Mark Hughes was the busiest man in the transfer window, and not for the first time. The man who was given the freedom of the cheque book at Manchester City delved into the market for his new club, in order to build a side capable of avoiding a relegation dog scrap.
And among the chaos of last night’s deadline day dealings, perhaps the shrewdest capture may come in the form of ex-Fulham man Bobby Zamora. At 31 the target man is no spring chicken, but has all the attributes to give Rangers what they need right now in a season which has only yielded 22 goals.
Whilst Zamora is hardly prolific, he allows much of his sides attacking play to revolve around his ability to hold up the ball and drag opposition defenders out of position, meaning others are able to thrive around him. For £4 million an experienced Premier League striker represents a great bit of business. Without the risk of a Nikola Jelavic, who has a very good record in a rather appalling league, Bobby is sure to contribute more than the wasteful Jay Bothroyd, and ensure QPR are dining at the top table for another season yet.
All change for the Hoops as Hughes rein begins to dawn
IN Bobby Zamora (Fulham, £4m), Djibril Cisse (Lazio, £4m), Nedum Onuoha (Manchester City, £2.5m), Samba Diakite (Nancy, Loan), Federico Macheda (Manchester U, Loan), Taye Taiwo (AC Milan, Loan).
OUT Matthew Connolly (Reading, L), Martin Rowlands (released), Bradley Orr (Blackburn, U)
Hoping to get on the end of Zamora’s assists is enigma Djibril Cisse. In what will be the 3rd instalment of his Premier League adventure, Cisse is a player with something to prove. His spell at Liverpool was tarnished by a horrific injury, which I’m sure still lives in the ‘do not touch’ part of our brains, whilst his Sunderland career yielded 10 goals. Though he was a little unlucky to be shafted by the Black Cats, who instead opted to splash out on Darren Bent, the feeling with Cisse has perhaps been that he often flatters to deceive.
Lightning pace and an undoubted prowess in front of goal are too often weighed down by a tendency to go missing in crucial moments of a season. His record in Greece for Panathinaikos was exceptional, but he has one solitary goal for Lazio this season. Cisse is an eccentric, a performer capable of the brilliant and the bizarre. At £4 million the Frenchman may still be a risk, but definitely one worth taking.
Hughes has signed another four players, the biggest coup perhaps being Taye Taiwo. Though it’s only a loan deal, the Nigerian left back was snapped up by Serie A champions AC Milan only last summer, and has vast experience of European and top flight football. Plus, it means ring leader of Rangers defensive circus Armand Traore with be consigned to the bench. Nedum Onuoha meanwhile will be trying to repair some of the damage left by Danny Gabbidon in the centre of the hoops back line. The 25 year old is another safe capture, and more than capable of providing his new club with some much needed stability after finally ending his stint with the City reserves.
Finally Federico Macheda has been brought in on loan, and will be hoping to make an impact for the first time since April 2009. Bradley Orr is Rangers only noticable departure, jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire in a move to Blackburn.
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