Dribbling Minds

Dribbling Minds Football Magazine

English Premier League January Transfer Window Review and Analysis

Review first and bottoms out with analysis on January transfers

Premier League Transfer Window Review

Arsenal

Done deals – In: Andrei Arshavin (Zenit St Petersburg, £12m, TBC). Out: Rui Fonte (Crystal Palace, loan), Gavin Hoyte (Watford, loan), Henri Lansbury (Scunthorpe, loan), Quincy Owusu-Abeyie (Cardiff, loan), Rene Steer (Gillingham, loan), Paul Rodgers (Northampton, loan), Jay Simpson (West Brom, loan).

What they needed –  Cover for Cesc Fabregas in the centre of midfield, such as Barcelona’s Yaya Toure, brother of Kolo, and a centre-half.

Andrei Arshavin

Perfect 10: Arsenal got Andrei Arshavin after a long pursuit

What they got – A top class forward with a point to prove after a protracted transfer saga. We think.

Who did they miss out on? No major targets, as Wenger continues to stick to his thrift and youth policies.

How much did they spend? £12m

Where will it get them? Have they done enough to secure a top-five finish? Not sure.

Aston Villa

Done deals – In: Emile Heskey (Wigan, £3.5m), Arsenio Halfhuid (Excelsior, £150,000).  Out: Wayne Routledge (QPR, £1.5m), Sam Williams (Walsall, loan).

What they needed An aerial threat to compensate for John Carew’s absence.

What they got Emile Heskey, a man Martin O’Neill knows well and the ideal attacking buy for Villa.

Emile Heskey

Big splash: Emile Heskey has made an instant impact at Aston Villa

Who did they miss out on? Off-loading Nicky Shorey, perhaps.

How much did they spend? £3.65m

Where will it get them? A top-four finish.

Blackburn

Done deals – In: Nick Blackman (Macclesfield, undisclosed), El-Hadji Diouf (Sunderland, £2.8m), Gael Givet (Marseille, loan). Out: Frank Fielding (Rochdale, loan), Eddie Nolan (Preston, undisclosed), Jamie Clarke (Rotherham, free), Sergio Peter (Sparta Prague, £500,000).

What they needed – Strengthening in all departments. A creative midfielder, a couple of defenders and to hold on to Roque Santa Cruz.

What they got – Blackburn stood firm against pressure from moneybags Man City and have done themselves a massive favour by keeping Santa Cruz.

Who did they miss out on? Marco Zoro. The Benfica defender was unable to secure a work permit for a loan deal.

How much did they spend? £2.8m

Where will it get them? Another season in the Premier League.

Bolton

Done deals – In: Sebastien Puygrenier (Zenit St Petersburg, loan), Mark Davies (Wolves, £1m),  Ariza Makukula (Benfica, loan). Out: Heidar Helguson (QPR, undisclosed), Kevin Nolan (Newcastle, £4.5m).

What they needed A centre half, a midfielder and a striker.

What they got – Not a lot, really. Davies looks a good signing – but they needed an addition rather than just a replacement for Nolan.

Sebastien Puygrenier

Head start: Sebastien Puygrenier scores for Bolton against Tottenham at the weekend

Who did they miss out on? Jimmy Bullard and Calum Davenport.

How much did they spend? £1m

Where will it get them? They should be OK, but Gary Megson hasn’t done himself many favours with his lack of activity.

Chelsea

Done deals –  In: Ricardo Quaresma (Inter Milan, loan), Gokhan Tore (Bayer Leverkusen, £500,000). Out: Wayne Bridge (Manchester City, £12m), Jack Cork (Watford, loan), Jimmy Smith (Leyton Orient, loan), Carlo Cudicini (Spurs, free), Lee Sawyer (Coventry, loan), Jack Cork (Watford, loan).

What they needed Scolari claimed he needed two new faces at Stamford Bridge, one being a striker.

What they got – Width and a player who can understand Scolari in Quaresma, which is no mean feat.

Ricardo Quaresma

Speaking the same language: Ricardo Quaresma is joining up with his former Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari at Chelsea

Who did they miss out on? Sevilla’s Luis Fabiano.

How much did they spend? Just an estimated £500,000 as Chelsea chose to display credit crunch chic.

Where will it get them? Top-three finish.

