The January transfer window is a notoriously difficult time to complete deals, and there is often a fair degree of panic buying in a last-ditch attempt to save a team’s fortunes. This year’s January transfer window has been no different, with the added impact of Covid meaning teams are even more reluctant to let fringe players leave; making things especially difficult. However, there have still been plenty of deals struck by Premier League clubs, and each club’s senior transfers have been reviewed, starting with the first half of the clubs in the league. Part two will review the dealings of the remaining ten sides.
Out: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Barcelona), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Roma, loan), Folarin Balogun (Middlesbrough, loan), Sead Kolasinac (Marseille), Pablo Mari (Udinese, loan), Calum Chambers (Aston Villa)
Arsenal’s January business has left them worryingly short of depth for the remainder of the season. They are currently 6th in the league and fans would have hoped that they could utilise the winter transfer window to improve their squad and kick on in their push for a top four finish. The Gunners brought no one in, and let six first-team players leave the club. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s departure was a drawn out saga which culminated with the Gabon striker being released on deadline day, before subsequently being signed by Barcelona. He was no longer in Arsenal’s plans, with Mikel Arteta having left him out for several weeks due to discipline issues. To lose the striker for free, even despite the fact he hasn’t been playing, is poor business from Arsenal. To not sign another striker could be catastrophic.
In: Philippe Coutinho (loan), Lucas Digne, Robin Olsen (loan), Calum Chambers
Out: Keinan Davis (Nottingham Forest, loan), Wesley (Internacional, loan), Anwar El Ghazi (Everton, loan), Matt Targett (Newcastle United, loan) Jaden Philogene-Bidance (Stoke City, loan), Caleb Chukwuemeka (Livingston, loan)
As far as the Premier League is concerned, Aston Villa are the undisputed champions of the 2022 January transfer window. With Steven Gerrard’s arrival came the opportunity to attract a higher calibre of player, due to the respect he has in the game from his fine playing career. The loan signing of Philippe Coutinho is a move that would never have been possible without Gerrard’s influence. Having played alongside the Brazilian at Liverpool, Gerrard will hope he can get Coutinho back to his best, and a debut goal against Manchester United will have already helped his cause. Villa also capitalised on Lucas Digne’s untenable situation at Everton by bringing him to Villa Park. Digne is a very talented left-back who greatly improves Villa’s left side. Calum Chambers also joined from Arsenal to add further depth to a growing squad and should also improve the side.
In terms of departures, Keinan Davis will benefit from game time out on loan, as should Jaden Philogene-Bidance and Caleb Chukwuemeka. Matt Targett was allowed to join Newcastle United on loan due to instantly losing his starting spot to Digne, and Anwar El Ghazi and Wesley are unlikely to be missed.
In: Christian Eriksen, Jonas Lossl, Deji Sotona (loan)
Out: Dominic Thompson (Ipswich, loan), Mads Bidstrup (FC Nordsjaelland, loan), Charlie Goode (Sheffield United, loan), Marcus Forss (Hull City, loan)
After a strong start to their maiden Premier League campaign, Brentford are at risk of being dragged into a relegation battle. However, the signing of ex-Inter Milan and Tottenham Hotspur playmaker, Christian Eriksen, could put an end to that. Eriksen has not played since he suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch playing for Denmark at Euro 2020, but has proven his fitness to allow Brentford to sign him as a free agent following his release from Inter Milan. All being well health-wise, he should be a real asset to Thomas Frank’s side and, with 6 other Danes in the side, he should feel at home in his new surroundings. Jonas Lossl has also come in to provide an additional option in goal with David Raya still out injured. As well as the incomings, Brentford managed to keep their best players at the club and are now in a strong position to secure their Premier League status for another year.
Brighton and Hove Albion
In: Kacper Kozlowski, Denis Undav, Benicio Baker-Boaitey (loan)
Out: Aaron Connolly (Middlesbrough, loan), Dan Burn (Newcastle United), Jurgen Locadia (Bochum), Taylor Richards (Birmingham City, loan), Denis Undav (Royale Union Saint-Gilloise, loan), Kacper Kozlowski (Royale Union Saint-Gilloise, loan)
Brighton used the window to build for the future, with 18-year-olds Kacper Kozlowski and Benicio Baker-Boaitey joining the club. Kozlowski was immediately loaned to Royale Union Saint-Gilloise, while Baker-Boaitey has joined on loan from Porto with a view to a permanent move in the summer. Striker Denis Undav was also brought in from Royale Union Saint-Gilloise, before being loaned back to the Belgian club for the remainder of the season. Jurgen Locadia joined Bochum permanently, having not been in Graham Potter’s plans, while Aaron Connolly and Taylor Richards secured domestic loans. The departure that Brighton would have liked to avoid was that of defender Dan Burn, but the club did not begrudge him the opportunity to join Newcastle United, who are his boyhood club.
