Who won the transfer window?
Premier League clubs spent £150m on transfer deadline day in January, taking their total expenditure for the month to £430m. That marked a 100% increase on the combined £215m outlay in the mid-season window of 2016/17, making top-flight outfits’ increased spending power clear for all to see.
In this slideshow, we rank each Premier League side by the success – or otherwise – of their business dealings in the January market.
20. West Ham
In: Joao Mario (loan), Jordan Hugill (£8m)
Out: Diafra Sakho (Rennes, £8.8m), Martin Samuelsen (Burton, loan), Reece Oxford (Borussia Monchengladbach, loan), Andre Ayew (Swansea, £18m)
West Ham were linked with numerous players in January, but they ultimately didn’t do enough to placate a frustrated fan base. Inter loanee Joao Mario is a good player despite his loss of form at San Siro, but the midfielder will need his confidence rebuilding before he can make an impact at the London Stadium. Failing to add another defender to the ranks certainly seems like a mistake.
David Moyes’ deal only runs until the conclusion of the campaign, so the club were presumably unwilling to back his direction to any great extent. The Hammers could still be pulled into a relegation battle, though, and they really should have done more to boost their survival chances.
In: Islam Slimani (loan), Kenedy (loan), Martin Dubravka (loan)
Out: Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham, loan), Jack Colback (Nottingham Forest, loan), Rolando Aarons (Hellas Verona, loan), Henri Saivet (Sivasspor, loan), Freddie Woodman (Aberdeen, loan), Ivan Toney (Scunthorpe, loan)
Newcastle were humbled when Daniel Sturridge chose West Brom ahead of them, but the Magpies invited trouble by making their move so late. Islam Slimani was signed on loan from Leicester as a clear second choice; although excellent in the air and an improvement on Joselu, the Algerian’s form is unpredictable and he doesn’t bring any guarantees.
The conclusion that’s impossible to resist is that Newcastle have again tried to do everything on the cheap – and it could cost them. There’s still a distinct lack of proven Premier League quality within the ranks, and while it’s clear Mike Ashley is keen to sell the club, it surely would have made more sense for the owner to get the chequebook out and make relegation less likely.
In: Andre Ayew (£18m), Andy King (loan), Jack Withers (loan)
Out: Roque Mesa (Sevilla, loan), Jay Fulton (Wigan, loan), Adam King (Mansfield, loan), Joe Rodon (Cheltenham, loan) Oliver McBurnie (Barnsley, loan)
Roque Mesa has joined Sevilla on loan, so the defining memory of an awful summer was pushed out of view in January. Andre Ayew has returned to join his brother Jordan at the top of the pitch, but Andy King is a puzzling addition for a team that was reasonably well stocked in midfield but in urgent need of more options at full-back.
January was more productive than it could have been (or was expected to be) for the Swans, but Carlos Carvalhal will still have to extract more than the sum of this squad’s parts if demotion is to be avoided.
In: Gerard Deulofeu (loan), Didier Ndong (loan), Dodi Lukebakio (£4.5m), Pontus Dahlberg (£2.5m)
Out: Isaac Success (Malaga, loan), Mauro Zarate (Velez Sarsfield, loan), Pontus Dahlberg (IFK, loan)
The players aren’t really the issue at Watford. Unless new boss Javi Gracia is quick to work out his squad, any arrivals will be incidental. Still, given the Pozzo family’s model of ownership, a swirl of activity is always expected and first-team relevance should never be assumed.
Gerard Deulofeu is good on his day and dire when not, while the 20-year-old wideman Dodi Lukebakio has evidently been snagged from deep within the depths of the Pozzo’s scouting network. Didier Ndong, a late addition on deadline day, will bolster a midfield which has been decimated by injury throughout this season.
In: Georges-Kevin Nkoudou (loan), Aaron Lennon (Undisc.)
