Mesut Özil: Real Madrid to Arsenal (4 year deal)
The creative midfielder signed for Arsenal early afternoon for a reported £42.5 million fee. The world record signing of Gareth Bale from Arsenal’s North London rivals to Real Madrid paved the way for the German-born maestro to join The Gunners. In the 105 league games Özil played in for Real Madrid, he assisted 55 goals and scored 19, a remarkable tally for an attacking midfielder. There is no doubting he is a world class talent. Although predominantly left footed, he is comfortable using his right foot. His quick-witted play and (bug) eye for a pass will add immense quality to Arsenal’s attacking play. He brings Arsenal a new dimension; the thought of Özil threading a through ball to Theo Walcott on the counter is enough to make Arsenal supporters drool. At just 24 years of age, Real Madrid have lost an extremely talented young player who is set to enter his prime (but, to be fair, have also gained one) and Arsenal fans will certainly be excited at the prospect of seeing Özil strut his stuff at The Emirates. Wenger left it late, but certainly got his man.
Marko Arnautovic: Werder Bremen to Stoke City (4 year deal)
The 6 ft 3 Austrian international forward, also capable of playing wide, signed for Stoke early on in the day for a modest £2 million fee. He managed to score 16 goals, and assisted 9 in 49 starts for Bremen in the Bundesliga, and the transfer is a sign for Stoke fans that Mark Hughes means business. He already speaks fluent English and picked up 13 bookings and 1 red card for Bremen, so will have no problems settling into the Stoke way of life. The arrival of Stephen Ireland on loan shows a real statement of intent, and more importantly indicates a change in style of play at The Britannia.
Romelu Lukaku: Chelsea to Everton (season-long loan)
Everton have pulled off arguably the best loan signing of deadline day, adding 6ft 3 Belgian hitman Romelu Lukaku on a loan deal from Chelsea. The controversial decision to let Lukaku go again after impressing greatly at West Brom last season is one that will please Toffees fans. The gigantic striker adds immense firepower for Everton, who have needed a top striker for a number of seasons. He has all the attributes to fit in at Everton; crosses coming at him from Baines, Pienaar, Coleman and Mirallas will end up in the back of the net quite a few times, for sure. He bullies defenders and, on his day, is a devastating finisher. He scored 17 goals in 35 appearances, the bulk of which came from off the bench, for West Brom last season. Everton appear to have got the right balance now, despite Marouane Fellaini leaving for Manchester United. They have a host of creative players in the form of Mirallas, Pienaar, Baines, Deulofeu and Barkley, whilst McCarthy and Gibson can perform well in defensive roles. The Toffees have a rather solid defence to boast about, too.
The three above deals add real quality to all three teams, rather than just adding on to existing quality like the Bale-Madrid transfer. Can these three men spark an upturn of fortunes for their respective sides? Only time will tell.