English Premier League transfers — Most expensive but not the most rational
The winter transfer window, which ended on February 2, 2015, rather than its usual January 31st deadline, saw the Premier League clubs splashing out a total £130 million – the same as of the January 2014 window.
Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal accounted for the highest spending by the Premier League clubs but the most active was Crystal Palace, who under new manager Alan Pardew, are aiming to ease the pressure on the 13th placed club in the league table. Palace saw 11 players leaving the club, while eight players joined the club either on a loan or on a permanent contract.
Chelsea’s swoop of Fiorentina’s winger Juan Cuadrado for £27 million was the biggest deal completed on deadline day, while Manchester City splashed out £25 million for the transfer of Ivory Coast striker Wilfried Bony from Swansea – the most expensive transfer of the January 2015 transfer window.
Other notable signings on the deadline day included the transfer of Ryan Bertrand, from Chelsea to Southampton for £10 million; Darren Fletcher, from Manchester United to West Brom on a free transfer; Aaron Lennon, from Tottenham to Everton on loan; Wilfried Zaha, from United to Palace for an undisclosed amount; and Robert Huth, from Stoke City to Leicester on loan.
The acquisition of new players from foreign clubs accounted for £65 million – 50% of the total transfer, while Inter-Premier-League transfer accounted for £45m.
The English Premier League was, by far, the most active in the transfer market as, according to Deloitte, Italian Serie A clubs spent £65 million, the German and Spanish spend was about £52 million, while in France it was £32 million.
We take a look at the transfer activity of the clubs of the English Premier League, according to league standings.
The current Premier League leaders came out as the most profitable in the January transfer window and although they were the highest spenders on the deadline day – Cuadrado for £27 million – they made up for it through the sale of Andre Schurrle for £24 million to Wolfsburg.
The Blues also were the most active in letting go of their players as 13, highest in the Premier League, parted way with Jose Mourinho either on a loan or on a permanent transfer.
The biggest of these transfers was that of Fernando Torres as he ended his affair with the Premier League. The striker came to England in 2007 as he signed for Liverpool from Atletico Madrid and left this year for an undisclosed amount to AC Milan after joining Chelsea for a British record transfer at the time of £50 million from Liverpool.
Other transfers saw players exiting the Blues and included the likes of Marko Marin to Anderlecht on loan, Mark Schwarzer to Leicester City on a free transfer, Todd Kane to Nottingham Forest on loan, Nathaniel Chalobah to Reading on loan, Tomas Kalas to Middlesbrough on loan, John Swift to Swindon Town on loan, Lewis Baker to Sheffield Wednesday on loan, Alex Kiwomya to Barnsley on loan, Mohamed Salah to Fiorentina on loan, Stipe Perica to Udinese on loan, Bertrand to Southampton for £10 million.
2. Manchester City
The defending champions splashed out the most cash in this transfer window as they looked to bolster their attack with the purchase of Bony from Swansea.
The Ivory Coast striker is expected to add strength to City’s attack with first-choice striker Sergio Aguero reeling off an injury crisis after a promising start to the season, and although the Argentinian is back from injury, manager Manuel Pellegrini would take no chances and provide some cover to the already overburdened shoulders of Aguero.
Most interestingly, City did not sell any player and sent them all on loan to various clubs across the world with the most notable departure being that of Matija Nastasic, who went on loan to Schalke.
Other exiting players included Scott Sinclair to Aston Villa on loan, Devante Cole to MK Dons on loan, George Evans to Scunthorpe United on loan, Sinan Bytyqi to SC Cambuur on loan, Jordy Hiwula to Walsall FC on loan, Divine Naah to NAC Breda on loan.
3. Manchester United
United have had a slow start with manager Louis van Gaal coming under fire, after replacing David Moyes, for the lack of results at the start of the season. Many would have expected United to bolster their squad, especially the defence. However, even though the Red Devils signed Bolton Wanderers defender Andy Kellet – swapping him for Saidy Janko – it was not the kind of transfer that anyone was expecting.
The only transfer that moved United fans was the departure of former vice-captain Fletcher to Brom on a free transfer.
Apart from Fletcher and Janko, 11 players exited the Red Devils which included Michael Keane to Burnley for £2 million, Will Keane to Sheffield Wednesday on loan, Ben Amos to Bolton Wanderers on loan, Joe Rothwell to Blackpool on loan, Marnick Vermijl to Sheffield Wednesday for an undisclosed fee, Zaha to Palace for an undisclosed fee, Ben Pearson to Barnsley on loan, Sam Johnstone to Preston North End on loan, Jesse Lingard to Derby County on loan.
This season’s most surprising club, Southampton, remained extremely silent in the winter transfer adding only three players Eljero Elia to Werder Bremen on loan, Filip Djuricic to Benfica on loan, and Bertrand to Chelsea for £10 million, with the most notable signing being that of Bertrand, who had been playing with the club on loan from Chelsea since last season.
