This January transfer window hasn’t been particularly busy. Smaller sides are bringing in squad players while the Big Six (or so) are taking their precious time. Especially in England, money is always the key. But January, as we’ve seen, requires a higher price to pry the world’s best and most promising away from clubs who need them for the remainder of the season.
While the window has been rather dead so far, that doesn’t mean that deals haven’t been made. Whether for loan or for full transfer, players have come and gone as administrations will continue to reevaluate their respective clubs. Searching for the perfect player is one thing – getting them in is another.
Here’s a look at every deal done in the Premier League thus far, midway through the current window.
In: Lewis Grabban (transfer, Norwich City), Benik Afobe (transfer, Wolverhampton Wanderers), Juan Iturbe (loan, AS Roman)
Out: Jayden Stockley (loan, Exeter City)
Probably the most shockingly successful in the January window has been newly-promoted AFC Bournemouth. Grabban was one of the best forwards in the Championship, and a striker that Bournemouth had their eye on this time last season. Iturbe is a renowned young talent that lost favour in Italy. One of the best ways for the Argentinian wide-man to regain his confidence and form is to tear up the Premier League and keep Bournemouth afloat for next season.
Benik Afobe, expected to be a squad player until he gained some more experience, was an integral part of 3-0 dismantling of Norwich City on Saturday. Incisive running and good skill with the ball at his feet, Afobe will surely hope to continue that form through February. The next month or so will be crucial to Bournemouth’s chances of staying up.
In: Mohamed Elneny (transfer, FC Basel)
Out: Gedion Zelalem (loan extension, Rangers)
Little done for the Gunners, but their first dip into the window was a crucial squad move. Though Santi Cazorla has returned to fitness, Francis Coquelin has not. Mathieu Flamini and Mikel Arteta aren’t awful, but they’re not the strongest options for selection, either. Elneny impressed scouts for both Arsenal and former club FC Basel by functioning as the crux for possession as well as transition play. Always the first to drop after his side loses the ball and the first to make an intelligent offensive move after winning it back, Elneny could be a wonderful January signing for the Gunners.
Out: Callum Robinson (loan, Preston North End), Jed Steer (loan, Huddersfield Town), Joe Cole (free, Coventry City), Tiago Ilori (recalled from loan, Liverpool)
Mostly spent their window offloading some that couldn’t be dealt with in the summer. The side bringing up the bottom of the league spent enough in June and July that there’s surely some folks that need to go. Ilori, of course, was brought back into Merseyside due to heavy injuries at Liverpool.
Out: Wallace (loan, Gremio)
Another quiet side, Chelsea seem to be hesitating due to the amount of quality currently in their squad. Though their performances have been poor (disregarding the thrilling 3-3 draw at Everton) and some areas of improvement are apparent, the Abramovich administration surely isn’t looking at spending money at the moment. Especially with Hiddink as only a temporary manager following Jose Mourinho’s sacking.
Out: Jake Gray (loan, Huddersfield Town), Jack Hunt (transfer, Sheffield Wednesday)
Another “out” only club through the middle of January. Both Jake and Jack were surplus to requirements for the remainder of the year, though Alan Pardew has yet to make a winter signing.
In: Matty Foulds (transfer, Bury), Shani Tarashaj (transfer, GC Zurich)
Out: Shani Tarashaj (loan, GC Zurich), Liam Walsh (loan, Yeovil Town)
Both Tarashaj and 17-year-old defender Foulds look to be signings for the future, with the the former being sent back out on loan to his Swiss Zurich side. Liam Walsh also exits on loan for the remainder of the season.
In: Demarai Gray (transfer, Birmingham City)
Out: Joe Davis (transfer, Yeovil Town)
Demarai Gray has been on the monitor of many clubs over the course of the past two seasons, and rightfully so. Tall, pacy, and with a good cross in him, Gray is the kind of wide player that would compliment Vardy perfectly. Since he’s so young, there’s just as much a chance of him being used this season as there is being groomed in preparation for an eventual Vardy or Mahrez departure.
In: Marko Grujic (transfer, Red Star Belgrade), Kevin Stewart (recalled from loan, Swindon Town), Tiago Ilori (recalled from loan, Aston Villa), Ryan Kent (recalled from loan, Coventry City), Steven Caulker (loan, Queens Park Rangers)
Out: Marko Grujic (loan, Red Star Belgrade)
Klopp brought back young, promising players in order to fill several gaps created by injury, using them in cup fixtures while awaiting the return of some of his senior players. Steven Caulker has yet to be used as a defender, brought on twice now as an impromptu striker late in the match. Promising, young Grujic was sent back on loan to his former Serbian side, who are the current league leaders. So, plenty of business done in minor, unspectacular fashion.
