The January Transfer Window

Football Wednesday February 8, 2023 By: Duncan Hughes

As the transfer window closes and the league action is halted for a week as a result of cup football, let’s take a look at how some of the top teams spent their money in January.

Have Arsenal done enough to stay at the top?

Starting with the league leaders, Arsenal have been pretty quiet in terms of cementing their position at the top. With a 3-2 win at home to Manchester United last month, they put a big statement out to the rest of the league about their intentions. Although there has been no big money signings in January they have still been one of the busier Premier League clubs with the exciting signing of Leandro Trossard from Brighton for £27 million and Jakub Kiwio from Spezia for £20 million. Not to mention, the deadline day signing of midfielder Jorginho from struggling rivals Chelsea for £12 million. Their main target, Moises Caicedo was not to be in the end due to Brighton’s reluctance to sell the inform midfielder. So it was only three quality signings for the league leaders in January, two of which have previously proved their talent in the Premier League. These signings give Arsenal more strength in depth, however, have they made a mistake by not spending big or will these players be enough for them to get that overdue 4th Premier League title that is well within their grasp.

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No major changes for Man City

So what about the reigning champions? Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City side have been far from their best this season with numerous disappointing results, so surely they would have been busy in January? As a matter of fact, the Citizens’ activity in the window was very limited with their only signing being Argentine Maximo Perrone. The 20 year old midfielder has scored 3 goals in 33 appearances at Argentinian club Velez Sarsfield and has joined City for a fee of £8 million. The biggest news involving City in January this year was perhaps the departure of Portuguese international Joao Cancelo to German force Bayern Munich. The full back left on loan with the option to buy at the end of the season for £61 million. Cancelo has been a valuable asset to City over the last 4 years with 154 appearances in all competitions. He will certainly be a miss at Manchester City leaving you to wonder whether that is another blow for the Manchester side in the race for the title.

Project Newcastle well underway with two new additions

It’s safe to say everyone has been shocked by the inclusion of Newcastle United in this season’s title race. Eddie Howe continues to do a magnificent job up in the North East with the Magpies sat in 3rd position and due to play in their first major final since 1999 (Carabao Cup). It’s no secret that Newcastle have a bit of money at the moment as a result of the takeover of the club 14 months ago, but learning to spend it wisely is a different matter. However, that is exactly what Howe has done thus far and this January he has made two new additions to the squad, both of which seem to be exciting youngsters. The first signing is fiery young talent Anthony Gordon for £45 million. The winger has scored 3 goals for Everton this season and has also featured for the England side at youth level. Many Everton fans were happy to see him go, however, the way Howe has improved players such as Joelinton and Sean Longstaff, he seems a hopeful prospect who could be a key part of the project at Newcastle. Another youngster Newcastle have signed is Harrison Ashby from West Ham for £3 million. The full back didn’t feature much at the Hammers but fans are eager to see how he will prosper under Howe. Although people expected Newcastle to go big this January, they seem to have taken a much more measured approach and focused on strengthening rather than necessarily improving.

Newcastle United St James Park
Newcastle United St James Park

Three loan signings for Manchester United

Currently level on points with Newcastle and also in preparation for a cup final against them, Manchester United have been particularly quiet in terms of money spent. With that said, they have made three loan signings with Jack Butland from Crystal Palace, Wout Weghorst from Burnley and the most notable of the trio Marcel Sabitzer from Bayern Munich. After the injury of Christian Eriksen last week, Ten Haag needed to act fast to bring in a replacement and he did just that with a deal on deadline day for the Bayern Munich midfielder. The Austrian has made 15 appearances for Munich in the league this season scoring 1 goal and assisting another. Could he help the Red Devils push on to challenge Arsenal? Failing that, will he help them to secure a Champions League spot for next season?

Money spent wisely at Spurs

Trailing behind the top 4 are North Londoners Tottenham Hotspur. They have been similar in their methods to Manchester United with two loan signings but very exciting ones at that. The first of which is Pedro Porro. The right back has 13 assists and scored 9 goals in 67 league appearances for Portuguese giants Sporting Lisbon since joining from Girona in 2019. He has been described as one of Europe’s most exciting talents. He will certainly be an asset to Conte’s right hand side, an area where Spurs have previously struggled. The second of the signings is former Bournemouth winger Arnaut Dajuma on loan from Villareal. With 12 goals in 33 appearances in LaLiga since joining Villareal in 2021, he could be a key player in Tottenham’s push for a Champions League place after a poor run of form.

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Single signing for Liverpool – will the new youngster give them the goals they need?

Dropping down the table, a struggling Liverpool team sit in 9th place. Jurgen Klopp’s men are 10 points outside the top 4 and trail leaders Arsenal by an astonishing 21 points. This is a stark contrast to events over the past 5 years where Liverpool have been winning trophies including Premier League and Champions League honours. A surprising turn in form since the start of the season sees the former European Champions with all the work to do to make up positions, what with their recent departure out of the FA cup. The only signing made by Klopp in January was Dutch World Cup Star Cody Gakpo from PSV Eindhoven for £45 million. The winger has been a valuable asset for his country scoring 3 goals in the 2022 World Cup alongside his excellent form in the Dutch league scoring 9 goals and bagging 12 assists in 14 matches. At only 23 years of age, it is no wonder that Klopp saw Gakpo’s talent as a potential solution to their poor season so far. With that said, will one signing be enough to turn the season around for the Reds or are they targeting a summer rebuild?

Biggest spend of the season at Chelsea

Level on points with Liverpool, in 10th place sit Chelsea. Now it’s certainly no secret that Chelsea have struggled to pick up results this season and many fans blame this on the arrival of new manager Graham Potter from Brighton. That being said, many of the players have a lot to answer for as they simply have not been good enough. Less than two years ago they were European Champions but the Blues seem a million miles off that now. On the one hand, they seem to have realised their poor form and have made an incredible 8 new signings in January spending an absurd £323 million. The most notable signings included Enzo Fernandez from Benfica for a British record fee of £106.8 million and Arsenal target Mykhailo Mudryk for £88.5 million. The ridiculous amount of money spent by Chelsea has led many opposition fans and pundits to question the fairness around the lack of spending restrictions in the Premier League with many clubs simply unable to keep up. In terms of how this will improve the Chelsea team, it is now up to Potter to decide how these players will assist him to turn an extremely disappointing season around.

Want to see how the new signings get on and whether they make an impact on the race for the top 4? Why not watch it from the best seats in the house with Engage Hospitality.

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