January is seen as a time for Premier League managers to take stock of their team and look into dipping into the market to enable their team to; make that extra push in a title charge or maybe to solidify safety in the league. No matter their objective there are deals to be done. However it has always seen to be a challenge to make good signings in the winter window due to the fact teams are less willing to lose a star player half way through a season, so it is typical to see teams overpaying for players especially if they are in a desperate situation. The window usually leaves fans frustrated if their teams are inactive as it’s always exciting to see new arrivals at your club. I’m going to pick out my winners and losers of this years January transfer window by taking into account the clubs need for reinforcements and then obviously the player/s that were brought in as well as taking into account the player/s that departed the club.
Major ins; Bruno Guimaraes – Lyon (£40m), Chris Wood – Burnley (£25m), Kieran Trippier – Atletico Madrid (£15m), Dan Burn – Brighton (£13m), Matt Targett – Aston Villa (loan)
Major outs; Freddie Woodman – Bournemouth (loan), Matty Longstaff – Mansfield (loan), Jeff Hendrick – QPR (loan)
Newly taken over Newcastle United didn’t take long to splash the cash taking their January shopping spree just shy of £100m, with their embarrassment of riches there was no need to ‘sell to buy’ something which the Geordie’s had become accustomed to, so out went a few dead wood players on loan to make way for their star signings.
Bruno Guimaraes was the star studded signing making the trip to the Tyne for a record £40m coming from French side Lyon. The Brazilian was linked with Arsenal also but chose to link up with Eddie Howe on his very exciting project. The Brazilian international was in some great form which attracted Newcastle to him, with the 24 year old playing the most successful final third passes in Ligue 1 up until the half way stage of the current season. He tend to play as a number 6 and if you look at the Newcastle team I feel a midfield trio of Guimaraes, Willock and Shelvey would help to claw the Magpies out of their relegation mess that they find themselves in.
Kieran Trippier was the first signing in the window coming from current Spanish champions Atletico Madrid in which he was linked with Manchester United only in the summer. Everyone will remember the fullback from his time at Spurs but then also as he provided one of the highs of the 2018 World Cup after sending the country into meltdown with his sublime freekick against Croatia in the semi finals. An experienced player that will look to bring a touch of class to the squad at a relatively low fee at £15m. Other defensive acquisitions were brought in to shore up the ship in Newcastle fan Dan Burn for £13m and also Matt Targett on loan, two very solid defenders who will definitely improve their backline.
Chris Wood was also pulled away from Burnley after Newcastle activated his £25m release clause, an experienced striker who will most likely play back up to Callum Wilson who has been side-lined for a lot of the season so far due to injury.
Overall a very productive window for the Magpies who looked to strengthen the core of their squad as they look to fight relegation. Questions may be asked as to whether the players will be able to settle in quickly enough but apart from Guimaraes they have all played in the Premier League for a number of years so will surely adapted quickly enough. They did try to bring in Manchester United duo in goalkeeper Dean Henderson and midfielder Jesse Lingard on a loan deal till the end of the season but nothing materialised from both of them and they were also close to bringing in 18 year old striker Hugo Ekitike for a fee in the region of £20m but French outfit Reims wanted a 30% sell on clause which was something Newcastle weren’t interested in so the deal collapsed.
Major ins; Dele Alli – Tottenham (£40m), Vitaliy Mykolenko – Dynamo Kiev (£21m), Nathan Paterson – Rangers (£16m), Donny van de Beek – Manchester United (loan), Anwar El Ghazi – Aston Villa (loan)
Major outs; Lucas Digne – Aston Villa (£25m)
Everton were a busy team on transfer deadline day whilst signing two players they managed to secure the services of manager Frank Lampard after Rafa Benitez was sacked following a woeful spell with the toffees.
Fans demanded signings after a terrible first half of the season in which some pundits claim Everton are part of the relegation dog fight with the club sat in 16th and only four points off the bottom three. So enter Dele Alli, the player that had been left in the dark at Spurs and ultimately been surplus to requirements comes to Everton looking to regain his form and also his confidence from when he was one of the most feared attackers in the country, between 2016 and 2018 was his best years being involved in 66 goals, he was a joy to watch. Initially Everton won’t have to pay anything for the player until he makes 20 appearances they’ll be required to pay Spurs £10m and eventually with many more addons could reach as high as £40m for the 25 year old, who will be hoping to hit the ground running to force a place into England’s World Cup squad this year. Also on deadline day came in Donny van de Beek, another player that had been left in the dark at his former club Manchester United, who will hope to recapture his glittering form from his Ajax days.
