Abdul Razak

Premier League Transfer Window Grades: West Ham

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Window shopping

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.

Players In

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).

Players Out

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).

Grade: C

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?

Done Deal: England’s Deadline Day sees lower teams scurry to ensure top flight status

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It was a furious day of activity in England’s Deadline Day, but the top teams in the table were quiet while the bottom half made plenty of moves in an attempt to avoid relegation.

In fact, Liverpool failing to sign a player may be the biggest news out of the Premier League’s top 7 clubs.

Let’s go through all the completed deals for today:

ENGLAND:

FulhamMore to come on this complete and total squad turnover, but the Cottagers were by far the busiest team in the league on Deadline Day.  They completed permanent deals for Kostas Mitroglou, William Kvist and John Heitinga, while bringing in Lewis Holtby on loan.  Mitroglou is in on a club record transfer fee, and Holtby could be made permanent if the club stays up.

They also offloaded Aaron Hughes, Adel Taarabt, Dimitar Berbatov, and Philippe Senderos, with manager Rene Meulensteen clearly unhappy with the current squad makeup. They also offloaded Bryan Ruiz earlier in the window, while adding Clint Dempsey in the beginning of the window.

Finally, in the waning minutes of the window, the Whites nabbed Manchester United youngsters Ryan Tunnicliffe and Larnell Cole.

Crystal PalaceTony Pulis has done a fair bit of dealing today as well, bringing in defender Scott Dann and goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey from Wolverhampton to shore up and already strong back line.  Finally they sealed Jason Puncheon permanently, already at Selhurst Park on loan. That allowed them to make their biggest signing of the day, nabbing winger Tom Ince from Blackpool on loan.

ArsenalMany have called for Arsene Wenger to sign a striker, but instead he went for the less sexy option of grabbing 31-year-old midfielder Kim Källström on loan from Spartak Moscow.

West Ham UnitedThe signing of Abdul Razak was made official, with the midfielder coming in from Anzhi.  The Hammers also grabbed Pablo Armero on loan from Napoli, a 27-year-old Colombian left-back.

They did, however, miss out on a striker, most notably in their attempt to hijack Mitroglou’s move to Fulham, ending up empty-handed despite reports that they offered the Greek 25% higher wages.  In fact, they offloaded disappointing striker Modibo Maiga on Queens Park Rangers just in time for the deadline.

Finally, they retained Ravel Morrison despite heavy interest from Fulham and other lower table sides.

ChelseaNo major moves were made by Jose Mourinho, but this morning the confirmed the signing of highly-rated defender Kurt Zouma from St. Etienne, costing them a reported £12 million ($19.7 million).  The 19-year-old was then immediately loaned back to the French side. Gael Kakuta was loaned out to Lazio, the 22-year-old’s fifth loan stint during his time at Chelsea.

Cardiff CityThe Bluebirds’ new manager Ole Gunnar Solksjaer brought in a number of familiar faces from his time at Manchester United.  Most notably they captured Wilfried Zaha on loan, joining Fabio who was sealed a few days ago.

SunderlandThe Black Cats signed 24-year-old Liam Bridcutt for a reported £2.5 million ($4.1 million) fee after handing in a transfer request earlier this month at Brighton & Hove Albion. However, Gus Poyet will also be pleased with retaining Lee Cattermole despite heavy interest from Stoke City.  Danny Graham departed on loan to Middlesbrough.

LiverpoolAfter much speculation that they didn’t get the deal done in time, Liverpool did NOT get the deal done for 24-year-old Dnipro midfielder Yehven Konoplyanka.  They hit a snag on a £15 million ($24.7 million) deal and ran out of time.  No deadline day signings for the Reds, on the heels of missing out on Mohamed Salah who was stolen by Chelsea. More on this later.

West BromThe Baggies have added a fantastic hairdo to their ranks when they inked Espanyol striker Thievy Bifouma on loan until the end of the season.  It’s a bit of a panic purchase, with Nicolas Anelka and Stephane Sessegnon both out injured.

Southampton – Mauricio Pochettino, less than 24 hours after confirming he’d never play Pablo Osvaldo again, the striker was loaned to Juventus. So he punches a player at training, and is sent to the Serie A league leaders as a result. Justice is served!

That’s all for around the Premier League, Newcastle failed to replace Yohan Cabaye and Manchester United didn’t add a central defender. We’ll have more from around the rest of Europe a little later tonight.

Done Deal: Completed transfer activity from Jan. 30

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Let’s call this the proverbial calm before the transfer deadline storm.

Thursday was the light on completed deals, but things are sure to be different by this time Friday as the January transfer window closes. (According to the chart in this story from England, final day activity in January typically out-strips final-day activity in the primary, summer transfer window. Who knew?)

There’s plenty of deal a’dangling out there, like Kurt Zouma’s potential move into Stamford Bridge; he’s a well-regarded French youth international.

And the door may be swinging both ways down the road at Craven Cottage, where Dimitar Berbatov may be on the way out, and might just pass Olympiakos man Kostas Mitroglou as he leaves. As we said, lots of “maybes” but just a few dot-signers today.

ENGLAND

West Ham — The bunch from Upton Park finalized a short-term loan agreement for former Manchester City midfielder Abdul Razak. The Ivory Coast international (pictured above, on the right), 21, grew up in the City youth system and kicked around on loan deals before Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala bought him October.

Crystal Palace — Tony Pulis’ side paid Blackpool a reported $1.6 million just to get the loaner services of Blackpool winger Thomas Ince. The talented attacker will spend the rest of this season at Selhurst Park and then be available on a free transfer this summer.

ITALY

AC Milan — AC Milan’s win today is a small hit for Fulham, as midfielder Adel Taarabt has signed on with the Italian giants. The Moroccan international was property of QPR but that been on loan at Craven Cottage, where the Whites’ chances of remaining above the relegation red line just took a little trim. (It will take a bigger one if Berbatov leaves.) Taarabt was hardly a lineup fixture for Fulham, but Rene Meulensteen’s club needs all the help it can get.

Done Deal: Transfer activity from Deadline Day, September 2

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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.