With the January transfer window at a close, Premier League clubs spent £322.9 million on 30 permanent signings with Newcastle splashing the most with a £93 million net spend. So which players ended up where, and what does this mean for the second half of the season?
Only one deadline day signing for Arsenal this transfer window in the form of Auston Trusty, 23, from Colorado Rapids. However, the North London fans will not be seeing the defender anytime soon as he is staying on loan to the Rapids until the summer.
Aubameyang, 32, has played his last match for the Gunners, with Barcelona sealing a loan deal for the Gabon international on transfer deadline day. His relationship with the club has been challenging to say the least and Arsenal will save a staggering £29 million in wages due to his move to Spain.
With a quiet window for the Gunners in a disappointing month, manager Mikel Arteta will hope that his team can seal a top-four position and get into the Champions League even with the absence of new additions.
Steven Gerrard is making his presence known in the Premier League with some significant signings this January with Philippe Coutinho coming from Barcelona on loan and Lucas Digne leaving Everton for £25 million. Furthermore, Calum Chambers has also come from Arsenal for an undisclosed fee. Gerrard has done well in using his personal contacts to recruit former Liverpool teammate Coutinho which was one of the most significant moves of the month.
With Villa looking comfortable in a mid-table spot ten points off the bottom-three, it will be a question of building for the future and pushing as high up the table as possible under the new leadership of Gerrard.
Christian Eriksen has singed for Brentford for the rest of the season in his return to professional football after he suffered a cardiac arrest in the Euros last year. The Danish international, 29, signed on transfer deadline day which left the footballing world delighted and the anticipation of seeing him back on the pitch is an exciting prospect for all.
BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION
The Seagulls have signed the German forward Deniz Undav, 25, until 2026 on a four-and-a-half-year deal. Undav is currently playing at the Belgian club Royale Union Saint-Gilloise, who are top of their league, and he is going to remain there until the end of the season.
Brighton have also singed the 18-year-old England youth international Benicio Baker-Boaitey on loan from Porto until the end of the season.
With the Seagulls sitting in a comfortable position being 9th in the table, Graham Potter did not have any significant gaps in his squad that needed filling in January.
Sean Dyche’s Burnley have only made one addition to their squad in the transfer window/ spending £12 million on Netherlands international Wout Wegorst. After Newcastle snatched up their striker Chris Wood, Burnley fans will hope that the 6ft 6in forward manages to fire in some much-needed goals that are necessary if Burnley are to make a move away from the bottom of the table.
Chelsea have not made any significant signings this month. However, they are looking to prepare for next season in the summer since defenders Andreas Christensen, Antonio Rüdiger and Cesar Azpilicueta are all in the last year of their contracts, so the club are looking for summer targets. Thomas Tuchel is reportedly wanting England midfielder Declan Rice, 23, as well as centre-back Jules Kounde and his France team-mate Aurelien Tchouameni.
As the club’s push for the title this season looking less likely with Manchester City’s dominant form, it looks like Tuchel is focusing on reinforcements needed to bring the title back to Stamford Bridge next season after their last league-triumph in 2017.
The Eagles signed Luke Plange, 19, from Rooney’s Derby County on a three-and-a-half-year deal. The forward is spending the rest of the season on loan at the Rams to try and help their survival battle. Plange joined the London club for £1 million, and the second transfer of January was a fee of £9 million to keep striker Jean-Philippe Mateta at the club permanently.
Donny van de Beek was a target for Crystal Palace, but they missed out on this transfer much to manager Patrick Viera’s disappointment.
Viera’s side should not be concerned about the relegation scrap that is happening below them and although van de Beek would have been an exciting signing, it was not expected to be a busy transfer window for the South London club.
Everton’s new manager Frank Lampard was not fussed about settling into Merseyside and dove straight into the transfer market with the club hovering just above the relegation zone.
Lampard was keen to reshape the squad with the transfer of Dele Alli who was struggling to get game time at Tottenham. Everton will be hoping that the manager will be able to turn out of form players into consistent performing assets as they also gained Donny van de Beek on loan from Manchester United. Furthermore, Nathan Patterson has hopped over the border with Rangers receiving £16 million for the Scottish right-back. As well as a right-back, Everton also singed Ukrainian left-back Vitalii Mykolenko from Dynamo Kiev on a four-and-a-half-year deal. Finally, Everton signed the Aston Villa forward Anwar El Ghazi, 26, on loan until the end of the season which should increase the goals for the Toffees, or so they hope.
