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. The first ten clubs’ dealings were reviewed in part one, with this part casting an eye over the remaining ten.
In: Luis Diaz
Out: Nat Phillips (Bournemouth, loan), Neco Williams (Fulham, loan)
Liverpool navigated a potentially sticky January admirably, given the absence of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, and Naby Keita, due to international commitments. They went unbeaten in their fixtures while the trio have been away, but have been noticeably missing the cutting edge provided by Mane and Salah in particular. Salah’s future is not secure, with contract talks ongoing, while Mane is often linked with a move away, so the club acted to sign a player who can play across the front three in Porto’s Luis Diaz. If Mane and Salah stay then they have greater depth in the wide positions where currently the drop off in quality is huge if the pair are unavailable. If they do leave then Diaz will have time to settle before having to take the mantle of filling the enormous void that either would leave.
Jurgen Klopp’s men were also pushing for a deal for Fulham’s 19-year-old Fabio Carvalho but failed to get a deal done. With the youngster’s contract up in the summer, Liverpool will have to fend off plenty of competition for the attacking midfielder in the coming months. Nat Phillips and Neco Williams joined Bournemouth and Fulham respectively. Both were loan deals for players who have found minutes very difficult to come by on Merseyside this season.
In: Julian Alvarez
Out: Julian Alvarez (River Plate, loan), Ferran Torres (Barcelona), Taylor Harwood-Bellis (Stoke City, loan), Tommy Doyle (Cardiff City, loan), Patrick Roberts (Sunderland), Finley Burns (Swansea City, loan)
Manchester City are flying in the Premier League and will be looking to win their maiden Champions League trophy this season too. They are doing so without an out-and-out striker, with Gabriel Jesus having converted to a wide player this season, and a number of others having filled the role at various times across the season. City’s very public courting of Harry Kane in the summer was unsuccessful and they are continuously linked with Erling Haaland; both of which are conventional number nines. They have looked to fill the position for the future in January, though, with 22-year-old striker Julian Alvarez signed from River Plate, before being immediately loaned back to the Argentinian side.
Ferran Torres left the club to join Barcelona, with Pep Guardiola reluctant to block the move of a player that had made clear his intentions to join the Catalan club. There were also a number of loans for younger players in the squad which should help them improve and return looking to break into the first team. Patrick Roberts left permanently to join Sunderland after failing to ever make the grade at City.
Out: Anthony Martial (Sevilla, loan), Donny van de Beek (Everton, loan), Amad Diallo (Rangers, loan), Axel Tuanzebe (Napoli, loan) Teden Mengi (Birmingham City, loan), Ethan Laird (Bournemouth, loan)
Manchester United were relatively quiet in the transfer window, with no incomings for the Old Trafford club. It may be that the club’s hierarchy do not want to bring in new players until they know who their manager will be for next season, which is a sensible approach; although it doesn’t help the side in their bid for a top four finish in the short-term. Links with RB Leipzig midfielder, Amadou Haidara, aren’t going away, but this seems to be a signing high on Ralf Rangnick’s wish list and not necessarily the club’s. The team is still crying out for a defensive midfield player, but this will now have to be addressed in the summer. There were some high profile loan departures too.
Donny van de Beek has had a torrid time at United since joining from Ajax 18 months ago, and has joined Everton in the hope to get regular game time. Anthony Martial’s early promise as a United player has failed to materialise over the past couple of seasons and he has been allowed to join Sevilla on loan, while youngster Amad Diallo has temporarily joined Rangers in a quest for more minutes.
In: Kieran Trippier, Chris Wood, Bruno Guimaraes, Matt Targett, Dan Burn
Out: Freddie Woodman (Bournemouth, loan) Matty Longstaff (Mansfield, loan), Jeff Hendrick (QPR, loan)
With January being the first transfer window for Newcastle United since becoming the richest club in England, and the club in the relegation zone, they had to get things right. They are in serious danger of playing in the Championship next season, despite their new-found wealth, and it was a window where they were often held to ransom in their pursuit of new signings. When clubs know you are suddenly very wealthy and also very desperate, the price of any player is only going to go up. There was a lack of direction at times, as there had been in their managerial pursuit in the early weeks of the new regime, and Newcastle making their targets very public meant that when they didn’t pull off the signings there was some embarrassment.
