Which Premier League clubs won and lost the January transfer window?
Following a typically frantic deadline day, Sports Mole looks at which Premier League clubs won and lost the January transfer window.
Late-night scrambles to submit deal sheets. Social media admins bombarded with “announce player name here”. Transfer targets being ambushed at airports and training grounds. Just another standard deadline day in the Premier League.
Teams competing for title glory, fighting for their right to play in Europe or attempting to salvage their top-flight status have done all they can in the January transfer window, which slammed shut at 11pm on Tuesday evening.
Attempting to bolster ranks midway through the season is a highly unforgiving task, with clubs putting up a fight to keep hold of their prized assets for the second half of the campaign, and some teams enjoyed much more success than others over the past 31 days.
Here, Sports Mole picks out three Premier League clubs that ‘won’ the January transfer window, and three clubs that ‘lost’ to the chagrin of their hopeful – or pessimistic – supporters.
WINNER – CHELSEA
The sweet, sweet world of amortisation.
With “Potterball” yet to take off at Stamford Bridge as the Blues languish in 10th in the Premier League table, it was evident that a wealth of reinforcements were needed, and Todd Boehly sure did deliver.
Following their approach of signing the best young talents of tomorrow – albeit a scattergun one – Chelsea welcomed no fewer than eight new faces to West London in January, averaging a new signing almost every four days.
David Datro Fofana and Andrey Santos will be marked down as ones for the future, but Joao Felix, Mykhaylo Mudryk, Benoit Badiashile, Enzo Fernandez, Malo Gusto and Noni Madueke have arrived with intentions of immediately hitting the ground running.
In Felix’s case, he hit Kenny Tete running and received a straight red card on his debut, but Badiashile’s positive impact in the backline has been well-documented, and Mudryk served up a glimpse of what is to come against Liverpool.
By offering their new stars lengthy seven or even eight-year contracts, Chelsea have managed to stay in the good books of UEFA when it comes to Financial Fair Play, despite spending in excess of £323m throughout the course of the month.
Such an approach is not without a major element of risk, especially if their new signings fail to perform under their long-term agreements, and Chelsea also failed to offload Hakim Ziyech to Paris Saint-Germain after a last-minute document farce. Recouping a £12m fee for Arsenal-bound Jorginho before the 31-year-old left on a free transfer was a good move all round, though.
WINNER – NOTTINGHAM FOREST
Every man and his dog appeared to make the move to Nottingham Forest during the summer window, but such brazen tactics in the transfer market did not initially pay off for the top-flight returnees.
However, an EFL Cup semi-final and a six-game unbeaten home run later, Forest’s new signings are starting to gel, and Steve Cooper welcomed a host of further eye-catching additions in January.
Quickly forced into a goalkeeper search after Dean Henderson‘s injury, bringing three-time Champions League winner Keylor Navas to the club from Paris Saint-Germain is a notable coup, as is the capture of Atletico Madrid defender Felipe on a permanent deal.
A swoop for Palmeiras duo Gustavo Scarpa and Danilo has reinforced a mean-looking engine room – with the latter being linked with Arsenal before arriving in Nottingham – and experience has also arrived in the form of Jonjo Shelvey and Chris Wood.
Not a single player secured a permanent exit from the City Ground, but Loic Bade‘s nightmare loan spell from Rennes was brought to an end, while Brandon Aguilera, Loic Mbe Soh and Josh Bowler also left on temporary deals.
WINNER – BOURNEMOUTH
As Chelsea fans can attest to, new ownership brings new and exciting opportunities, and current Cherries incumbent Bill Foley has brought a wealth of young talent to the South Coast in the past four weeks.
Still dancing with the devil as they lie 18th in the Premier League table, conceding a league-high 42 goals has done Bournemouth no favours, but signing Ilya Zabarnyi from Shakhtar Donetsk will undoubtedly help them on that front.
