Manchester United's Martial And The Most Exciting Deals On Deadline Day


As deadline days go, it wasn't a classic. There was a distinct lack of helicopters, black people carriers and Harry Redknapp being employed for starters - not to mention the fact most of the biggest, richest clubs kept from being impulsive and spending ridiculous sums to "bring a player in" for the sheer romantic drama of it all.

Only Manchester United buckled and went for the barnstorming. Elsewhere, a collection of entirely reasonable deals were struck by Premier League clubs. Matt Jarvis to Norwich might not boil the blood, but a handful of assists down the road and he could prove a shrewd addition.

In this column, I'm going to highlight my five most exciting Premier League transfers that went through before 6pm on Tuesday. If I was allowed to include David De Gea from Madrid to United I would, but I'm both too late to the joke and I don't think FIFA will sanction it.

 

1. Michail Antonio, Nottingham Forest to West Ham

Antonio has come a long way from the non-league ranks with Tooting and Mitcham to the heady heights of a West Ham team anticipating life in the Olympic Stadium. What the Hammers paid a reported £4 million for is a wide attacking player with both speed and strength in abundance.

The stats back up the fact Antonio is an elusive winger. As per Whoscored.com, going back to the beginning of last season he's racked up more successful dribbles in the Championship than any other player in the division. He can deliver goals too, as evidenced by the 14 he scored in the league for Forest last campaign.

 

2. Anthony Martial, Monaco to Manchester United

Yes, it's a lot of money for a 19-year-old, but that doesn't stop Martial being a seriously exciting proposition for Premier League fans watching on. Handed the No. 9 shirt and charged with adding some much-needed thrust to Manchester United's attacking effort, the French teenager seems unlikely to benefit from the luxury of a gentle introduction.

Louis van Gaal needs new blood badly, and with the Champions League group stage on the horizon, expect to see Martial given plenty of game time in the first few weeks and months of life at his new club. Those who cover Ligue 1 speak of a player of immense potential who is already capable of sending lightning bolts through opposition defences, but who remains rough around the edges. The big question now is how Martial handles being the most expensive teenager in history.

 

3. DeAndre Yedlin, Tottenham to Sunderland

Let us think back to Yedlin's scorching cameos at the World Cup with Team USA. There's speed and then there's Yedlin speed, but unfortunately the chance hasn't been forthcoming at Spurs and he needed a loan move this window to get things moving as fast as his legs can.

If ever there was a need it was Sunderland's. The Premier League's worst club have been a defensive horror show this season and everyone who's had the merest glimpse has them as relegation certainties right now.

There's no doubting Yedlin will get his chance now and if he plays to his potential Spurs could well be calling him back come the end of the season. If they're not, he might find himself in the Championship.

 

4. Ramiro Funes Mori, River Plate to Everton

Everton played a strong window. John Stones shalt not pass to Chelsea was the defining statement, but Mori's £9.5 million arrival from River Plate could prove the addition that allows them to let Stones go in the future, without the need to worry too much about filling his boots.

Scouting reports speak of a combative defender who is most comfortable on the left of a central pairing. Mori made his Argentina debut earlier this year and the 24-year-old has a reputation for being dominant in the air and a player who can deliver goals when he ventures inside the box.

 

5. Aaron Lennon, Tottenham to Everton

Another one for the Toffees. Lennon might have failed to win the affection of Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham, but he certainly wouldn't be the first unwanted player to move elsewhere and make a substantial statement of his worth. Lennon's loan spell at Everton worked out well last season and Roberto Martinez was keen to bring him into the fold on a permanent basis this time around.

Everton will get the qualities we know only too well. Lennon is a direct wide player with pace to burn and the ability to spark things in the final third. In today's game of possession and press, his influence could be telling in tight games that require Everton to make something happen. At 28, Lennon should still have much to offer and may well believe he can force his way back in to the England reckoning with a strong season at Goodison Park.

 

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