Premier League Transfer Round Up
There was a huge, £130 spent in the Premier League this January, and there were some big movers in this window, despite the fact it seemed fairly low key compared to Januaries of the past.
Arsene Wenger again wasn’t as active as his fans would probably like, only bringing in two players, one of which being a previously unheard of teenager. The big signing being the £11.2 million acquisition of Villarreal centre back, Gabriel Paulista, who should provide some much needed defensive cover for Koscienly and Mertesacker. But Wenger must have seen something special in 19 year old midfielder, Krystian Bielik, as he coughed up £2.4 million for the youngster. Though there were a few exits from the Emirates with Yaya Sanogo, Lukas Podolski and Joel Campbell all departing on loans, to Crytal Palace, Inter Milan and Villarreal respectively. Along with Benik Afobe leaving for Wolves for an undisclosed fee.
With goals at the forefront of Paul Lamberts mind, you’d have thought he’d be on the look for a striker. But he failed in his deadline day attempt to bring in Rickie Lambert, after he turned down the chance to play at Villa. Though there were a couple of creative players brought in, with the signing of Carles Gil for £3.2 million from Valencia and with Scott Sinclair arriving on loan from Man City. Though experienced campaigner Darren Bent and defender Chris Herd did leave on loan to Derby and Wigan respectively.
Though the Clarets weren’t the biggest movers in the window, crucially they managed to hold on to striker, Danny Ings amid serious pressure from Liverpool and Real Sociedad. And despite missing out on a deadline day bid for West Brom’s Graham Dorrans, they did make the loan signing of Michael Keane a permanent one, taking the midfielder off Man United’s hands for an undisclosed fee.
Chelsea typically made the most high profile deadline day signing, with Colombian winger Juan Cuadrado arriving at Stamford Bridge from Fiorentina for £23.3 million, with Mohamed Salah going the other way on loan. And though James rightly stole the headlines for Colombia in the World Cup, Cuadrado also impressed greatly. However, Mourinho immediately balanced his books with the selling of Andre Schurrle to Wolfsburg for £22 million. They also picked up £10 million with the sale of Ryan Bertrand to Southampton, a move which will help Bertrands England prospects to no end. And finally, they managed to offload veteran goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer to Leicester, a sale which helps both clubs.
The most active club in January making seven new signings, to help them in their bid for Premier League survival. Fan favourite Wilfried Zaha returned to Selhurst Park for an initial fee of £3 million after an unsuccessful time at Man United. And they further strengthened their midfield with the arrivals of Lee Chung- Yong for an undisclosed fee and Jordon Mutch for £4.5 million, from Bolton and QPR respectively. But it was their strike force that had the biggest restructuring with three new faces arriving, Premier League stalwart Shola Ameobi coming on a free after leaving Turkish side, Gaziantep in December. With slightly less experienced faces in Yaya Sanogo also came on loan from Arsenal, and Keshi Anderson making a massive career move, coming from eighth tier Barton Rovers. Finally, a defensive acquisition with fullback Pape Souare signing from Lille for an undisclosed fee.
Despite missing out on Adnan Januzaj, they did bring in one winger, Aaron Lennon making a deadline day loan move from Spurs. Though amid rumours about Tom Cleverley, Stephan El Shaarawy and Yehven Konoplyanka none of them materialised and Martinez was left disappointed. Though Samuel Eto’o was allowed to leave on loan to Sampdoria, and youngster Matthew Kennedy loaned out to Cardiff.
Steve Bruce failed to make any big moves in the window, which could prove costly for his side as they battle to stay in the division, missing out on Jermain Defoe and Aaron Lennon who both chose moves elsewhere. They did make one signing though, in Dame N’Doye, the Senegalese striker arrived from Lokomotiv Moscow for a fee believed to be around £3 million.
Leicester’s main move of the window was the £9 million signing of Croatian striker, Andrej Kramaric from Croatian side FC Rijeka. And they strengthened their defence with the signing of experienced duo, Robert Huth on loan and Mark Schwarzer on a free, from Stoke and Chelsea respectively. Despite missing out on a late bid for Wigan’s Shaun Moloney and Spurs’ Aaron Lennon, Nigel Pearson should be reasonably happy with his business.
Liverpool were unusually quiet in the transfer window, given their activity in the last few years, apart from a failed attempt to sign Burnley’s Danny Ings and rumours about West Brom’s Saido Berahino, Brendan Rodgers did little else, missing out on Xherdan Shaqiri. Amid speculation Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert both stayed at the club, the latter being subject to late interest from Aston Villa. Though no new faces were brought to Anfield the return of Daniel Sturridge could be as important as any new signing and Philippe Coutinho’s new contract is also an important piece of business, given his current form and huge potential.