However, the Magpies did manage to bring in five players in the end; all of whom improve their side. Kieron Trippier was the first signing of the new owners, and is still an England international who greatly improves Newcastle at right-back. Similarly, on the left side of the defence Matt Targett is an improvement on what the club had previously. Dan Burn supporting Newcastle was very beneficial in their pursuit of the tall central defender, and Chris Wood is a proven Premier League striker and the fact he has been plucked from a relegation rival must have been a factor in the deal. The marquee signing was Brazilian Bruno Guimaraes, though. A talented central midfielder, Guimaraes could prove to be a fine piece of business, but he has to come in and start to pull the strings instantly. There are still weaknesses in the squad, and another striker could have made a big difference with Callum Wilson still out injured. The signings made have given Eddie Howe a chance to keep Newcastle in the league, though, which is something that seemed out of reach a few weeks ago.
Out: Todd Cantwell (Bournemouth, loan), Onel Hernandez (Birmingham City, loan), Jordan Hugill (Cardiff City, loan)
Norwich City’s business model revolves around not risking their financial future by throwing money at staying in the Premier League. While the premise of this is admirable, it means that they are a yo-yo club that have struggled to stay in the English top flight for more than a solitary season at any one time in recent history. They have enjoyed an improvement under Dean Smith and find themselves out of the bottom three, however the teams below them all have games in hand on the Canaries. They failed to bring in any new signings in January to bolster their squad for the relegation dogfight that they are set to endure between now and the end of the season.
When Norwich were last in the Premier League, Todd Cantwell looked like a player that was destined for big things. His career has stagnated somewhat since then and he has struggled to tie down a starting spot in a struggling side this season. A loan move to Championship promotion chasers, Bournemouth, could be just what the 23-year-old needs to revive his career.
In: Willy Caballero
Out: Dan Nlundulu (Cheltenham Town, loan), Caleb Watts (Crawley Town, loan), Kayne Ramsay (Ross County, loan), Dynel Simeu (Carlisle, loan)
Southampton did their business for the season in the summer and manager Ralph Hasenhuttl is said to be the happiest he has been with his squad since taking charge in 2018. Injuries to goalkeepers Alex McCarthy and Fraser Forster led to Southampton bringing in free agent, veteran ‘keeper Willy Caballero on a short-term deal in December. Following the expiration of this deal, Caballero was handed a deal until the end of the season which is testament to how well he has deputised despite his lack of football in the last six months. The club are still expected to sign a new goalkeeper in the summer, though.
Southampton were taken over by new owner in January, with Serbian Dragan Solak fronting the Sport Republic group who bought a majority stake in the club. This takeover isn’t expected to result in a massive change in the way Southampton conduct their business, but it was thought that the takeover may accelerate some of the plans for the summer window. Chelsea youngster, Tino Anjorin, was linked with a move to the south coast to join Tino Livramento, Armando Broja, and Dynel Simeu who have all recently made the move from Chelsea to the Saints, but Anjorin was instead loaned to Huddersfield Town. In terms of departures, a number of young players have been sent out on loan to aid their progression into senior football. The main thing for Southampton, though, is that none of their star men departed the club.
In: Rodrigo Bentancur, Dejan Kulusevski (loan)
Out: Dele Alli (Everton), Giovani Lo Celso (Villareal, loan), Bryan Gil (Valencia, loan), Tanguy Ndombele (Lyon, loan), Jack Clarke (Sunderland, loan), Nile John (Charlton Athletic, loan)
Antonio Conte made it no secret that his side needed new recruits in January. It is unthinkable that he would have accepted the managers job at Tottenham without assurances that the club will match his ambition with investment, and the Italian must be frustrated with the window his side endured. They missed out on long-term target Adama Traore to Barcelona, as well as Luis Diaz to Liverpool. They did manage to bring in Rodrigo Bentancur permanently from Conte’s former side, Juventus, and young winger Dejan Kulusevski swapped Turin for North London until the end of the season. Whether this is enough to appease Conte remains to be seen, but it is two players through the door to bolster Spurs’ options.
