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LEO'S LONDON: The summer's transfer window winners and losers...
Published : 01 Sep 2010 18:17:09
Transfer deadline day will have to be renamed if it continues like this. The Premier League will have to at least give a nod to its plurality after the latest case of time-stretching. It was Tottenham trying to make it transfer deadlines day this time in their late quest to sign Rafael van der Vaart from Real Madrid. In your own time, Rafael: Should it be called transfer deadline days from now on? But West Ham's deal for Blackburn's Lars Jacobsen also looks as if it was late and those clubs are certainly not the first to have tested the Premier League's time-keeping. More from Leo Spall... LEO'S LONDON: Why Gallas is not worthy of true villain status25/08/10 Leo's London: Plastic is not fantastic - Spurs should have avoided pitch woe19/08/10 LEO'S LONDON: When Saturday comes... the Premier League will be reduced to dress rehearsals thanks to transfer window chaos11/08/10 Leo's London: More fool Fabio if Capello takes England gamble on kid Wilshere05/08/10 LEO'S LONDON: All-American hero Keane has to leave Tottenham28/07/10 Leo's London: Sol is hardly Arsenal's answer when Gallas could have stayed22/07/10 LEO'S LONDON: Tottenham will take Arsenal's glory away with attack threat14/07/10 LEO'S LONDON: Torres can kickstart Chelsea's new era under Ancelotti07/07/10 VIEW FULL ARCHIVE The Ashley Cole-William Gallas exchange deal between Arsenal and Chelsea did so in 2006, so did Andrey Arshavin's move to Arsenal in 2009 and Benjani's move from Portsmouth to Manchester City in 2008. It never seems to be the little deals either but, as much as last minute trading allows the maximum amount of brinksmanship and may bring a better price, it is not necessarily the smartest way to go. Fulham are my pick of the bunch from London's summer window shoppers and the main business they did on Tuesday was to sell Paul Konchesky to Liverpool, a deal that was already all over bar the haggling. Below are my assessments of the clubs' trading in this window with those in the Premier League listed from best to worst. Future boy: Dembele has shown flashes of brilliance 1.FulhamQuiet but confident business despite a change of manager. Moussa Dembele has shown enough flashes of brilliance to suggest he could be one of the buys of the season once he has fully adapted to the English game and can consistently produce pieces of magic. The forward cost £5m, has quick feet and the pass he picked out to send Dickson Etuhu through at Blackpool last weekend was a peach. Losing Konchesky to Liverpool will not be a deeply felt loss after bringing in Carlos Salcido and signing Rafik Halliche adds option another option in the centre of defence. Hanging on to Arsenal-target Mark Schwarzer showed Fulham are no pushovers in the transfer market either and, hopefully, the goalkeeper's mysterious back complaint will go away now he knows he is staying. 2.ChelseaCalm and calculated - why change a winning formula? The Double winners have made their squad leaner but remain as powerful as ever after hanging on to Didier Drogba. Joe Cole's departure was a blow for some fans but Yossi Benayoun can fill the fringe role played by Cole and Deco, who has also gone. Instant impact: Yossi Benayoun can fill the void left by Joe Cole's departure Adding Ramires' indefatigable running in midfield can only increase their already untouchable athleticism too and the only question mark is over the failure to replace Ricardo Carvalho at centre-back. Carlo Ancelotti's only senior choices there are John Terry, Alex and Branislav Ivanovic, which is one short, but it could be the right time for Jeffrey Bruma to get a chance. Franco di Santo has left but everyone had probably forgotten he was ever there. Pointing the way: Gallas is a good signing - but Redknapp wanted a striker 3.TottenhamAfter signing Sandro, Harry Redknapp said he wanted three more players to make Spurs title contenders, but Stipe Pletikosa, Williams Gallas and Rafael van der Vaart were not the trio he had in mind. Finally clinching the Dutchman is a good bit of late business but the balance is still not quite right. Tottenham's showing last season proved they didn't have too many holes to fill and Gallas has plugged one of them at the back. But they lack the power to knock over resilient challengers such as Wigan, who stood firm against them last weekend. Redknapp wanted a powerhouse striker like Chelsea and Manchester United have in Drogba and Wayne Rooney, but they were too pricey. Instead, he will have to rely on his raft of crafty midfielders picking their way through opposition teams' defensive walls and that is a gamble. 4.ArsenalA sign of how desperate things became for Arsene Wenger this summer was the way he broke his self-imposed age rules to sign Sebastien Squillaci, who cost £3.2m and was given a three-year deal at 30 years old. But the Frenchman's arrival in addition to the purchase of Laurent Koscielny means Arsenal's central defensive strength should at least be up to standard after the departures of Sol Campbell and William Gallas. Case for the defence: Koscielny is a good signing but Wenger really need to bring a keeper in, too Marouane Chamakh has looked a promising free transfer in attack too, but Robin van Persie's susceptibility to injury means Theo Walcott may sometimes have to be fast-tracked into a central striker, which is not ideal. The failure to sign a new goalkeeper is the biggest problem. Manuel Almunia is not the world's worst but Wenger has made it very clear that he lacks confidence in the Spaniard and No 2 Lukasz Fabianski, which certainly won't improve their form. Head-scratcher: It's going to be difficult for Grant to make his team gel 5.West HamAvram Grant's signings have not been awful by any means. Pablo Barrera looks very promising and Thomas Hitzlsperger can do a decent job for the team. But Frederic Piquionne is not the answer to their scoring problems and the fans' hostility towards Carlton Cole could make for a barren time in front of goal. Keeping hold of Scott Parker was important and will help their solidity but whether he can pull together a squad which has six additions after four frontline departures remains to be seen. Jacobsen's late deal makes it seven and West Ham look like a bunch of individuals rather than a team, with the early signs making it hard to be optimistic that they will gel. CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND-UPRob Hulse and Tommy Smith may not be deadline day signings to set the pulses racing, but they will add more Championship know-how to QPR, who look a good bet for promotion at last. Crystal Palace's signing of Edgar Davids has given a Cardiff a run for their money for the eye-catching deal of the summer but the Dutchman will not have anywhere near the same impact as Craig Bellamy. Anthony Gardner is a decent loan signing and the club have largely shopped sensibly in the window. Enlarge Dutch delight: Eagles fans will be chuffed by Davids's arrival but the biggest move has come from Cardiff - and their signing of Bellamy Millwall got most of their business done early which has helped them make a fast start to the season, and every one was a solid move, with more of the right characters to fit into the mould at The Den.