January Transfer Window: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
So, with the end to another eventful January transfer window, who really came out on top with the best bargains? And more controversially, who came out of it looking weaker than ever?
The biggest spenders in the transfer window were QPR, Newcastle and Liverpool. It was expected that QPR would have a big spend with them being rock-bottom in the Premier League. Liverpool, with the signings of young Brazilian prospect Philippe Coutinho and England striker Daniel Sturridge, were looking to strengthen the attacking line by finding players who could support Luis Suarez who has been outstanding this season.
QPR came out of January with two very impressive signings which caught the headlines. Harry Redknapp was up to his old tricks in January with the signings of Loic Remy from French side Marseille. This came as a surprise to many. Harry also sealed one of the signings of the window, Congolese giant Christopher Samba. The ex-Blackburn Rovers defender made a swift return to English football after joining Russian big spenders Anzhi Makhachkala in the summer transfer window in 2012. The giant defender arrived at Loftus Road on deadline day after a fee of £12.5m was agreed between the two sides. Tony Fernandes, the QPR owner is forking out over £100,000 a week in wages to keep Samba at the club. Incredibly, he was earning £120,000 at Anzhi making him one of the highest paid defenders on the planet. Loic Remy is already a fans favourite after scoring on his debut against West Ham on the 19th of January. Incredibly, clubs in the Barclays Premier League over the last 10 years have spent over a billion pounds in Transfers.
Newcastle were also busy bringing in a number of new signings. After losing Senegalese Demba Ba to Chelsea for just £7m, they became reliant on his fellow countryman Papiss Cisse. Despite scoring since Ba left Newcastle, it was clear that Newcastle needed to strengthen the side and more importantly its attacking players. It has been a poor season for Alan Pardew’s Newcastle side this season so far with them sitting dangerously above the relegation zone. Newcastle brought in six players in January. Incredibly, all six of the players brought in had French connections. Mike Ashley, the Magpies’ owner, forked out over £19.5m for the new signings. Debuchy, who had impressed for the French national side, was brought in for around £5m from French giants LOSC Lille. In my opinion, the signing of Debuchy is great business, he impressed a number of high profile sides during Euro 2012, and has had a good season for Lille this season. Debuchy is destined for big things, already putting in some great performances since joining Newcastle. Pardew also brought in Moussa Sissoko from Toulouse. He made an instant impact by scoring 2 wonder goals for Newcastle to rescue a point against European champions Chelsea. Another player that impressed against Chelsea was Yoan Gouffran signed from Bordeaux. Many fans of clubs around the country joked at the fact that Newcastle almost have enough players to field an all French side. In my opinion, the signings made by Pardew and Mike Ashley, will be enough to take Newcastle away from the danger zone and push forward.
Manchester City came away from January a striker down. After an unimpressive season at the Etihad, which has included a bust up in training between Roberto Mancini and Balotelli, he was on his way to AC Milan. The move was seen as controversial having played for Inter Milan before he joined Manchester City. However, he was famously pictured wearing an AC Milan shirt while playing for Inter, sparking rumours that he wanted to join the side. The two clubs agreed a fee of around £19m to take the Italian to the Seria A giants. A couple miles away at Old Trafford, Wilfried Zaha arrived from Crystal Palace for a total fee of around £15m. Zaha was immediately loaned back out to Crystal Palace to play the remainder of the season and Federico Macheda was sent out on loan to Stuttgart.
Elsewhere, David Beckham made a return to European football by joining PSG on a 5 month deal. This means that Beckham will be able to play in the champions league for the rest of the season. The highest amount spent on any player came from PSG, spending £37m on Lucas Moura from Brazilian outfit Sao Paulo. Arsenal had another quiet transfer window with only one signing coming on deadline day. Arsene Wenger spent £10m on Nacho Monreal from Malaga. The spanish international has played 9 games for the national side since 2009. Moroccan striker Marouane Chamakh was loaned out to West Ham, who also brought in Joe Cole from Liverpool for a second spell at the club which started his career off.
West Brom were the only side not to bring anyone in. However the biggest transfer window controversy came from West Brom striker Peter Odemwingie. He left The Hawthornes after reportedly being offered a deal at QPR, he drove to London with the hopes of joining QPR only to be turned away at the gates of Loftus Road. This was not only very embarrassing for the striker but also very public as the news quickly spread all across the nation leaving him red-faced and resulted in him being dropped for West Brom’s game against Tottenham Hotspur on Febuary 3rd. It will be a moment that will not be forgotten in a hurry.
Looking back on the transfer window, the teams that came out the best in my opinion has to be QPR and Newcastle, I believe they have done enough to escape the drop zone, though QPR have a lot to do. An eventful transfer window that will determine the futures of clubs and players everywhere.