Transfer deadline day: Flurry of USMNT players make moves, while Liverpool strengthens defense

The second transfer period of the COVID-19 pandemic has officially come and gone, with the window slamming shut across most of Europe on Monday night.

As it did during the longer summer market, the ongoing health crisis again has had a significant impact on the proceedings, with many clubs’ finances in such a state that they are either unwilling or unable to splurge on the sort of expensive, high-profile talent we’ve seen change addresses in the past.

Yet that’s not to say that there were no moves worth talking about. Quite the opposite, in fact.

Here’s a look at the biggest deadline day signings.

Liverpool beat the clock to add central defender Ozan Kabak, seen here defending Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski, from Schalke. (Reuters/Ina Fassbender)
Liverpool beat the clock to add central defender Ozan Kabak, seen here defending Bayern Munich's Robert Lewandowski, from Schalke. (Reuters/Ina Fassbender)

Liverpool snares defenders Kabak, Davies, loans out

Jurgen’s Klopp’s injury-hit Reds have been looking to shore up their backline ever since stud central defender Virgil van Dijk underwent what was expected to be season-ending knee surgery in October. The latest reports suggest that Van Djjk could come back sooner, but there’s less pressure on the Dutch international after Liverpool signed a pair of center backs on Monday: Ozan Kabak from Schalke in the Bundesliga and Ben Davies from Preston North End of the second-tier English Championship.

Davies, 27, is highly regarded. But Kabak is the real prize despite Schalke’s nightmare campaign in Germany. Just 20, the Turk was first recommended to the Reds by David Wagner, Klopp’s former Borussia Dortmund assistant, over a year ago. He arrives at Anfield on loan with an option to buy this summer for a cool $110 million.

The Reds also sent little-used playmaker Takumi Minamino on loan to Southampton just before the clock struck 11 p.m. local time.

DeAndre Yedlin swaps Newcastle for Galatasaray

The longtime U.S. men’s national team speedster reportedly had an offer from an MLS team last month, but Yedlin will be staying in Europe a little longer after being sold by the Magpies to Istanbul giant Galatasaray after six years in England.

The move is permanent, not a loan, which signals that Galatasaray sees the former Seattle, Sunderland and Tottenham player as a regular. That should keep the 27-year-old in the mix with the U.S., which as seen the competition for the right back spot preferred by Yedlin explode in the second half of 2020.

USMNT’s Paul Arriola and Daryl Dike on loan to English clubs

Yedlin wasn’t the only American who got a new address on Monday. Paul Arriola and Daryl Dike aree headed to England’s Championship on loan from D.C. United and Orlando City, respectively.

Arriola will join U.S. teammate Jordan Morris with promotion-chasing Swansea; Yahoo Sports was the first to report the Swans’ interest in the winger, who scored twice in the USMNT’s 7-0 rout of Trinidad and Tobago on Sunday night. Swansea confirmed the news on Monday.

Meantime, the 20-year-old Dike, who made his international debut off the bench in the match, is on his way to Barnsley.

This all comes a day after Bayern Munich sent Chris Richards on loan to Hoffenheim and AS Roma inked another former FC Dallas academy product, Bryan Reynolds, from the MLS side. Eventful window for USMNT players.

Dele Alli stays with Spurs after PSG talks break down

Sometimes the biggest transfers are the ones that don’t happen. Alli’s failed move to Paris Saint-Germain definitely falls into that category. After being frozen out by defensive-minded Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho this season, the England national team veteran was hoping to reunite with former Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino in the French capital.

Spurs initially seemed open, if not happy, to get Alli’s wages off the payroll. But following an injury to fellow attacker Giovani Lo Celso, Tottenham decided to hold onto the 24-year-old at least until the summer.

Arsenal moves three more players out the door...

The Gunners brought in Martin Ødegaard and Matthew Ryan earlier in the window, but the long-rumored move for Crystal Palace fullback Patrick van Aanholt will have to wait til the summer.

But last month’s fire sale — Arsenal offloaded veterans Mesut Ozil (to Fenerbahce) and Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Olympiacos) — continued to a lesser degree at the deadline as the club said goodbye to Shkodran Mustafi, who left for Schalke, and youngsters Matthew Smith (Charlton) and Joe Willock (Newcastle) in addition to Maitland-Niles.

...while Manchester United mostly stands pat

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said early on deadline dday that there would be no need for Red Devils fans to stay up late on Monday, as the club had conducted most of its business in January. The most notable move had been defender Jesse Lingard, who joined West Ham on loan for the rest of the campaign.

Indeed, United’s sole piece of business on Monday was sending 18-year-old prospect Teden Mengi on loan to lower league Derby County.

Relegation-fighting West Brom add trio of reinforcements

Sitting 19th in the table after being promoted to the Premier League last summer, West Bromwich Albion needed help. They got some on Monday.

Sam Allardyce’s team landed three key recruits: Celta Vigo midfielder Okay Yokuslu, Galatasaray forward Mbaye Diagbe and versatile 23-year-old Arsenal product Ainsley Maitland-Niles. All three figure to key players for Allardyce in West Brom’s effort to avoid relegation in the months to come.

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