With the January transfer window now closed, here’s my column to sort through all of the good buys and bad buys from the deadline day as clubs across Europe attempted to add depth to their squad while others looked for a way to offload excess weight or to make a sizable profit.
Juan Cuadrado, from Fiorentina to Chelsea for £26.8million
A team that is already loaded with players in wide areas, Chelsea have spent big money for another winger and one who might not acclimate to English football that quickly. In time, this buy might work out but with Chelsea trying to lock down the title this season, much like my critiques of Manchester City’s Wilfried Bony buy, this is too much money to spend in January when other issues in the squad needed to be addressed. For Chelsea specifically, they needed to secure more central midfield depth if possible.
Aston Villa; no buys equals bad buys on Transfer Deadline Day
Aston Villa not getting Rickie Lambert or another cheap option proven goalscorer could be a big factor in whether Villa get relegated this season or not.
Villa have not scored a goal in over ten hours of Premier League play, amassing just twelve points from the clubs last twenty matches. That’s relegation form to an extreme. The Scott Sinclair signing helps, but Villa didn’t do enough to stay up. With Crystal Palace and West Brom adding high-end managers that will likely steer them clear of a relegation scrap while Sunderland have added Jermain Defoe (who I consider the single-most impactful signing of this window), this could be the year Villa do finally go down.
André Schürrle, from Chelsea to Wolfsburg for £18.8million
The World Cup winner added another dimension to the Chelsea side with his pace, versatility and strength. Title winning sides need players like Schürrle.
Bayern Munich will likely win the Bundesliga title for the third straight season but if anyone is going to challenge them, it’s Wolfsburg. The signing of Schürrle might just add a little bit of spice to the German title race as Wolfsburg looks to chase Bayern down.
Chelsea will miss the instant impact the German International can make off the bench. The Blues should still win the Premier League but this sale might leave the door slightly ajar for Manchester City or Manchester United to catch them if things go wrong.
Aaron Lennon, from Tottenham to Everton on loan
With bags of pace, Lennon can give Everton a genuine wide threat especially with Steven Piennar, Aiden McGeady and Leighton Baines all either battling injuries or inconsistency this season.
Two years ago, under Andre Vilas Boas, Lennon enjoyed a mini-revival of sorts playing on an opposite flank from Gareth Bale. It’s been downhill since then for the natural winger, but Everton are in desperate shape and this move shows some creativity on Roberto Martinez’s part.
Dele Alli, from MK Dons to Tottenham Hotspur, £5million
The MK Dons born-and-bred midfielder has been a revelation during this League One season. Spurs have swooped in and secured the 18 year-old at what could be a bargain price. Alli will return to MK Dons for the remainder of the season on loan in an attempt to fire his hometown club toward promotion to the Championship. Dele could be a long-term midfield solution for Spurs but will need some seasoning. But he’s still a good buy at a cheap price.
Scott Sinclair, from Manchester City to Aston Villa on loan
Sinclair hasn’t been particularly good for Manchester City even when he’s gotten opportunities but his pace should inject some life into a Villa attack that is among the worst in recent memory. Sinclair looked out of his depth at Manchester City, but he simply was not good enough for a club of that size. Villa, on the other hand, have a real need for a clever and creative players that can create opportunities for Christian Benteke. Sinclair can be that type of individual.
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