Photo by Michael Wailes
The capture of Robbie Keane from Liverpool for £12 million, four months after the Spurs register chimed to the tune of £20.1 million for his services, combined with the £15.75 million return of Jermain Defoe, who left the Lillywhites for Portsmouth a year ago for £9 million, means that Tottenham have wound up with almost same strike force as they had between 2004 and 2007, and a slight profit too. Stick a pony in your pocket, Harry, you've done well here. Just don't be surprised if there's a glum look on Darren Bent's boat race. Rumours about the imminent re-signing of Darren Anderton, Ruel Fox and Chris Armstrong remain unsubstantiated.
Taking this year's Cristiano Ronaldo award for the most protracted signing is Andrei Arshavin and his move to Arsenal, an "extra time deal" in which the fans have already caught the last bus home. Will he sign? Will you give a damn if you're not a Gooner? Stay tuned for the finale of this grip-less fable. Elsewhere in the Prem: Fulham took home £5 million from Hull for Jimmy Bullard and offered an English return for an aging Oliver Dacourt, while neighbours Chelsea also went shopping in Italy for Ricardo Quaresma on loan, and West Ham got Czech midfielder Radoslav Kovac.
In the Championship, one of the second tier's brightest stars, Ben Watson, left Crystal Palace for a berth in Wigan's midfield, though in recompense the Eagles will be sampling the services of Arsenal's Rui Fonte on loan. Charlton Athletic will try to stave off impending relegation — they're currently 9 points from safety — with the deployment of loan signings Tresor Kandol and Darren Ward.
Millwalls march on the League One summit should be helped by the signing of Pompey's Richard Duffy. Never heard of him? One (sic) appearance since he joined the south coast club in 2004 is hardly going to get you onto the front cover of When Saturday Comes. At the table's messier end, Leyton Orient will attempt to claw themselves out of relegation woe with the loan-assisted help of Chelsea midfielder Jimmy Smith, who evidently couldn't quite muscle past Cole, Lampard, Bosingwa et al.
Not much action in League Two, though down at the dicier end Barnet can boost fan morale when they unveil loan signings Mark Hughes (not that one) and Matt Lockwood.
Happy with your club's lot for the season's second half? Let us know in the comments.