Van der Vaart’s Tottenham switch represents their progression towards a notable European club and Stoke and Blues add to their top flight credibility

Transfer deadline day is something which I always expect to be a spectacular event. Drama should spew from every second of the day, as players dramatically switch clubs and make last gasp moves, which they’ve had little time to think about.

In actuality it’s nothing like this. Instead the day is spent watching Sky Sports’ rolling toolbar make the most of Reading’s acquisition of Lee Hendrie on a free transfer. The days’ viewing is significant let down.

This year was no exception. However, after the six o’clock deadline had passed, the excitement of the day’s activity was revealed in what surprisingly turned out to be an incredibly productive day for the privileged few.

The most notable move was Rafael Van der Vaart’s transfer from Real Madrid to Spurs.

Having previously been linked with a move to AC Milan for £18m, the Dutch international was seemingly offered around in a sale that would embarrass Next’s and was sold off for the bargain prize of just £8 million.

“I think he was going to Bayern Munich yesterday for £18million and suddenly he became much cheaper” explained the Spurs manager in astonishment, who is accustomed to asking no questions when a top quality item is dramatically reduced in price.

“They let me know around 4pm that he was available for £8million and, for that money, he is a top player who will definitely improve us” added Redknapp.

Not just a coup for the North London club, the move also represents Spurs ascendancy into the upper echelons of European football, as it would be a bold statement to suggest he would have moved there if the club hadn’t qualified for the Champion’s League.

As it is though, they are now seen with admiration from overseas, as they look to tackle their first ever big cup competition since its rebranding.

Having previously stated that he was not in the market for a another player and expected no further movement before the transfer window shut, Del Boy Redknapp snapped up the midfield maestro just hours before the deadline.

With his vast international and Champions League experience, Van der Vaart will surely be a valuable asset to a club taking their first tentative steps in the big time, since Bill Nicholson’s side did so in the black and white days.

Emerging from what was probably dubbed a Terrific Tuesday by the preposterous sky sports hype machine, other teams also prospered from the brinkmanship of the day, as Stoke, Birmingham and Sunderland all pulled off enviable deals.

The highly experienced, skilful and potent striker Eidur Gudjohnsen was added to the ranks at Stoke, along with Jermaine Pennant, his electronic tag, Marc Wilson and Salif Diao, who will add an extra guile and craft to the brawn of the current team that has found themselves mired in the early season relegation zone.

Sunderland were clearly impressed by Asamoah Gyan’s performance at the World Cup, as they paid Rennes £13million for his services. Whether he is worth that price tag is yet to be seen, but they can be safe in the knowledge that he’s a gutsy player, as after missing a penalty against Uruguay with last kick of the game in normal time, he stepped up to the spot moments later in the shoot-out and coolly dispatched his kick.

Birmingham were the side though who perhaps enhanced their squad the greatest by signing a mix of established experience and one very exciting prospect.

Former Arsenal midfielder Alexander Hleb was signed on a season long loan, who at 29 still has plenty to offer. While he failed to illuminate the Nou Camp during his time at Barcelona, he’s a player of great ability who could help develop the Blues from an over-achieving lesser club into an established Premiership team, fighting for a European spot.

Along with Czech defender Martin Jiranek signed from Spartak Moscow and the exciting Chilean winger Jean Beausejour, who was prized away from Mexican side Club America, Blues could elevate themselves beyond their current position, a prospect which clearly thrills the boss.

“Hleb is a top quality player – one who at one stage we’d only actually dreamed about really,” exclaimed Alex McLeish with juvenile excitement.

“This is a major signing for us and we are very happy to have him here.”

The hours of watching men reporting on lookalikes of payers strolling around club car parks on Sky Sports was a tedious exercise that we will all have to live with for the foreseeable future, but thankfully this time, once the imprint of the scrolling yellow toolbar had faded from my subconscious, there was actually plenty to relish.

Tags: Birmingham City, Tottenham Hotspur

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