1. Peter Crouch to Stoke- It seems that Tony Pulis has given up on any kind of reformatory notion. The signing of Tuncay two years ago was supposed to herald the start of a revolution – no longer would Stoke be a long ball team, no longer would every throw-in won be greeted with roars from the vociferous home fans. Now, in 2011, Tuncay plays for Bolton, Delap’s still going strong and the Potters are likely to start both Kenwyne Jones and Peter Crouch in their next match. Effective, yes. Pretty, no. Needless to say, Crouch will thrive in the Stoke system. His ability in the air should produce countless numbers of goals and assists, and available at low, Spurs bench warmer type price, fantasy potential is there.
2. Nicklas Bendtner to Sunderland (loan)- Nobody seems to rate Nicklas Bendtner, but his statistics aren’t really that bad. A career haul of fifty-eight works out to about a goal in four, and considering most of his appearances have been off the bench, that record is quite impressive. At Sunderland, Bendtner is guaranteed more playing time and it will be fascinating to see whether he can develop a relationship with Asamoah Gyan. For Denmark, Bendtner has always been dangerous, so perhaps he is big fish-small pond type player, and will only succeed when it is he who has the highest profile.
3. Yossi Benayoun to Arsenal (loan)- Of Arsenal’s two creative signings, this one presents the most fantasy intrigue. Benayoun has always been a crafty little player, and I can see him fitting in well with the Arsneal way of doing things. At Liverpool, Benayoun was able to develop strong relationships with players like Gerrard, Torres and Kuyt, so if equivalent bonds can be forged, perhaps the Israeli might prove just as useful as the departed Samir Nasri.
4. Shaun Wright-Phillips to QPR- After two excellent seasons in the mid 2000s, Wright Phillips’ professional career has tailored off a bit. A disappointing spell at Chelsea, was followed by failure to adjust in Manchester City’s new financially charged environment leaving the England international cut adrift. At 29 though, he still has plenty to offer. Very tricky down the wing, SWP will have ample targets in the penalty area – both DJ Campbell and Jay Bothroyd are adept converters of crosses. Again, like Peter Crouch, Wright-Phillips is available for a knock down price – certainly one which will rise as the season continues.
5. Royston Drenthe to Everton (loan)- After going the entire summer without once dipping into the transfer market, Everton signed two player on deadline day. Headlining their business was the acquisition of former Real Madrid winger Royston Drenthe, a speedy player with the potential to make a big difference in the Premier League. As of now, Drenthe’s price hasn’t been confirmed, though I’d be shocked if it was any more than six million.
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