Frank Lampard has trust in Dele Alli as although he is not in form, he is still only 25 and the manager believes that he will be able to help inspire a resurgence in the squad which is much needed.
Everton travelled to St James’ Park for their first game featuring some of these signings which was a challenging game for Everton’s new signings with both Alli and van de Beek failing to have much of an impact in a 3-1 defeat to the Magpies.
Leeds manager, Bielsa, is known for appreciating smaller squads but with injuries being rampant, the lack of transfers for the club in this window has been somewhat surprising. The club have made no senior additions to the squad and the injury crisis does not look to be getting better anytime soon. Leeds are dangerously close to the relegation zone and are certainly in the heart of the battle, especially if one of the teams below them finds some form.
Mateo Joseph Fernandez, 18, has come to Elland Road from Espanyol on a three-and-a-half-year contract and the fans will be hoping that the Spaniard represents the strong future for the club in the top division.
Relegation is a genuine concern especially as those below such as Everton and Newcastle have strengthened their squads and splashed the cash unlike Leeds.
Leicester City had plenty of time to admire the signings that their fellow premier league counterparts were making because there not one new face entered the King Power Stadium this January. The Foxes are sitting halfway down the table and are in a comfortable position this year. A push for Europe seems very unlikely and some fans will be disappointed, perceiving the club as being in a somewhat stagnant position at the halfway point of the season.
Liverpool signed the most expensive recruit during the window, with Luis Diaz costing £37.5 million from Porto. The deal was finalised in the last few days of January and fans were happily surprised to see this deal cross the line, as it was expected to occur in the summer. While, the Colombian winger was manager Jurgen Klopp’s target for the summer, fans will be hoping he can make an impression and add to their impressive attack which has them scoring the most goals in the league this season.
Chasing Manchester City for the title will be a tough challenge, but anything can happen in football, and you should never right off an attack that has the two top premier league goal-scorers in Salah and Jota.
City have made one signing in the January transfer window spending £14 million on Julian Alvarez, a 22-year-old Argentine striker. He is currently playing for River Plate, an Argentine club and he will remain there until the end of the season as part of the five-and-a-half-year contract that was agreed.
Manchester City are sitting at the top of the table with a cushion of nine points between Liverpool who are in second trying to catch City. Guardiola’s men are playing some phenomenal football, so the fans would not have been expecting any new players during the winter break.
United are having a challenging season. Although they are sitting fourth in the table, there is certainly a dogfight for that last Champions League spot and United are unable to stay out of the headlines after their lack of enthusiasm and pressing has been questioned. Fans may be frustrated with the lack of business done in the transfer window, however new signings were always seen as unlikely in January and as was predicted United had a quiet window in terms of incoming players.
The headlines of the transfer window have all been placed in the North East due to an extraordinary month for the Toon.
£95 million spent in January was something that Newcastle fans could only dream of under the stringent Mike Ashley regime, and the five additions that have come in undoubtedly improve the squad with the threat of relegation looming over the club. The first signing was the England International and World Cup semi-final goal scorer Kieran Trippier which stamps a statement of intent from the club especially as the last England player that wore the shirt was Andros Townsend who has one cap for his country back in 2016. With 43 goals conceded so far this season and only Norwich conceding more, defence is certainly a weakness that Eddie Howe was desperate to strengthen. As well as Trippier, local lad Dan Burn and left-back Matty Targett who is on loan from Aston Villa were welcome additions to the squad.
The Newcastle striker Callum Wilson has been out of action with a calf injury and so a reinforcement was found by poaching their relegation rival Burnely’s striker Chris Wood. The Magpies are hoping that Wood can bring some vital goals with his strong physicality, and he will quickly become a hero if he can be the goal scorer that keeps the club in the top division.
Newcastle have also signed Brazilian international Bruno Guimaraes from Lyon for £40 million. The midfielder, 24, signed a contract that keeps him in the Toon until 2026 which delighted fans as he is held among the best in Europe and had attracted interest from the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United. Guimaraes has been eager to make the move to the Premier League and Newcastle fans are delighted that he arrives at St James’ Park to help the team fight for survival.
Newcastle were connected to a plethora of players and the key targets they missed were Lille defender Sven Botman, Sevilla centre-back Diego Carlos and Stade de Reims striker Hugo Ekitike. However, depending on which league Newcastle find themselves in this summer, moves may be on the cards for these players.