Everton

Done deals – In: Jo (Man City, loan). Out: Lee Molyneux (Southampton, free), John Ruddy (Crewe, loan),  John-Paul Kissock (Accrington Stanley, loan).

What they needed – A striker.

What they got Jo, who flopped at Man City but will be looking to recapture the form he showed at CSKA Moscow and Corinthians.

Jo

Changing colours: Jo left Manchester City for Everton

Who did they miss out on? Paris Saint-Germain’s Fabrice Pancrat, Rennes’ Stephane Mbia and Trond Olsen from Bodo Glimt.

How much did they spend? Nothing.

Where will it get them? Hopefully a few more goals but, with Tim Cahill in your side, who needs a tippy-tappy Brazilian?

Fulham

Done deals –  In: Olivier Dacourt (Inter Milan, loan), Julian Gray (Coventry, undisclosed), Giles Barnes (Derby, loan). Out: Hameur Bouazza (Birmingham, loan), Lee Cook (QPR, undisclosed), TJ Moncur (Wycombe, free), Seol Ki-hyeon (Al-Hilal, loan), Leon Andreasen (Hannover 96, loan), Adrian Leijer (Norwich, loan), Andranik Teymourian (Barnsley, loan), Jimmy Bullard (Hull, £5m).

What they needed – To hold on to Bullard and perhaps sign another midfielder.

What they got – Some experience in the shape of Dacourt and a slimmed-down squad as eight players left the club.

Olivier Dacourt

War veteran: Olivier Dacourt (left) will add bite to the Fulham midfield

Who did they miss out on? Bodo Glimt’s Trond Olsen, possibly Christophe Berra from Hearts.

How much did they spend? Nothing, despite frenzied transfer activity at Craven Cottage.

Where will it get them? Roy Hodgson will be hoping to repeat Fulham’s form of 2008 in 2009. A mid-table finish.

Hull City

Done deals – In: Kevin Kilbane (Wigan, £500,000), Kamil Zayatte (Young Boys, £2.5m), Jimmy Bullard (Fulham, £5m), Manucho (Man Utd, loan). Out: Dean Windass (Oldham, loan), Wayne Brown (Leicester, loan),  Stelios Giannakopoulos (Larissa, undisclosed), Yann Ekra (Panionios, loan).

What they needed Defensive cover and a midfield holding player to ease the burden on Ian Ashbee.

What they got – Width and experience in Kilbane and Premier League quality in Bullard.

Jimmy Bullard

Eye of the Tigers: Jimmy Bullard is presented to fans after signing for Hull

Who did they miss out on? Luis Boa Morte from West Ham, Espanyol’s Steve Finnan.

How much did they spend? £8m

Where will it get them? Can Bullard stop the rot at City? He will need to bit fit for the remaining 14 games and Hull will need to remember how to defend if they are to stay up.

Liverpool

Done deals – Out: Robbie Keane (Spurs, £15m), Peter Gulacsi (Hereford, loan), Adam Hammill (Barnsley, loan), Craig Lindfield (Accrington, loan), Krisztian Nemeth (Blackpool, loan), Jermaine Pennant (Portsmouth, loan).

What they needed – Another proven finisher might have been useful.

What they got – Rafa Benitez got rid of Robbie Keane, which seemed to be his priority.

Robbie Keane

Getaway: Robbie Keane left Liverpool after not even getting on the bench by the end of his Anfield days

Who did they miss out on? Nobody, really. Liverpool weren’t particularly active in this transfer window.

How much did they spend? Nothing, but the Keane saga could cost Liverpool more than £5m.

Where will it get them? A good run in the Champions League and the runners up spot in the Premier League.

Manchester City

Done deals – In: Wayne Bridge (Chelsea, £12m), Shay Given (Newcastle, £5.9m plus add-ons), Nigel de Jong (SV Hamburg, £15m), Craig Bellamy (West Ham, £12m). Out:Sam Williamson (Wrexham, free), Jo (Everton, loan), Tal Ben Haim (Sunderland, loan), Paul Marshall (Blackpool, loan), Javan Vidal (Aberdeen, loan).

What they needed – Two strikers, a left back, a centre half, a holding midfield player and a new goalkeeper.

What they got A solid left-back, a good goalkeeper, a journeyman and Nigel de Jong. Not exactly Kaka, but a surprisingly down-to-earth set of purchases.

