El Centrocampista

Chelsea wave goodbye to Essien as Real Madrid overhaul their midfield – Deadline Day in La Liga

The transfer window closed on Friday night as teams around Europe scrambled to get those last minute deals done, with s a typically chaotic day ensuing in Spanish football. Real Madrid have been among the busiest sides in La Liga during the summer, and have seen a number of players both leave and arrive  at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Of course, Jose Mourinho’s side brought in Luka Modric last week for around £33m, but even more work was done on deadline day. Former Getafe midfielder Esteban Granero ended his second spell with Los Blancos by heading to England, as trigger-happy Queens’ Park Rangers snapped up the 25 year old for a fee of £9m. Granero has slipped down the pecking order at the Santiago Bernabeu and should become a key part of Mark Hughes’ side in London.

Work didn’t stop there though, as Lassana Diarra also made his way out of Madrid. The Frenchman has become the latest big name to head to Russia as Anzhi Makhachkala swooped to sign him on a four year deal. You may think that this leaves Madrid a bit short with two departures, but Mourinho pulled a late deal out of the bag. Ghanaian powerhouse Michael Essien linked up with his former manager to replace Diarra. Essien signs a season long loan deal in the capital as he looks to rediscover his form and fitness.

Barcelona were very quiet, only allowing winger Ibrahim Afellay to finally leave the club on loan. Interest was rife from clubs around Europe, but German side Schalke pulled off something of a coup by snapping him up. Afellay has been looking for first team football, something that new Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova just couldn’t promise him.

The busiest team in the run up to the deadline was Malaga, who took advantage of their progression to the Champions League group stages by going on a signing spree! Javier Saviola completed his return to Spain having fallen out of favour at Benfica, whilst Paraguayan striker Roque Santa Cruz also came in on loan. American defender Oguchi Onyewu became the second loan player to arrive at La Rosaleda, joining Chile international Manuel Iturra at the club.

Mallorca possibly pulled off the steal of the day though, by bringing former Barcelona winger Giovani Dos Santos back to Spain. Dos Santos impressed for Racing Santander in 2011, but once again found himself frozen out at Tottenham. Given Mallorca’s well documented financial problems, it came as a surprise when the Mexican switched to the Islanders. Promoted Celta Vigo added some firepower to their side by taking Arsenal’s South Korean international striker Park Chu-Young on the loan for the season.

Celta offloaded David Rodriguez to Segunda side Sporting Gijon, so signing another forward was crucial to their hopes of staying in La Liga. Speaking of Segunda, Racing Santander used Rangers’ demise to their advantage by signing American international defender Carlos Bocanegra on loan. Bocanegra will offer Racing an experienced head at the back as they look to return to La Liga at the first time of asking. Plenty of other business was done, but the influx of loan signings once again highlights the lack of funds around the league.

Teams can’t afford transfer fees anymore and have to result to bringing players in temporarily, which will once again pile pressure on the authorities to resolve the broadcasting money saga.

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