10 Premier League deadline day signings who could make their debuts in this weekend's fixtures.
Keith Andrews (West Brom) – A free transfer from Blackburn Rovers, Keith Andrews adds to a thin list of defensive-minded midfielders amongst the West Brom squad. Having not played a single minute of Premier League football this season and only making 2 starts for Blackburn last season, Andrews may have to wait his time before breaking into the first team. He made an adequate step up from League Two to the Premier League after Paul Ince brought him along to Ewood Park from the MK Dons in 2008. Andrews has since gone on to make over quarter of a century of caps for the Republic of Ireland. A player who makes several interceptions during the course of a game would be a good match up for a Swansea side who love to pass the ball along the floor, but the lack of match practice and having only been signed at the club for a few days makes it very unlikely for Andrews to start on Saturday.
Sebastien Bassong (Wolves) – Woth just 2 clean sheets in the Premier League so far this season and with Wayne Hennessey far and above any goalkeeper in the saves category through 23 games, Mick McCarthy was keen to bolster his defence this January. The big centre half on loan from Tottenham struggled or regular first team football this season down at White Hart Lane and had been begging for a move for a while. He’s made a few mistakes and I get the impression Redknapp was looking for a more responsible centre back when he brought in Ryan Nelsen on deadline day. Roger Johnson has had a nightmare start to his Wolves career, so Bassong has a good chance of making his Wolves debut as early as Saturday at Queens Park Rangers.
Nikica Jelavic (Everton) – David Moyes doesn’t have a good record with strikers at Goodison Park. Having got little out of Louis Saha this season, selling Yakubu to Blackburn and failing to get a single goal out of a starting striker through 23 games, he’s spent the remaining Everton budget with a striker who had been plying his trade in Scotland. Like Kenny Miller, Anthony Stokes, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink amongst many others to have failed in the English Premier League after cruising in the Scottish Premier League, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jelavic struggle south of the border. To succeed under Moyes, you need to run the lines.
Sotirios Kyrgiakos (Sunderland) – Sunderland have several defenders missing and Sotirios Kyrgiakos once put in a man of the match display for Liverpool in a 1-1 draw with Stoke City in a game that the big Greek defender scored his first goal for the Reds. Kyrgiakos’ movement is pretty shocking, but is solid in the air which is something Martin O’Neill could do with when he comes up against the long throws of Rory Delap and the physical Stoke attack on Saturday.
Ryo Miyaichi (Bolton) – One to search for on YouTube. After seemingly having a successful spell with Feyenoord in the latter half of last season, I’ve read a lot of Tweets from Arsenal supporters excited by this quick, young prospect. Judging him on short video clips of his best highlights, he looks like a tricky winger. With no Jack Wilshere or Vladimir Weiss this season, Bolton have been missing a creative midfielder. Can Miyaichi be that playmaker Owen Coyle’s side need?
Steven Pienaar (Everton) – As they let Louis Saha move onto Tottenham, Steven Pienaar has rejoined Everton on loan. The former Ajax and Borussia Dortmund midfielder who had a quiet home World Cup in 2010 first showed his talent in the Premier League during a 3.5 year spell at Everton from 2007. His career was held back following a move to Tottenham which has seen him play in a handful of matches; just 14 minutes of Premier League action this season to be precise. Everton landed one creative player in Landon Donovan during January and Pienaar is another that starts to make Everton’s team capable of playing attractive football.
David Pizarro (Manchester City) – Along with Jean Beausejour, two Chileans arrived in the Premier League on transfer deadline day. The loan signing of David Pizarro was considered somewhat of a surprise, given the money Manchester City have to offer and with the 32-year old holding midfielder having spent the majority of his career in the slower Italian Serie A. Roberto Mancini had him at Inter Milan for one season before he moved onto Roma, so the City boss will know what to expect from the Chilean. Another backup for Yaya Toure and Gareth Barry in midfield; expect Pizarro to be competing with Nigel de Jong and Owen Hargreaves for first team football between now and the end of the season.
Liam Ridgewell (West Brom) – A £2 million deadline day bargain from local rivals Birmingham City. Liam Ridgewell was solid at left back for the relegated Blues last season despite being a centre back by trade. Roy Hodgson has both Jonas Olsson and Gareth McAuley fit and available in the middle and no need to change them. Nicky Shorey has been left back since the start of the season but Ridgewell offers a better defensive option, particularly coming up against an attack-minded Swansea City side this weekend. He also has a knack for getting open from attacking set pieces, which makes him and Olsson good targets, with the Baggies also having Craig Dawson to enjoy doing similar in the future.
Marvin Sordell (Bolton) – Having scored 12 goals as Watford’s second striker behind Danny Graham last season, and leading the club with 8 goals last season, 20-year old Marvin Sordell is seen as a bright prospect for the future. Whether he can step up to the plate in the Premier League immediately remains to be seen. Bolton Wanderers are lingering around the relegation zone and are looking for a spark from somewhere to get a few victories. Sordell can be greedy and frustrating at times, but with the right coaching and maturity that’s set to come there’s no reason why he cannot provide a Premier League side with a few goals in the future.
Bobby Zamora (Queens Park Rangers) – Mark Hughes landed one instant hit when Djibril Cisse scored inside 12 minutes of his debut to open the scoring for Queens Park Rangers on Monday night. Now Hughes has to decide whether his other £4 million deadline day signing, Bobby Zamora will get a chance against Wolves this weekend. A player who drops in and out of form, the former Fulham striker has scored 5 goals in 14 goals for the Cottagers this season. Having relied on Heidar Helguson for the first half of the season, QPR fans have had their relegation fears quelled by some January signings. Zamora is one who is capable of scoring a handful of goals to keep Rangers above the drop zone between now and the end of the season.