DEADLINE Day deals have been commonplace at the Reebok during the 10 previous January transfer windows – with some memorable last-minute signings and sales being rushed through.
Dougie Freedman is hoping to add a couple of names to his squad before tonight’s 11pm cut off, with Sierra Leone international midfielder Medo Kamara and Leicester City defender Cian Bolger likely to be confirmed over the course of the day.
But will there be any more late surprises?
Wanderers have made some vital additions at this stage of the season. Who could forget the 11th-hour arrival of Florent Laville and Pierre Yves Andre under Sam Allardyce, Gary Megson’s £5million deal for Gary Cahill on January 30, 2008, or Owen Coyle’s late loan captures of Daniel Sturridge and Jack Wilshere in successive seasons?
But they have also seen some big names leave at the business end of the window. Michael Ricketts quit for Middlesbrough on deadline day of 2003, and club captain Kevin Nolan finalised his move to Newcastle United just 24 hours before the close of play in 2009.
Here, we look at some of the late deals Wanderers have completed in the final few days since the January window was introduced in 2003.
MICHAEL RICKETTS (£3.5million to Middlesbrough in 2003) The one-cap wonder, bought originally for just £400,000 from Walsall, was tipped for stardom when he opted to join Boro instead of Spurs in the very first January window. The striker’s dramatic decline after leaving Wanderers shows the grass is definitely not always greener.
SALVA BALLESTA (loaned from Valencia 2003) Already here when Ricketts departed for Boro, the controversial Spanish striker’s move was finalised on deadline day. He started only once for Wanderers, against Liverpool, and failed to hit the target.
FLORENT LAVILLE (signed from Lyon, 2003) & PIERRE YVES ANDRE (from Nantes, 2003) The French duo were memorably signed at 11.45pm by Allardyce, primarily with the money earned from the sale of Michael Ricketts. Solid defender Laville and wide man Yves-Andre played their part in keeping Wanderers up on the final day of the season.
DWIGHT PEZZAROSSI (signed from Ferrol, 2004) The Guatemalan striker arrived in the Premier League looking to make a name for himself, but travelled back just a year later after failing to make a single appearance for the club. He has since won 59 international caps.
STEVE HOWEY (free transfer from Leicester City in 2004) The former England international arrived as defensive cover for Allardyce and started just two games for the club, against Middlesbrough and Manchester City, before leaving for a stint in the MLS with New England Revolution.
OSCAR PEREZ (signed from Cordoba in 2006) The Spanish midfielder did not have an extensive pedigree when he arrived late on transfer deadline day 2006, and failed to make any impact on Sam Allardyce’s side – but later played for the likes of Racing Santander, Udinese and Tenerife.
DAVID THOMPSON (signed from Portsmouth, 2007) Ex-Liverpool ball-winner Thompson was a back-up plan for Allardyce after he lost out on the signing of David Dunn to Blackburn Rovers and was signed just two hours before the window closed. His Bolton career lasted just eight appearances and he later retired because of a chronic knee problem.
GARY CAHILL (£5million from Aston Villa, 2008) The young centre-half had been pushed to the fringes of the Villa squad by Martin O’Neill and it raised eyebrows when Gary Megson splashed out £5m to bring him to the Reebok to aid his relegation fight. Nearly 150 appearances later Cahill was an England regular when he left for Chelsea, for the slightly disappointing fee of £7m last January.
KEVIN NOLAN (£4million to Newcastle United, 2009) It was considered a shock when club captain Nolan left struggling Wanderers to join Newcastle United in 2009, after more than a decade at the Reebok. Nolan had been with the club from the age of 14 but the timing of his departure left Gary Megson unable to sign a replacement.
JACK WILSHERE (loaned from Arsenal, 2010) The Arsenal starlet had not played in the Premier League before his arrival at the Reebok but became a fixture in Coyle’s side as Wanderers battled against the drop in 2010. Wilshere’s career sky-rocketed from there, and he went on to be a key player for club and country.
DANIEL STURRIDGE (loaned from Chelsea, 2011) Eight goals in 12 appearances makes Sturridge one of the most successful loanees that Wanderers have ever landed. The Chelsea striker went back to Stamford Bridge looking to command a first-team place, and later made a £12m move to Liverpool.
RYO MIYAICHI (loaned from Arsenal in 2012) The speedy Japanese winger had enjoyed a successful loan spell with Feyenoord but had been given limited exposure in England by Arsene Wenger before sending him to the Reebok. Despite an impressive debut in the FA Cup against Millwall, he did not thrive.