The window officially slammed shut last night with Premier League clubs splashing out £175m in transfers during January, a five year high total. That takes the total to spent by Premier Clubs to a record £1.045bn on transfers in the 2015-16 season. To put that into prospective, its a fifth of the total national wealth of Tongo or the same amount spent by the Kardashians on food and makeup each year. So with all that money, who has done the best business on the last day of the window and who is waking up today with regret.
Asleep at the wheel – Arsenal/Aston Villa
Arsene Wenger seems like a camomile tea man, sipping it slowly as he curls up on the sofa reading the manual for a toaster oven. But perhaps he should have switched to coffee for deadline day. Maybe then he would have had some skin in the game and done some deals. With this season being his best chance in over a decade to win the league you would have thought Wenger would have moved quicker than a sloth to strengthen his side for the final push. Instead Arsenal let more people leave in January than they signed which is by definition the exact opposite of strengthening. Does he not want the title or is he simply trying to make it harder for himself in the long run? Really no one knows with Wenger anymore and like your nonsensical grandfather who shouts at plants in his living room, it’s gotten to the point that few people actually care preferring just to ignore the crazy man and let him instead sit there with his lukewarm cup of tea. Sharing this award with Arsenal however is a team in so much in denial about what is about to happen it’s as if they are in fact Donald Trump supporters. Aston Villa is a Premier League institution but their time is rapidly drawing to a close which was not helped by an incredibly poor January window. For the club routed to the bottom of the league, the window should have offered a last roll of the dice and a chance at salvation. Instead it turned into clusterf*ck with more people saying no to them than to Will Smith during Oscar nomination season. The preverbal ship has struck the iceberg and is sinking fast but instead of patching the hole, the clubs executives are arguing over which song the band should play next on deck. Villa fans on the other hand are jumping for the lifeboats whilst Micah Richards, now in the cold water clings desperately to yet another failed move. Sad times indeed.
Ooooohhh didn’t they do well – Stoke
Shall I tell them or do you want to? Ok I will. Stoke, you may be a lovely team with a mild mannered manager and a 6ft 8in striker but top four side you are not. So why oh why would you then go and spend over $28m on midfielder Giannelli Imbula from Porto. Yes he is one of Europe’s brightest prospects that reminds many of Claude Makelele but that’s a lot of money! Just think how many other ways you could have spent that money. For a top four side that is chump change (see Manchester United for a better sense of how to overpay in style) but for Stoke surely that’s most if not all of the budget. Are we to believe that this is the next evolution of Stoke City into a challenger. First Bojan, then Shaqiri now Imbula???Who next – Ronaldo? Messi?
Hey big spenders – Newcastle
Perhaps it was a rouge chicken leg or the fallen remote control that made Newcastle owner Mike Ashley reach down into that dark gap in his couch and rediscover his check book. Regardless since then Newcastle have been spending money like Bill Cosby on defence lawyers. The once tightly held purse strings have well and truly been ripped open like.. well you get the picture. The benefactor of this has been Steve McLaren who somehow has managed to keep his job by constantly moving the measurements for success goalposts week by week. In have come several new faces over the course of January include Andros Townsend, Jonjo Shelvey and Henri Saivet but with the club relying to heavily on midfielder Georgi Wijnaldum for goals this season, a striker was needed. Up step Roma forward Seydou Doumbia to save the day, joining on loan with an option to sign later if he can actually score more goals than Mitrovic or Cisse have so far. Not that hard a challenge. All in all Newcastle have spend a fortune in the hope that it will make them a fortune by saving them from relegation. With Villa already down, Sunderland applying for one of the other two available slots and Swansea in freefall, it may be money well spent by Ashley who can now get back to that pesky chicken leg.
You what? Who to where?!? -Steven Fletcher to Marseille
Did anyone really see this one coming? Come on, don’t lie. The Sunderland striker completed his surprised loan move on deadline day leading many to spit out their tea and sending others running to the calendar to check it wasn’t April fools. Even Jim White looked perplexed as he read it out during Sky’s colourful broadcast. Marseille it seems we’re in on the joke releasing what appeared to be a rendition of Braveheart acknowledging that Fletcher was a scot and indeed very tall, albeit lacking technical ability. The whole transfer was bizarre not just the lack of due cause. Perhaps when they swung by Newcastle to pick up flop Florian Thauvin on their jet they caught a glimpse of Fletcher tossing cabers at Sunderland’s training ground and thought that’s just what we need. Now that he has signed, the next question is where will he play with many quickly pointing out that the Ligue 1 side tends to play with only one up front and the in form Michy Batshuayi currently occupies that role. Fletcher may have bagged a hat trick for Scotland last year but prolific he ain’t having failed to score for strugglers Sunderland in the League since November. But let’s give the big man the benefit of the doubt and say that he will be successful in France and may indeed land a permanent transfer sparking an upsurge in form. Seriously though if Joey Barton can make it at Marseille so can the big if not technically challenged Steven Fletcher.
Finally further down the divisions, Charlton made a last ditch move to help secure their championship future by signing the aptly named Rod Fanni. The 32 year old former French international defender arrived at the Valley after a stay in Qatar but soon discovered he wasn’t the only Fanni at Charlton when the clubs owner stopped by to introduce himself.