 Bellamy and De Jong are unveiled by boss Mark Hughes

City revolution: Bellamy and De Jong are unveiled by boss Mark Hughes

Who did they miss out on? Kaka (because AC Milan ‘bottled it’), Scott Parker, Roque Santa Cruz, David Villa, John Terry, Gianluigi Buffon. We could go on…

How much did they spend? £45m

Where will it get them? A bottom-half finish.

Manchester United

Done deals –  In: Ritchie De Laet (Stoke, undisclosed ), Adem Ljajic (Partizan Belgrade, undisclosed, loaned back to Belgrade), Toran Tosic (Partizan Belgrade, undisclosed). Out: Sam Hewson (Hereford, loan), David Gray (Plymouth, loan), James Chester (Peterborough, loan), Tom Cleverley (Leicester, loan), Manucho (Hull, loan).

What they needed – Nothing, really.

What they got – More promising young talent to fuel the Manchester United machine.

Zoran Tosic and Giovani Dos Santos

On the move: Zoran Tosic shields the ball from Spurs midfielder Giovani Dos Santos

Who did they miss out on? Wigan’s Wilson Palacios, perhaps.

How much did they spend? Undisclosed, but we’re not talking big money by United’s standards.

Where will it get them? The title. And many more in years to come.

Middlesbrough

Done deals –  In: Marlon King (Wigan, loan). Out: Graeme Owens (Blackpool, loan), Jonathan Grounds (Norwich, loan), Seb Hines (Derby, loan), Mido (Wigan, loan),  Tom Craddock (Luton Town, £80,000).

What they needed To hold on to Downing, a new striker and midfield cover.

What they got Wigan’s Marlon King after he fell out with Phil Brown at Hull City.

Marlon King

Kicking King: Boro new boy Marlon

Who did they miss out on? Ben Watson, who took a look around the training ground and went to Wigan instead.

How much did they spend? Nothing.

Where will it get them? Relegation. The white flag has been waved up at the Riverside.

Newcastle

Done deals –  In: Ryan Taylor (Wigan, undisclosed), Peter Lovenkrands (Schalke, free), Kevin Nolan (Bolton, £4.5m). Out: Shay Given (Man City, £5.9m plus add-ons), Charles N’Zogbia (Wigan, £6m plus Ryan Taylor).

What they needed Re-building.

What they got – Kevin Nolan, a throwback Joe Kinnear buy.

Kevin Nolan

New man in Toon: Former Bolton midfielder Kevin Nolan

Who did they miss out on?  Rennes’ Stephane Mbia, Tolouse defender Albin Ebondo, Manchester City’s Michael Johnson.

How much did they spend? £4.5m, but that’s nothing compared to the £6m Wigan shelled out to take N’Zogbia to the JJB Stadium – what is that about?

Where will it get them? It doesn’t look good at St James’ Park, but they might just be safe.

Portsmouth

Done deals – In: Nadir Belhadj (Lens, £4m), Angelos Basinas (AEK Athens, undisclosed), Theofanis Gekas (Bayer Leverkusen, loan), Hayden Mullins (West Ham, undisclosed), Pele (Porto, loan),  Jermaine Pennant (Liverpool, loan). Out: Jermain Defoe (Tottenham, £15.75m), Lassana Diarra (Real Madrid, £20m), Khaleem Hyland (Zulte Waregem, loan).

What they needed To hang on to their best players and to spend some of the profit they made on Defoe and Diarra.

What they got – An aging Greece player and Tony Adams’ prerequisite five signings – though they’re hardly household names.

Who did they miss out on? Gary O’Neil from Middlesbrough, Newcastle’s Joey Barton, Valencia duo Manuel Fernandes and Edu, and Real Madrid’s Javier Saviola.

How much did they spend? Nothing, but they made an absolute packet (£35.75m).

Where will it get them? A new manager before the season is out.

Stoke City

Done deals –  In: James Beattie (Sheffield United, undisclosed), Matthew Etherington (West Ham, £2m), Henri Camara (Wigan, loan). Out: Nathaniel Wedderburn (Notts County, loan), Lewis Buxton (Sheff Wed, nominal fee), Ryan Shotton (Tranmere, loan), Carl Dickinson (Leeds, loan), Tom Soares (Charlton, loan),  Ritchie de Laet (Manchester United, undisclosed). 

What they needed – A striker and a midfielder.

