What was expected to be a busy deadline day on Wearside finally came to an end with Anton Ferdinand completing his move to QPR. The centre back will return to London after a 3-year stay at Sunderland and leaves for a fee reported to be around £3m.
With Anton Ferdinand having played every minute of Sunderland's season so far, the assumption must be that his departure represents the necessary balancing of the books required to facilitate the arrival of Niklas Bendtner and ending Steve Bruce's long search for a striker.
Rio's little brother has had a somewhat turbulent stay at Sunderland since Roy Keane brought him to the club. Following a good start, a fall-out with the Irishman saw him unceremoniously dropped to the bench for what would be Keane's final game before re-establishing himself under Ricky Sabragia. Since the arrival of Steve Bruce, Ferdinand has struggled to nail down a regular first team spot, and even found himself being frozen out without a squad number last season following a training ground spat. Despite all this, the player has amassed close to 100 Premier League games for the club.
Many may be surprised at the timing of the move given Ferdinand's strong showing this season, but with room needing to be made on the wage bill to fund new arrivals he was always looking vulnerable to being sacrificed this summer. In many ways Anton is a relic of the old regime at Sunderland where big contracts were required to be handed out to unproven players to attract them to the club. With just one year left on his contract, this was the last real opportunity to recoup some money for the player. Despite good form this season, there was always a feeling that that the player was merely keeping the spot warm whilst Titus Bramble and Michael Turner completed their recoveries from injury.
I am sure that the player will leave with the good will and kind wishes of all Sunderland fans.