Man City strengthened their already potent strike force with the £28 million signing of Ivorian forward Wilfried Bony from Swansea, a signing which could prove vital in the race for the Premier League title. Though regardless of interest in Mario Mandzukic and Pepe, nothing materialised and Bony was the only new face to arrive at the Etihad. Whereas Scott Sinclair and Matija Nastasic were both allowed to leave on loan to Aston Villa and Schalke respectively, who have both found first team opportunities limited this season.
After spending heavily in the summer, Louis Van Gaal’s hands may have been tied in terms of transfer funds. But he did manage to bring in Victor Valdes on a free, to provide back up for David De Gea, as well as two rather bizarre signings in previously unheard of Andy Kellett from Bolton and Sadiq El Fitouri from Salford City. Though they did finally get rid of Anderson, offloading him to Internacional on a free transfer, along with the departure of Darren Fletcher who went to West Brom. Michael Keane and Marnick Vermijl also left Old Trafford for undisclosed fees to Burnley and Sheffield Wednesday respectively.
There were no new arrivals at St James Park, much to the disappointment of the Newcastle faithful, especially with the fact they missed out on Dele Ali to Spurs. But there was a mass exodus of players on deadline day, Shane Ferguson, Kevin Mbabu, Remie Streete and Haris Vuckic all leaving on loan to Rangers, clearly because of Mike Ashleys role within Rangers. Two players also left Newcastle for Italy, with Davide Santon heading to Inter Milan on loan and Mapou Yanga- Mbiwa joining Roma for a reported £5.5 million. Finally the eternally frustrating Hatem Ben Arfa also finally left Newcastle on a free to Nice.
Queens Park Rangers
Although they have been one of the most active clubs in the transfer windows in recent years, only one new face arrived at Loftus Road this January with Mauro Zarate coming from West Ham on loan. But Harry Redknapp failed in his attempts to sign Matt Jarvis and Emmanuel Adebayor on deadline day, and sold midfielder Jordon Mutch to rivals Crystal Palace.
The Premier League’s surprise package have only strengthened their attack, with the double loan signing of attacking midfielders; Filip Djuricic from Benfica and Eljero Elia from Werder Bremen. Roland Koeman also improved his defence though, with the £10 million signing of Ryan Bertrand from Chelsea, with Jack Cork being the sole departure, heading to Swansea.
A quiet window for Mark Hughes’ side, only bringing in a single player in defender Phillip Wollscheid, signing on loan from Bayer Leverkusen. Robert Huth has been subject to some unwanted media attention recently, which may have been a factor in his loan departure to Leicester.
Sunderland signed experienced Premier League campaigner Jermain Defoe on a free from Toronto FC, with Jozy Altidore going the other way. But other than that, there was little to do for Gus Poyet as the only other movements at the club were the exits of Scott Harrison and Charis Mavrias on loan to Hartlepool and Panathinaikos respectively.
The sale of Wilfried Bony is undoubtedly the biggest bit of business done by Swansea this window, but there were some new comings at the Liberty with highly rated youngster Matt Grimes (£1.75 million) and defender Kyle Naughton (£5 million) both arriving from Exeter and Spurs respectively. Rumours about Bafetimi Gomis leaving, and defensive pair Martin Olsson, Franck Tabanou arriving were proved to be false by the end of the window. Though Jack Cork did leave for Southampton.
Spurs won the race for MK Dons’ attacking midfielder Dele Ali, signing the youngster for £5 million and loaning him straight back to the Dons. Kyle Naughton (Swansea) and Benoit Assou- Ekkotto (released) both left the Lane permanently, and Aaron Lennon left on loan for Everton. They did manage to hold on to Emmanuel Adebayor amid deadline day interest from West Ham, but arguably the most important bit of business done by Spurs was getting in- form striker Harry Kane to commit himself to the club until 2020.
West Bromwich Albion
An uncharacteristically busy window for the Black Country club, with a host of comings and goings along with some unfounded rumours. Experienced midfielder Darren Fletcher arrived from Man United and winger Callum McManaman joined the Baggies for £4.75 million from Wigan. But there were three loan departures from the club, with Georgios Samaras joining Al- Hilal, Luke Daniels joining Scunthorpe and Donervon Daniels joining Aberdeen. Moves for Carlton Cole and Etienne Capoue both fell through late on, with striker Aide Brown Ideye opting to stay at West Brom despite interest from Al Gharafa.
The Hammers only made one signing in January, Canadian defender Doneil Henry coming from Cypriot side, Apollon Limassol, for an undisclosed fee. But they were largely unsuccessful in their efforts to sign new players, with deals for Darren Fletcher, Bafetimi Gomis and Emmanuel Adebayor all falling through due to various reasons. But they managed to keep hold of their squad with only Mauro Zarate leaving the club on loan, heading to QPR.