The departure of Lucas Digne, who fell out with Rafa Benitez, made way for the singing of Vitaliy Mykolenko who is a solid replacement to fill the role that the Frenchman left. A player still young at 22 still has a lot of room for improvement and with the arrival of Frank Lampard who tends to nurture and give young players big opportunities it is more than likely for the Swede to develop into a very good fullback, where the same goes for another new signing Nathan Patterson brought in from Rangers who will look to push Seamus Coleman for a place in the starting eleven.
A number of clever signings from the Everton board are bound to make them bounce up the table. Along with Frank Lampard being appointed manager, who will bring a positive atmosphere into the club will look to turn things around sooner rather than later at this massive football club where everyone knows they should be doing much better.
Major ins; None
Major outs; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Barcelona (free), Ainsley Maitland-Niles – Roma (loan), Sead Kolasinac – Marseille (free), Calum Chambers – Aston Villa (free), Pablo Mari – Udinese (loan)
Arsenal never learn, offering aging players bumper contracts where they then suddenly down tools, happened with Ozil, Willian and now Aubameyang where they all left on a free. Aubameyang had been frozen out of the squad ever since he returned late to training at the start of December after seeing his family abroad without informing Arteta and ever since then he hasn’t featured. At first it didn’t seem to effect the side after they went on a good run of wins with goals coming from all over the front line but since the turn of the year the goals have dried up. A failed attempt to sign the now Juventus striker Dusan Vlahovic added insult to injury as Gunners fans watched their former captain walk out of the club on a free. There was also strong links to Alexander Isak who was seen in London but turns out he was just visiting the capital would have again felt like another missed opportunity by the London side who were unable to act in a decisive manner in this window.
It wasn’t so long ago that Arteta was complaining about his teams lack of squad depth, with the club even filing to get their games postponed to only a few days later announce; Maitland-Niles, Pablo Mari and Kolasinac had left the club which made no sense to fans. Arsenal fans will look to the owners about the lack of investment this window but then again need to remember they splashed out in excess of £150m in the past summer window.
So overall it was a very underwhelming window for the Gunner’s where fans may have expected a replacement lined up for Aubameyang especially as they knew there was no way back for the Gabonese talisman due to his off field antics and since then the goals have dried up for the squad who are now relying on youngsters like Martinelli, Saka and Smith-Rowe to provide the attacking fire power, they still however have Lacazette and Nketiah as striking options although both of their contracts are up in the summer and it doesn’t look like either of them will be signing a new one. So, tough times ahead for Arsenal?
Major ins; None
Major outs; Amad Diallo – Rangers (loan), Axel Tuanzebe – Napoli (loan), Anthony Martial – Sevilla (loan), Donny van de Beek – Everton (loan)
Similar to Arsenal, many outgoings but no incomings. Fans screaming for a solid central midfielder in which they watched Denis Zakaria move to Juventus for a mere £7m, someone they had been linked with many windows previously. The main positive is that Donny van de Beek will now be at a club that is more likely to play him rather than warm the United bench for 90 minutes, something that really frustrated the fans as they all know how influential he was at Ajax but for whatever reason had never really been given the chance under Ole nor Rangnick where both would prefer to adopt the Fred and McTominay partnership.
Jesse Lingard requested to leave a number of times during this window only to be told ‘no’, where both Newcastle and West Ham were interested. Lingard made the loan move last year to the Hammer’s where he was able to recapture his form which forced his way back into the England fold under Southgate so would have been hoping for something similar this year in order for him to get some first team minutes to have potentially gotten in the World Cup squad, something that looks a million miles away for the Englishmen now.
A very below par window from United who now look like a side that is happy to just battle it out for top four every season rather than challenge for the major honours, something that may frustrate and cause unrest for some of the big names associated to the club that have been used to winning and playing on the biggest stages. But now the boards attention will surely switch to identifying their next manager since Rangnick is only an interim till the end of the season, the favourite looks like Pochettino but he would surely would want promises that he’d be backed in the windows to be able to compete with the likes of Liverpool and Manchester City.