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Rediff.com  » Sports » EPL transfers: Wenger leaves it late

EPL transfers: Wenger leaves it late

Last updated on: September 4, 2011 17:09 IST

Hope Modric saga doesn't backfire

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Manu Shankar

Both Harry Redknapp and Arsene Wenger have paid the price for leaving it too late, offloading a lot of key players at the EPL transfers, says Manu Shankar.

So Luka Modric stays with Tottenham Hotspur.

While the Croatian footballer was the much-talked about player ever since Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri left Arsenal, manager Harry Redknapp and Spurs will now be hoping that not to selling Modric does not backfire.

Modric remains a Spurs player after the club turned down a 40million offer from Chelsea.

This transfer window has been strange for Spurs, offloading a heck of lot of players, while managing to get Scott Parker as their prized possession and also an out-of-form Emmanuel Adebayor from the transfer.


Image: Luka Modric
Photographs: Getty Images
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Spurs need to tighten up now

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But it did come at a price. The likes of Peter Crouch, Wilson Palacios, David Bentley and Jermaine Jenas (excuse me if I've missed out on any names as there are so many) will be wearing different colours this season.

It's surprising to see Redknapp leave it so late as he is one manager who is well-known for his transfer dealings.

If the initial matches of the season are anything to go by, then Spurs appear to be backpedaling, considering the fact that they had qualified for the last season's Champion's League quarter-finals.

But, like they say, this is just the start of the season and they can only look ahead from here.

Image: Harry Redknapp

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Why leave it so late?

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Then, there is Arsene Wenger. The man who was seen scratching his head, grumpy against his side's embarrassing loss to Manchester United (we will not go into the details).

Wenger, too, like Redknapp, had to offload several influential players -- key being Fabregas and Nasri. He then had to give up on Nicklas Bendtner to Sunderland, but, then, the striker had already lost his place to players like Marouane Chamakh, Andre Arshavin and Robin van Persie.

But what the 8-2 drubbing did was, it woke Wenger from the slumber to sign five players since that loss.

Per Mertesacker, Park Chu-young, Andre Santos, Mikel Arteta and Yossi Benayoun were all signed on the last day of the transfer window.

Arsenal now looks a much better unit, with the abovementioned names, but the question that baffles is why did such experienced managers leave it so late?

Was it lack of vision, stubbornness or the confidence that the current side is good enough?


Image: Arsene Wenger

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Chelsea's big catch is Mata

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Wenger has been a propagator of young talent, but what's the point if they are simply outclassed by opponents, who are more experienced.

Arsenal's title drought goes back to 2005 and, since then, Wenger and fans have been searching for answers to opponent's questions.

Perhaps, now is the time for resurgence. The next outing is an easy one, as the North Londeners take on Swansea at the Emirates. 

Chelsea and Liverpool have done really well in the transfer. They have managed to go in for specialists, and that could, in the long run, prove critical in their title chances.

Chelsea, though, have made a slow start to the season. They have cash in on the like of Raul Meireles, Juan Mata, Romelu Lukaku.


Image: Juan Mata

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Exciting season on cards

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Liverpool, on the other hand, have some big players coming to their side in the form of Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam, Craig Bellamy and Luis Suarez.

Both the Manchester clubs have made smart buys, which could turn out to be the difference.

While champions Manchester United have got in the likes of Ashley Young, Phil Jones and David de Gea, neighbours City have the army of Sergio Auguero, Samir Nasri, Owen Hargreaves and Gael Clichy.

All in all, the transfer season was perhaps the most entertaining, considering the fact that there was a lot of frantic activities across English football.


Image: Ashley Young

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