The January transfer window has come to a close. Here’s a look at how some teams strengthened where needed, and others sold their best players.
£430 million was spent during the January transfer window with £150 million of it on deadline day. Liverpool topped the expenditure League with their £75 million move for ex-Southampton defender Virgil Van Dijk. Arsenal came in at a close second with their £60 million move for Pierre-Emerick Aubamayang.
Best January Transfer Window Steals
Firstly, let’s look at the best deals of the January transfer window.
Alexis Sanchez swapped The Emirates for Old Trafford, with Henrik Mkhitarian making the reverse trip. Now the debate of who got the better deal can go on forever, but what can’t be overlooked is that both players are fantastic footballers, and both teams have signed players they needed.
Arsenal needed to offload the Chilean and sign an immediate replacement, the swap deal allowed them to do so. Manchester United needed another goal threat. Romelu Lukaku has struggled since September after a promising start following his move from Everton. Sanchez racked up 80 goals in 166 games for the London outfit. Stealing the winger away from their rivals at the other end of the City seemed a no-brainer.
City gain Laporte
The blue side of Manchester triggered the release clause of Aymeric Laporte from Athletico Bilbao for a whopping £57 million. A hefty sum, but the French man’s ball skills and coolness at the back, will be exactly what Pep Guardiola wants in his centre-backs.
With a very similar style to John Stones, and an almost identical price tag, the future of Guardiola’s defence appears to be panning out nicely. With players like Mendy and Delph still to return from injury, the starting back line when all are fit will be a European gargantuan.
Liverpool’s record breaking signing of Virgil Van Dijk was confirmed on the 1st day of the January transfer window after 6 months of trying. Jurgen Klopp finally had his man. The Dutch centre-back has had a mixed start to life at Liverpool. Scoring the winner in the Merseyside derby on his debut, then back to back defeats to lower league opposition. It’s fair to say fans are as yet undecided if it was money well spent.
Moura speed for Spurs
Tottenham sealed a deadline day signing of PSG’s Lucas Moura for a discount price of just £25 million. The Brazilian winger was struggling to fit in at PSG since the arrivals of Neymar and Mbappe, and had been pushing for a move ever since.
The winger will bring much needed pace to the Spurs squad who currently do not play with an out-and-out winger. However, his pace and ability to cut inside as well as utilise the wing, will add to the current strike force. He has also played as an attacking midfielder in the past, so giving Mauricio Pochettino an added choice of formation, and rotation.
Wenger re-stocking his Arsenal?
As well as Mkhitarian, Arsenal also added the services of Dortmund’s Aubameyang. The African striker has been heavily rumoured with a move away from Germany for a whole season.
Arsenal swooped in and sealed the deal for around £60 million. This would seem like a very smart move if it the club hadn’t already spent £55 million on French striker Lacazette just 6 months prior.
Both strikers play a very similar game, the apparent plan being to play one out wide. It is unclear yet how Arsene Wenger will best utilise Aubameyang. The club and fans will he hoping he can fill the void left by Alexis Sanchez.
Barkley switches blue
Chelsea had a very unusual January as they snatched up unwanted Ross Barkley from Everton for just £15 million, a deal which some fans are from satisfied with.
After this unusual signing, the club were also linked with strikers such as Andy Carrol, Ashley Barnes and Stoke’s Peter Crouch. These rumours fuelled the usual speculation as to which striker the club would bag to assist the struggling Morata.
On the 31st on January we finally got our answer as Chelsea signed Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud for just £18 million, surely the best deal they could get considering their other options and their refusal to over spend.
Mike Ashley’s refusal to spend any money really hindered Rafa Benitez’ plans to improve the Newcastle squad. The Spaniard had to rely on loan deals to strengthen the side.
One being Chelsea’s Kennedy, struck up after weeks of negotiation and waiting for the Newcastle fans. The winger will surely be a brilliant addition to the squad. Coupled with acquiring Leicester’s Slimani again on loan, no expense. Newcastle have had a pretty successful January transfer window.
Surprising transfer moves?
Other than the obvious Sanchez deal, there were other surprise deals too.
One would surely have to be Eliquem Mangala moving to Everton on loan. Although it wasn’t surprising that Manchester City wanted rid of the unused defender, it was a shock he was wanted by the Merseysiders. It could be said that he doesn’t have the skill to play at top level. However, he was consistently linked with other clubs, finally opting for the Toffees.
Watford’s Gerard Delefeou leaving Barcelona on loan was no surprise. The signings of Phillipe Coutinho for £142 million, meant he will struggle for game time. Dembele also returning to full fitness. However, after Inter Milan showed re-interest in the winger, it was surprising to see him back at Vicarage Road. Opting for the Premiership rather than warmer climes.
The Transfer that won’t quite work?
Just as there every year, there are some signings that I just can’t see working.
The stand-out one for me could be Daniel Sturridge signing for West Brom. The Baggies play such defensive football, I doubt Sturridge is going to get the service he needs for his poacher style. I feel, if he had opted for Newcastle, Benitez would have brought out the best in him. Particularly by having wingers such as Atsu, Murphy, and Kennedy to assist.
We won’t know how these signings will pan out until the season end, judging each player individually. After all that money spent, it will be interesting to see how the new additions perform.