The January transfer window is generally the little brother that nobody likes of transfer windows and this year it turned out to be exactly that again. I’ll do a team by team guide for the window that no one really likes, so instead of writing a fancy intro I’m just going to get down to the shit.
Most deals are undisclosed so I’m taking figures from a number of sources, none of which are probably that reliable but it’s that or undis everywhere. I would usually ask if each team has improved as a club but so few have actually done anything meaningful, so I will only do it where it makes sense.
Ins: Gabriel Paulista (£11.2m), Krystian Bielik (£2.5m)
Outs: Lukas Podolski (loan), Yaya Sanogo (loan), Joel Campbell (loan), Benik Afobe (undis)
Actually a fairly good transfer window again for Arsenal in my opinion (that’s like two in a row [new record]). They needed a new centre back and Paulista fills that role for a reasonable price, granted I haven’t knowingly seen him play, but even if he’s shit they didn’t risk much money on him. As far as going out they have had some house cleaning by getting rid of guys who weren’t in first team consideration, this could create depth issues later on in the season but in reality Campbell and Sanogo have shown nothing to say that they are good enough and Podolski is lazy and always inconsistent, so it isn’t really a loss.
Ins: Carles Gil (£3.5m), Scott Sinclair (loan)
Outs: Darreb Bent (loan), others (loan)
It must be frustrating to be a Villa fan because they are a big club but they seem to be unwilling to spend any money at all, and once again despite staring relegation in the face they have scrimped again. They have brought in two attacking players, something which was vitally needed due to their pitiful attacking production but they needed more. Most of the Villa team is substandard and they need a real raid out, granted I don’t think that should be done in January but they do need to start at some point. I don’t think Villa will be relegated but I feel like every season under Lambert I think ‘this is a poor season but it’s a young team and they’ll benefit from the experience’ I wouldn’t say I feel that this year, no longer are they a young team and yet they are still struggling mightily. The question which must be asked is this down to a lack of investment or is it down to Paul Lambert? It’s hard to know but it’s now or never for Lambert, he’s on an incredibly shoogly peg and investment or not he has to start producing or he should be looking for a new employer.
Have Villa improved? Yes but not nearly enough.
Ins: Michael Keane (undis)
Outs: Cisak (loan)
Sometimes you look at a team and you go ‘wow they are desperate to stay in the league’ in contrast I look at Burnley after this window and think ‘wow that’s a big risk.’ I didn’t think Burnley would stay up anyway but this further confirms it. I do like the signing of Keane permanently because it is good long term business but to bring no one else in is so risky. Even the most adamant Burnley fan would accept that they really don’t belong in the Premier League and it was a shock they got there last season but the club seem to be of that opinion as well. This window screams we don’t belong here and are making sure we don’t financially cripple ourselves for the future, and although I admire that long term thinking it does lack any ambition and that is sort of sad.
Ins: Juan Cuadrado (£27m)
Outs: Andre Schurlle (£24m), Ryan Bertrand (£10m), Mark Schwarzer (free), Mo Salah (loan), Marko Marin (loan), Tomas Kalas (loan)
Oh Chelsea…you came and you made another belter…and you did it again…oh Chelsea! Every other club in the world take a fucking note, this is how you do a transfer window. I mean are you fucking kidding me? I like Schurlle but he failed at Chelsea, yet they sold him for more than they bought him for. Bertrand failed at Chelsea, yet they sold him for good money. Then on top of all that they picked up Cuadrado for a reasonable £27m, they are the masters of the transfer market. Gone are the days of paying £50m for Fernando Torres, they complain about financial fair play but in reality it has turned Chelsea into incredibly shrewd transfer market dealer. As I have already said I liked Schurlle and personally feel he never got a proper shot at Chelsea and don’t see Cuadrado as being that much (if at all) of an improvement over him. Yes he will bring you more pace but the transition into the team is unlikely to be instant, so I think it may have been a mistake on the short term.
Have Chelsea improved? Not really, I see Cuadrado and Schurlle as a like for like swap and then they lost some squad players on top of that. They aren’t any worse but I don’t see them as better.