Out: Luke Hendrie (Shrewsbury), Jimmy Dunne (Accrington, loan), Tom Anderson (Doncaster, loan)
Burnley’s window is tricky to gauge. Both Georges-Kevin Nkoudou and Aaron Lennon will provide a degree of width and a bit more pace than Burnley currently possess, but neither are at the right stages of their career to be that useful.
They will broaden Sean Dyche’s range of options, though, and that’s clearly positive. The Clarets’ position in the table also negated the need for them to spend big in the middle of the campaign; it’s eminently sensible for them to wait until the summer before refreshing the squad further.
In: Guido Carrillo (£19.2m)
Out: Virgil van Dijk (Liverpool), Marcus Barnes (Yeovil, loan)
Virgil van Dijk’s exit leaves a sizeable hole in the heart of the backline, but the Dutchman was a disengaged player who really had to go. The big rebuild will presumably take place in the summer and, with form slowly improving, the club were probably right not to panic.
Argentine striker Guido Carrillo comes with a flaky reputation and will have to suffer through the mandatory adjustment, while a late effort to sign Quincy Promes was unsuccessful. Under-fire manager Mauricio Pellegrino will have to get more from the players already at his disposal if he’s to drag Saints clear of danger.
Out: Benik Afobe (Wolves, loan), Lewis Grabban (Aston Villa, loan), Ryan Allsop (Lincoln, loan)
Nothing much to see here, other than Lewis Grabban bouncing back from a loan and then heading straight out again to Aston Villa. Benik Afobe has also been sent back to the Championship, having found Premier League life increasingly trying.
However, Bournemouth are a rapidly improving team - evidenced by their 3-0 battering of Chelsea, one of the best results in the club’s history - and there was really no need to tamper. Eddie Howe is gradually welcoming back a few of his injured players, too.
In: Olivier Giroud (£18m), Ross Barkley (£15m), Emerson Palmieri (£17m)
Out: Michy Batshuayi (Borussia Dortmund, loan), Jake Clarke-Salter (Sunderland, loan), Ike Ugbo (MK Dons, loan), Kenedy (Newcastle, loan), Charly Musonda (Celtic, loan), Todd Kane (Oxford, loan), Kasey Palmer (Derby, loan)
Antonio Conte remains – for now – but his relationship with the club’s hierarchy seemed to grow as January progressed. Ross Barkley will never be a full-time starter at the club and Olivier Giroud is a reactionary purchase which wouldn’t have been made under normal circumstances, but neither signing has cost the earth and both were risks worth taking.
Emerson Palmieri may be coming off a serious knee injury, but he’s a talented player and offers an upgrade on Kenedy as an alternative to left wing-back Marcos Alonso, who had no natural back-up before the Brazilian’s arrival.
In: Badou Ndiaye (£14m), Moritz Bauer (£5m), Moussa Niakate, Kostas Stafylidis (loan)
Out: Julien Ngoy (Walsall, loan)
Stoke gambled a little in January, but they were probably right to do so given the options already at Paul Lambert’s disposal. Austrian right-back Moritz Bauer looks like a capable player from his first few appearances and, even though the others are unknown quantities, they will at least challenge the status quo.
Of the group, Badou Ndiaye is perhaps the most interesting: a little-known Senegalese midfielder who has spent the last three years in Turkish football, he represents a big spend on what’s been a long-term problem area.
In: Virgil van Dijk (£75m), Tony Gallacher (£200k)
Out: Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona), Daniel Sturridge (West Brom, loan), Marko Grujic (Cardiff, loan), Lazar Markovic (Anderlecht, loan), Jon Flanagan (Bolton, loan), Cameron Brannagan (Oxford), Ryan Kent (Bristol City, loan)
Liverpool fans got themselves in a muddle in January. Granted, Coutinho has gone and will be missed, but Virgil vn Dijk’s arrival has already strengthened an area of far greater concern.
Ultimately, there’s not a vast amount wrong at Anfield. Given how much the club is known to have made from that record Coutinho sale, it would have been very difficult for them to find any sort of value in January. Summer is the right time to look at a replacement and, surely, a new goalkeeper.
