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Spurs get steal of deal in Dempsey

Grab scorer from Fulham for half his market value

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Friday's close of the English transfer window was a head-spinner -- it always is -- but a handful of deals and rumoured deals near the 5 p.m. CT deadline left fans, clubs and even the players involved dizzy from all the backing-and-forthing. Silly season never fails to live up to its name.

Some of the day's most intriguing negotiations involved Clint Dempsey, who after a 23-goal season for Fulham in 2011-12 was one of the prize players on offer. Dempsey, a United States international, had made his intention to quit Craven Cottage known well in advance of Friday, but as the minutes ticked off the deadline clock only Liverpool had come in for him, and their £4 million offer was dismissed out of hand by Fulham.

Typically, a versatile forward with Dempsey's goal-scoring pedigree would have commanded upwards of £15 million on the transfer market, but with the 29-year-old having effectively gone on strike at Fulham he basically left his club backed into a corner -- something Tottenham Hotspur were only too happy to take advantage of as zero-hour approached.

Interestingly, Spurs would likely have left Dempsey at their London rivals had their £22 million acquisition of Porto midfielder Joao Moutinho not hit a snag over personal terms. But in the end, with Fulham desperate to offload a want-away player, Dempsey arrived at Spurs Lodge for a medical barely an hour before the deadline. He completed a £6 million move to Tottenham shortly thereafter.

Spurs, with the addition of Dempsey and a handful of player sales, were one of the busiest sides during the transfer window as a whole and will be hoping the changes will help boost their position in the Premier League standings. They have yet to win and have scored just two goals in two matches so far this season.

Following is a look at the transfer window's winners and losers, with honourable mention to several teams who made notable signings:

Winners: Tottenham, Fulham, Everton

Spurs lost Luka Modric to Real Madrid earlier this month (he demanded a move to the Spanish champions) but used the proceeds of his sale to fund moves for Dempsey, midfielder Moussa Dembélé and goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

They previously added Emmanuel Adebayor to the attack and bolstered the defence with the acquisition of defender Jan Vertonghen from Ajax.

Fulham may have lost Dempsey and Dembélé, but they brought in a trio of strikers in Mladen Petric, Dimitar Berbatov and Hugo Rodallega and on deadline day added left-back/left midfielder Kieran Richardson from Sunderland.

In other words, they made the most of the hand they were dealt.

Everton have made a blinding start to the season and on Friday brought in Costa Rica left-back Bryan Oviedo and teenage winger Matthew Kennedy, who was previously at Kilmarnock.

Steven Naismith, acquired from Rangers earlier in the summer, has already hit the ground running at Goodison Park and Kevin Mirallas, bought for £6 million from Olympiacos, scored a brace in the League Cup on Wednesday.

 

Losers: Aston Villa, Sunderland, Liverpool

Aston Villa are bottom of the table after two matches and are unlikely to go much higher given their failure to meaningfully improve over the summer. Defender Ron Vlaar, formerly of Feyenoord, is unreliable and Belgium striker Christian Benteke is an unknown quantity.

No team paid as much for mediocre talent during the transfer window as Sunderland.

In Adam Johnson they have a £12 million winger who never tracks back and the identical fee they paid Wolves for Steven Fletcher has to be one of the worst pieces of business of the summer.

Brendan Rodgers may be keen to oversee a stylistic revolution at Liverpool, but given the thin squad at his disposal he'll be up the creek without a paddle if one or two important players sustain injuries this season.

Joe Allen was a good buy and Nuri Sahin will get some action following his arrival from Real Madrid, but the leaky defense didn't get a patch-up and the injury to Lucas Leiva is already challenging the club's depth in midfield.

 

Notables: Southampton, Chelsea, West Ham

Southampton pulled off the coup of deadline day by landing Uruguay international Gaston Ramirez for a club record £12 million from Bologna

They paid £32 million for him, but in Eden Hazard Chelsea picked up the best player on offer this summer.

Andy Carroll may have been unwanted by Rodgers at Liverpool, but he could well thrive under Sam Allardyce at West Ham.

 

jerradpeters@gmail.com Twitter @peterssoccer

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 1, 2012 C6

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