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Premier League clubs have completed some of their best and craziest deals in the final hours of the transfer window. Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea are all expected to be busy before Thursday’s 11pm deadline. Express Sport takes a look back at some of the most intriguing deals to have happened on deadline day over the years.
Robinho – Real Madrid to Manchester City, £32m
This was the deal that kickstarted the era of Manchester City as a Premier League heavyweight. While conspiracy theories and social media memes would have you believe that Robinho actually thought he was signing for Manchester United, the Brazilian’s transfer from Real Madrid was a seismic moment for City and the Premier League.
Robinho might not have had quite the impact at the Etihad that many were expecting, although he still scored 16 goals and provided 12 assists in 53 appearances.
This was City’s first major signing of the Sheikh Mansour reign. All their success and the money spent since can be traced back to this moment in January 2008.
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Ashley Cole – Arsenal to Chelsea, £5m + part-exchange
A deal for England left-back Ashley Cole caused plenty of trouble in January 2006. He made the controversial move from London rivals Arsenal, while defender William Gallas moved the other way alongside a £5m fee.
Then-Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho was fined £200,000 after he and CEO Peter Kenyon were caught meeting Cole without Arsenal’s permission. The Blues will feel it was worth the risk, with Cole becoming an icon at Stamford Bridge. He won the Premier League, the Champions League, four FA Cups and a host of other team and personal honours.
Luis Suarez – Ajax to Liverpool, £22.8m
This was a big-spending January for Liverpool in 2011, with Andy Carroll having also arrived from Newcastle for a fee that far exceeded the £22.8m for Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan would go on to become an iconic figure at Anfield, while Carroll’s spell on Merseyside was hampered by injuries and he joined West Ham 18 months later.
Suarez had a slow start at Liverpool, scoring just four times between January and May in 2010-11. But he then bagged 17, 30 and 31 goals, respectively, in each of the next three campaigns. The striker almost single-handedly dragged Liverpool to the Premier League title in 2013-14 and was infamously inconsolable after a draw at Crystal Palace all but ended their top-flight chances in May 2014.
Suarez left for Barcelona that summer and he was replaced by Rickie Lambert and Mario Balotelli. It would take several years for Liverpool to finally bring in an adequate alternative.
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Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano – Corinthians to West Ham, free
Then-West Ham boss Alan Pardew initially ruled out a move for Argentina internationals Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano as “ridiculous”. But their arrival on deadline day in January 2007 proved to be another controversial deal.
The pair left Brazilian side Corinthians following a contract dispute and their arrivals at West Ham would eventually be found to have broken Premier League rules on third-party ownership. Their contractual rights were owned by a company and the transfer was engineered by agent Kia Joorabchian.
Sheffield United were particularly unhappy that West Ham were not punished more severely for the deals. Tevez’s dramatic winning goal against an under-strength Man Utd on the final day of the season kept the Hammers in the top-flight at the Blades’ expense.
Wayne Rooney – Everton to Manchester United, £27m
Having broken onto the scene as a technically gifted, hard-working 16-year-old who had physical attributes well beyond his tender teenage years, Wayne Rooney was courted by most of Europe. Manchester United won the race to sign the forward on deadline day in the summer of 2003, when Rooney was aged 18.
At the time, the £27m paid to Eveton made Rooney the most expensive teenager of all time. He made an immediate impact, scoring a hat-trick on his debut in a Champions League win over Fenerbahce.
That was just the start of Rooney’s goal-scoring at Old Trafford. He became the club’s all-time top scorer in 2017, breaking Bobby Charlton’s record. In total, he netted 253 times in a United shirt and a further 53 times for England – for whom he also broke the record held by the legendary Charlton.
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