What they got – A striker (Beattie) and a midfielder (Etherington). Genius. Straight-forward, just like Stoke’s tactics.

James Beattie

Red hot: James Beattie is mobbed after scoring against Manchester City

Who did they miss out on? Aston Villa’s Marlon Harewood.

How much did they spend? £2m plus an undisclosed fee for Beattie.

Where will it get them? Sensible, solid buys from Tony Pulis might save them from the dreaded drop.

Sunderland

Done deals – In: Paul McShane (loan recalled from Hull City), Calum Davenport (West Ham, loan), Tal Ben Haim (Man City, loan). Out: Graham Kavanagh (Carlisle, free), Roy O’Donovan (Blackpool, loan), Michael Chopra (Cardiff, loan), Pascal Chimbonda (Spurs, undisclosed), Liam Miller (QPR, loan), El-Hadji Diouf (Blackburn, £2.8m).

What they needed To thin down their squad, but keep Kenwyne Jones and bring in some defensive back up.

What they got – Some good loan signings and the signature of Jones. Ricky Sbragia’s war cry to Spurs is also worth mentioning (’I don’t know why Kenwyne would want to sign for a club like Spurs – it’s not as if they are a top-four team.’).

Who did they miss out on? Nobody, really.

How much did they spend? Nothing.

Where will it get them? A bottom half finish.

Tottenham Hotspur

Done deals – In: Jermain Defoe (Portsmouth, £15.75m), Robbie Keane (Liverpool, £15m), Carlo Cudicini (Chelsea, free), Pascal Chimbonda (Sunderland, undisclosed), Wilson Palacios (Wigan, £14m).  Out: Tomas Pekhart (Sparta Prague, 12-month loan), Hossam Ghaly (Nassr Saudi Club, undisclosed), Cesar Sanchez (Valencia, free), Troy Archibald-Henville (Exeter, loan), David Button (Bournemouth, loan),  Kevin-Prince Boateng (Borussia Dortmund, loan), Charlie Daniels (Leyton Orient, free), Paul Stalteri (Borussia Monchengladbach, free).

What they needed A goalkeeper, defensive cover, a midfield player and a striker.

What they got A goalkeeper, midfielder, two strikers and the wrath of a host of Premier League clubs.

Jermain Defoe

Back in the old routine: Jermain Defoe rejoined Spurs, but then suffered injury

Who did they miss out onPortsmouth’s Glen Johnson and Peter Crouch, Fulham’s Brede Hangeland, Inter Milan’s Adriano.

How much did they spend? In excess of £45m. Not bad considering Spurs weren’t going to spend anything in the transfer window until Redknapp’s rant at the club’s AGM.

Where will it get them? A bottom half finish.

West Bromwich Albion

Done deals – In: Jay Simpson (Arsenal, loan), Juan Carlos Menseguez (San Lorenzo, loan), Youssouf Mulumbu (Paris Saint-Germain, loan), Marc-Antoine Fortune (Nancy, loan). Out: Sherjill MacDonald (Roeselare, loan), Joss Labadie (Shrewsbury, loan), Lee Baker (Kidderminster Harriers, loan).

What they needed – A midfield player and a striker.

What they got – Jay Simpson, who looks like a great loan signing.

Jay Simpson

Impact signing: Jay Simpson celebrates after scoring for West Bromwich Albion

Who did they miss out on? Ariza Makukula from Benfica and Paris Saint-Germain’s Peguy Luyindula.

How much did they spend? Nothing.

Where will it get them? Shrewd signings from West Brom, but relegation could still beckon.

West Ham

Done deals – In: Savio Nsereko (Brescia, £9m), Radoslav Kovac (Spartak Moscow, loan). Out: Lee Bowyer (Birmingham, loan), Joe Widdowson (Grimsby, loan), Calum Davenport (Sunderland, loan), Julien Faubert (Real Madrid, loan), Hayden Mullins (Portsmouth, undisclosed), Nigel Quashie (Wolves, loan), Kyel Reid (Wolves, loan), Craig Bellamy (Man City, £12m), Matthew Etherington (Stoke, £2m).

What they needed – To keep hold of Craig Bellamy, Scott Parker and Matthew Upson and trim down their squad.

What they got – Decent money for wantaway Bellamy, a slimmer squad, a promising looking record signing and a defender on loan. Zola might not like the mid-season transfer window but he acted shrewdly.

