MIDDLESBROUGH had a frantic end to transfer deadline day last night when Marvin Emnes' surprise departure to Swansea City was followed by the double arrival of Danny Graham and Lee Tomlin to the Riverside Stadium.
Boro spent the day working on possible deals in the hope of bolstering Aitor Karanka's forward line and in the end it was a case of two in and two out on Teesside.
While Graham's loan from Sunderland was expected even though it took longer than anticipated to finalise, the deals for Emnes and Tomlin were more of a shock on the final day of the transfer window. Matty Dolan also moved to Bradford City on loan.
Emnes, who has never really recaptured his best form since Tony Mowbray rejected numerous offers from the Swans a couple of seasons ago, has gone to the Liberty Stadium on loan until the end of the campaign.
It is a deal which is with a view to a permanent switch and sources in South Wales suggest a summer transfer could be worth around £1m.
Middlesbrough decided to accept the proposal to free up further funds on the wage budget and that prompted the loan, with a view to a £1.5m deal in the summer, move for Tomlin.
Boro have been pressing ahead on numerous fronts in the hope of bringing in a couple of new forwards. Kevin Doyle, who joined QPR yesterday, Feyenoord's Lex Immers and Tomlin were all targeted over the last 48 hours.
And it was a deal with Peterborough for the latter which was the last to be concluded and the 25-year-old will give Karanka a different threat in attack along with Graham, Curtis Main and Kei Kamara.
Tomlin has scored 32 goals in 135 league appearances for Posh and since mid-October he has scored three goals but also picked up three red cards. He was sent off in his last appearance in a 5-4 defeat at Oldham last weekend.
Graham, 28, arrives with a proven Football League scoring record during his spells with Swansea, Watford and Carlisle.
The Middlesbrough academy graduate left Middlesbrough to join Carlisle in 2007 after making 15 appearances for the club. He has spent this season on loan at Hull City from Sunderland where he has scored once in 20 appearances.
Middlesbrough also had an interest in West Brom midfielder Graham Dorrans but a breakthrough did not arrive.
Goalkeeper Shay Given was not granted permission by Aston Villa to extend his loan agreement until the end of the campaign. That means Given will now return to Villa Park on February 28.
Karanka was in Doncaster last night being kept informed of events at Rockliffe Park, where chief executive Neil Bausor spent the night working on deals.
This morning the Spanish boss will focus on gearing his squad up for this afternoon's Championship date at the Keepmoat Stadium, where none of yesterday's signings will figure.
Karanka's first experience of a January transfer window in a managerial role is over, but he was relieved to have had the opportunity to tinker with his squad.
He said: “It’s been a crazy time. But it is my first time here. I didn’t know the players here 100 per cent, so I have had to get to know them all before I could send them out on loan or keep them.
“It has been a crazy period but I am learning all of the time. It has been interesting too.
“For me it is another way to learn. I am two and a half months in to this job, this is a window to learn. I have. I think it is good that there is a winter transfer window.
“Particularly when you are a manager in my situation. I came in two and a half months in to the season and I needed to improve the team, but how if there was no window?
“I have had the opportunity to let players move out, let young players play somewhere, to try to go to other teams, so it is important to have a window like this.”