Out: Shay Facey (loan, Rotherham United), Ian Lawlor (loan, Bury)
Both young players leave on loan for lower tier sides for the remainder of the season. Simple enough, really, as City look more towards their manager position than any in the first XI.
In: Adnan Januzaj (recalled from loan, Borussia Dortmund)
Out: Ben Pearson (loan, Preston North End), Dean Henderson (loan, Stockport County), Kieran O’Hara (loan, Morecambe)
The young Belgian Januzaj gets brought back in baffling fashion. It looks as though gaffer van Gaal has no intention of using him, yet back to Manchester he comes. But, to be fair, the winger was getting little playing time in Germany.
All three loanees are promising young players who will benefit from first-team experience.
In: Henri Saivet (transfer, Girondins Bordeaux), Jonjo Shelvey (transfer, Swansea City)
Out: Gael Birigimana (loan, Coventry City)
Extending Birigimana’s loan is a good move by Newcastle. Though the Northerners could use the depth in the midfield, they’ve chosen to continue his loan at Coventry and opted instead to sign former Swansea City baldie Jonjo Shelvey. A surprising signing, but one that makes sense. With some quality up front, the Newcastle defense has been abysmal this season. Having a player like Shelvey, who’s got both a tackle and a goal in him, won’t hurt Newcastle at all.
That’s not to say that Steve McClaren hasn’t looked at upgrades in the attack. Saivet will help with goals up front once he settles in. The Senegalese international should also help summer signing Mitrovic, if he ever gets a game again, with his incisive running and tendency to play crosses into the box.
In: Matt Jarvis (transfer, West Ham United), Ivo Pinto (transfer, Dinamo Zagreb), Ben Godfrey (transfer, York City)
Out: Elliott Bennett (transfer, Blackburn Rovers), Lewis Grabban (transfer, AFC Bournemouth)
Plenty of business for the newly promoted Canaries. Jarvis should help with the attack after Grabban leaves for Bournemouth while Ben Godfrey is more a look to the future. Elliott Bennett was a surplus to requirements, struggling to find a game all season. Pinto comes into a large league for the first time in his career as Norwich hope he can shore up the back line.
In: Charlie Austin (transfer, Queens Park Rangers)
Out: Steven Caulker (loan cancelled, Queens Park Rangers)
Small, simple business for Southampton so far this winter window. Caulker is sent back to QPR, who is subsequently loaned out to Liverpool. Charlie Austin is also brought in from the London side, with increased speculation that he will be the replacement for another rumoured Liverpool target: Shane Long.
In: Jan Kirchhoff (transfer, Bayern Munich), Dame N’Doye (loan, Trabzonspor)
Out: Liam Bridcutt (loan, Leeds United), Will Buckley (loan, Birmingham City)
In perhaps the worst debut of the season (if not several seasons), former Bayern Munich defender Kirchoff made Black Cats fans salivate until he actually stepped onto the pitch. N’Doye is an aging forward, but Sunderland need someone other than Jermaine Defoe to start scoring. Bridcutt saw some minutes last season, but Allardyce doesn’t seem to have room for him at the moment. Leeds could use the bruising style of Bridcutt in the midfield, so the deal seems mutually beneficial. Finally, Buckley, who signed from Brighton last season, failed to make an impact on the first team and has been sent back out on loan until summer.
Out: Jonjo Shelvey (transfer, Newcastle United)
Though form is at an absolute low, Swansea have been very positive with their summer signings in the past two years. Sending Shelvey away could be a continuation of that trend, though they’ll need to find someone to replace him.
Out: Alessandro Diamanti (loan, Atalanta)
Diamanti had trouble finding room in a Watford side that’s outperforming expectations at the moment, so away he goes to home country Italy.
West Bromwich Albion
West Ham United
Out: Matt Jarvis (transfer, Norwich City), Stephen Henrie (loan, Southend United), Lewis Page (loan, Colchester United), Diego Poyet (loan, Charlton Athletic)
Like Aston Villa, the Hammers spent a fair few quid in the summer transfer window. The likes of Jarvis and Poyet wouldn’t be finding room in the team for now, though the latter does show some promise for the future. The same goes for Henrie and Page – two young kids away for the experience.
That’s your window so far – who’s good business so far?