With the January transfer window open, here’s my column to sort through all of the good buys and bad buys in this calendar month as clubs across Europe attempt to add depth to their squad while others look for a way to offload excess weight or to make a sizable profit.
For this week’s column, I have two good buys and two bad busy.
Jermain Defoe; Sunderland from Toronto, undisclosed fee
Whatever the opinion might be of MLS fans towards Jermain Defoe, he is a quality buy for any side facing a relegation threat. With Sunderland’s resources seemingly unlimited compared to their competition towards the bottom of the table, this move was a no-brainer. Getting Jozy Altidore, whose skill set never fit Premier League football off the books, is a major boost. Toronto FC is reinvesting the Defoe money wisely and Sunderland now have a proven Premier League striker that can fire the least inspiring attack in the division towards safety. Defoe is a threat to score whenever he is on the pitch and is the all-time leading Premier League goal scorer when coming off the bench.
Andrej Kramaric Rijeka to Leicester; £9 million
A much needed out-and-out goal scorer added to the Foxes side. Leicester has played some nice football, and have looked quite slick in midfield for the better part of a month now. But Nigel Pearson’s side is still rooted to the bottom of the table and to sign a full international from a top European nation for a relegation fight is a great break. At £9 million, Kramatic could be a bargain in the market if he acclimates quickly to English football and the grind of a relegation fight.
Freddie Sears, Colchester to Ipswich
With Mick McCarthy’s side chasing promotion, a decision was made to terminate Connor Sammon’s loan from Derby and bring in Freddie Sears from Colchester. Sammon will head to Rotherham where he will attempt to help the Yorkshire club improbably stay in the Championship.
Sears played often for West Ham after coming through the East London club’s system but never made much an impression. Even down the divisions at Colchester. he was often hit or miss. Ultimately he might end up being a decent long term signing for Ipswich, but more was needed now to fire the Tractor Boys toward promotion. McCarthy might be forced to reenter the transfer market and nab another striker.
Suso, Liverpool to AC Milan, undisclosed fee
Suso never worked at Liverpool, and while he had moments last season on loan at Almeria, he appeared well off the pace there in bigger matches also. AC Milan has curbed spending and been forced to get more creative in the transfer market than in the past. But this buy is a bridge too far. Much like previous ill-fated January moves made by Italian clubs, this one is likely to have little impact. It does give Suso perhaps a chance to play, which is a good break for the player.
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