After a stale few seasons, Dele Alli was allowed to leave for Everton. Tanguy Ndombele has failed to live up to his price tag and has returned to his former side, Lyon, on loan. Giovani Lo Celso has also struggled to make an impression in England and has returned to Spain to join Villarreal on loan, and Bryan Gil has also returned to Spain, joining Valencia on loan. Gil’s loan is expected to simply be for game time before returning to Spurs, but whether Lo Celso and Ndombele’s futures lie at Tottenham is up for debate.
In: Maduka Okoye, Hassan Kamara, Samir, Edo Kayembe, Samuel Kalu
Out: Maduka Okoye (Sparta Rotterdam, loan), Domingos Quina (Barnsley, loan)
Watford’s signings in January were far from inspiring, with little known about their five incoming players. However, if they come in and do well instantly under new manager, Roy Hodgson, then no one will care about their lack of reputation prior to signing. One player that won’t get that opportunity is Maduka Odoye, with the young goalkeeper sent back to Sparta Rotterdam for the rest of the season. Hassan Kamara, Edouard Kayembe, and Samir have all featured since joining the Hornets, with attacker Samuel Kalu waiting for his opportunity. The club opted against players proven in the Premier League, so have taken a risk with their recruitment. With the club in the relegation zone, they may come to rue this decision.
West Ham United
Out: Connor Coventry (MK Dons, loan), Frederik Alves (Brondy)
West Ham United’s fans were left incredibly frustrated with their club’s lack of business in January. The Hammers are fifth in the Premier League and are still in the Europa League and FA Cup, but their shallow squad is always a couple of injuries away from really struggling. Michail Antonio is, inexplicably, still the club’s only conventional centre forward and has looked fatigued for a while now. An ageing Mark Noble is the only like-for-like option to replace either Tomas Soucek or Declan Rice. It is a problem that spreads to a number of positions across the team and the failure to add to their ranks could see them fall short this season. David Moyes has expressed that it wasn’t for a lack of trying, but ultimately this won’t soften the blow should West Ham’s season fizzle out.
Any window where the club keep Declan Rice,however, has a degree of success to it, with the England midfielder’s rise a remarkable one. Jarrod Bowen also remains a Hammer, so it is not all doom and gloom for the London club.
In: Chiquinho, Hayao Kawabe, Hee-Chan Hwang (loan made permanent), Jeong Sang-Bin
Out: Adama Traore (Barcelona, loan), Hayao Kawabe (Grasshoppers, loan), Jeong Sang-Bin (Grasshoppers, loan), Bruno Jordan (Grasshoppers, loan), Theo Corbeanu (MK Dons, loan), Luke Matheson (Scunthorpe, loan), Leonardo Campana (Inter Miami, loan), Dion Sanderson (QPR, loan), Ryan Giles (Blackburn Rovers, loan), Oscar Burr (released).
The main talking point surrounding Wolves’ transfer window was the departure of electric winger, Adama Traore. Traore joined his former club, Barcelona, on loan until the end of the season, with the Catalan club having an option to make the deal permanent in the summer. While Traore terrifies with his pace and power, his end product is all too often lacking, which is why he has been a bit-part player the majority of the time under Bruno Lage. The club have secured the services of Hee-Chan Hwang permanently, following the South Korean’s strong start to the season while on loan, but have also looked to the future with their business. Chiquinho came in to add to the strong Portuguese contingent at the club, while Hayao Kawabe and Jeon Sang-Bin signed prior to being immediately loaned out to Grasshoppers in Switzerland. Lage can be happy with his squad and the incomings, while there is potential to spend any money secured for Traore in the summer.