Depending on what Premier League club you support, the January transfer window was either thrilling, dull, disappointing or, if you’re a Newcastle United fan, thoroughly depressing.
Here are the winners and losers in the January transfer window based on the Premier League clubs:
Chelsea had the best window of any leading European club. The Blues strengthened in midfield, are deeper on the flanks and younger in defense. Losing Juan Mata, Kevin De Bruyne and Michael Essien is unlikely to impact this season. The Blues made money in the window as well, after spending like mad over the past several years.
Good vibes around the club have continued with a masterful window from Gus Poyet’s staff. Excess players were shed (N’Diaye, Vaughan, Diakite, Karlsson and Graham) and the few signings could all make an impact. Marcos Alonso and Liam Bridcutt stand out as excellent signings.
3. Tottenham Hotspur
Shed excess players (Holtby and Defoe) and can work on settling the bloated squad. Tim Sherwood made the right call rejecting Daniel Levy’s desire to bring Dimitar Berbatov back to White Hart Lane. Well played.
4. West Ham United
Sam Allardyce was desperate to turnover his squad and he did just that. Antonio Nocerino, Marco Borriello, Roger Johnson, Abdul Razak and Pablo Armero all are players who can help the Hammers escape the drop. Only concern was not getting more cover in wide midfield positions where Stewart Downing, Matty Jarvis and Joe Cole have been underwhelming.
A hodgepodge of moves beginning with Clint Dempsey’s return to Craven Cottage on loan and culminating with the signing of Konstantine Mitroglou. The best moves were dumping problem children Bryan Ruiz, Dimitar Berbatov and Adel Taarabt. Addition by subtraction means the Cottagers have a chance of surviving the drop.
Got Dani Osvaldo out the door which was the best that could have been hoped for. The Saints held on to Luke Shaw and every other young player.
Roberto Martinez wisely loaned Jonny Heitinga on to Fulham which will save the club lots in wages on a player who serves no purpose for the team any longer. Brought in Lacina Traoré on loan from Monaco, a very good signing as is Aiden McGeady.
8. Cardiff City
New manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær made several additions, probably the best of which was Wilfried Zaha on loan from Manchester United. The Bluebirds have improved across the pitch. I like the Kenwyne Jones signing as well.
9. Crystal Palace
Tony Pulis’s side did not get enough done in this window. The burden of the excessive spending of the summer by former manager Ian Holloway tied Palace down, but getting Tom Ince on loan from Blackpool will help.
The addition of Kim Källström gives the injury-ravaged central midfield of Arsenal a player with significant pedigree. However, the lack of depth at striker was not addressed. If Olivier Giroud goes down with an injury, Arsenal will likely slip out of the title race.
Honestly Liverpool did not do enough at the back in this transfer window. Thankfully the teams chasing the Reds didn’t get much better in January. Brendan Rodgers’s side remains the favorites for the final Champions League spot, but just.
12. Aston Villa
The addition of Grant Holt does not do much and the central midfield problems haven’t been addressed. The Villans have enough to stay up and since that is the sum of Randy Lerner’s current ambitions, I suppose we should not have expected anything more than this.
13. Stoke City
Peter Odemwingie is a good signing but the rest of the window was a waste for a club that needs more attacking edge and better defending.
14. Swansea City
Marvin Emnes is an interesting under-the-radar move that could really help the Swans especially with European action starting again soon. David Ngog also could be useful.
15. Hull City
Shane Long could be one of the best signings of the January window.
16. Manchester City
No activity with the exception of loaning John Guidetti to Stoke is a sign that Manuel Pellegrini is happy with his squad.
17. Manchester United
Juan Mata a symbolic signing who helps the team, but the Red Devils didn’t address the problems in central midfield or central defense this window. Liverpool breathes a sigh of relief as David Moyes’s side certainly improved but perhaps not enough to catch their arch-rivals for fourth spot.
18. Norwich City
After overspending in the summer, the Canaries did not do much in this window. Jonas Gutierrez addition on loan should help but the club remains tenuously close to the relegation zone with too many players underachieving currently.
19. West Bromwich Albion
Selling Shane Long still makes zero sense to me. Pepe Mel will have do very well to keep this side in the Premier League given the improvements of sides around them in the table.
20. Newcastle United
Yohan Cabaye leaves for less money than he was worth, and Luuk De Jong, who has been disappointing at Borussia Monchengladbach, comes in. A lack of ambition was demonstrated in this window as it was during the summer. Joe Kinnear’s stewardship of the Magpies is turning into a disaster.