Well, as we always say at this point in the season, there’s nothing like an international break to kill a bit of momentum.
As the burning embers of the transfer window start to dampen down, this is a fine opportunity to have a little look back at a couple of the eye-browsing moments of the summer and laugh at the fact that the transfer rumour mill is already underway for January. Yes, already. Did you enjoy the break?
We should also give a cursory glance at the international fixtures that took place too – but you can probably skip that bit.
Remember last week when I said that CR7 was dead and it could well be CR77, CR70, CR61 or something equally daft? It turns out that if your name is Cristiano Ronaldo, special Premier League dispensation can happen – especially when you persuade Man United to flog their number 21 to Leeds meaning Edinson Cavani can seamlessly slip into his Uruguay squad number.
Yes, Ronaldo will be wearing number 7 for United this season – and if you have a spare two-and-a-half grand kicking about you could probably get a ticket for his second debut. The secondary ticket market, or to be more exact, online touts, have managed to clean up the seats available and are charging a literal arm-and-a-leg to pass them on.
Cristiano’s second debut kicking off at 3pm in the UK next Saturday has also sparked the debate around how it is possible for everyone outside England to be able to watch the match live (legally, we should add) yet those poor United fans in London can’t. Sad times indeed.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles wins this season’s award for ‘Failed attempt at leaving a club’ following his social media plea to go to a club where he felt wanted. Unfortunately for him, Everton didn’t come up with the required readies because they can’t really spend much more until they rid themselves of a certain James Rodriguez. And that means that AMN is stuck at the Emirates having burnt what little bridge was actually left.
That said, you’d have to think he’d be a better option at right-back than Cedric, no? Not that it matters, given the Arsenal have signed Tommy Yashu – who once upon a time you’d have thought they’d picked up locally.
For me, the winner of the ‘I think Sky are just making this up to fill some time’ award on Deadline Day was the suggestion that Burnley had been offered Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie and (a) Burnley were tempted to spend £30m+ and (b) Weston McKennie fancied swapping Turin for a bit of Lancashire. Stranger things have certainly not happened.
Harry Kane also took to social media to very openly put the last few weeks behind him, take another pop at Daniel Levy and basically tell the fans they wouldn’t understand anyway. Still, he’s one of their own.
It would be lovely to think Jack Grealish, who didn’t exactly endear himself to Villa fans in the week either, has spent the entire international break singing Blue Moon in and around his England skipper.
England beat Hungary 4-0 to pretty much kill off the group before sending their B team out to battle against, and I am contractually obliged to call them, plucky little Andorra.
The B team needed a little help from a couple of A team lads to repeat the Hungary scoreline. Andorra will take that, I am sure. It was nice to see Jesse Lingard get a game of football and the big smile of Patrick Bamford, given a debut because, you know, why not?
And what else is going on on the Premier League planet which feels more and more removed from reality?
Liverpool’s Mo Salah really wants to stat Anfield – providing they whack his weekly pay up to a mere £500k that is.
Aston Villa didn’t believe for a second that Mr McKennie wanted to go to Turf Moor and be growled at by Sean Dyche – so they’d like to sign the USA midfielder instead.
Romelu Lukaku has opened up on his gratitude to Inter Milan for digging him out of a deep Manchester United sized hole and saving his career – and that he would only have ever left them for Chelsea, even with the impending financial doom Inter seem to be facing.
Having secured a few other key men on long-term well-paid new deals, Man City want to tie up Phil Foden by multiplying his current wages by four. Yep, by four.
Adama Traore was so delighted that Wolves shut down any chance of him leaving Molineux last week that he is in talks for a new deal. My advice to Wolves would be to pay him 10K per week and a 250K goal bonus, meaning they only have to pay him – well, you get the gist.
Arsene Wenger, remember him, reckons that the Premier League’s economic power means that Erling Haaland will be heading to Blighty next summer. Clearly, Arsene understands how broke Real Madrid and Barcelona are – oh.
Peppy G does win the ‘we didn’t want him anyway’ award of the transfer window as it transpired, if you believe this kind of thing, that City turned down the chance to sign Saul on deadline day meaning that the Spaniard ended up at Stamford Bridge instead. OK, Pep.
And Rafa Benitez is looking to endear himself to Everton fans and players further by suggesting that his squad should spend less time mucking about online gaming and more time gardening. This is ironic, really, given that the player this applies to most (J-Rod) is pretty much on gardening leave….