The summer sales weren’t over. After the window shut across Europe on Oct. 5, English clubs were still able to conduct business between themselves until Friday’s deadline. Here are the standout last-day transfers you may have missed.
Said Benrahma ?? West Ham United
Details: Loan before permanent move worth reported £30 million (Read more)
The Premier League is ready for another Algerian entertainer.
Benrahma, 25, finally became a West Ham player on Friday’s deadline day following drawn-out negotiations with Brentford and reported complications from his medical that threatened to derail the transfer. Thankfully, West Ham pushed through with the deal regardless.
The Premier League will be blessed with a footballer who overcame confidence issues with Nice to become a playmaker who revels in the spotlight. He’s not afraid to rehash training ground tricks in matches, and his ability to roam off the left flank to infiltrate space, dupe defenders, and assist and score on a regular basis made him one of the most watchable players in English football last season.
Benrahma’s artistry and Jarrod Bowen’s industrious attacking qualities could wreak havoc behind Michail Antonio in the Irons’ front line.
Naturally, Benrahma’s final goal for Brentford was outrageous:
Jack Butland ?? Crystal Palace
Details: Goalkeeper inked three-year contract
A long-term injury to Wayne Hennessey forced Crystal Palace to search for a deputy for the popular Vicente Guaita. And, at an immediate glance, picking up a 27-year-old goalkeeper with nine England caps for a reported initial £1-million fee is a coup for Roy Hodgson’s side.
But things haven’t been going well for Butland since Stoke City’s 2018 relegation.
Butland hasn’t played since suffering a neck injury in July, but the real reason he lost his starting place to Adam Davies at Stoke was due to repeated errors between the sticks. In his final appearance for the Potters – a 5-0 bashing at Leeds United – he appeared reluctant to leave his six-yard box after he was almost punished for dashing off his line during the early exchanges.
Hodgson handed Butland his England debut in 2012 and he was part of Gareth Southgate’s contingent at the 2018 World Cup.
Harvey Elliott ?? Blackburn Rovers
Details: Loan for remainder of 2020-21 season
Tony Mowbray’s Blackburn Rovers have made a promising start to the campaign and should revise their ambitions following four deadline-day arrivals.
The 11th-hour recruitment drive included a loan move for committed left-back Barry Douglas from Leeds United and, most notably, a season-long agreement for Liverpool’s highly rated winger Elliott.
“I love his attitude, love his enthusiasm, love his bravery, love the fact he has the right amount of football confidence and cheekiness,” Jurgen Klopp said of Elliott when he signed his first professional contract in July.
“I think the public maybe doesn’t know the real Harvey yet and part of that is because we have looked to shield and protect him.”
Now, Elliott has a prolonged opportunity to strut his stuff in the professional game. The 17-year-old’s agility, strength, and vision should make him an instant hit in the second tier.
Anthony Knockaert ?? Nottingham Forest
Details: Loan until January before reported option to buy
Knockaert has never again reached the heights from his stupendous 2016-17 season with Brighton & Hove Albion – when his 15 goals and eight assists were crucial in the Seagulls’ successful promotion bid. So, the French winger has reunited with his manager from that Brighton spell, Chris Hughton, to try to recapture his best work.
The Fulham man is only with Nottingham Forest until Jan. 7, but this season’s congested schedule means he still has 19 league matches before his terms expire. Then, Forest can exercise an option to buy Knockaert in a permanent deal, The Athletic’s Paul Taylor reports.
The Tricky Trees are yet to earn a point in the four matches to begin their Championship campaign, but there are good components at the City Ground – bookended by Brice Samba in goal and veteran striker Lewis Grabban – and Knockaert could help Forest rediscover a spark that went missing near the end of the 2019-20 term.
Forest’s squad is bloated and unfamiliar after a busy summer transfer window under old boss Sabri Lamouchi, so the Hughton-Knockaert tandem could help bring a semblance of stability to the club.
Joe Rodon ?? Tottenham Hotspur
Details: Permanent transfer for reported initial £11-million fee (Read more)
Tottenham came out on top of negotiations with Swansea City, striking a deal worth an initial £11 million for Rodon when the Welsh club was seeking a return of at least £18 million. The eventual sum was “just further evidence of the incompetence of Swansea’s board and owners,” The Athletic’s Stuart James tweeted.
So, for an impressively low fee, Jose Mourinho will be hoping he’s found the next Jan Vertonghen in north London.
Rodon, who turns 23 next week, is an imposing figure at 6-foot-4 – two inches taller than Vertonghen – and also possesses the Belgian’s ability to bely his build with his slick ball-carrying ability. He can also pick out probing passes to his attacking colleagues from defense and has plenty of experience playing in a back-three, which should be a regular option for Mourinho now he can deploy Serge Aurier or Matt Doherty at right wing-back and the exciting Sergio Reguilon down the left.
Rodon should be given time to settle in at Spurs, but the signs suggest chairman Daniel Levy has landed a bargain.