The football world will certainly be looking at Newcastle’s exceptionally expensive January to see if it pays off in league position. Survival is anything but guaranteed and after a recent win against a struggling Everton, three points against Gerrard’s Aston Villa will be essential on home turf. Newcastle will be hoping that this season, money can buy you survival.
Just after reading about Newcastle’s lavish transfers, it could not be more different at Norwich. They are in a very precarious position one point behind Newcastle, who have a game in hand, and Norwich made no signings in the January transfer window. Norwich is, however, finding some form and they have some young players who are starting to show some form and many of their players who were injured will soon be back on the pitch.
Norwich should be full of confidence after scoring three goals away at Watford before the winter break and a draw against midtable Crystal Palace is another decent performance. However, their next two fixtures are Manchester City and then Liverpool, tough to say the least.
Contrastingly to some of the other teams in the bottom half of the table, Southampton did not make any signings in January and Ralph Hasenhuttl will work with the same squad in an effort to maintain the stability of the team. The Saints are eleven points clear of the relegation zone and so they are not threatened with dropping down into the Championship. With a strong squad that are comfortable in the league maybe fans will hope to see a strong serious push for the FA Cup after defeating Coventry last week in the fourth round.
Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentacur are two players that have come to North London from Juventus in the January transfer window. Kulusevski is on loan for 18 months and the winger cost Tottenham £8.3 million. Bentacur signed a four-and-a-half-year deal worth over £20 million. It was a somewhat challenging window for Spurs as many players they thought they were getting were snubbed from them at the last minute.
It is unlikely that manager Antonio Conte is satisfied with the lack of business done however, the Juventus duo may be exactly what Spurs are looking for to push for that top four position that is in such high demand.
Watford have been somewhat busy in the transfer window with five players incoming. Samuel Kalu is a Nigerian winger who arrived from French side Bordeaux on a three-year deal. Kalu’s versatility is his strength and an asset that the Hornets will hope to prove useful in the fight for survival.
Watford also signed midfielder Edo Kayembe from Eupen, a Belgian top tier team. They also signed a central defender, Samir, from Udinese on a five-year deal making this one of many deals that have been made between the clubs in recent seasons as Watford’s owner Gino Pozzo is the son of Udinese’s owner.
Roy Hodgson’s first signing as new manager was Hassane Kamara from Nice. The Nigerian attacker follows Kamara in making the move from France to Watford this transfer window. Yaser Asprilla was the final signing for Watford this January with a £2.7 million fee agreed from Colombian side Envigado. The attacker, 18, came through the ranks at the same club that first developed James Rodriguez, so fans will have their fingers crossed that he can perform somewhere close to that high standard.
The Hornets also made attempted to get Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson on loan but United blocked any deal from materialising.
With some reasonable looking fixtures coming up for Watford it will be important that they do not dwell on their poor run of form including a 0-3 defeat against Norwich at home, a goalless draw away to Burnley, and a 1-0 defeat away to West Ham. Hodgson was recently appointed their new manager and the Hornets will hope that he revitalises a side that are in need of confidence.
WEST HAM UNITED
The Hammers are sitting nicely in 4th position however, with the teams below them having games in hand and much bigger squads at their disposal fans would have hoped for more action in January. Their current squad size does not seem to be big enough to put up a serious challenge for trophies. Their starting XI is no doubt very strong otherwise they would not be currently occupying a place in Europe, but their bench is mainly young and inexperienced players which could result in Europe being out of reach this season.
With no signings, the squad may be stretched but the Hammers are looking good, and they are in with a chance of playing Champions League football next year.
Hwang Hee-chan was made a permanent Wolves player by signing in January from RB Leipzig for £14 million, making the current loan deal permanent after the South Korean striker impressed Bruno Lage.
With the departure of Adama Traore to Barcelona, some fans do not think that a suitable and appropriate replacement was acquired in January however, many players are returning from injury and so the squad will be freshened up as a result.
Wolves are looking good this season and sitting nicely in 8th just two points behind Tottenham and five Manchester United and Arsenal. With a shock defeat 0-1 away to Norwich in the FA Cup and losing 0-1 at home to Arsenal, it will be vital for Wolves pick up important points in the coming weeks if they want to push for Europe.
There is Premier League action again this weekend with a battle for European football spots not to miss as Tottenham travel to Wolves, and it will be intriguing to watch how quickly players settle into their new clubs.
Who will flop and who will flourish? We will soon find out!