The winter window was a relatively quieter affair for clubs in England. Although they managed to reach nearly the same amount of money (130 million) which the premier league clubs splashed in last window, many might have felt let down with the way this January window has turned out. Since, the giants of England placed more emphasis on selling or loaning players rather than buying many.
So let us look at how the big clubs fared in the winter window:
Ins – 3 Players
Manchester United may have captured three players in the window, but they hardly had to shell out any money on them as most of the players were brought for the future rather than the immediate present. Victor Valdes made the expected move to Manchester United as soon as the window opened. But, the real question is should United really need a player in the position where they already have an expert in David de Gea?
The other two Sadiq El Fitouri and Andy Kellet were signed keeping the future in mind. Sadiq, right-back was signed from the class-of-92 owned Salford City and will link up with Warren Joyce’s Under-21 squad. Whereas it unsure where the left back — Kellet will be involved this season. However, none of the deals are going to solve the teams existing problems.
Outs – 12 player
This window saw the mass exodus under Van Gaal continue as upto 12 players left the club either permanently or in loan. Among the twelve, five players left the club permanently. They include Fletcher, Anderson, Zaha, Michael Keane and Vermijl. After spending eight unsuccessful years with Manchester United, Anderson exist was an expected one.
However, the same cannot be said for Fletcher, as the life long Manchester United player may not have left the club, if Sir Alex was still in-charge. Keane made his loan move into a permanent one at Burnley, while Zaha, who was never given a chance to prove himself at United for some reason or another, followed him by making his loan move with his boyhood club Crystal Palace into a permanent one.
Rating – 4/10
Ins – 2 players
Its been a surprising window in many ways for Arsenal as Wenger finally pulled the plug to fill the gap in the defensive position with the capture of Gabriel Paulista from Villareal for a reported 15 million. Despite the 24-year-old being an unproven talent, the fans will be relieved to see their manager finally fill the hole in defence. He also offers more depth to that position.
The other signing Krystian Bielik is a typical Arsene Wenger signing. With the capture of the 17-year-old, the manager has yet again gone for potential rather than proven talent. The early signs from the training ground has showed that Wenger has yet again found an youngster with immense potential.
Outs – 5 players
The Gunners have loaned four players and sold Benik Afobe to Wolverhampton Wanderers. Among the loaned, the biggest one is Lukas Podolski to Inter Milan. One has to feel sorry for the World Cup winning striker as he hardly got a regular run in the team. Even when he did, it was on the left side rather than the central position. Hence, this move makes sense for the player as it will provide him more first team action to return back to his former self.
The others include Joel Campbell being loaned to Villareal as part of Paulista purchase. And, Yaya Sanogo being loaned to Crystal Palace. Despite possessing immense talent the big strong centre forward was struggling to make an impact at Arsenal. So moving to Alan Pardew’s side may help him gain the necessary premier league experience. However, Arsenal evacuating all their alternative attacking force in the window may leave them exposed if either one of Giroud or Welbeck picks up a lengthy injury.
Rating – 7/10
Ins – One player
Chelsea know how to play the Financial Fair Play regulations better than many, as for the last couple of windows the Blues have been using the transfer window to the best possible way. Mourinho’s approach of ‘Selling one, buying one’ has worked perfectly to maintain their finances within the FFP constraints. After selling Juan Mata, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku to buy the likes of Matic, Fabregas and Costa, the blues have followed the same recipe again.
This time they used the majority of the 32 million Euros of Andre Schurrle’s sale money to buy Juan Cuadrado from Fiorentina. He is someone who reminds everyone about Antonio Valencia as Cuadrado is an out and out wide player who can play both as right back and right winger. It is unclear whether he can contribute the same amount of goals Schurrle has did. But, that does not matter for Mourinho as the Portuguese manager’s priority is defence more than attack where they already have the likes of Oscar, Costa, Hazard and Co.
Outs – 13 players
Like Manchester United, Chelsea placed more priority on selling players rather than buying them. Among them, four have been sold or left as free agents. In which the second highest British record signing Fernando Torres to Atletico Madrid, Ryan Bertrand’s permanent switch to Southampton were expected ones.
However, the sales of Schurrle to Wolfsburg took many people by surprise. Its not just his good link up play in attack, but also his ability to score goals regularly will be missed by Chelsea. Also the ‘Egyptian Messi’ Mohamed Salah’s loan move to Fiorentina as part of Cuadrado purchase was one the player needed so badly to prove his potential.
Rating – 8/10
Ins – N/A
Outs – 7 players
After splashing over 117 million in the summer, the Merseyside outfit was in no hurry to spend money in this window as they paced the emphasis more on selling. Of the seven left the club, two moved away permanently. Great things was expected from Suso, but the attacker never managed to show his potential in a Reds shirt. Hence, after spending many loan moves, Brendan Rodgers decided to sell him permanently to AC Milan.
The surprise of the lot was Oussama Assaidi move to Al Ahli Club in Dubai. The Morocco winger cut short his loan spell with Stoke City to make a permanent switch to Dubai. With Liverpool not managing the same amount of goals from last season, it is surprising to see them not add another attacker to the team.
Rating – 5/10
Ins – One player
City paid near 37 million to sign Wilfried Bony from Swansea City, but the Citizens could have signed him for just 25 million in the summer if they had acted more swiftly. Also with the payer not available till mid-February due to his involvement with African cup of nations, it is an expensive bit of business for the Blues. Considering the fact that City have been sanctioned by UEFA already for FFP violations, it is a big gamble taken by City. Nonetheless, City now have four of the top five Premier League scorers of the last calendar year.
Outs – 7 players
All seven have been loaned out rather than being sold. So they may still have some sort of future with the Blues, if they can match the first team players quality. Among the loaned, Matija Nastasic loan move to Schake being the stand out one. Defence has been the problem for City this season. So seeing one of the first-team defenders move from the club without being replaced by another is a risky business to do.
Rating – 6/10
Image courtesy: ESPN, Manchester Evening News, Skysports and Guardian