10. Crystal Palace
In: Erdal Rakip (loan), Jaroslaw Jach (£2m), Alexander Sorloth (£8.8m)
Out: Keshi Anderson (Swindon, loan), Noor Husin (Notts County), Sullay Kaikai (Charlton, loan), Freddie Lapado (Southend)
Anyone who claims to have an intimate knowledge of these three signings is probably lying, but Palace’s recovery has come from within this season and so it was really more important to prevent any departures. The club’s tough stance on Wilfried Zaha has successfully scared off any interest and, with the injury list also now lightening, mid-table looks more than achievable.
After an early season full of panic, the last thing the club needed was a big influx of new faces at considerable cost. Roy Hodgson will have been particularly pleased with the signing of Alexander Sorloth – a new striker to compete with or complement Christian Benteke was a must going into January – but the failure to upgrade on Wayne Hennessey in goal is a risk.
In: Fousseni Diabate (£3.5m), Callum Wright
Out: Leonardo Ulloa (Brighton, loan), Ahmed Musa (CSKA, loan), Andy King (Swansea, loan), Islam Slimani (Newcastle, loan)
Leonardo Ulloa and Ahmed Musa had both been non-factors for a while, so neither will be missed - and from the goals Fousseni Diabate scored in the FA Cup against Peterborough, he looks like an interesting replacement.
Most importantly, though, the Foxes resisted Manchester City’s attempts to land Riyad Mahrez on the final day. There might be a cost to pay with the player’s state of mind – the Algerian reportedly failed to turn up to training on Thursday – but losing him at the last minute would have been far worse for collective morale.
In: Alex Pritchard (£10m), Terence Kongolo (loan)
Out: Joe Lolley (Nottingham Forest), Martin Cranie (Middlesbrough)
There was nothing seismic about Huddersfield’s transfer dealings, but then this is a club that don’t depend on that type of transfer. Netherlands international Terence Kongolo is a temporary addition, so will provide short-term depth in defence, while Alex Pritchard is very much a rough diamond – diminutive, skilful, but ultimately unproven in the Premier League.
The 24-year-old signing from Norwich will need polishing and is perhaps an acquisition with the club’s future in mind rather than their short-term survival.
In: Cenk Tosun (£27m), Theo Walcott (£20m), Eliaquim Mangala (loan)
Out: Aaron Lennon (Burnley), Ross Barkley (Chelsea), Kevin Mirallas (Olympiakos, loan), Sandro Ramirez (Sevilla, loan), Ademola Lookman (RB Leipzig, loan), Muhamed Besic (Middlesbrough, loan)
One main plus has been finding a resolution to the Ross Barkley affair; that saga dragged on for too long and was helping nobody. Elsewhere, the failure to adequately replace Romelu Lukaku in the summer window looks to have been belatedly put right with the capture of Cenk Tosun; the former Besiktas frontman has already offered more of a focal point up top and should make the Toffees a lot less lightweight up top.
Theo Walcott may have flaws but he’ll also add another layer of goal threat – as evidenced by his double in the victory over Leicester – while Eliaquim Mangala looks far more suited to Sam Allardyce’s style of defending than Pep Guardiola’s. Shifting out Sandro Ramirez, Kevin Mirallas and Mo Besic on loan also looks sensible, while Ademola Lookman will learn plenty at RB Leipzig.
6. Manchester United
In: Alexis Sanchez (swap), Matej Kovar
Out: Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Arsenal), Axel Tuanzebe (Aston Villa, loan), James Wilson (Sheffield United, loan), Demetri Mitchell (Hearts, loan), Charlie Scott (Hamilton, loan) Matt Willock (St Johnstone, loan)
The value of the Alexis Sanchez signing is self-evident, even if his wages might cause some ripples through the Manchester United dressing room – it’s already been rumoured that Paul Pogba will receive financial parity. The exit of Henrikh Mkhitaryan departure was vital too, given the complete breakdown of his relationship with Jose Mourinho, who never seemed to truly fancy the Armenian.
