Monday, February 11, 2013

Winners and Losers of the January Transfer Window

Loic Remy and QPR manager, Harry Redknapp

January 31st marked the close of the transfer window. During the designated transfer window, English clubs are eligible to sign or loan out players. A usually exciting time period in soccer, this year’s January transfers seemed a bit lackluster. However, during this month-long shopping spree, clubs spent a combined £120 million, double that of last year. Below are in my opinion, the biggest winners and losers of January.

Urgent to make up lost ground in the English Premier League, Liverpool had perhaps the best January of any club. With the additions of English youngster, Daniel Sturridge (£13.5m), and attacking midfielder, Philippe Coutinho (£8.4m), Liverpool suddenly appears to be a serious threat in the EPL. I wouldn’t be shocked if they make a late run to qualify for Champions League.
Grade: A

Queens Park Rangers
In danger of being relegated after promotion two years ago, QPR has decided to buy itself another year of top-flight football. With nothing to lose (beside a total of £22m spent in January) QPR has stolen the headlines of the transfer period. The signing of Senegalese defensive man, Chris Samba (£12.5m) and French star, Loic Remy (£8m), will surely add more victories for the club. Having already signed Julio Cesarand Jose Bosingwa this year and Djibril Ciss√© last year, QPR is starting to mold into a respectable EPL team. Watch out for QPR to wreak havoc for the top half of the table during the season’s close.
Grade: A-

Galatasaray (Non-EPL)
The club from Istanbul was a late winner of the January transfer negotiations. Shortly after announcing they had signed Wesley Sneijer (£8.4m) from Inter Milan, it was revealed they had also signed former Chelsea star, Didier Drogba (free). Already the dominant force in Turkey, Galatasary has successfully managed to strengthen its starting eleven.
Grade: B+

Honorable Mentions:
·         Chelsea (Demba Ba £7.5m)- An explosive goal scorer, Ba must prove that he is worthy of being the lead striker at Chelsea. Chelsea’s signing of Ba is a bargain compared to Torres’ £50 million fee in 2011.
·         AC Milan (Mario Balotelli £19m)- By far the biggest transfer out of the EPL. “Super Mario” will provide the goals Milan is searching for so long as he can keep his shenanigans to a minimum.
·         Paris-Saint Germain (David Beckham £3m)- Beckham announced he will donate his entire salary to charity. Interested to see if the 37-year old can still play competitively in Europe.

Some might be surprised to see Tottenham included as a loser of the transfer window. Currently ranked 4th in the Premier League, they have managed to rebound nicely after a slow start to the season. The Spurs failed to add a forward during the transfer period. With Jermain Defoe out due to injury and Emmanuel Adebayor in dismal form, failing to strengthen the team’s attacking core will surely come back to haunt them late in the season. Wouldn’t be surprised if Everton surpasses them in the table to clinch a Champions League berth.
Grade: C

After a relatively disappointing transfer period, the Gunners were still able to sign talented left back, Nacho Monreal (£10m), from Malaga. Arsenal fans are surely bitter after the club failed to land high-profiled target, David Villa. The team still hasn’t been able to fill the vacancies left behind by Robin Van Peirse and Samir Nasri. With Tottenham and Liverpool on a hot streak as of late, Arsenal’s Champions Leauge wishes might be too farfetched.
Grade: D+

Aston Villa
The worst get worse. Aston Villa failed to make a significant signing despite many opportunities, including a chance to acquire Manchester City’s Jolean Lescott. Second to last in the Premier League table, Villa’s stubborn management once again prevents the club from making much needed adjustments. It’s only a matter of time before they are relegated.
Grade: F

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