In: Wout Weghorst
Out: Chris Wood (Newcastle United)
It was quite a shock when Newcastle signed striker Chris Wood from Burnley for £20 million. The Magpies matched Wood’s release clause and, as such, Burnley were powerless to prevent their most consistent striker from moving to their relegation rivals. Sean Dyche’s men have signed a striker in the same mould, with 6 foot 6 inch Dutch striker, Wout Weghorst, joining on deadline day. His goal record at former club Wolfsburg was better than Wood’s at Burnley, with Weghorst averaging a goal every other game in the Bundesliga. The potential concern, though, is that he is unproven in the Premier League and will have to hit the ground running if he is to fire the Clarets to Premier League survival. They have games in hand, and Maxwel Cornet returning from the African Cup of Nations, so hope is far from lost for the Turf Moor club; but one or two more signings could have really helped their cause.
Out: Lewis Baker (Stoke City), Tino Anjorin (Huddersfield Town, loan)
Chelsea were very quiet in the transfer window, and finished the month without any incomings. They have a large squad with quality and cover in every position. They may have looked at bringing in a left-back on loan and explored the option of recalling Emerson from his loan at Lyon to cover Ben Chilwell’s injury, but ultimately will have to make do with who they already have at the club to fill that void. Lewis Baker finally left the club permanently, after eight loans away, and Tino Anjorin was sent on loan to Huddersfield Town for the remainder of the season, having spent the first part of the season on loan at Lokomotiv Moscow in Russia. It was rumoured that Anjorin was the subject of interest from Southampton, and the Saints may still return for him in the summer.
In: Jean-Philippe Mateta, Luke Plange
Out: Luke Plange (Derby County, loan)
Crystal Palace endured something of a squad overhaul in the summer, following the arrival of Patrick Vieira as manager. That, coupled with their relatively comfortable position in the league, meant that there was little reason to splurge this window. Instead, Palace did some seemingly sensible business. Jean-Philippe Mateta’s loan was made permanent after an impressive upturn in form recently, while young striker Luke Plange was signed from Derby County, showing that Vieira’s side have an eye on the future. Plange was sent back to Derby on loan for the remainder of the season to help as Wayne Rooney’s side look to pull off perhaps the greatest relegation escape in recent history.
In: Vitali Mykolenko, Nathan Patterson, Anwar El Ghazi, Dele Alli, Donny van de Beek (loan)
Out: Lucas Digne (Aston Villa), Ellis Simms (Hearts, loan)
Despite the transfers, the biggest thing for Everton in January was the sacking of divisive manager Rafa Benitez and the subsequent appointment of Frank Lampard as boss. This is a real chance for Lampard to revive his managerial career, but he faces an enormous challenge to get Everton to where they want to be. The departure of Lucas Digne will frustrate fans of the Toffees, as his issue was with Benitez, who departed shortly after Digne’s move, and not the club. they acted swiftly to replace the outgoing left-back however, bringing in 22-year-old Vitali Mykolenko from Dynamo Kiev. Young right-back, Nathan Patterson, was also brought in from Rangers to freshen up a position occupied by an ageing Seamus Coleman.
Anwar El Ghazi joined on loan, which may have been seen as underwhelming by the Everton faithful. However, they would not have been underwhelmed by the signings of Dele Allii and Donny van de Beek on deadline day. Van de Beek is on loan, while Alli has joined permanently; initially for free but with a number of potential future payments tied to performance related clauses. The pair both come in with a lot to prove and Everton could provide them with the perfect environment in which to do just that.
In: Mateo Joseph Fernandez
Out: Cody Drameh (Cardiff City, loan)
Leeds United have struggled with unavailability due to injuries and Covid more than most in the Premier League this season and it has thrust the lack of depth in their squad into the spotlight. Marcelo Bielsa likes to work with a small squad, but his side have been victims of this shallow squad this season. They failed to address this in January, only bringing in 18-year-old striker Mateo Joseph Fernandez, and could well suffer the consequences. The positive for Leeds is that they didn’t lose any of their star men, in particular Raphinha, who a number of Europe’s biggest sides are reported to have an eye on. Cody Drameh was the only senior departure, joining Cardiff City on loan. It is likely that Leeds fans will have hoped for a few more bodies through the door at Elland Road, but Bielsa is more than capable of getting his side out of danger.
Out: Filip Benkovic (released)
Leicester City are another club whose squad has been pushed to its limits this season. Brendan Rodgers’ men find themselves 10th in the table and have struggled to put together a consistent run of form all season. With injuries, Covid, and the African Cup of Nations, it has been a rarity for Rodgers to be able to field his strongest eleven. For that reason, Leicester may have been tempted to dip into the market, but they let the January window pass them by. With the African Cup of Nations almost over, and a number of players returning from injury, it may be that the club felt they did not need any new recruits. The most positive thing for the Foxes is that they kept their best players for another window, with the likes of Youri Tielemans, Wilfred Ndidi, James Maddison, and Harvey Barnes all the subject of transfer speculation once more.