 25-year-old defender Gary Kagelmacher for the year on loan.

Ramsdale confirms positive COVID-19 test

Ramsdale
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Bournemouth goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale has announced he was one of two Premier League individuals who had a positive COVID-19 test last week.

Ramsdale, 22, believes he contracted the coronavirus while out on a shopping trip between the first two tests taken last week.

In the first round of Premier League testing six out of 748 tests were positive (including Watford defender Adrian Mariappa) and in the second patch of tests two from 996 tests came back positive.

Speaking to The Sun, here’s what Ramsdale had to say about his positive test as he is asymptomatic.

“I’ve been trying to figure it out for the past two days. My test last Monday before we started training was negative,” Ramsdale explained. “So this last week, I’ve done the usual things like going to the supermarket and going to the petrol station to fill my car. Once you’ve contracted the virus, it shows in your blood.

“That was obviously not the case [after the first test] and it’s been the three days between the two tests when I’ve contracted the virus. I’ve been just as careful as before on lockdown and it seems to be a shopping trip where I’ve caught it.”

“It’s definitely a shock — I’ve not been in contact with anybody and I’ve now got it. I’m showing no symptoms so the fact that a healthy young person could potentially have it is definitely scary and worrying. It’s obviously not great that I’ve got it but it’s good that I’m showing no symptoms. It’s one of those things that has unfortunately happened and happened to me.”

This shows just how easy it is to get COVID-19 and Ramsdale sounds shocked, as it may be necessary to put precautions in place for players to not visit public stores outside of training hours. The idea of quarantining a whole squad the week before the PL season restarts has had some push back but a situation like this may make the clubs and league rethink that stance.

Per Premier League protocol, Ramsdale will have to self-isolate for seven days before he can rejoin small-group training.

With the UK government sanctioning full-contact training for professional athletes, the Premier League’s 20 clubs are due to vote on a return to full training in groups of up to 12 initially on Wednesday. If they vote yes, as expected, then teams can train in larger groups from later this week.

However, with positive tests still possible among players, there’s obviously a bigger risk to contracting COVID-19 when players return to contact training.

Women’s Super League, Championship seasons canceled

Women's Super League
Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Leave a comment

This England’s Women’s Super League season will not return from the coronavirus pause, opening a great debate over who will be champions.

The English Football Association made the announcement Monday, also announcing that the second-tier Championship has been canceled.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

The WSL was in a heated title fight, with Man City leading the table on points with 40 but Chelsea’s 39 coming in one fewer match. Arsenal was four points back of City with a match-in-hand.

The top two sides also qualify for the UEFA Women’s Champions League.

From The FA:

Following full and thorough consultation with the clubs, the FA Women’s Super League & Women’s Championship Board has discussed various recommendations which will be sent to the FA Board to determine the most appropriate sporting outcome for the 2019-20 season.

This will include identifying the entries for the 2020-21 UEFA Women’s Champions League, which would be based on sporting merit from the 2019-20 Barclays FA Women’s Super League season.

There’s also relegation to consider, with Liverpool’s women dead last but within a win of two clubs.

Promotion from the Championship would be a little more clearcut, as Aston Villa has a six-point edge on the field.

Could there be a playoff to decide a title winner? Might the FA opt not to name a winner?

Chelsea was unbeaten but there’s certainly no guarantee they’d win out nor would giving City the title make any sense. The Blues took four of six points from City.

Man City, Chelsea, and Arsenal are the three previous title winners.

Report: Ighalo to leave Manchester United for China return this week

Odion Ighalo
Photo by UEFA - Handout/UEFA via Getty Images
Leave a comment

Manchester United have been dealt a blow to their strike force ahead of the Premier League’s hopeful return, according to The Manchester Evening News.

Loan striker Odion Ighalo is being called back to Chinese Super League club Shanghai Shenhua this week, his loan only good until May 31.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

There was hope that the club would’ve had him for an extended spell or at least through June 30 when many contracts end, or that United could negotiate an extension for the Nigerian.

There was also talk of a permanent deal, but the transfer window will not open until at least July 1.

The player himself is a boyhood United supporter and had said he wanted to finish the season with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Red Devils, but he’s a massive investment for Shanghai and they don’t owe United anything.

Ighalo, who turns 31 in June, has fit the bill as a fill-in striker for the Red Devils, who had lost Marcus Rashford to injury. He has four goals in eight appearances for United after 46 goals in three seasons abroad.

The good news for United is that Rashford is back in full training, but it would’ve been a nice luxury to have Ighalo for what’s sure to be a congested fixture list. That said, United has plenty of attacking talent including young Mason Greenwood. The Red Devils should be fine.

Premier League social media wrap: Rashford honored, Mendy banters

Leave a comment

The Premier League world continues to move toward the return of soccer, while its social media eyes are trained in several directions.

In Monday’s edition of the PL social media wrap, we visit players from several clubs including both of Manchester’s top-flight sides in addition to a defender in the Northeast and a mournful note from Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

It’s Independence Day in Argentina, and several players were Tweeting love back home from their homes in the Premier League.

Norwich City’s Emiliano Buendia, Man City’s Nicolas Otamendi, and West Ham’s Pablo Zabaleta shared their love for home.

Newcastle’s Federico Fernandez celebrated with Napoli’s clever photo of a makeshift Argentine XI, as the Serie A club has had a lot of strong players from the South American nation.

Didn’t see himself lining up with Diego Maradona any time soon, we imagine.

[ MORE: Latest Bundesliga news | Current table ]

Manchester City’s Benjamin Mendy came out of his shell to share some thoughts on social distancing.

The outgoing French left back is no stranger to quips, and used his Twitter to post a reminder to stay vigilant in keeping distance from others.

Mendy posed with Kevin De Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez, Nicolas Otamendi, and Eric Garcia at City’s training ground Monday.

You may note that he also tagged Bernardo Silva. That’s banter, and see the second Tweet for detail.

On the other side of Manchester, forward Marcus Rashford shared an honor bestowed upon him for his vigilant work raising money this coronavirus pandemic.

Rashford has been working with a group called Fair Share UK to provide free meals for underprivileged people during the pandemic.

Last month, he doubled his personal donation and shared a story that he was once one of the children who’d need such contributions to get by.

Rashford was given a special recognition award by the High Sheriff of Greater Manchester and said, “To be recognized by my city is a special feeling.”

Chelsea’s Antonio Rudiger is mourning the loss of a friend, as former Roma academy player Joseph Bouasse died of a heart attack at the age of 21.

Rudiger was with Roma from 2015-17 apart from a loan to Stuttgart in Germany, and Bouasse was a center mid in their academy.

The Chelsea centerback shared a photo of Bouasse on Monday. It’s always so stunning when a someone so young, let alone an elite athlete, succumbs to heart problems. Our hearts are Bouasse and the Roma family tonight.