Falcao, Welbeck & Stambouli assessed

WhoScored's Martin Laurence assesses deadline-day movers Radamel Falcao, Danny Welbeck, Abel Hernandez, Benjamin Stambouli and Ricardo Alvarez.

Last Updated: 03/09/14 at 23:08

Benjamin Stambouli: Joined Tottenham from Montpellier

Benjamin Stambouli: Joined Tottenham from Montpellier

Transfer deadline day was as hectic as ever and, as has become the norm, the deadline didn't really serve as a deadline as arguably the two most eye-catching deals were completed after 11pm, with Radamel Falcao securing an initial loan deal to Manchester United United and Danny Welbeck heading for the Old Trafford exit and Emirates entrance.

WhoScored.com look at a handful of the most intriguing deals secured on the last day of the window, starting with the aforementioned two...

Manchester United's start, if you can even call it that, under Louis van Gaal has been abysmal. There's no two ways about it. After a promising pre-season campaign the players now look completely lost in what is an experimental system from the Dutch coach, who only began training his national side in their adopted 3-4-1-2 formation earlier this year.

In theory it's a set up that should accommodate for attacking talents, but United have looked relatively toothless up front, not to mention spineless at the back.

Step forward Falcao, who joins an already top heavy squad that boasts the likes of Mata, Di Maria, Rooney and Van Persie.

It's the latter that could easily see his playing time diminish following the Colombian's arrival it seems, despite captaining Van Gaal's Oranje in the summer.

There is absolutely no question that Falcao would add quality to any team in world football so for a side that won't be competing in Europe this season it's one hell of a statement.

Having acquired two of Europe's finest playmakers in the last eight months - Juan Mata and Angel Di Maria have amassed 89 league assists combined over the past four seasons - a striker of Falcao's quality and ilk, netting 63 league goals since a move to Atletico Madrid in 2011, should be in his element.

Firepower is not something that United are in short supply of, though the ability to put them out at the other end remains a very real concern.

The plethora of options now available to Van Gaal led to Welbeck becoming surplus to requirements under the new regime, with Arsenal more than happy to exploit the England international's availability.

Some have questioned whether the transfer fee, in the region of £16million, is too high for a player that hasn't been prolific by any means but with Olivier Giroud set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines the Gunners certainly needed reinforcements.

Still only 23, the signs were encouraging enough from Welbeck last season, having developed physically as much as technically, that the versatile forward could yet come of age.

His tally of nine league goals matched his efforts from the 2011-12 campaign but came having started just 15 of his 25 Premier League appearances.

His ability to play out of position, so to speak, has been both a blessing and a curse in a way. Welbeck has averaged a league goal every 2.2 games when starting as a centre-forward since the start of the 2009 season compared to every seven games in any other position.

His conversion rate last season, meanwhile, was bettered only by Aaron Ramsey of those with 10+ apps at Arsenal.

Another forward on the move on deadline day was Abel Hernandez, whose switch to Hull surprised some given the early potential he had shown at Palermo.

It's a potential that he's yet to really fulfil in all honesty, with Hull's record transfer fee outlay certainly representing a bargain, though the Tigers had money to play with after the sale of the man that the Uruguayan is effectively replacing, Shane Long.

In four seasons in the top-flight with the Sicilian club, between 2009 and 2013, Hernandez made just 42 starts, and it's certainly telling that his best season from a goalscoring perspective in that run came in the first of those, netting seven times as a teenager in 2009-10.

A tally of 14 from last season in Serie B was somewhat modest for a team that topped the table comfortably and if Hernandez's WhoScored.com characteristics are anything to go by, with weaknesses of finishing, offside awareness and passing, the excitement surrounding his arrival could yet be short-lived.

It would have seemed peculiar had Tottenham not signed yet another central midfielder in this transfer window but they duly obliged with the acquisition of Benjamin Stambouli, who can also play at centre-back.

His arrival paved the way for Sandro's exit, something that was bemoaned by a number of Tottenham fans, and it remains to be seen whether the young Frenchman will be an upgrade in the Premier League.

It's worth noting that the 24-year-old has not picked up nearly as many admirers as Etienne Capoue had in his time in Ligue 1.

The now former Montpellier man is a strong tackler, averaging 3.1 per game last season - more than any player at Spurs - keeps possession well and would certainly be the sitting midfielder in Pochettino's side.

He's yet to receive a senior international cap but the thing that will encourage the fans at White Hart Lane is his progression, with Stambouli's rating from WhoScored.com increasing in each of the last five seasons, at a respectable high of 7.05 in 2013/14.

Meanwhile, Sunderland's capture of Argentine international Ricardo Alvarez - a loan with an option to buy from Inter - was another of the more eye-catching on Monday.

The Black Cats are one of very few that seem willing to test the Serie A waters of Premier League clubs but have acquired a player of quality in the 26-year-old. 'Very strong' at dribbling according to WhoScored's characteristics - they don't call him 'Tricky Ricky' for nothing!

Only four players completed more dribbles per game in Serie A last season (2.7), but Alvarez isn't just a luxury player. The other area in which the versatile midfielder is deemed 'very strong' is in defensive contribution, with Alvarez averaging 2.5 tackles per game from a predominantly advanced position last season.

Meanwhile, no Inter player made as many assists (8) so his availability may have surprised some and it was a shrewd move on Sunderland's part to inquire for his services.

You can follow Martin on Twitter @martinlaurence7.

All statistics courtesy of WhoScored.com, where you can find yet more stats, including live in-game data and unique player and team ratings.

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Y

ou spend £200 million in one year and you say 3 years to win the title, I don't think the Man U board signed you to win the title in 3 years after shelling out that sort of cash. Spending that sort of money you should be challenging for the title in this season, not getting an early excuse in to try appeasing the fans and board.

chelseablue_no1
Van Gaal has lofty ambitions

E

verything looks pretty when, for a short while, the sun shines through the dark clouds. For a brief moment you can forget about your last tonking or the many more to come.

godzilla
Van Gaal welcomes 'new start'

I

guess Storey was able to cancel his planned trip to the shops this weekend. He won't need to buy any food for a while because he's really dining out on those Angel/angel puns. It's going to be a long season.

ted, manchester
Forget Falcao, United Loving Angel Instead

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