Transfer deadline day: Wheels within wheels and chain reactions as Yorkshire clubs look to fill gaps
It is the day many fans want to know why their clubs did not pull their fingers out early, and the answer is often they were stuck in a chain. For a few, there is the excitement at what presents it might hold.
The lucky ones are managers like Harrogate Town’s Simon Weaver, who believes his 2023 dealing is done. Most in football hate this day.
The last seven days have shown the ripple effect in Yorkshire.
When an innocuous-looking groin injury took Ben Osborn off at Bramall Lane on Sunday it had a bigger repercussion than his replacement, Yasser Larouci, being caught out for Rodri's winning goal.
As well as crossing a name off Leeds United's list, it took up one of two English loan spots the Blades planned to lean heavily on.
Now Leeds must look elsewhere for a left-back or do perhaps without. They and the Blades looked at Lewis O'Brien but allowed him to join Middlesbrough, along with Leeds midfielder Sam Greenwood, both on loan. They are good choices.
Leeds were able to stand by because they got their midfield business done on Thursday, signing Ilia Gruev from Werder Bremen and Glen Kamara from Rangers. Depending on their attitude to a left-back, and there are suggestions they may pass on it, they could have a quiet Friday.
Meanwhile, Manchester City's £53m move for Wolverhampton Wanderers' Matheus Nunes – suddenly much more important after Kevin de Bruyne’s injury – has fed Wolves cash and leverage.
That is likely to see Tommy Doyle join on a season-long loan with a view to a £4.3m permanent move after a summer of serious courting from Paul Heckingbottom.
It is wheels within wheels as clubs change course at the last minute, hoping a deal sheet gets them through if they fail to make an ever-softer 11pm deadline.
"We've tracked players for a number of weeks and they've fallen by the wayside," explained Bradford City manager Mark Hughes, hoping to do a loan or two on Friday. "You look at other opportunities and all of a sudden they become more 'live'."
Having a window open during early season not only leaves teams vulnerable to injuries but allows players to play themselves in or out of a manager's plans.
Cody Drameh's Ipswich Town disasterclass appears to have convinced Leeds they can do without him if they get a good offer.
The same appears true of Leo Hjelde, whilst Darko Gyabi and Lewis Bate have evidently not done enough in training to even get an audition for the midfield roles. Despite that, Leeds seem reluctant to sell Gyabi but happy to loan.
Meanwhile, Manchester United appear to have decided they need Facundo Pellistri, another the Blades were keen on loaning.
Having had to rummage through the bargain bins before selling prize assets Iliman Ndiaye and Sander Berge, there must be some doubt about whether Yorkshire's only Premier League club can end the window with a competitive squad.
Gustavo Hamer and Cameron Archer are good signings – albeit without top-flight guarantees – but they needed more quality additions than them and Thomas.
Flair on a budget and maybe a Doyle Plan B is Friday’s tough ask.
Leeds have been through a punishing clearout, with release clauses meaning too many players leaving on loan, and it may not be completely over with Luis Sinisterra's future far from guaranteed.
But they have ended the window strongly, staring down their rebel without a clause Willy Gnonto and making shrewd Championship additions. Karl Darlow looked a good replacement for Illan Meslier but could now be his back-up.
Barnsley's mixed start will bring tinkering around the edges, including Jamie McCart joining from Rotherham United on Thursday.
Chasing a centre-forward, Huddersfield Town have had to be more frugal than Neil Warnock seemed to expect, Rotherham have twice broken their transfer record but have had to show patience, Sam Nombe joining on Thursday as they waited for loan dominoes to fall into place.
Like Sheffield United, their start suggests they need beefing up.
Hull City's ambition has not been matched by action but coach Liam Rosenior was hoping for three new signings in the final 24 hours.
Having done the bulk of their work quickly but unconvincingly, Sheffield Wednesday are hoping for two or three cherries, with Newcastle United's Isaac Hayden and Jeff Hendrick far more Championship-ready than many earlier ingredients.
There is much to happen and not much time to do it. Welcome back to the crazy world of deadline day.