Savio Nsereko

Welcome to the Premier League: West Ham striker Savio (centre) struggles for the ball

Who did they miss out on? Nobody, really.

How much did they spend? £9m

Where will it get them? A top half finish.

Wigan

Done deals – In: Ben Watson (Crystal Palace, £2m), Mido (Middlesbrough, loan), Hugo Rodallega (Necaxa, £4.5m), Charles N’Zogbia (Newcastle United, £6m). Out: Kevin Kilbane (Hull City, £500,000), Emile Heskey (Aston Villa, £3.5m), Marlon King (Middlesbrough, loan), Luke Ashworth (Leyton Orient, free), Wilson Palacios (£14m),  Lewis Montrose (Cheltenham Town, loan), Ryan Taylor (Newcastle United, undisclosed), Henri Camara (Stoke City, loan).

What they needed A striker. Amr Zaki is on loan from Zamalek and Emile Heskey was out of contract at the end of the season.

What they got Decent money for Heskey and a considerable profit for Palacios. Plus they managed to bag two strikers.

Who did they miss out on? Tying up a permanent deal for Zaki would have been useful.

How much did they spend? £12.5m

Where will it get them? Steve Bruce will be hoping for more of the same from Wigan in the second half of the season.

Premier League Transfer Window Analysis

A look at how each Premier League club did in the January transfer window.

ARSENAL
Major signing: Andrei Arshavin (£15m from Zenit St. Petersburg)
Arsenal fans will contend that January has been a disaster because no defensive midfielder has been bought yet again, but Arsene Wenger’s tunnel-visioned pursuit of Arshavin suggests that it was never his intention to strengthen in any other area. I am just not sure how Arshavin, Walcott, Fabregas and Rosicky are all going to play together. But apparently, ‘Arsene knows’.

ASTON VILLA
Major signing: Emile Heskey (£3.5m from Wigan).
They needed strike cover for John Carew and they got exactly that – and he’s already paid back a chunk of his £3.5m fee with a match-winning goal. They could have got Heskey for free in the summer but Martin O’Neill clearly thought that possible Champions League qualification was worth the outlay. Fans, meanwhile, may still argue that they lack squad depth for a big four challenge – with an over-reliance on two/three key players – but that is probably an issue for the summer.

BLACKBURN
Major signings: Gael Givet (loan from Marseille), El-Hadji Diouf (£2m from Sunderland).
Blackburn had one goal in January – to get to the end of the month with either Roque Santa Cruz or a massive pile of money and a decent replacement. In the end it was the former. El-Hadji Diouf will be an asset in a relegation battle that is looking more likely than it did on December 1st.

BOLTON
Major signings: Ariza Makukula (loan from Benfica), Sebastien Puygrenier (loan from Zenit St Petersburg), Mark Davies (undiscl. from Wolves).
Major sales: Kevin Nolan (£4m to Newcastle)
Nolan was surprised that Bolton – with one of the smallest squads in the Premier League – were prepared to sell, but Nolan is perhaps labouring under the illusion that he is still the same player of two or three years ago. In truth, he had stagnated and Gary Megson obviously thought he had a cheaper, hungrier replacement in Mark Davies. There were disappointments (failure to sign Miguel Veloso and Pedro Mendes) but Megson has increased numbers and that was his target at the onset of January.

CHELSEA
Major signing: Ricardo Quaresma (loan from Inter Milan).
Major sales: Wayne Bridge (£10m to Man City), Carlo Cudicini (free to Tottenham).
We will never know whether defeat at Anfield precipitated Ricardo Quaresma’s move to Chelsea, but there was every indication prior to that poor performance that there would be no movement into Stamford Bridge this January. Big Phil Scolari has a reason to be very pleased – he has the width and the creativity he wanted in a player he presumably knows very well. He has also somehow brought in £10m for a reserve left-back, though it’s somewhat surprising that Hilario remains Chelsea’s second-choice keeper. If Peter Cech gets injured, Chelsea are in deep trouble.

EVERTON
Major signing: Jo (loan from Manchester City)
David Moyes had no money to spend so he was only ever looking at loan signings – and funnily enough, clubs are unwilling to lend out prolific strikers. Though Kevin Kuranyi would have been something of a coup, there must be a reason that Jo cost £18m just a few months ago and Moyes’ job is to somehow weed that form back out of him, and it’s costing the club only wages. Elsewhere, we remain amazed that no bigger clubs are throwing around massive cash to get Mikel Arteta or Tim Cahill, and every window that passes with those two still at the club has to be deemed a success.

