January Transfer Window Premier League Review by Will Poyser
I think we can all safely say that the transfer window was rather disappointing with there being very few big transfers, there were no shock mega moves that were similar to Fernando Torres’s transfer to Chelsea a few years ago. Probably the two biggest transfers in the Premier League were ones made by Chelsea and Manchester City, the two clubs are currently in a two horse race for the title. Chelsea sold André Schürrle to Wolfsburg whilst loaning out Salah to Fiorentina; they replaced them with exciting Colombian winger Juan Cuadrado. Mourinho must believe in the exciting player’s talent, seeing him fit to replace two players. Cuadrado could be a key player in making sure Chelsea go all the way and secure the title; I can see him being deployed as an impact player from the bench who can change a game in Chelsea’s favour.
Meanwhile Manchester City strengthened their strike force by signing the impressive Wilfried Bony, a player who is adapted and impressed in the Premier League. In 2014, he was the highest scorer in the league. He has the complete package; he is strong, quick, a finisher and still relativity young. He’ll provide great competition for Eden Dzeko and Stefan Jovetic in securing that place next to Sergio Aguero up front. He’s currently away at the African Cup of Nations with his new team mate Yaya Toure, it’ll be fascinating to see these two link up for their club, can the purchase of Bony motivate City on to win the title?
I think Crystal Palace had a great window under new boss Alan Pardew, with them struggling to score goals before his arrival. Pardew has strengthened upfront significantly with the loan of Sanogo from Arsenal and the signing of Ameobi, a player who Pardew coached at Newcastle. Other notable signings Palace made was Lee Chung-yong from Bolton for £1,000,000. Palace also made Wilfried Zaha’s loan permanent, with them reportedly signing him for £6 million. £9 million less than the price they sold him to Manchester United. The club will be extremely happy with the deal; whilst Zaha will be disappointed it did not work out for him in Manchester. These transfers will be enough to keep Palace up, avoiding relegation again.
Southampton also had a good window without having to spend much money at all. Ronald Koeman utilised the loan market with the signings of Filip Djuricic from Benefica and Eljero Elia, a player who will relish this second chance in resurrecting his career. Southampton also made Ryan Bertand’s loan permanent, £10 million for a 25 year old who has won the Champions league and been hugely impressive so far this season, must be seen as a bargain for the Saints.
Other notable transfers include Darren Fletcher moving to West Brom, considered a fringe player by Van Gaal, he’ll get many first team opportunities under Tony Pulis. Leicester were another busy club in the window, Nigel Pearson bringing in a range of players to help their relegation battle, Mark Schwarzer will provide great premier league experience as will Robert Huth. Andrej Kramaric has been brought in to continue his impressive form, scoring 28 goals in 24 games for club and country this season. If he can start scoring he could play a significant part in keeping Leicester up. Arsenal signed a promising Brazilian defender from Villareal. Gabriel will provide Arsenal with necessary defensive cover, but first he’ll need to grasp the language as well as adapting to the English game. Many predicted that Louis Van Gaal would again splash the cash but instead the only business he carried out was signing Victor Valdez to the club. I believe Van Gaal didn’t make any significant signings, as he couldn’t get players cheaply in this window. If Borussia Dortmund get relegated, it wouldn’t surprise me if Manchester United signed Mats Hummels to shore up their defence.
I consider the transfer of the window to be Jermain Defoe’s arrival back in the Premier league. Sunderland will be ecstatic that they managed to secure the prolific striker who was sought after from nine other clubs. He could single handily keep Sunderland up this season with his goals. He’s already got his first goal for the club, which is also his 125th Premier League. Although this window was not particularly interesting, there were a few exciting signings. I expect the summer window to be the complete opposite!