Ins: Wilfried Zaha (£6m), Jordon Mutch (£5.75m), Lee Chung-Yong (undis), Shola Ameobi (free), Papa Souare (undis), Yaya Sanogo (loan)
Outs: Barry Bannan (loan), Stuart O’Keefe (undis), lots of others of little meaning
Got to give Palace some credit, they haven’t stayed quiet and have went out and splashed some cash. The thing is that Zaha was already at the club, Mutch couldn’t get in the QPR team and the rest of the players are of varying levels of average. Probably Palace’s best signing was Alan Pardew which was a bit of a coup from Newcastle. I don’t think they really needed to do much because as things stand I don’t really see them going down and there is a good feeling at the club.
Palace have improved but not by very much and they overpaid for players who weren’t really needed.
Ins: Aaron Lennon (loan)
Outs: Samuel Eto’o (free), others
“Eto’o is a dreadful signing, he showed he was shit last season and also that he was a headache not worth having, don’t know what Everton were thinking” That’s a direct quote from my summer transfer window review and hey ho there ya go, don’t know what Everton were thinking, I really don’t. Signing Lennon is an odd one because I don’t think he is really needed and hasn’t been able to get a sniff of the Spurs squad recently so why would he be good enough for Everton? The mind boggles.
Ins: Dame N’Doye (£3m)
Outs: Tom Ince (loan)
Hull spent a lot of money in the summer and although I thought they signed some good players they seem to have struggled mightily. This window they have only signed N’Doye who could be a good signing but has generally had fitness problems. In comparison last year they went out and signed Jelavic and Long and that was a big part in them staying up, it was a statement of intent. I’m not sure what this says but the players they have will have to start showing up because the Hull squad is too good to be fiddling about in the relegation zone. On a side note Tom Ince once again showing that it doesn’t matter how shit you are sometimes, if you have a famous last name people will continue to give you undeserved chances.
Ins: Andrej Kramaric (£9.5m), Mark Schwarzer (free), Robert Huth (loan)
When you spend that sort of money on a player at this level he has to come in and contribute straight away otherwise you are opening yourself up to deserved criticisms. I haven’t seen Kramaric play (prior to the Man Utd game) and couldn’t truly comment on whether or not it is a good signing but Leicester have put all their money on 10 black and maybe they would have been better spreading it across the table. Huth’s a good signing because he will come in and give the backline experience and a bit of bite which is much needed when you’re sitting bottom of the table.
Have Leicester improved? Yes they have, they have signed two players who are likely going to be first teamers but I feel that they really needed more if they want to stay up.
Outs: Oussama Assaidi (£4.7m), Suso (£1m)
Quite remarkable that Liverpool were able to find someone to pay almost £5m for Assaidi…could be the deal of the window really… I do find it odd that Liverpool who are clearly desperate for a striker after their pitiful summer transfer window didn’t try and go out and get someone who could actually play as a back up to the injury prone Sturridge, but alas they obviously think their squad is good enough to go the rest of the season and get into the top 4, which of course it is not.
Ins: Wilfried Bony (£28m)
Outs: Matija Nastasic (loan), Scott Sinclair (loan)
May the lord punish thee for thee has been fiddling the fucking financial fair play books! Have you seen the latest accounts? City (as well as their fuck buddies PSG) are apparently the two most commercially successful clubs in the world… A fucking ten year old could tell you that clearly isn’t the case, because in their memory both teams were obsolete. This is the test; this is UEFA’s big moment. It’s sink or swim time for financial fair play and if City don’t level their transfers then they should have the book thrown at them. UEFA need to set an example and City keep giving them reasons to set it, here’s hoping they have the nuts to follow through. As far as the actual signing goes, it is a bit of an odd one because is Bony that different from Negredo who they unceremoniously dumped in the summer? I don’t think so. Bony isn’t that different to Dzeko (granted he is probably better) and it will be interesting to see if he can take the step up which is by no means a guarantee. It’s a lot of money for Bony but if he plays a big part in them winning the league it all of a sudden will look like a good buy. A note on Nastasic (not one on Sinclair cause he’s shit), it is odd to see another potentially good centre back have his City career cut short and sent to Germany, has shades of Boateng.
