Despite all the rumours flying around, we ended up signing just the one player. Like most people, I’m very pleased about the Niko Kranjcar deal. He was excellent value, is proven in the Premier League and is about as direct a replacement for the injured Luka, as we’re likely to get our hands on.

In a way I’m glad that we haven’t panicked as we have done in previous transfer windows and brought in any old Tom, Dick or Rasiak. Having said that the are certain positions where I have concerns.

I’m pleased that the David James deal didn’t go through, as I don’t consider him to be an answer to our goalkeeping problems and he’s certainly not a long term solution. That said, we do seem to have let all our young keepers go out on loan, which is a bit of a worry. Perhaps Gomes is closer to fitness than we thought.

In defence there was a mooted swap deal involving Alan Hutton and Anton Ferdinand. This would have made some sense considering our injury problems in central defence, but you can see why Hutton wasn’t keen. It all points to him being flogged either in January or at the end of the season.

We failed to bring in a defensive midfielder to give us cover if Palacios is out, which is my greatest concern. It makes the decision to send O’Hara out on loan all the more baffling. We’re very light on numbers in this area, with only Huddlestone, Wilson, Jenas and Bostock at our disposal. Corluka is able to play as a defensive midfielder, but we may well need him in the centre of defence.

Still, I’d rather we didn’t sign anyone, rather than bring in someone who was crap. If we’re still flying high come January, I’d expect us to sort this problem out then.

The Bentley/Petrov swap/loan/transfer deal didn’t go through, which again I’m kind of pleased about. Having signed Kranjcar, there was no real need to bring in Petrov. There was also absolutely no point in loaning out Bentley to one of our rivals, when we might as well just keep as back up. Like Hutton, perhaps Bentley will be on his bike come January.

Then there’s those others that have stayed. A couple of weeks ago I wouldn’t have been a bit surprised if Jenas had left, but there was no chance of that happening once O’Hara went on loan. Pavlyuchenko clearly fancies a move, but no one will pay the asking price. He just has to buckle down and look forward to his next scheduled appearance against Preston.

So the transfer window didn’t have all the bells and whistles that we might have expected, but we’ve brought in one excellent player, who undoubtedly improves our squad. When you’re doing a jigsaw, you have to take your time to find the right piece, rather than just jamming anything into a gap.




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