As a club, United are about star power and allure. Sanchez obviously satisfies those aims, but – a dreadful performance against Tottenham aside – he should provide a further jolt of dynamism to an already-mobile attack too. Mourinho will be pleased to have strengthened his attacking arsenal (pardon the pun).
5. Manchester City
In: Aymeric Laporte (£57m), Jack Harrison (£4m)
Out: Eliaquim Mangala (Everton, loan), Jack Harrison (Middlesbrough, loan)
Aymeric Laporte has long been regarded as an elite prospect and is clearly intended to be John Stones’s long-term partner. The fee was astronomical but, for City, affordable, and they should get many years of successful use out of the Frenchman. The club have been searching for a pair of convincing centre-backs for some time and, finally, they might now have what they want – curing this team’s only remaining weakness in the process.
Jack Harrison has also joined from New York City and will be immediately loaned to Middlesbrough, while Eliaquim Mangala has been loaned to Everton ahead of his probable permanent exit in the summer.
4. West Brom
In: Daniel Sturridge (loan), Ali Gabr (loan)
Out: Tyler Roberts (Leeds)
It’s tempting to believe that Daniel Sturridge’s decision to choose The Hawthorns over St James’ Park is more damning of the latter than an endorsement of the former, but he should - if fit - provide a great upgrade in attack. West Brom will certainly need him to hit the ground running: Swansea’s midweek win against Arsenal meant Alan Pardew’s men sunk to the foot of the table.
The best bit of business was something which didn’t happen, though: the Baggies’ outstanding defender Jonny Evans stayed despite interest from sides higher up the table. The Northern Irishman will be off when his contract expires at the end of June, but he could make the difference between survival and relegation before then.
In: Lucas Moura (£25m)
Out: Georges-Kevin Nkoudou (Burnley, loan)
A few years ago, Lucas Moura was one of the hottest South American talents going. Despite the slight decline in his reputation at PSG, Tottenham have therefore got themselves a good deal by signing the wideman for £25m.
The Brazil international will bring raw speed – something Mauricio Pochettino has been desperately short of – and also the ability to stand opponents up and go past them with ease. If it’s a risk, it’s one which was definitely worth taking and this team will obviously benefit from having another match-winning option in attack.
In: Jurgen Locadia (£14m), Leonardo Ulloa (loan), Warren O’Hora
Out: Kazenga LuaLua (Sunderland)
Brighton’s position in this ranking assumes club-record signing Jurgen Locadia can successfully adapt to English football. He was certainly a well-regarded player in Holland, but forwards from the Eredivisie usually prove to be either fantastic value or spectacular busts, and Albion will be hoping he’s more Luis Suarez than Jozy Altidore.
The capture of Leonardo Ulloa, who does have Premier League credentials and is popular among Brighton fans following his first spell at the club, at least provides something of a safety net. This was potentially an excellent window for Chris Hughton, who has improved his attacking options considerably.
In: Henrikh Mkhitaryan (swap), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (£56m), Konstantinos Mavropanos
Out: Alexis Sanchez (Manchester United), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea), Francis Coquelin (Valencia), Theo Walcott (Everton), Marcus McGuane (Barcelona), Mathieu Debuchy (Saint-Etienne)
On the surface, Arsenal’s January business makes total sense: the sulking Sanchez has been jettisoned and two established stars have arrived in his place - what’s not to like?
From a different perspective, though, Arsenal have lost their best player, allowed one of the most valuable secondary options in the league to move to a cross-town rival, and bet the house on a volatile character as well as an attacking midfielder who's had his spirit crushed at Manchester United.
So yes, there’s doubt, but it shouldn’t be overlooked that Arsene Wenger has also managed to burn some of the fat from this squad and make some significant revenue in the process. The news that Mesut Ozil has inked a new three-year contract is further cause for celebration.
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