Ins: Victor Valdes (free),
Outs: Wilfreid Zaha (£6m), Michael Keane (£3m), Darren Fletcher (free), Jesse Lingard (loan), others
An odd window for Utd because everyone agrees that they need a central midfielder and a centre back but instead of going out and getting someone just for the sake of it they have instead decided to wait till the summer. If Utd finish top four (they will) then it is clever if they miss out (they won’t) everyone will begin to sharpen their knives (which are already pretty sharp from the David Moyes days). I don’t think Valdes was needed but there certainly isn’t any harm in having him at the club. As far as outgoings go I am incredibly sad to see Fletcher leave because he was my favourite player and a real Utd man whose career was cut short by a bad illness when he was beginning to enter his prime. Sadly I do think this season he has looked off the pace and it was probably the right thing for his career to move on but I do hope he will be back at the club as a coach because he is the embodiment of hard work getting you somewhere in your career and would set a great example for the younger players. Also sad to see Keane go but not so sad to see Zaha go, another example of a naturally gifted player wasting his career because he can’t apply himself and has attitude issues. He goes down as Fergie’s last singing and you have to wonder if they ever bothered talking to him before signing him because if they had they would’ve realised that he was a numpty and not worth the money they were offering. Palace have done good business but as far as Utd are concerned it’s good riddance.
Outs: Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (£5.2m), Hatem Ben Arfa (free), Davide Santon (loan), others
Newcastle just clearing out the deadwood and offloading a number of players on loan to Rangers (a Mike Ashley power move if you’re wondering), really nothing to report of major interest. The biggest loss was probably Pardew who nobody seemed to like anyway so they were glad to be paid to get rid of a manager that they wanted to sack but didn’t want to pay his compensation. Ben Arfa went to the same school of thought as Zaha, all the talent in the world ruined by having a bad attitude and a poor work ethic, something which every man who dreamt of being a professional footballer will never understand.
Queens Park Rangers
Ins: Mauro Zarate (loan), Ryan Manning (free)
Outs: Jordon Mutch (£5.75m)
QPR fans, it’s time to panic. Not only have you added nothing you have also just lost your manager which is never a good thing. I totally understand why they didn’t spend money because how often can they splash the cash on mediocre players who are grossly overpaid and never want to leave the club because…well…they are grossly overpaid. Relegation looms I fear for QPR because they need something and they haven’t got it in this window and quite frankly they aren’t good at all. Compliments should go to QPR for selling Mutch for £6m after he couldn’t get into the team, which is very good business.
Ins: Ryan Bertrand (£10m), Eljero Elia (loan), Filip Djuricic (loan)
Outs: Jack Cork (£3m), Jos Hooiveld (loan), Artur Boruc (loan)
Southampton have this odd tendency of making very good purchases in the transfer market, almost all of their signings in the summer were hits which is why they are so far up the table and the January transfer window has further consolidated there summer work. Signing Bertrand who has actually been a surprise hit for me is clever long term business and will allow him to play in the game against Chelsea, Elia I think is a risk because he has attitude issues but if he continues to perform to the level which he has so far then it will look like a steal and Djuricic is a bit on enigma, another could be a good signing if he is put in the right position but I think it is telling that Mainz passed on him. It is a bit of a taste before you buy sort of thing in this window for Southampton and it also gives them a bit of extra depth without really losing that much.
Ins: Philipp Wollscheid (loan)
Outs: Ryan Shotton (undis), Maurice Edu (undis), Robert Huth (loan)
Not really much to report here, Huth out and Wollscheid in is good business and it isn’t like Stoke need to spend to avoid relegation, they are already in midtable mediocrity and at this stage of the season that isn’t really a bad thing.
