The dust has finally settled from the January transfer window, and each Premier League side now knows what they’re working with as we get to the business end of the season.
There was a good sum of money spent in January, owing largely to Newcastle’s new owners trying to claw their way out of a relegation battle, but most teams chose to splash at least some cash to add to the fun.
Here’s how each team fared.
A quiet month for Leeds / Craig Mercer/MB Media/GettyImages
Out: Cody Drameh (loan)
For a side perilously close to a free-fall, whose squad is stretched to within an inch of its life already, you’d have thought Leeds would have done a little more to help themselves.
They were sniffing around for another forward late in the window, with Liverpool’s Takumi Minamino an option, but nothing came of it, and Leeds now have to survive a relegation battle with the same small side that got them in one in the first place.
No new faces for Smith / Chloe Knott – Danehouse/GettyImages
Out: Onel Hernandez (loan), Todd Cantwell (loan), Jordan Hugill (loan)
With this window, Norwich have effectively admitted they don’t think they’re going to survive relegation this year. That’s fair enough, because they probably won’t.
There was no boost to the squad whatsoever and Dean Smith must now rely on the same core of players to pull off a miracle.
Aubameyang left for Barcelona / Naomi Baker/GettyImages
In: Auston Trusty (undisclosed)
Out: Calum Chambers (undisclosed), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (loan), Folarin Balogun (loan), Pablo Mari (loan), Auston Trusty (loan), Sead Kolasinac (free), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (free)
Arsenal are trying to bounce back after an up-and-down start to the season, but not only did they fail to improve their squad, but they decimated their depth.
Letting Aubameyang go for free clears up a lot of salary but not replacing him is an enormous risk. Their squad lacks any sort of depth now and that could come back to bite them towards the end of the season. They’ve gambled on saving money and using that to attract superstars in the summer, but another season away from the Champions League might kill their hopes.
Martial left for Sevilla / Fran Santiago/GettyImages
Out: Anthony Martial (loan), Donny van de Beek (loan), Axel Tuanzebe (loan), Amad Diallo (loan)
Apart from offloading Anthony Martial, United‘s squad is pretty much exactly the same… and that’s not a good thing for a side who are making up ground in a top-four battle.
They still need improvements in defence and midfield (and attack?), and they’re still overflowing with players who don’t really want to be there, so the mood isn’t going to get any better.
Moyes didn’t get the signings he wanted / Visionhaus/GettyImages
This felt like a real missed opportunity for West Ham. With the competition faltering, adding one or two players could have sealed them a spot in the top four, and that would change the club’s outlook for the foreseeable future.
They ended up with nobody, failing with big-money moves for Darwin Nunez and Raphinha. Did they aim too high? Whatever happened, it went wrong.
“It’s an honour for me to be here.” ?
? Samuel Kalu pic.twitter.com/E3U5fVqMDg
— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) January 27, 2022
In: Maduka Okoye (£5m), Hassane Kamara (£4m), Samir (undisclosed),
Edo Kayembe (undisclosed),
Samuel Kalu (undisclosed), Yaser Asprilla (£1m)
Out: Maduka Okoye (loan)
This felt like a very Watford window. A lot of under-the-radar, obscure signings which may or may not actually have a positive impact on the team.
Watford could have done with more Premier League experience as they look to avoid another relegation struggle.
Mateta joined permanently / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages
In: Jean-Philippe Mateta (undisclosed), Luke Plange (undisclosed)
Out: Luke Plange (loan)
Crystal Palace went big in the summer and followed that transfer window up by turning Jean-Philippe Mateta’s loan into a permanent one in January. A little underwhelming, but not bad.
However, the problem for Palace is the signings they missed out on. They looked set to sign Donny van de Beek before Everton pipped them to the post, and the Toffees did the same with Dele Alli before the window closed. Patrick Vieira knew the squad needed strengthening, but he didn’t get his wish.
