- Premier League and Championship clubs have had mixed transfer windows
- Liverpool have kept solid, while Tottenham and Man Utd have strengthened
- Chelsea and Everton are stagnant with Norwich surely destined for relegation
- In the Championship, things are starting to look up for Huddersfield while Hull will be looking down
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Essentially, that’s what Liverpool did, only adding Japan winger Takumi Minamino, a low-risk £7.25m signing from Red Bull Salzburg, to their books. Perennial loanee Allan won’t be missed by too many at Anfield after departing to Atlético Mineiro on a permanent deal, while highly-rated teenager Rhian Brewster will get the chance to continue his development at Championship side Swansea, for whom he has already scored twice.
In comparison, it hasn’t been quite right at White Hart Lane and José Mourinho has had to take action to shake up a squad that had been through a lot together. Hence, Giovani Lo Celso moved permanently after his loan to Spurs, and Dutch winger Steven Bergwijn also arrived from PSV a day later, scoring on his debut against Man City. Wantaway midfielder Christian Eriksen finally departed to Inter Milan, albeit for a fee far below his market value, and the likes of Danny Rose and Kyle Walker-Peters have gone out on loan. Meanwhile, Gedson Fernandes arrived on loan from Benfica for the next 18 months, the Portuguese midfielder looking an exciting prospect.
The jury’s still out on Ole’s Man United reign, but they had a transfer window that was simultaneously good and maybe slightly underwhelming. They’ve finally got Marcos Rojo off their books until the summer, along with Ashley Young leaving permanently, and a handful of lower-league loan deals. Bruno Fernandes has arrived from Sporting for around £47m in a huge deal by this window’s standards, and one-time Watford striker Odion Ighalo is also at Old Trafford until the summer. He wouldn’t have been their first choice, but nonetheless could spring a surprise or two.
Moving away from the Premier League, it’s been a decent window for Huddersfield in the Championship. Although they’ve improved since their abysmal start to the season, they’re still in relegation trouble despite gradually improving. To that end, Richard Stearman adds experience in the centre of defence after arriving from Sheffield United on a free, and left-back Harry Toffolo from Lincoln City will have plenty to prove in the Championship, previously playing in the division for Rotherham on loan and failing to make the grade at Norwich City. Then there’s the loans of Emile Smith Rowe, Andy King, Chris Willock and former keeper Jonas Lössl. It all points to an improved second half of the season for the Terriers.
It’s been a quiet window for Chelsea, but not through choice. Fringe defender Michael Hector was offloaded to Fulham, but they failed to get rid of Olivier Giroud, while youngster Tariq Lamptey will be missed after moving to Brighton. What else of note? Victor Moses is spending the rest of the season on loan with Ashley Young at Inter Milan, and there’s the usual clutch of young players off on loan. Ultimately, with the transfer ban lifted supporters will have expected more. Names like Edinson Cavani and Dries Mertens were mooted, with pundit Garth Crooks even suggesting that they sign Newcastle keeper Martin Dubravka. However, the only incoming in a dismal window was Bryan Fiabema, a 16-year-old forward from Norway.
The Toffees have become known for splashing the cash with little to show for it, but things were a little different this window, Carlo Ancelotti’s first at the helm. Cenk Tosun was the only real major departure going to Crystal Palace on loan, but apart from that it was pretty quiet at Goodison Park. Time will tell if ‘quiet’ is enough, as Everton languish in mid-table mediocrity despite loftier ambitions. And the likes of Cuco Martina and Oumar Niasse still remain at the club - just why, exactly?
Is relegation a foregone conclusion? One of the most notable yo-yo clubs of the last decade, the Canaries look set to continue that form in the 2020s. They’ve done their usual – a transfer and a loan in from the Bundesliga, and signings from Souchaux and Coventry who have both been loaned back to their former clubs. Let’s face it, it’ll take more than Lukas Rupp and Ondrej Duda to keep Norwich in the Premier League, and it seems that head coach Daniel Farke already has one eye on rebuilding in the Championship. At least star man Teemu Pukki didn’t end up leaving for Man United or another one of the big boys in a last-minute panic buy. Then Norwich would almost definitely be doomed.
Oh, Hull. Losing Jarrod Bowen halfway through the season wasn’t great, even if they will be getting a princely sum of over £20m for the Englishman. And winger Kamil Grosicki left for Championship rivals West Brom for an undisclosed fee thought to be less than £1m – where’s the logic in Hull’s transfer dealings? At least Marcus Maddison arrived on loan from Peterborough; arguably the player of the season so far in League One, he’ll be keen to prove himself in a higher tier. However, with no Bowen and Grosicki, it won’t be easy for the Tigers, who have been in rotten form but still find themselves in mid-table.
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