Manager Arsene Wenger has a knack of buying players the world has never heard of and he carried on his tradition with the addition of Gabriel Paulista from Villareal for £11.2 million and Krystian Bielik from Legia Warsaw for an undisclosed fee.
Paulista does not even understand a word of English but the Gunner’s boss is adamant that his latest signing would not find it hard to adjust to the English system and is pretty sure that the statistics of the defender are pretty much in place.
Exiting players included the likes of Germany’s Lukas Podolski, who found it extremely hard to find his place in the starting 11 and had made his point heard more than often that he wanted to leave the London club for greener pastures elsewhere. The 29-year-old joined Arsenal in 2012 and has found a new home in Inter Milan and although he is on-loan to the Italian club, he would look to finalise the deal at the end of the season.
Another notable transfer included the departure of French striker Yaya Sanogo to Palace on loan, who became Pardew’s first signing since taking over the club and even scored his first goal on January 24 against Southampton in a 3-2 win.
Other players leaving the North-London club in the transfer window include Joel Campbell to Villarreal on loan, Benik Afobe to Wolverhampton Wanderers for an undisclosed fee, and Matt Macey to Accrington Stanley on loan.
6. Tottenham Hotspurs
Although Tottenham were also silent in the transfer window, they still won the race against their North-London rivals, Arsenal, in signing MK Dons ‘wonder kid’ Delle Ali for an undisclosed amount and then loaned him back to the League One club till the end of the season.
The 18-year-old has been quite remarkable for his club and boasts highly impressive figures of seven goals in 37 appearances and has been termed as the ‘most gifted youngster of the country’ by his manager Karl Robinson.
Spurs were also able to grab the services of right-back DeAndre Yedlin from Seattle Sounders as they look to bolster their defence in their pursuit for the Champions League berth.
Exiting players included club favourite Lennon, who has been with the club since 2005, going to Everton on loan. Other players included Kyle Naughton to Swansea City for £5 million, Milos Veljkovic to Charlton Athletic on loan, Dominic Ball to Cambridge United on loan, Kenneth McEvoy to Colchester United on loan, Grant Hall to Blackpool on loan, Nathan Oduwa to Luton Town on loan, Jordan Archer to Millwall on loan, Emmanuel Sonupe to St Mirren on loan, and Benoit Assou-Ekotto who has been released.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers had earlier indicated that the January window would be a silent one and no one had guessed he meant to be this ‘silent’. The Reds did not add any player to their squad even though the manager had been looking to replace the keeper and add some strength to the back four – or three, depending on his formation.
On the other hand, the Reds saw a host of players departing the five-time European champions including the transfer of youth-player Suso to AC Milan for an undisclosed fee, but revolving around the £1 million mark.
Other players departing included Oussama Assaidi to Al Ahli Club in Dubai for an undisclosed amount, Connor Randall to Shrewsbury Town on loan, trio Kevin Stewart, Lloyd Jones and Jack Dunn to Cheltenham Town on loan, Sheyi Ojo to Wigan Athletic on loan.
8. West Ham
With only Doniel Henry joining the club from Apollon Limassol for an undisclosed fee, West Ham remained highly inactive in the transfer market.
However, a lot of players were seen departing from the club with the likes of Mauro Zarate to QPR on loan, Ricardo Vaz Te who has been released, Sean Maguire to Accrington Stanley on loan, Jamie Harney to Colchester United for free, Paul McCallum to Portsmouth on loan, Blair Turgott who was released and signed by Coventry City, and Matthias Fanimo who has been released.
The Hammers are seeking a Champions League berth but have seen a recent dip in form winning only one game from their last five.
Swansea City seemed to have made the most money from the transfer window with the sale of Bony to Manchester City. With their purses brimming with City’s cash, Swansea went on to buy Naughton from Tottenham Hotspur for £5 million, Jack Cork from Southampton for £3 million, Matt Grimes from Exeter City for £1.75 million and Nelson Oliveira from Benfica on loan.
Among the departures were Rory Donnelly to Tranmere Rovers on loan, Ryan Hedges to Leyton Orient on loan, Liam Shephard to Yeovil Town on loan, and Jazz Richards to Fulham on loan, in addition to Bony.
10. Stoke City
Stoke City brought in centre-back Philipp Wollscheid from Bayer Leverkusen on loan to bolster their defence and let go of Maurice Edu to Philadelphia Union for an undisclosed fee, Ryan Shotton to Derby County for an undisclosed fee, Robert Huth to Leicester City on loan, George Waring to Barnsley on loan, and Tomi Adeloye to Macclesfield on loan.
Newcastle striker Hatim Ben Arfa was the biggest name to be released this season by the Toons and although he found new pastures in Nice, legal regulations discarded his transfer and the French striker is currently without a club.
The most surprising move was the transfer of Newcastle fringe players Gael Bigirimana, Kevin Mbabu, Shane Ferguson, Remi Streete, and Haris Vuckic on loan to Rangers. The players were highly regarded under former manager Pardew, but apparently the new manager John Carver does not think these players are ready to be included in the first team.
