Its easy on transfer deadline day to only focus on the acquisitions made on transfer deadline day. It’s almost as if all the other summer signings are suddenly forgotten about, like how the newest toy immediately replaces all the others in their heart.
Well, let’s ignore that and gauge our summer acquisitions in full. But, starting with transfer deadline day!
Bryan Ruiz, £10.6m
Must admit that when seeing Ruiz play for Costa Rica (who, tangentially, might have the worst badge in the sport) I always thought “Ah, it’s that tall fella with the locks!” Well, he’s ours now. Rich recently described him as “a strange combination of Georgios Samaras and Dennis Bergkamp by the looks of it”, but I think he’s a whole new keddle of fish. Bergkamp, Samaras, et al were/are strikers and strikers alone. At 6’2′, it’ll be a bit bizarre to see such a tall midfielder cutting in from the wing. In the age of short and quick attacking wingers deified by Lionel Messi, can anyone same a single (quality) winger in the EPL or elsewhere that’s over 5’10”? Arjen Robben? Although he seems to be the answer to our goal-scoring needs, he’s not a striker; which is something we really needed to address this window. Alas…
Zdeněk Grygera, Free
Fulham have a tendency of acquiring of players whose best days appeared behind them, especially in the summer, and managing to find their former quality form. Last summer Mark Hughes showed up ten minutes before closing time, so we can easily count the acquisition of Eiður Guðjohnsen in January. Summer 2010 saw Damien Duff arrive as a refugee from Newcastle. Summer 2009 saw Mark Schwarzer arrive after being jettisoned by Boro for the likes of Ross Turnbull and Brad Jones, both in their early 20s. Summer 2008, oh, God, let’s not go there. Grygera easily fits this bill, having a horribly injured-riddle past two seasons at Juventus. He hasn’t started more than 15 matches since the 2008-09 season, which on the surface is quite alarming. But with the Hughes-Hangeland center-back hegemony thankfully being restored, Grygera offers some quality backup to Chris Baird at RB (and not third on the depth chart behind Baird and Hughes). Or he may turn out to be the next Jari Litmanen…
Orlando Carlos Braga de Sá, Free
Otherwise known as Orlando Sá, this 23 year old striker will be one of the tallest players on the squad (behind Hangeland, Etuhu, and Senderos). Orlando has a bit of a checkered past, making Fulham his fifth team in 4 years. Signing on a free, there’s really no risk attached with this deal. He also fits into Jol’s youth movement. But hopefully he doesn’t turn out like a Christopher Buchtmann, a promising youngster that leaves at first chance.
Pajtim Kasami, £3m?
So far, so good. Far from the finished product, but definitely on the right track.
Marcel Gecov, Undisclosed
Still waiting to see Gecov in first team action, but quite promising.
John Arne Riise, Undisclosed
Definitely a big name in the media, but performance wise, well, the jury is still out to be perfectly honest. And he’s out on the treatment table, so see me in May. Feel free to consult Rich’s excellent post though.