Premier League January window recap as we analyse winners and losers
The January window came to a conclusion for the Premier League clubs, with a rather low-key Deadline Day on February 1. There were hardly any big-money arrivals, with most clubs reluctant to splash the cash during the mid-season trading period. The ongoing financial crisis due to the pandemic further inhibited clubs from pursuing deals for players with hefty price tags.
The winter window was marked by significantly low activity among clubs higher up the Premier League standings. On the contrary, those locked in a relegation dogfight showed a bit more urgency to get deals over the line, albeit the transactions were largely limited to loan deals.
Without further ado, it’s time now for a quick recap of the January window, presenting 3 winners and 2 losers among the Premier League clubs based on their performance in the market.
The Liverpool fans would surely have had their fingers crossed ahead of the deadline after a season-ending injury to Joel Matip. Matip’s absence further intensified the club’s search of a new centre-back, with Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez already ruled out for the season.
In the end, Jurgen Klopp’s side did address their ongoing injury crisis at the back with deals for Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies. While Kabak joined on loan, the Reds grabbed the opportunity to nab Davies from Preston North End on a permanent basis.
Fringe players like Sepp van den Berg and Takumi Minamino were shipped out on loan to Preston and Southampton respectively as the reigning champions trimmed their squad.
Arsenal’s business in the winter market was more about clearing the deadwood rather than new arrivals. Mesut Ozil’s exit marked the end of the German’s long exile in North London, having been axed from Mikel Arteta’s PL squad for the season.
That was arguably the highlight of the window for the Gunners, who managed to reduce to the pressure on their wage bill by offloading a fringe player with extortionate wages.
Out-of-favour defenders Sokratis and Skhodran Mustafi both departed the Emirates on permanent deals while Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Joe Willock and Sead Kolasinac secured loan moves.
More importantly, Arsenal managed to rope in Martin Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid to address problems relating to the lack of creativity. All in all, Arsenal have laid the groundwork for some marquee signings in the summer. The Sun claims that the Gunners have freed up a whopping £32.8m-a-year in wages, which sums it all up.
3. West Brom
West Brom were among the most active clubs in the January window, with Sam Allardyce seeking reinforcements in multiple departments to help his side in their battle against relegation. In fact, the Baggies also sanctioned quite a few departures to balance their books.
Mbaye Diagne was a flagship arrival on loan from Galatasaray to bolster West Brom’s forward line. Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Okay Yokuslu also joined on loan to add more depth and quality to the midfield, while veteran winger Robert Snodgrass came through the door from West Ham.
The Midlands outfit parted ways with fringe stars like Rekeem Harper, Cedric Kipre and Charlie Austin, with all three players moving on out on loan to Championship clubs. Jonathan Bond joined La Galaxy in the MLS, while Filip Krovinovic had his loan spell from Benfica terminated.
1. West Ham
It was a rather lacklustre transfer window for West Ham, who failed to bring in a replacement for Sebastien Haller. That has left David Moyes with Michail Antonio as the only recognised centre-forward heading into a hectic second half of the season.
The Hammers also had a few pressing concerns in the middle of the park, with Mark Noble struggling to deputise for Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek. There wasn’t any movement in that department either.
West Ham did, however, manage to complete a loan deal for Jesse Lingard from Man United to replace Robert Snodgrass. Young Danish defender Frederik Alves Ibsen was also roped in from Silkeborg with an eye on the future. In the end, though, the club’s transfer business in January left a lot to be desired.
2. Leeds United
Leeds United were arguably the biggest losers of the January window due to their total lack of activity in terms of incomings. The Whites went into the winter market with gaping holes in several areas of their squad, most notably in both full-back departments and in midfield.
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Marcelo Bielsa’s side were heavily linked with a move for Fiorentina midfielder Erick Pulgar but ultimately decided against splashing the cash on the Chilean enforcer. In the end, Leeds ended up without a single senior addition to a rather tight-knit squad at Elland Road.