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Quiet deadline day for North-East clubs
THE rest of English football might have been splashing the cash, but the North-East's three biggest clubs all enjoyed a quiet end to the transfer window.
Sunderland were the only club involved in any business, with Kieran Richardson completing a £2.5m move to Fulham and Tottenham defender Danny Rose replacing him on a season-long loan.
Newcastle successfully held on to their biggest names, but opted not to recruit a replacement for Ryan Taylor , who is set to miss a large chunk of the season after damaging his knee ligaments in Thursday's European win over Atromitos.
It was also a quiet day at Middlesbrough, who have held on to Marvin Emnes despite sustained interest from Swansea City and are expected to add to their squad via loans or free agents in the next few weeks.
Rose was confirmed as Martin O'Neill's fifth summer signing at Sunderland in the early afternoon, and is available for this afternoon's Premier League game at Swansea.
The England Under-21 international represented Team GB in the recent Olympic football tournament, and admits the recent arrival of Adam Johnson helped persuade him the Stadium of Light was the right place to be.
“I think it's exciting times here, definitely,” said Rose. “Take Adam Johnson – if you're leaving Manchester City, pretty much every team in the league would want you. So for him to choose Sunderland speaks volumes.
“I worked with Louis (Saha) at Spurs last season and he's a great finisher and a top man as well. I'm definitely excited to get going.”
Richardson's departure was effectively sealed when Sunderland agreed a fee for his services on Tuesday evening.
The former England international signed a three-year contract at Craven Cottage to end a five-year association with the Black Cats, and is looking forward to working with Fulham boss Martin Jol.
“He (Jol) told me he has been tracking me for a while so you're always happy to play for a manager who wants you,” said Richardson, who scored 15 goals in 149 appearances as a Sunderland player. “I just want to come here, score goals and create and just be as positive as I can for Fulham, and I want to see Fulham get as high as they can in the table. I want to get Fulham as high as possible and get back into Europe again and play good football.”
Newcastle will attempt to balance the demands of European and domestic football this season, so there will be concerns that Alan Pardew has only been able to add Vurnon Anita and untried duo Gael Bigirimana and Romain Amalfitano this summer.
The Magpies squad is lighter now than it was last season, but Pardew claims the retention of his side's most experienced players confirms owner Mike Ashley 's long-term commitment to the club.
“I think keeping our best players makes a strong statement, from Mike in particular,” he said. “He's had a fair bit of criticism here for perhaps not investing in the club or not being fully focused or wanting to sell it and so on, but if that's the case why didn't he cash in on one of the big hitters?
“I think it is a good statement from the owner, I think we've been bold. We've had inquiries, we've knocked them back and said, 'These players are staying – if you want to pay over the odds, fair enough, we'll listen'. That's where we've been all summer.”
Three of the biggest deals to go through ahead of last night's deadline involved Manchester City. The reigning champions paid Benfica £24m to sign highly-rated midfielder Javi Garcia, while winger Scott Sinclair arrived from Swansea for £6.2m and defender Maicon made a £3m move from Inter Milan.
Tottenham made a late swoop to sign Clint Dempsey, meaning Liverpool were unable to secure a replacement for Andy Carroll , who joined West Ham on Thursday evening.
Swansea smashed their transfer record to land Valencia winger Pablo Hernandez for £5.55m – the move meant there was no last-minute offer for Emnes – while Dimitar Berbatov joined Fulham from Manchester United for £4m and Stoke signed Charlie Adam from Liverpool for the same amount.
After last spending last season at Sunderland, Nicklas Bendtner left Arsenal to join Italians Juventus on a season-long loan, with former Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton completing his anticipated loan move to French side Marseilles.