The 20-year-old had apparently been courted by top clubs such as Tottenham Hotspur before joining Bournemouth in a £20m deal, and despite his tender age, he already has a wealth of Champions League, Europa League and international experience under his belt.
Having shone in Lorient’s magnificent start to the 2022-23 Ligue 1 season, Dango Ouattara hit the ground running with an assist on his Premier League debut against Nottingham Forest, while Antoine Semenyo and Sassuolo loanee Hamed Traore are now competing for minutes in the final third too.
An audacious move for Roma’s Nicolo Zaniolo may not have come to fruition, but loaning out Siriki Dembele, Jamal Lowe, Ben Pearson and Emiliano Marcondes has temporarily freed up some space in the ranks.
LOSER – EVERTON
Everton fans will certainly be praying for a new manager bounce under Sean Dyche, as the Toffees cannot turn to a single player for any sort of new signing bounce after a forgettable winter period.
Amid ugly protests against the club’s ownership as Everton sit 19th in the standings, Dyche’s team weakened rather than strengthened in January, letting Anthony Gordon complete a £45m move to Newcastle United.
Recouping such a fee for a player who only has three Premier League goals to his name this season can be viewed in a positive light, but the way that Gordon went about his departure was another blot on the Everton notebook, which was seemingly devoid of a transfer shortlist.
The headline news when it came to Everton arrivals was the recall of 21-year-old striker Ellis Simms from his loan spell at Sunderland, in spite of rumours linking the Goodison Park strugglers with a couple of late attacking moves on deadline day.
However, AC Milan attacker Olivier Giroud apparently rejected the chance to join Dyche’s relegation scrappers, and links with Andre Ayew also went nowhere, forcing the new Toffees boss to work with limited resources in his bid to steer the disjointed Merseyside team above the dotted line.
LOSER – ASTON VILLA
For similar reasons to that of Everton, Aston Villa also go down as one of the ‘losers’ of the January transfer window, having also failed to add a significant presence to their attack which has lost Danny Ings to West Ham United.
Having seen Ollie Watkins cement his place as Unai Emery‘s first-choice striker, Ings’s departure did not catch everyone by surprise, and the Lions did win the race to sign the highly-rated Jhon Duran from Chicago Fire.
The consensus is that the 19-year-old is not quite ready for the step-up to Premier League action, though, and Villa were widely expected to bring in a more experienced name in the attack to take the pressure off of Watkins’s shoulders.
Alex Moreno‘s arrival from Real Betis has at least negated the impact of Ludwig Augustinsson‘s return to Sevilla, but the Lions’ squad certainly has more of a thin feel to it after Jan Bednarek, Marvelous Nakamba, Morgan Sanson and Cameron Archer also departed.
A bid to reunite with ex-Arsenal product Matteo Guendouzi did not bear fruit either for Emery, and Villa may very well enter the second half of the campaign in hope rather than expectation.
LOSER – LIVERPOOL
Groans of discontent could be heard from both the blue and red halves of Merseyside in January, with Liverpool also adopting the conservative approach that their fans were fearing.
Beating Manchester United to the signing of Cody Gakpo helped to spread some festive joy around Anfield, but the Reds seemingly closed the chequebook once the Dutch attacker’s move was completed.
Whether Liverpool are putting all of their eggs in the Jude Bellingham basket is a question for the board to answer, but ending another transfer window without a new midfielder arriving does not spell optimism for the Reds, who have been crying out for a fresh feel in the middle of the park.
Stefan Bajcetic has arguably provided one, having taken the reins from the under-performing Fabinho, but neither Moises Caicedo nor Enzo Fernandez will be donning Merseyside red for the second half of the season, and last summer’s loan recruit Arthur is yet to add to his paltry 13 minutes since undergoing thigh surgery.
Gakpo is yet to directly contribute to a goal for Liverpool either, and while Liverpool fans should have patience with the former PSV Eindhoven man, the same cannot be said for those upstairs while Jurgen Klopp‘s men fight to salvage their European status.
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