The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Deadline Day Special

SLAM! That was the sound of the transfer window slamming shut. It always does that, the window. It could slide gently down, or even close down, but no. The transfer window must SLAM shut. But who slams it shut? Is there a higher power? Or is the window itself a sentient being, intent upon wreaking havoc on the windowsill as part of a battle stretching across millennia? Alas, we might never find out. But what we can find out, are the beneficiaries and victims of the latest Deadline Day when the transfer window slamming shut might have irrevocably changed the course of many careers. Let’s get on with it, then.

The Good

Jose Mourinho: The Special One wrapped up his business early in the window and sat with a smug smile plastered across his face while title rivals ran from pillar to post to get their deals over the line. So, that’s one early-bird trophy already secured for this season.

Swansea: Paul Clement pulled out his ‘Friends With Benefits (Not That Kind)’ card and swiped it for a Renato Sanches loan from Carlo Ancelotti’s Bayern Munich. They also got in Wilfried Bony, who might be able to score again once he finds his shooting boots lying under his old Swansea locker.

Tottenham Hotspur: Finally bought a striker capable of providing backup to Harry Kane when the Englishman inevitably struggles to buy a goal next August. Spurs also added a fullback who could lend a helping hand in resolving the sort of stewarding issues we saw last week.

Mamadou Sakho: The French defender finally managed to wriggle out of Klopp’s heavy metal hell and ran into the loving arms of Frank de Boer, who might not even be in-charge by the time Sakho makes his debut for Palace.

Danny Drinkwater: The only person not underwhelmed by Drinkwater’s transfer to Chelsea is the man himself.

Thomas Lemar: Narrowly avoided being labelled a waste of money and being accused of “nicking a living” as his transfer to Arsenal fell through.

The Bad

Antonio Conte: A former Chelsea manager complained that he was being handed cheap eggs and asked to make a delicious omelette, or something. Lord knows, he talks a lot. Conte might be frugal with words but in his mind he must be fuming that instead of strengthening the squad, the Chelsea board managed to further reduce the numbers and then buy him Danny Drinkwater.

Alexis Sanchez: His escape to saner pastures was thwarted by Arsenal’s bumbling around the Lemar transfer. And now he must endure six more months of teammates who would rather take a selfie than score a goal.

Newcastle United: Mike Ashley is doing everything within his power to make sure Newcastle United retain their status as the league’s original basket-case club. Benitez might not stick around to see them tumble back into the second tier.

Ross Barkley: The joke’s already been written so I won’t reinvent the wheel – ‘His decision-making has always been poor’.

Flight Trackers: A lot of football fans might not be able to tell their arse from their elbow, but once they hear a rumour that a transfer target is on the move, trust them to bring down an entire website dedicated to tracking flights.

The Ugly

Diego Costa: Stuck with a team that does not want him, pining for a team that won’t pay for him and now on the verge of being sued for an eye-watering sum of money by the club that still holds his contract. Within a couple of months, Costa has gone from a Premier League winner to a dog’s dinner.

Arsenal: For all the talk of financial prudence, there seemed to be a distinct lack of it as they let their best player run down his contract and are now resigned to losing him for nothing. A potential £60 million transfer fee turned to nought within a matter of minutes, as they pulled out of the deal to sell Sanchez to Manchester City. As if that wasn’t embarrassing enough, Arsenal made a ridiculously late and ridiculously large bid for Lemar, then crapped their pants when Monaco called their bluff and accepted it, resulting in a humiliating withdrawal of said bid. What do you think they’re smoking over there at The Emirates?