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Transfer deadline day in Europe isn’t until Thursday, but the craziness and flurry of player movement that annually come with it have arrived a day early this year.
But Ox isn’t the only one on the move. West Brom has signed players from Arsenal and PSG in a span of a few hours, Swansea is reportedly close to capturing a pricey Bayern Munich starlet on loan, and Tottenham has signed one defender, with a second reportedly close.
Here are the biggest signings, the most trustworthy reports and the juiciest rumors from Wednesday:
*denotes a loan move. Italics denote the move is not yet official
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain | Arsenal —> Liverpool — Entering the last year of his deal and having reportedly turned down a lucrative extension, Ox was ready to move on from Arsenal. The Gunners reportedly agreed a £35 million fee with Chelsea on Monday, but the England international preferred to join Liverpool, whom he supported as a kid. The Reds have reportedly agreed to a similar deal, and the signing could be imminent. Oxlade-Chamberlain was reportedly undergoing a Medical at Liverpool late Wednesday.
Ox will likely slide into a James Milner-esque utility role at Anfield. He can play wide in a front three, as one of the two shuttlers in a fierce Jurgen Klopp midfield, or even as a fullback. The £35 million represent a slight overpay for a player on the last year of his contract who has always been more associated with potential than performance. But his age, 24, and Britishness – as crazy as that sounds – certainly bumped up his price. Klopp will be hoping to tap into the untapped potential.
Some will claim that Ox’s development was hindered at Arsenal. That he needed to get out from under Arsene Wenger’s wing. The move to Liverpool will answer questions of whether his underachievement has been due to personal factors or situational ones.
Serge Aurier | PSG —> Tottenham — Tottenham needed a right back, and it needed one badly. It’s just unfortunate that this is the right back it chose. Aurier has reportedly been granted a work permit and will join Spurs for £23 million. That will and should prompt criticism stemming from his disgusting history of violence and homophobic slurs. He’s a fine soccer player, but that doesn’t make him a good signing.
*Renato Sanches | Bayern Munich —> Swansea — It’s not yet a done deal, but Sanches – a 20-year-old Portuguese midfield who moved to Bayern last summer for a base fee of €35 million – is reportedly on the verge of joining Swansea on a season-long loan. The loan fee could be around £2 million. As for how Sanches will adapt to what could be a relegation battle? Who the heck knows.
Kieran Gibbs | Arsenal —> West Brom — Gibbs had fallen far out of favor at Arsenal, giving way to Nacho Monreal and now Sead Kolasinac as well. But for only £7 million, he’s a fantastic signing for West Brom. He fits the Baggies’ fullback mold: athletic, decently sized and solid at the back. He’s very unexceptional, which is unacceptable at Arsenal, but very acceptable for Tony Pulis. And he’s still only 27.
*Grzegorz Krychowiak | PSG —> West Brom — PSG paid €30 million for Krychowiak just last summer, but made just 11 appearances for the French club in 2016-17. And in a World Cup year, the Polish defensive midfielder needed first-team opportunities. He’ll get just that on a season-long loan at West Brom. The Baggies reportedly wanted to include an option to buy in the deal, but PSG refused.
Keita Balde Diao | Lazio —> Monaco — Monaco has plenty of cash to spend, and its latest big-money signing is the Lazio winger who’ll reportedly cost €30 million. It’s not a bad price for an exciting, even if inconsistent 22-year-old.
Juan Foythe | Estudiantes —> Tottenham — A 19-year-old ball-playing Argentinean center back who is one for the future. The price is reportedly £8 million.
*Benedikt Howedes | Schalke —> Juventus — A season-long loan deal with an option to buy. The initial loan fee is 3.5 million. The purchase option is 13 million, and becomes an obligation if Howedes plays 25 or more games for Juventus this upcoming season, according to the club.
Jeremy Toljan | Hoffenheim —> Borussia Dortmund — Lukasz Piszczek is 32. Dortmund needed to nail down a right back of the future this summer. And in Toljan, 23, it probably got one. Toljan impressed at the U-21 European Championships this past summer as Germany won the competition, and he’s probably the best young German right back after Bayern’s Joshua Kimmich. The deal will reportedly cost only £5 million, with Felix Passlack heading in the other direction on a two-year loan.
*Jordy Clasie | Southampton —> Club Brugge — Season-long loan.