As this reasonably quiet and predictable January transfer window closes, let’s look and review the moves that went down and the ones that should have as we grade each English Premier League team on their transfer activity or lack thereof.
(Crickets…) (Pen Drop!!!) Once again Arséne Wenger has gone through a transfer window without making one purchase and his only move came in the form of former great Thierry Henry. Come on Arséne, really? The only reason that the Gunner’s didn’t receive an “F” was because of their loaning of Ryo Miyaichi to Bolton because he was in need of playing time as a young 19 year old.
Aston Villa: C+
When Alex McLeish entered his first January transfer window with Aston Villa, fans weren’t expecting much, and the expectations held true as he made no transfers except for a temporary loan deal for LA Galaxy striker Robbie Keane, who has performed well thus far. McLeish went without purchasing a creative central midfielder or an established holding midfielder to pair Stiliyan Petrov.
Blackburn Rovers: D-
Not only did Steve Kean lose his consistent central defender Ryan Nelsen, but he also didn’t bring in any replacement to play alongside the disgruntled Christopher Samba. The only recruits Kean found were QPR backup defender Bradley Orr and Bordeaux’s young striker Anthony Modeste. There isn’t much else to say except have fun in the Championship next year.
Bolton Wanderers: B
The imminent loss of Gary Cahill was no surprise, and promptly after losing the Englishman, Owen Coyle signed Tim Ream from the NY Red Bulls to vie for the central defender spot with Dedryck Boyata. Coyle also brought in Japanese speedster Ryo Miyaichi from Arsenal on a 6-month loan and Marvin Sordell from Watford.
Andre Villas-Boas addressed his leaky defense with the addition of English defender Gary Cahill, and he invested in young talent with the addition of winger Kevin De Bruyne. Villas-Boas loaned out youngsters Patrick Van Aanholt, Josh McEachran, Sam Walker, and De Bruyne. Also, he sold want away defender Alex to PSG.
The old bear has awakened from his slumber as Everton finally participated in a transfer window. The Toffees added Croatian striker Nikica Jelavic to solve their goal scoring problems, Steven Pienaar on a 6-month loan to shore up their outside midfield, Darren Gibson to add solidarity to their central midfield, Landon Donovan on a 3-month loan deal to add some flair and creativity, and they only lost two of their players, Diniyar Bilyaletdinov and Louis Saha, who were quickly replaced by Pienaar and Jelavic, respectively.
Not much here to report, except for the sale of rogue striker Bobby Zamora to QPR and the purchase of his replacement, Pavel Pogrebnyak from Stuttgart.
Liverpool weren’t very busy either, but they did loan out defender Danny Wilson to Championship side, Blackpool. Liverpool didn’t have many needs to address, except a right sided winger, which they will address in the summer and a temporary replacement for Lucas Leiva, which proved unnecessary with the return of “Stevie G”.
Manchester City: B+
Roberto Mancini didn’t have any business in the transfer market for once, except loaning in David Pizarro from Roma for 6-months, and he got rid of two wage weights by loaning out Wayne Bridge to Sunderland and selling Nedum Onuoha to QPR.
Manchester United: D+
Is it just me or has Sir Alex Ferguson become big-headed? With only the addition of former retiree Paul Scholes to show for himself, SAF definitely let down fans this January because everyone knows that Man U needs a world-class central midfielder, not a 37 year old nanny to take care of the position until July. Ferguson did loan out young Italian forward Federico Macheda and sold reserve Mame Biram Diouf.
Newcastle United: B+
Alan Pardew completed another successful January transfer window with the addition of Papiss Demba Cisse, who will pair fellow Senegalese striker Demba Ba. Pardew loaned out Alan Smith to MK Dons to complete another quiet, but efficient transfer window for the Magpies.
Norwich City: B
Not many needs to fill, but they did add depth to the midfield with the addition of Jonathan Howson from Leeds United. Paul Lambert continues to use the lower leagues as his “farm system”. He also loaned out youngster Korey Smith to Barnsley.
Queens Park Rangers (QPR): A-
With the arrival of new owner Tony Fernandes, came new funds to be used to ensure survival from this year’s EPL. By adding Djibril Cissé, Bobby Zamora, Nedum Onuoha, and loaning in Samba Diakité, Taye Taiwo, and Federico Macheda, Fernandes has truly rectified a squad that looked destined to go back down.
Stoke City: B
Tony Pulis’s only business was the sale of Danny Pugh to Leeds Utd. and loaning Danny Higginbotham out to Nottingham Forest. Overall, this was a quiet transfer window for Stoke.
Martin O’Neill loaned in Wayne Bridge and Sotirios Kyrgiakos to mend up his injury depleted defense.
Swansea City: B-
The Swans only addition is Josh McEachran on a 6-month loan deal to shore up the midfield. That defense does look shaky, but Brendan Rodgers will have to cope now with what he has.
Tottenham Hotspur: B+
Ole’ Harry added Ryan Nelsen and Louis Saha in the dying seconds of the window, and he sold wage weight Roman Pavlyuchenko to Lokomotiv Moscow, and he loaned out Sebastien Bassong to Wolves, Vedran Corluka to Bayer Leverkusen, Steven Pienaar to Everton, and finally, Yago Falqué to Southhampton. Good Ole’ Harry….
West Brom: A-
Roy Hodgson added Liam Ridgewell and Keith Andrews on deadline day to sure his defense and attack. He let Roman Bednar go to Blackpool on a free and loaned Gonzalo Jara out to Brighton.
Wigan Athletic: C-
Wigan owner Dave Whelan held onto his man Hugo Rodallega, despite interest from all over England, and he added Jean Beausejour. However, this little activity may not prove enough to secure safety, and for this reason, they received a lower grade.
Wolverhampton Wanderers: B-
Wolves loaned in Sebastien Bassong and Emmanuel Frimpong for the remainder of the season, and bought Eggert Jonsson and Patrick Bamford from Hearts and Nottingham Forest, respectively. Mick McCarthy also sold Andrew Keogh to Millwall, and he loaned Adlene Guedioura to Nottingham Forest, Sam Vokes to Brighton, and Jamie Reckord to Scunthorpe United.
All in all, this transfer window was quiet in comparison to last year’s extravaganza with 55 million pounds being thrown around this year in comparison to the 225 million pounds spent by Premier League clubs last year. Whatever the case, this time of year always intrigues us through its frantic last minute deals or lack thereof (sorry Arsenal…).