Deadline Day Discussions

August 30, 2017 — by

With Europe hurtling towards the end of a record breaking transfer window, we take a look at which stories have been dominating the headlines and whether or not they look like happening, based on the social media conversation surrounding them. The rumours are rated from 1 (will never happen) to 10 (all but guaranteed).

Neymar’s world record move from Barcelona to PSG was the news for much of August, but since his impressive debut and a couple of internet-busting performances the focus has largely switched to the Premier League. If we take a look at the most talked about team of players, found using our Sports Hub, we can see which players are being linked with a move and how many people are talking about them. The team for Tuesday 29th may not hold many surprises, but it is interesting to see whether “lots of people talking about it” equals “this transfer will happen”. Here’s the team:

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Petr Cech in goal was the most talked about goalkeeper, mostly because an interesting stat emerged after Arsenal’s defeat to Liverpool on Sunday. Cech has now conceded more goals in his three years at Arsenal than he did in 11 years at Chelsea, a staggering statistic which truly underlines Arsene Wenger’s terrible defensive management.

The back 4 consisted of four players heavily linked with moves away from their clubs. Virgil van Dijk was the most talked about defender, with 70,340 tweets being sent about him. The Southampton centre-back has been the centre of a transfer storm all summer, with everyone seemingly interested in the big Dutchman: Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City have all reportedly made advances for Southampton’s currently most valuable player. With a day to go, will van Dijk finally make the move away from the south coast? By looking at the “Top Influencers” section of the hub, we can see that nobody really has any idea as to where the centre back is heading! There are no solid stories, simply rumours and counter-rumours. Liverpool fans may want to get the signing across the line before Thursday, but it seems like it’ll be a late, late show on Thursday if it is to happen. Likelihood that he moves: 5/10

Alongside van Dijk, Jonny Evans (21,117), Mamadou Sakho (15,274) and Kieran Gibbs (13,680) make up the rest of the most talked about back line, with Evans reportedly the subject of a bid from Manchester City, whilst Sakho is linked with a return to Crystal Palace and Gibbs saw a move to Watford fall through but a transfer to West Brom seemingly materialise. So could these transfers happen? Evans is certainly in demand, but West Brom are under no obligation to sell and will hold out until their valuation of the player is met. With no apparent new activity from Manchester City and no reports of a bid from Arsenal (are they even interested or is it just their fans on twitter getting excited? Verified accounts say no contact between the Baggies and the Gunners) this could be another one which goes to the wire, if it goes at all (Likelihood: 5/10). Sakho has agreed to a move to Palace but Liverpool are holding out for more money (Likelihood: 6/10), whilst Gibbs seems set for a move to the Baggies after failing to agree terms with Watford (Likelihood: 9/10). //Update: Gibbs has moved since this piece was originally written//

In midfield, Philippe Coutinho (surprise, surprise!) continues to dominate the conversation in this transfer window, with his protracted “will he, won’t he” dance with Barcelona set to continue to the very end of the month. 80,504 tweets were sent about Coutinho on Tuesday, making him the most talked about midfielder, but there’s a sense that the mood of Liverpool fans is shifting. With Naby Keita set to join the club next summer and Thomas Lemar linked with a move to the Reds, Liverpool fans seem to be coming round to the idea of selling Coutinho, especially for the mooted sum of £160 million! This tweet sums that changing attitude up:

Likelihood: 7/10

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (35,916) is supposedly facing a choice: Liverpool or Chelsea. The Arsenal midfielder has rejected all of Arsene Wenger’s offers of a new contract and the Gunners have clearly decided to cash in while he’s still their player, before he becomes a free agent next summer. A deal of £35 million was reportedly completed with Chelsea, but rumours of the Ox turning down the Blues for a move up north emerged later in the day. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp seems to be having an influence on potential recruits for his side, with Oxlade-Chamberlain apparently willing to wait out his contract to move to Anfield next summer if he has to. (Likelihood: 7/10) Leicester midfielder Rihad Mahrez (18,136) was the third most talked about midfielder, as rumblings of his move to Roma continue. Rumours on Tuesday, however, suggested that Chelsea and Arsenal were now in the running to sign the £50 million winger, but with limited time left in the window Leicester hold all the cards and may end up keeping their star player. Likelihood: 6/10

Without doubt the major talking point of Tuesday was Alexis Sanchez’s alleged transfer to Manchester City. The Cityzens want to add Sanchez to their already terrifying front-line, but Arsenal apparently want money plus a star player if they are to let the Chilean international leave (Likelihood: 6/10). That leads into the second and third most talked about attackers: Raheem Sterling (42,260 tweets) (Likelihood: 4/10) and Sergio Aguero (22,345 tweets) (Likelihood: 3/10). They are both rumoured to be makeweights in the deal, although it seems unlikely that City will sanction that sort of move. As far as Arsenal are concerned, Sanchez is not for sale, but with his contract up in a year and no apparent chance of him signing an extension, Arsenal may be forced to part ways with their superstar striker.

Some managed to make light of the situation:

Prediction Time:

We used our hub to find out what fans were saying would happen over the rest of the Premier League transfer window:

And finally, Arsenal fans everywhere…!

Tune in tomorrow to see what happens on the final day of a record-breaking transfer window!

This information was collected using our incredible Sports Hub! To find out how you could utilise our social media analysis, contact Ali at