Hasenhuttl wasn’t busy / Robin Jones/GettyImages
In: Willy Caballero (GK)
Out: Dan N’Lundulu (loan), Sam McQueen (retired)
Southampton needed an emergency goalkeeper and snapped up Willy Caballero, and that’s all the Saints opted to do.
There aren’t too many glaring holes in Southampton’s squad, so there was no need to panic buy. Ralph Hasenhuttl is letting his young players grow together, which feels like a smart move.
Traore returned to Barcelona / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages
In: Hwang Hee-chan (£14m), Jeong Sang-bin (undisclosed), Chiquinho (undisclosed), Hayao Kawabe (undisclosed)
Out: Hayao Kawabe (loan), Leonardo Campana (loan), Adama Traore (loan)
Adama Traore is gone, which isn’t the blow it would have been a few years ago. Wolves can definitely get by without him, and ensuring Hwang Hee-chan stays around only helps that cause.
Chiquinho is an intriguing signing, but Wolves have stayed a little too stationary with this window. As Europa League hopefuls, they may have needed an extra boost to ensure they get there.
Leicester avoided the temptation to panic buy / James Williamson – AMA/GettyImages
Out: Filip Benkovic (free)
Leicester took a big risk by not doing any major business this month. They have been a massive disappointment this season and they now have to rely on players returning from injuries to sort things out.
There was no panic buying, and that’s always a positive, but this window is going to divide Leicester fans.
Chelsea are saving for the summer / Robin Jones/GettyImages
In: Dylan Williams (undisclosed), Kenedy (recall)
Chelsea didn’t really do anything. They were looking for full-back cover to help cope with injuries to Ben Chilwell and Reece James, and after failing to bring Emerson back from his loan, ended up recalling Kenedy and adding Derby’s Dylan Williams to their academy.
That’s not ideal for the next six months, but on the flip side, Chelsea saved money and squad space ahead of what could be a busy summer. The Blues have some big targets – the kind that are rarely available in January – so waiting for them could prove to be smart. Only time will tell.
? Our new recruit in numbers ?#WelcomeWout | #UTC pic.twitter.com/WX1RhoJEAH
— Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) January 31, 2022
In: Wout Weghorst (£12m)
Out: Chris Wood (£20m)
It’s pretty much one in, one out for Burnley. Striker Chris Wood left to join relegation rivals Newcastle, but in came Dutch hitman Wout Weghorst from Wolfsburg.
They look like they’ll be stronger in attack, but a failure to add Mislav Orsic from Dinamo could haunt Burnley if they don’t survive this season.
Burn swapped Brighton for Newcastle / Alex Pantling/GettyImages
In: Kacper Kozlowski (£8m), Deniz Undav (£6m)
Out: Aaron Connolly (loan), Kacper Kozlowski (loan), Jurgen Locadia (free), Dan Burn (undisclosed), Leo Ostigard (loan)
A tricky one. Long term, Brighton have signed a nice young player in Kacper Kozlowski and a fascinating goalscorer in Deniz Undav, but neither of them will actually finish the season at the Amex.
Losing Dan Burn so late in the window, and not replacing him, is a real blow. This window hasn’t helped Brighton this year but could bring some rewards down the line.
Conte had to settle for Bentancur / Nicolò Campo/GettyImages
In: Rodrigo Bentancur (undisclosed), Dejan Kulusevski (loan)
Out: Tanguy Ndombele (loan), Giovani Lo Celso (loan), Bryan Gil (loan), Dele Alli (undisclosed)
Antonio Conte wanted so much more than just Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski. That duo aren’t a bad return, but Spurs missed out on a lot of their primary targets before they got to the Juventus duo.
Clearing out a lot of deadwood, albeit temporarily, is a smart move from Conte. He’s got something closer to the core squad he wants, and he has also sent a message to the board that there is still a lot of work to do.