FULHAM
Major signings: Giles Barnes (loan from Derby), Olivier Dacourt (loan from Inter Milan).
Major sale: Jimmy Bullard (£5m to Hull).
Jimmy Bullard’s suggestion that he “wasn’t willing to play” for Fulham prior to his move suggests that getting £5m for an unmotivated 30-year-old actually represents a good deal for the Cottagers. They kept hold of player of the season so far Brede Hangeland and brought in experience in the form of Olivier Dacourt, which should mean that Fulham fans are unlikely to have to watch Dickson Etuhu too often this season.

HULL CITY
Major signings: Kevin Kilbane (undisc, Wigan), Manucho (loan from Manchester United), Kamil Zayatte (Young Boys), Jimmy Bullard (£5m from Fulham).
With the club in freefall, Hull were in desperate need of quality. Signing Bullard is undoubtedly a coup – though an expensive one – but they still look terribly lightweight at the attacking end of the pitch. Manucho has looked far from a Manchester United player so it’s no surprise that the Tigers made a (failed) move for Victor Anichebe before the deadline. There are still alarm bells ringing.

LIVERPOOL
Major sales: Jermaine Pennant (loan to Portsmouth), Robbie Keane (£12m to Tottenham).
Even Rafa Benitez admits it’s a risk to lose Keane with no replacement, but add Jermaine Pennant into the equation and that’s two attacking players removed from a team competing on three fronts. Liverpool have options beyond Fernando Torres – Dirk Kuyt, Ryan Babel and David Ngog – but none of those players can boast an impressive goalscoring record at the highest level. There is now an even bigger reliance on the Torres-Gerrard axis and only May will tell us if this has been a disastrous error of judgement from Rafa.

MANCHESTER CITY
Major signings: Wayne Bridge (£10m from Chelsea), Craig Bellamy (£14m from West Ham), Nigel De Jong (£18m from Hamburg), Shay Given (undiscl. from Newcastle).
Major sales: Tal Ben Haim (loan to Sunderland), Jo (loan to Everton).
They’ve spent a sodding lot of money and yet they haven’t bought a single player seriously wanted by a Big Four side, and that tells you everything you need to know about City at the moment. There was no marquee signing and possibly more importantly in terms of a possible relegation battle, there was no experienced central defender. There was also no Roque Santa Cruz or any other striker to add a different dimension to a skilful but small forward line. Garry Cook might tell you that it’s been a successful transfer window but in truth, it’s been a disaster.

MANCHESTER UNITED
Major signings: Zoran Toðiã and Adem Ljajiã (£17m from Partizan Belgrade).
Nothing really happened – barring the ‘for the future’ signings of two Serbs – and that’s exactly what they wanted.

MIDDLESBROUGH
Major signing: Marlon King (loan from Wigan).
Major sale: Mido (loan to Wigan).
The spin from the Riverside will be that ending January with Stewart Downing and Gary O’Neil still in the squad represents victory. But the truth is that Boro have failed to strengthen one of the weakest teams in the Premier League, even failing to persuade Ben Watson to move from Crystal Palace. The future does not look bright.

NEWCASTLE UNITED
Major signings: Peter Lovenkrands (free from Schalke), Kevin Nolan (£4m from Bolton), Ryan Taylor (swap deal from Wigan).
Major sales: Shay Given (undiscl. to Manchester City), Charles N’Zogbia (swap deal to Wigan).
Mike Ashley needs to explain how he can justify making a profit in the transfer window when his club is deep in relegation trouble . They clearly tried to buy – Darren Bent and Michael Johnson among their targets – but you wonder why they were trying so hard on February 2 rather than January 2. They still have a massive striker shortage and a manager that makes a relegation battle inevitable.

PORTSMOUTH
Major signings: Nadir Belhadj (£4.4m from Lens), Jermaine Pennant (loan from Liverpool), Pele (loan from Porto), Hayden Mullins (undisc, West Ham), Theofanis Gekas (loan from Bayer Leverkusen), Angelos Basinas (free from AEK Athens).
Major sales: Lassana Diarra (Real Madrid, £20m), Jermaine Defoe (Tottenham, £15.75m).
You can’t help but think that Portsmouth have lost quality and gained numbers. Impossible to judge just how good these deals are until we’ve seen them in action, but they will inevitably have the problem of waiting for new players to settle. At first glance it all just looks distinctly average apart from Nadir Belhadj, who has already proved his worth this season. But points to Pompey for at least having a proper crack, unlike the two clubs above.

