The ink is dry on the fax paper and Jim White has been cryogenically frozen again for a few months; the summer transfer window is now over and supporters everywhere are getting to grips with the new players in the teams they support. Deadline day brought with it all the usual drama and, of course, accusations of last-minute business dealings and panic buying. Some clubs have clearly improved their personnel, while others have lost key players. One thing was clear from certain incoming transfers at some Premier League clubs: television money in this country has raised the stakes.
A number of England’s senior and Under-21 internationals found themselves on the move over the summer. Some went for big money, some are on loan, but all of them face new challenges and new opportunities. (In the English leagues, of course. For a number of reasons we still don’t have a player with the inclination to try his hand abroad.)
Nathaniel Clyne to Southampton
Of all the players moving this summer, Nathaniel Clyne could easily prove to be the best fit for his new club. The former Crystal Palace man had been cultivating a reputation as a nuisance over contract dealings at Selhurst Park and clearly felt he was ready to play in the Premier League. His performances backed up his view and he finally got his move. Nigel Adkins took him to Southampton, a club that represented a more natural progression than an established Premier League side might have done. The benefits of that for Clyne are clear: he won’t be competing with an unassailable established full back, for one thing, so he’ll get plenty of playing time.
Robert Green to Queens Park Rangers
Sam Allardyce wanted Jussi Jaaskelainen at West Ham United, Adam Bogdan had unseated the Finn at the Reebok and Robert Green was the man left without a chair when the music stopped. Queens Park Rangers offered him a route to remain in the Premier League and it all looked like a simple case of goalkeeper shuffling as Paddy Kenny moved elsewhere. For all the unpredictability and wayward spending at QPR, it seemed a relatively solid move for the former Norwich City ‘keeper until Rangers brought in Internazionale’s Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar, effectively replacing him before he really got started.
Jack Rodwell to Manchester City
Any young player signing for Manchester City from another big Premier League club is bound to face questions about the wisdom of his move. Would Jack Rodwell develop better at Everton than at Manchester City? It depends in large part on the playing opportunities available to him at the Etihad, which have been in fullsome supply so far. Playing alongside the likes of Yaya Toure and David Silva regularly should have a positive effect on the 21-year-old, and with hard work and continued inclusion in Roberto Mancini’s team this could be a transfer that proves the making of an England regular. The more he plays, the less likely it is that he will find himself in the kind of situation suffered by Scott Parker and Steve Sidwell at Chelsea.
Henri Lansbury to Nottingham Forest
21-year-old Londoner Henri Lansbury might feel rejected after finally being moved on by Arsene Wenger, but being given a new opportunity could do him the world of good. After loans at Scunthorpe United, Watford, Norwich City and West Ham United, Lansbury has been signed up permanently by Nottingham Forest. There, he will be guided by a fine manager in Sean O’Driscoll and will get his chance to make a genuinely telling impact on his new club – sometimes one has to go backwards in order to go forwards. With Forest looking to push on and putting their faith in Lansbury to help them do so, the Under-21 international’s new home could be just the one he needs.
Adam Johnson to Sunderland
If their new winger Adam Johnson can find his best form in the Premier League this season, Sunderland will have acquired an excellent player. His experience should be an example for young players moving to Manchester City or the other wealthy clubs around them. He found his opportunities limited at City, with Mancini choosing to question his application on more than one occasion. Martin O’Neill loves a tricky winger and Johnson fits the bill perfectly. His England prospects will undoubtedly improve as a result of his switch and if he can repeat his performance against Italy recently it won’t be easy to shift him once he’s there.
Josh McEachran to Middlesbrough (loan)
Chelsea’s Under-21 international player Josh McEachran has again been loaned out as his parent club aims to continue his development while winning the odd enormous trinket. Despite infrequent appearances at Swansea City under Brendan Rodgers last season, McEachran will have learned much at a club with a very different philosophy to the Blues. Earlier in the summer he was loaned to Middlesbrough, another team with a strong manager who has a clear vision about how his football team should play. At the age of 19, McEachran has a big future ahead of him. But he needs to start playing more regularly now, and Boro should afford him that opportunity.
Danny Rose to Sunderland (loan)
A confession: I don’t understand how so many people have so much faith in Danny Rose. Stuart Pearce in particular seems determined to have him around at all times, whether that’s for Great Britain or England Under-21s, but I don’t see whatever it is Pearce sees. O’Neill sees it, though, and has taken the Tottenham Hotspur youngster to the Stadium of Light on loan. If he plays regularly we’ll all be able to make a robust judgement on his abilities.
Andy Carroll to West Ham United (loan)
This is a move that makes sense for everyone but Liverpool, on the face of it. West Ham get a hungry and very capable player, Carroll gets regular football and England get a striker playing more than he would at a parent club that wants him out. The terms of the loan don’t appear to benefit Liverpool particularly, as Carroll’s future beyond this season is no clearer and they obviously want him out. A good debut at Upton Park was spoiled by an injury, though, and Carroll faces a spell on the sidelines. Nevertheless, West Ham fans are rightly excited about having him at the club for the season.
Scott Sinclair to Manchester City
One out and one in at Manchester City. Johnson’s replacement is Swansea City’s Scott Sinclair, a player Mancini was intent on snaring this summer. It’s a big step up for the player just a couple of years after joining the Swans and helping them secure and then maintain a place in the top flight. For City, Sinclair should add more goals to the mix than did Johnson, and he’s not significantly less skilled on the ball or tricky in going past opponents. There’s no doubt he’s got the potential to be a special player but the way he and his playing time are managed at City will go a long way to determine just what becomes of him.
(Photo credit: John Christian Fjellestad via Flickr)