Spurs, Swansea & Crystal Palace: 5 deadline day signings to make a difference

RealSport looks at five deadline day signings set to be key for their respective clubs this season.

Deadline day did not live up to the expectations of many fans and journalists, who were expecting big moves from the very top clubs.

The likes of Alexis Sanchez, Phillipe Coutinho and Virgil van Dijk all stayed at their respective clubs, and only Sanchez threw up any fuss.

However, there were still some important deals made, particularly for clubs outside of the top six, some of which could become vital for their new clubs in achieving their respective goals.

We take a look at five signings that could be key this season.

  1. 1 Renato Sanches [Swansea City]

    This deal dropped a few jaws when announced on deadline day. The highly rated 20-year-old midfielder moved to Swansea on loan for more game time, linking up with his former assistant manager at Bayern Munich, Paul Clement.

    In fact, it was Clement’s relationship with Carlo Ancelotti that likely put Swansea in the driving seat to acquire the player, as there were other, bigger, clubs sniffing around the Portuguese midfielder.

    Sanches is already a very experienced player. A mainstay at Benfica when he broke into the first team, he played a big role in Portugal’s Euro 2016 success, playing six games and scoring a goal.

    Losing Gylfi Sigurdsson was a huge blow to the Welsh club, and they had space to bring in a star into the midfield. However, Sanches is not of the same mould as Sigurdsson.

    Renato Sanches is a box-to-box midfielder with an ever-working engine that sees him making the same runs in the 90th minute he does in the first. He's also a confident dribbler that likes to carry the ball forward.

    Despite standing at five foot eight inches, he's strong and very difficult to shake off the ball, a necessary attribute to succeed in England.

    What he will not bring that Sigurdsson offered is the same number of goals and assists. Sanches plays deeper and makes late runs into the area to support the attack. However, the next signing on this list could provide the goals that Swansea have lost.

  2. 2 Wilfried Bony [Swansea City]

    Swansea fans must have been giddy with delight when the transfer window closed on deadline day. Not only did they bring in Renato Sanches, but they brought back Wilfried Bony.

    The Ivorian striker is adored by Swansea fans for his performances, having scored 35 goals in 70 games in all competitions for the Swans.

    Neither player nor club enjoyed Bony’s move away. He saw his game time limited at Manchester City -never getting a sustained run of games under then manager Manuel Pellegrini- and when he played he seemed out of place, obviously not being used to the style of play and the fact he was not the key man anymore.


    A loan to Stoke last season proved even worse, with Bony only playing 11 games and scoring two goals, ironically both against Swansea.

    As for Swansea, they have been plummeting down the table since his departure. They have sacked three managers since then and have flirted with relegation for the last couple of seasons. A fresh start is needed for both player and club.

    Bony is needed at Swansea. Fernando Llorente departed for Tottenham on deadline day and Tammy Abraham, while looking impressive in his first few games, is young to be the key striker.

    Bony will offer a great presence up front, either on his own or with Abraham.

  3. 3 Mamadou Sakho [Crystal Palace]

    Continuing the trend of players returning to former clubs, Mamadou Sakho finally got his move away from Liverpool, signing permanently for Crystal Palace for £25 million. 

    The centre-back had a half-season loan spell at Palace last year and made a major impact on the hugely struggling side. He only played eight games, as his loan was cut short due to injury, but while on the pitch Crystal Palace averaged two points per game, impressive for a side struggling to avoid relegation.

    Crystal Palace have conceded six goals in the first three games, including a 3-0 drubbing at the hands of newly promoted Huddersfield. While Sakho will not help Palace’s failure to score this season, he will shore up a shaky defensive line.

    Sakho is often thought of as being uncomfortable on the ball, or as editor of The Times Tony Evans once called him, “an accident waiting to happen”.

    However, this is a myth.

    In the 2015/16 season, Sakho had a pass accuracy of 88% for Liverpool. These were not all backwards and safe passes either, with an average pass length of 19 metres.


    At Crystal Palace last season his pass accuracy remained high at 84%, impressive considering he played under Sam Allardyce, a man notorious for direct football.

    He could suit Frank de Boer’s style perfectly, a manager who is trying to develop a possession-based, patient style of play, one the team has struggled to grasp so far.

    Sakho will help to build attacks from the back while also offering an upgrade on Crystal Palace’s current centre-back options.

  4. 4 Serge Aurier [Tottenham Hotspur]

    The self-proclaimed “most influential defender in France” is not low on confidence, and everything is in place for him to be very influential in England too.

    Signed from PSG for £23 million, the attack-minded right-back suits Spurs’ style perfectly.

    He is quick to get up the field, and has an impressive end product, offering six goals and seven assists in his final season for Toulouse before moving to the French capital.

    His time at PSG was not an abject disaster, however, several off-field incidents and unsavoury controversies marred his time in Paris. He still maintained a decisive role in the team despite his limited appearances, both in an attacking and defensive sense.

    If he stays away from trouble, Spurs have a great player on their hands. He may make an instant impact too as Kieran Trippier picked up a slight injury on international duty.

    Expect him to be an important player this season.

  5. 5 Grzegorz Krychowiak [West Brom]

    The second of the players moving from Paris to the Premier League, Grzegorz Krychowiak was, with Renato Sanches, the most surprising deal of deadline day, making a loan move to West Brom.

    It was only last summer that Krychowiak moved to PSG for €30 million, following his manager Unai Emery from Sevilla.

    He was highly rated and linked with many of the top European clubs before his move. However, PSG did not suit him.

    In Paris, Krychowiak was expected, along with being a defensive midfielder, to be comfortable on the ball and play more of a technical game. This is not the game of the Polish international who works best as a destroyer, one who can sit deep and break up opposition attacks.

    Perfect for a Pulis side.

    At West Brom, Krychowiak will not be asked to do more than he is comfortable with. He will slot into a highly organised defensive unit and may play the role he wants.

    This signing will work not because he is a star name, but because Tony Pulis has found a fantastic player that suits his system.

  1. POLL: Which deadline day signing will have the greatest impact?

    1. Wilfried Bony
    2. Renato Sanches
    3. Serge Aurier
    4. Mamadou Sakho
    5. Grzegorz Krychowiak
    48 votes
    Share Your Result

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Daniel Korolev


A student living in Ireland, born in Russia. Focus on the Premier League and within that specifically Everton. Also write about the Serie A occasionally, and anything else that takes my fancy.