STOKE CITY
Major signings: Matthew Etherington (£2m from West Ham), James Beattie (£3.5m to Sheffield United), Henri Camara (loan from Wigan).
Sensible signings from Stoke with players hungry to prove a point in the Premier League, and it’s telling that Etherington and Beattie were their outstanding performers in Saturday’s win over Manchester City. Stephen Kelly could still join and he was solid enough for Birmingham last season. They still inevitably face a battle but things look brighter on February 3 than on January 3.

SUNDERLAND
Major signings: Tal Ben Haim (loan from Manchester City), Calum Davenport (loan from West Ham).
Major sales: Pascal Chimbonda (undisc to Tottenham), El-Hadji Diouf (£2m to Blackburn), Michael Chopra (loan to Cardiff City).
Ricky Sbragia’s intention was always to buy experienced Premier League defenders and that’s exactly what he did – though they might not exactly be the sexiest of signings. A failed move for Darren Bent coupled with the exits of Chopra and Diouf means that Sunderland’s stiker list has shifted from feast to famine, but they can probably afford to wait until the summer to strengthen in that department.

TOTTENHAM
Major signings: Jermain Defoe (£15.75m from Portsmouth), Wilson Palacios (£14m from Wigan), Carlo Cudicini (free from Chelsea), Pascal Chimbonda (undisc. from Sunderland), Robbie Keane (£12m from Liverpool).
Spurs have spent a lot of money recreating the Spurs side of two years ago. There’s definitely more than enough quality there to keep Spurs in the Premier League, though you could certainly argue that they have overpaid for Defoe and Palacios. Question marks remain over the signing of Keane – the player whose presence forced Defoe out of the club just a year ago – but you can’t help but concede that Redknapp has strengthened the squad, if at a substantial price.

WEST BROM
Major signings: Jay Simpson (loan from Arsenal), Marc-Antoine Fortune (loan from Nancy), Youssouf Mulumbu (loan from PSG), Juan Carlos Menseguez (loan from San Lorenzo).
If the unknown trio on this list show the same promise as Jay Simpson, West Brom have done some good business. It’s interesting to see a very different approach from that of Stoke – all loans, no commitment to Premier League wages, all unknown quantities. The jury will remain very much out for now.

WEST HAM
Major signings: Savio Nsereko (£9m from Brescia), Radoslav Kovac (loan from Spartak Moscow).
Major sales: Matthew Etherington (£2m to Stoke), Lee Bowyer (loan to Birmingham), Craig Bellamy (£14million to Manchester City), Nigel Quashie (loan to Wolves), Hayden Mullins (undisc, Portsmouth), Julien Faubert (loan to Real Madrid), Calum Davenport (loan to Sunderland).
Considering all the headlines in December were about a fire sale at West Ham, they can be chuffed to get to the end of January with Rob Green, Scott Parker and Matty Upson still in the squad, a massive pile of money for Craig Bellamy and a lot of bit-part players off the payroll. The Hammers’ form has earned Gianfranco Zola the right to use his judgement on Savio, and good luck to him.

WIGAN
Major signings: Hugo Rodallega (£4.5m from Necaxa), Mido (loan from Middlesbrough), Ben Watson (£2m from Crystal Palace), Charles N’Zogbia (swap deal from Newcastle)
Major sales: Wilson Palacios (£14m to Tottenham), Marlon King (loan to Middlesbrough), Emile Heskey (£3.5m to Aston Villa), Henri Camara (loan to Stoke), Ryan Taylor (swap deal to Newcastle).
Had Wigan been ensconced in a relegation battle, they would probably have hung on to Heskey until the summer, with the loss of £3.5m being a small price to pay for survival. They probably would still have struggled to turn down £14m for Palacios, but that means they could resist offers for Luis Antonio Valencia until the summer. The success of previously obscure players at Wigan have earned them the right for patience on Rodallega, while you get the feeling that N’Zogbia could flourish at a sensible club. All in all, a good month’s business.

~ Extract courtesy: Premier League News

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February 12, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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