Though the transfer window has shut, the insatiable need for the market rumbles on around the footballing globe, such is the crazy amount of interest the proverbial ‘silly season’ brings to fans.
Indeed, like it or not, transfers and everything that goes with them are one of the major strands of the general footballing narrative. Especially in the digital age, where every supporter can be clued up about potential incomings or outgoings very quickly.
However, what about those mega deals that didn’t quite come off? Here, in our The one who got away series, we’ll take a look at perhaps the most surprising transfers to have fallen at the final hurdle.
Here’s one you might not know all too much about.
Papiss Cisse – Sunderland, 2012
Papiss Cisse established himself as a cult-hero in North East England during the first quarter of 2012 when he joined Newcastle United from Bundesliga outfit SC Freiburg for around £10m in the January window. 13 goals in his opening games on English soil made the Senegalese a serious force to be reckoned with, especially when one of his strikes was THAT goal away at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea.
However, it could all have been so different. Indeed, the Magpies’ bitter rivals Sunderland were also linked with the African marksman in the same period, though he ultimately moved to St. James’ Park.
While the Black Cats’ slide down the Premier League table had yet to happen at that point, it was during that campaign where things turned sour. Had they managed to lure Cisse to Wearside, his impact at the Stadium of Light could really have lifted morale – as it did just 11 miles in Newcastle – things may have been different.
For Martin O’Neill’s side, no striker hit double figures across with campaign with only Stephane Sessegnon and Nicklaus Bendtner managing to eight goals, so the idea of welcoming a player with such an impact during the bleak winter period would have been a welcome one.
Speaking on the matter in January 2012, Cisse even referenced Sunderland’s interest prior to his arrival in England, despite O’Neill’s denial about the matter.
It’s hard to argue that signing Cisse alone would have stopped Sunderland’s slide but perhaps his instant impact – and crucial goals in the latter stages of his stint in England – would have helped.