Deadline day ends with little drama

Veteran striker Peter Crouch, 38, was the surprise mover of the day as he signed for Premier League strugglers Burnley until the end of the season. He is part of a swop deal with Championship side Stoke City which sees Burnley forward Sam Vokes movin
Veteran striker Peter Crouch, 38, was the surprise mover of the day as he signed for Premier League strugglers Burnley until the end of the season. He is part of a swop deal with Championship side Stoke City which sees Burnley forward Sam Vokes moving the other way.ST FILE PHOTO

Crouch joins Burnley in surprise return to EPL; Newcastle splash the cash for Almiron

LONDON • While there was little significant activity at relegation-threatened Premier League clubs - apart from Newcastle United - bucking the trend of last-gasp, big-money transfers in a bid to try to survive, an old face returned to the English top flight on deadline day.

Burnley cheekily referred to the robot celebration popularised by Peter Crouch as they announced his signing on their social media accounts on Thursday evening.

The veteran striker, who has yet to start a game since last September, moved in a swop deal with Championship side Stoke City, with forward Sam Vokes heading the other way.

Despite joining at the age of 38 on a contract until the end of the season, Crouch, who has scored 108 goals in 462 league games, insisted that he was not washed up and "still wanted to achieve things".

The former England international said: "I want to get more games in the Premier League and would love to add to the 100 Premier League goals.It's a club that is stable in the Premier League now. We have got to make sure we stay there this year and build on that."

"I know I can impact games at this level. I scored goals last season in the Premier League and I know I will do the same again if given the opportunity this year."

Only 23 players have scored more than Crouch in the league and he just needs four more goals to climb into the top 20.

In addition to their £21 million (S$37 million) record buy of Paraguay midfielder Miguel Almiron from Major League Soccer side Atlanta United, the Magpies landed Italy Under-21 defender Antonio Barreca on loan from struggling Monaco.

Leicester were also beneficiaries as the French Ligue 1 side trimmed their squad, taking Belgium midfielder Youri Tielemans on loan.

Elsewhere, Cardiff signed Leandro Bacuna, a Curacao utility player from Reading, but did not find a replacement for Argentinian striker Emiliano Sala, whose plane went down over the Channel Islands two days after signing for a club-record fee of £15 million.

Fulham moved for Serbia winger Lazar Markovic on a free transfer from Liverpool for the remainder of the season, after he was given a glowing endorsement by compatriot and club top-scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic.

Club co-owner Tony Khan, who also secured the services of Norway defender Havard Nordtveit on loan from Hoffenheim, felt Markovic would strengthen their attack.

He said: "Lazar Markovic is a gifted young player. He has the support of our manager (Claudio Ranieri)."

In Europe, Barcelona agreed a deal to sign Brazil Under-20 defender Emerson from Atletico Mineiro for €12 million (S$18.5 million) in the summer, while Japan midfielder Shinji Kagawa opted to leave German Bundesliga leaders Borussia Dortmund for a loan move to Turkish outfit Besiktas.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS, THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 02, 2019, with the headline 'Deadline day ends with little drama'. Print Edition | Subscribe