?⚪️ DvdB ? EFC ⚪️? pic.twitter.com/1OoCUrUJHH
— Everton (@Everton) January 31, 2022
In: Vitaliy Mykolenko (£18m), Nathan Patterson (£16m), Anwar El Ghazi (loan), Donny van de Beek (loan), Dele Alli (undisclosed)
Out: Lucas Digne (£25m)
This could have gone a whole lot worse for Everton. Losing Lucas Digne, whose exit came about following a bust-up with now-former boss Rafa Benitez, feels so avoidable, but Everton recovered well.
Vitaliy Mykolenko looks like a smart deal, as does Nathan Patterson, while Frank Lampard’s late deals to bring in Donny van de Beek and Dele Alli could work out very nicely if both players can rediscover their best.
It’s Official, @ChrisEriksen8 is a Bee
?? The Danish international will link up with Bees for rest of season
? https://t.co/6cDQ91l2dl#BrentfordFC #EriksenJoins pic.twitter.com/r57bj2FLJp
— Brentford FC (@BrentfordFC) January 31, 2022
In: Jonas Lossl (loan), Christian Eriksen (free)
Out: Mads Bidstrup (loan), Charlie Goode (loan), Marcus Forss (loan)
Brentford took a low-risk, high-reward approach to January. Their six-month signing of Christian Eriksen, who hasn’t played competitively since suffering a cardiac arrest last summer, can only go so badly.
If he struggles, he leaves in six months and nobody cares. If he rediscovers the elite form he showed during his Tottenham days, this will be an absolute screamer of a deal. Brentford did miss out on a good few targets, but they still look strong.
We are delighted to confirm that we have completed the signing of Julian Alvarez from River Plate ✍️
⬇️ DETAILS ⬇️
— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 31, 2022
In: Julian Alvarez (£18.75m)
Out: Ferran Torres (£46.7m), Patrick Roberts (£3m), Julian Alvarez (loan)
Losing Ferran Torres isn’t ideal for Man City, but they’re good enough that they won’t really feel his departure. If anything, they’ve shipped off a player who didn’t want to be there and added to the Haaland fund.
Julian Alvarez has all the qualities to be a superstar striker, but patience will be needed with him.
Back at ??? club. ?
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) January 31, 2022
In: Kieran Trippier (£15m), Chris Wood (£20m), Dan Burn (undisclosed), Bruno Guimaraes (£43m), Matt Targett (loan)
Out: Freddie Woodman (loan), Jeff Hendrick (loan)
Newcastle‘s job was to avoid relegation this month, and they’ve probably done that with this near-£100m spend. The real fun begins this summer, and this was the dirty work that just had to be done.
That being said, Guimaraes aside, it’s a bit underwhelming. Newcastle had so many targets, missing out on the likes of Sven Botman, Diego Carlos and Duvan Zapata. It could have been a little better, but it’s definitely not bad.
The moment you’ve been waiting for…
Luis Diaz is a RED ? #VamosLuis pic.twitter.com/wl9koUlPgl
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 30, 2022
In: Luis Diaz (£50m)
Out: Nat Phillips (loan), Neco Williams (loan)
If there was one criticism of Liverpool heading into January, it was that their options in attack behind their starters weren’t particularly strong. Their response? To sign the best player in Portugal this season.
Luis Diaz is a bonafide star in the making and he was wanted by a number of sides across the globe. To not only beat the competition to his signature, but to land him for a comparatively cheap £50m (including add-ons) is great business.
Digne was in demand / James Gill – Danehouse/GettyImages
In: Philippe Coutinho (loan), Lucas Digne (£25m), Robin Olsen (loan), Calum Chambers (undisclosed)
Out: Wesley (loan), Matt Targett (loan), Axel Tuanzebe (loan terminated), Anwar El Ghazi (loan)
Aston Villa look significantly stronger than they did heading into January. Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool roots helped strike a deal for Philippe Coutinho who, while no longer the world-beater he wants was, could be the signing of the season if he can rediscover his best form.
He brings more creativity in attack, while Lucas Digne is an upgrade at left-back and Calum Chambers can fill the backup defender role vacated by Axel Tuanzebe.
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