The Toffees also had a silent outing in the winter transfer window with Lennon joining Everton on loan from Tottenham being the most notable signing for the 12th-placed club.
Departures included Samuel Eto’o to Sampdoria for an undisclosed fee, Chris Long to Brentford FC on loan, Hallam Hope to Bury FC for an undisclosed fee, Mason Springthorpe to Fleetwood Town for free, John Lundstram to Leyton Orient on loan, Conor Grant to Motherwell on loan, and both Conor McAleny (on loan) and Matthew Kennedy (undisclosed fee) to Cardiff City.
13. Crystal Palace
One of the most active Premier League clubs in the transfer market, Palace, under new manager Pardew, looks to rebuild their team and reassert their credentials for the Premier League.
Seven players joined the Eagles with the most notable signing being that of Sanogo on loan from Arsenal and Zaha from United for an undisclosed amount. Other inductees included Shola Ameobi as a free agent, Jordon Mutch from QPR for £5.75 million, Pape Souare from Lille for an undisclosed fee, Andreas Breimyr from Bryne FK for an undisclosed fee, Keshi Anderson from Barton Rovers for an undisclosed fee, and Lee Chung-yong from Bolton Wanderers for an undisclosed fee.
Departing players include Stuart O’Keefe to Cardiff City for an undisclosed fee, Lewis Price to Crawley Town on loan, Jake Gray to Cheltenham Town on loan, Zeki Fryers to Rotherham United on loan, Jack Hunt to Rotherham United on loan, Peter Ramage to Barnsley on a loan extension, Andy Johnson who has been released, Barry Bannan to Bolton Wanderers on loan, Jimmy Kebe who has been released, and Alex Wynter to Colchester for an undisclosed fee.
The Black Cats brought in former Tottenham striker Jermaine Defoe from MLS club Toronto FC for an undisclosed fee. The departing players included Jozy Altidore to Toronto FC for an undisclosed fee, Mikael Mandron to Shrewsbury Town on loan, Charis Mavrias to Panathinaikos on loan, Scott Harrison to Hartlepool United on loan, and Cabral who has been released.
15. West Bromwich Albion
Tony Pulis’ men strengthened their midfield with the addition of Manchester United’s highly experienced midfielder Fletcher and winger Callum McManaman from Wigan Athletic for £4.75 million.
It’s highly surprising that United let go of Fletcher as the midfielder would have provided the much-needed cover and experience to the Red Devils. However, with Netherland’s Daley Blind slowly becoming the rock in defensive midfield, I guess Fletcher’s services were no longer required.
16. Aston Villa
With the Lions dangling near the relegation zone, they needed to bolster their attack and rightly did so with the additions of midfielders Sinclair from Manchester City on loan and Carles Gil from Valencia.
Departing players included Darren Bent to Derby County on loan, Gary Gardner to Nottingham Forest on loan, Daniel Johnson to Preston North End for an undisclosed fee, Chris Herd to Wigan Athletic on loan, Jordan Graham to Wolverhampton Wanderers for an undisclosed fee, and Callum Robinson to Preston North End on loan.
Sean Dyche’s Burnley saw just one player, Keane from Manchester United, join the club and saw Alex Cisak leave the club for Leyton Orient on loan.
18. Hull City
With the Tigers dangling in the relegation zone, Steve Bruce added only Dame N’Doye from Lokomotiv Moscow for an undisclosed fee, while departures with the likes of Tom Ince to Derby County on loan, and Greg Luer to Port Vale on loan left the club to gain more playing time.
19. Queens Park Rangers (QPR)
Former QPR manager Harry Redknapp had indicated that with the suspension of striker Charlie Austin, the Hoops should look for a replacement for the well-coveted striker and found that in the likes of 18-year-old Ryan Manning from Galway United. Even though the youngster is quite remarkable and promising, the fans would have wanted someone more established than Manning.
Zarate joined the club on loan from West Ham, while the exiting players included Mutch to Palace, Max Ehmer to Gillingham on a loan extension, Bruno Andrade to Stevenage on loan, and Josh Laurent to Brentford for an undisclosed fee.
15. Leicester City
Leicester currently lies at the bottom of the Premier League table and needed to make some urgent transfers to kick-off their campaign of remaining in the Premier League at the end of the season. Interestingly, all three transfers covered one zone of the football pitch, with Schwarzer moving in from Chelsea on a free transfer to take care of the goalkeeping, Andrej Kramaric was brought in from Rijeka for £9 million to bolster the attack, while Huth was brought in on loan from Stoke City to improve the back-four. Whether or not these transfers would work for Nigel Pearson’s men is something we will have to wait and see.
Meanwhile, the departing players included Tom Hopper to Scunthorpe United on a loan extension, Jack Barmby to Rotherham United on loan, Callum Elder to Mansfield Town on loan, and Adam Dawson to Bristol Rovers on loan.
That brings an end to the roundup of the winter transfer window. We now will start with the remainder of the Premier League season to see who lifts the title – fingers crossed for Liverpool. Just a joke, don’t kill me yet – the most interesting phase of the league begins after the transfer window.
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