Ins: Jermaine Defoe (trade)
Outs: Jozy Altidore (trade), others
I don’t really rate Defoe, he has made a career out of being a below average and inconsistent performer, however he is a much better player than Altidore who is absolute shit, so in that regard it is actually a very good move. I doubt Sunderland will threat relegation so in that regard it doesn’t really matter and they have also got rid of a striker who makes Emile Heskey look graceful.
Ins: Kyle Naughton (£5m), Jack Cork (£3m), Matt Grimes (£1.75m), Nelson Oliveira (loan)
Outs: Wilfried Bony (£28m), others
Swansea (much like Stoke) are one of those clubs who are kicking about the middle of the table and aren’t really going to challenge for anything but aren’t going to be relegated. On top of that they have sold one of their best players and brought in cheap players as replacements. If they get top 10 then it will be a good season and they will have lots of Bony money to splash out in the summer, although a striker is much needed and should be a main priority.
Ins: Dele Alli (£5m)
Outs: Kyle Naughton (£5m), Aaron Lennon (loan), Benoit Assou-Ekotto (free), Dele Alli (loan), Milos Veljkovic (loan)
A window where Spurs got rid of a lot of dead weight (particularly Assou-Ekotto) and signed one for the future…not much else to say but that.
West Bromwich Albion
Ins: Callum McManaman (£4.75m), Darren Fletcher (free)
Outs: Luke Daniels (undis)
West Brom aren’t going to be relegated with Pulis in charge and they are one of the few teams who have actually made some significant moves in this window. I don’t know if it was fair that Irvine was sacked because West Brom’s biggest summer signing (Ideye) would have been sold already if they were able to get Carlton Cole in, which says that their transfer dealings aren’t the best. It’s hard to win a hand when you’ve been dealt shit. Fletcher is a good signing and will add experience to the team. McManaman is an odd one because he seemed like a future star when Wigan won the FA Cup and were relegated but has never really pushed on from there, maybe he just needs his chance and at around £5m it is probably worth the risk because he has shown he can do it in the past.
West Ham United
Ins: Doneil Henry (undis)
Outs: Mauro Zarate (loan), Ricardo Vaz Te (free)
Another team who did very little business in this window (feel like I’ve said that soooooo often). This window will probably be remembered more by West Ham for the players they didn’t sign and it is probably confirmation that although they’ve had a good season they won’t be challenging for those European slots.
Wow…I didn’t think there was much going on in this window and then I wrote this review and realised that fuck all happened in this window. No wonder Jim White was struggling last night, there really was nothing to report at all. There really isn’t much worth saying, the big teams didn’t really bother and even more oddly the smaller teams didn’t really bother. What can you say? It was really poor and boring.
Top 5 Signings
- Gabriel Paulista (Arsenal)
- Juan Cuadrado (Chelsea)
- Darren Fletcher (West Brom)
- Wilfried Bony (Man City)
- Philipp Wollscheid (Stoke)
Worst 5 Signings
- Jordon Mutch (Palace)
- Shola Ameobi (Palace)
- Kyle Naughton (Swansea)
Yeah there were so few signings that it was meant to be a worst 5 but there were so few it was such a struggle that it’s now a worst 3. Even the top 5 was a stretch.
Top 5 Transfer Window Teams
- West Brom
Worst 5 Transfer Window Teams
God that was painful…well here’s an updated table which hopefully will come out as I formatted it when I initially wrote it (almost certainly won’t be), the numbers will dictate the difference between where I thought they would finish after the first window and where I think they will finish now.
2nd—Man Utd 0
3rd—Man City 0
8th—West Ham +4
13th—West Brom +4
That was a long and boring write which I didn’t enjoy writing at all and I’m sure will be a nasty read. The quite honest fact is that so little happened it is hard to write about and to be honest I wish I hadn’t bothered.
Oh well what did you think of the boring January transfer window? Was it boring or was it really boring? Well leave a comment and let the world know! Good job on staying awake and making it this far so why don’t you take a few more seconds to join the Facebook and Twitter pages because you clearly like punishing yourself and why the fuck not.