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Around the Premier League: Relegation Fodder

Poor Arsene...
Poor Arsene...

So far we've reviewed the deadline day business for the top 15 teams in the current Premier League table (1-56-1011-15), now we'll take a look at the bottom 5.  The bottom of the table currently features some big names trying to explain a slow start to the season, so there was an awful lot in the way of money tossed around this section of the table.

Fulham made a trio of big signings on deadline day, with one of them potentially being a very big one indeed.  They also added a very promising young striker who was a target of Chelsea's last spring.  They started by raiding AVB's old club in Porto for 23 year old Orlando Sa.  Sa may not make much of an impact this season, but he could well be a shrewd little move for depth.  They also added former Juve man and Czech international Zdenek Grygera on a one year deal.  The big move of the day for Fulham was definitely the signing of Brian Ruiz though.  The striker was a major factor in Twente reaching the Champions League last season, and should add valuable depth to Martin Jol's forward line.

I think everyone is pretty familiar with the struggles Arsenal have had to start the season.  Most were calling for Wenger's head after the 8-2 beating at the hands of United unless he finally opened the pocketbook and spent some money.  Spend he did, as Arsenal pretty much dominated the headlines on deadline day.  Wenger finalized the deal for Brazilian left back Andre Santos to start his business, filling the gaping void created by the sale of Gael Clichy to City and the inability of Kieran Gibbs to play more than 90 minutes without suffering an injury.  Santos isn't what he once was, but he can likely still cover enough ground in Arsenal's high line defense to be effective.

They then shored up a huge hole in the center of the defense with a huge man.  Per Mertesacker is the type of big physical aerial defender that Arsenal just haven't had for years.  He and TV (assuming he can stay healthy) should make a nice defensive pairing in the middle of the Arsenal defense, and that should make the depth there look a whole lot better.  Park Chu-Young has been on the radar's of many top clubs for several years, and Arsenal became his new home.  Park is a freakish athlete that can certainly offer a change of pace from the bench, and should be vastly different than the options Wenger had available before in RvP, Bendtner, and Chamakh.  

Wenger finished his moves with the midfield, signing Yossi Benayoun on loan and agreeing to a permanent deal for Mikel Arteta.  Unfortunately those two will be needed right away, as Jack Wilshere's injury appears to be more serious than first thought.  All 5 players should immediately step into contributing roles at Arsenal, with several of them being first choice starters.  It's quite a change in philosophy from Wenger though, as all 5 additions are age 26 or older.  While I don't really like any of the signings on it's own a ton, the 5 moves were probably all very good additions to an Arsenal squad with virtually no depth ahead of a Champions League campaign.  I don't think missing the Champions League next year would surprise anyone at this point, but I think you're certainly taking too much from their start if you think they won't be in the hunt.

West Bromwich Albion has yet to get a point this season, and they did nothing of note to help address their issues on deadline day.  Not having to continually play both United and Chelsea can't hurt though.  Blackburn, on the other hand, made some moves to help their cause.  They started by adding one for the future in Jordan Slew.  They then signed Scott Dann and raided Everton's annual offloading job for Yakubu.  The club certainly did enough to make you believe they can remain in the top flight this season.

Bringing up the rear of the table is Tottenham.  Spurs have been slightly unlucky in facing City and United in their first two fixtures, so there is little doubt they will improve as the season wears on.  Spurs fans can take heart in the fact that they kept Luka Modric and brought in Emanual Adebayor on loan, but other than that I wasn't overly impressed with the work they did.  Scott Parker was an expensive piece of business for a guy on the wrong side of 30, and I'm not sure how much they'll actually get out of that investment.  

Other than that, Spurs were sellers on the day.  They offloaded several pieces of varying usefulness in Peter Crouch, Wilson Palacios, Jermaine Jenas, David Bentley, and Alan Hutton.  They also learned that Rafael Van der Vaart will be out for at least 6 weeks with a hamstring tear.  While Spurs also will be a lock to move out of the relegation zone, I have a hard time seeing them challenging for a top four place this season.  They probably overachieved last year when you consider their pretty mediocre goal differential, and combined with a relatively quiet summer I just don't see much reason to expect them to improve.

That should pretty much wrap up the transfer talk for a while, but I'm sure we'll have a much better idea of where teams stand when the transfer window opens again in January.  Feel free to leave your thoughts on the window just completed below.

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