A Premier League January Transfer Window Roundup Part One - From Arsenal To Huddersfield
Another year goes by and another January transfer window comes and goes in a flash. An entire month for clubs to strengthen and supplement their sides at the midway point of the season. Of course, there isn't as much fuss with the January window as with the Summer one but it still has a certain degree of importance. Clubs are given a chance to reflect on the first-half of a season and spend a month deciding on whether to carry on with the current side or sell off the 'dead wood' and make space for new arrivals. In this article, we shall briefly go through all the done-deals and signings that the Premier League clubs made with a little bit of discussion too. In this one, it's the first half of the table, from Arsenal to Huddersfield.
Arsenal - My beloved Arsenal made one signing this window in the form of a loan deal with Barcelona for outcast midfielder Denis Suarez. He wasn't playing much at Barcelona and has been sent to Arsenal to get more game time; however, with the midfield we have currently, I do think it'll be a tough ask. Whilst Ramsey may be leaving on a free in the Summer window, he can still be used so I just see Suarez as a bench-warmer for the next four months or so. He's a player of flair and class and has worked under Unai Emery before during his Sevilla tenure. In terms of departures, Emiliano Martinez has gone out on loan to Reading for some game-time and Emile Smith Rowe to RB Leipzig; he will be sadly missed.
Bournemouth - The Cherries have been busy making a total of three signings. First up is the £12 million signing of Chris Mepham from Brentford. In my reading about Mepham, he's a Welsh international, which at the age of 21, is a feat in itself. 6ft 3 inches in size, he looks like a commanding centre-half who can partner alongside the likes of Nathan Ake to give Bournemouth a formidable defence. Next comes the £19 million spent on Liverpool forward Dominic Solanke. I've heard an awful lot about Solanke and he does seem like a good fit for Bournemouth to provide a partner for either Callum Wilson or Josh King, or a new lone-striking option. They've also raided Liverpool for the loan signing of right-back Nathaniel Clyne who can provide some valuable cover for Adam Smith, or even Ake if he's tasked with playing out there. In the way of departures, a few loans - most notably, Jermain Defoe leaving to Steven Gerrard's Rangers side and prospect Tyrone Mings is now away at Aston Villa.
Brighton - The Seagulls have also been rather active in this window, signing three players. Their first signing comes in the form of Alexis Mac Allister from Argentinos Juniors on a four-and-a-half year deal, although he is being loaned back to Argentinos until the end of the season. He's an attacking midfielder with a lot of promise and for a fee rumoured to be £7 million, looks like a pretty good signing. Next up is Jan Mlakar, a Slovenian forward from Maribor who's scored 10 goals in 20 appearances and is twenty years old. That's a good goal-to-game ratio. As is evident for the above and for their last signing, Tudor-Cristian Baluta from FC Viitorul Constanta, Brighton are building for the future and for a long-term place in the Premier League. The only permanent departure came in the form of Oliver Norwood to Sheffield for an undisclosed fee, along with a couple of loans for Ben White and Markus Suttner, among other fringe or youth players.
Burnley - One permanent signing for the Clarets this window with the unorthodox signing of Peter Crouch from Stoke City, with Sam Vokes going the other way. Personally, I see this as a lack of judgment from Sean Dyche as Vokes in younger and, in my opinion, better that Peter Crouch. There's little to report from Turf Moor other than this deal, apart from another couple of loan departures in James Dunne and Ali Koiki.
Cardiff - The first newly promoted side in our rundown and the Bluebirds have, like a couple of teams here, made three signings. The first one to address is Argentine striker Emiliano Sala. His story is really rather heartbreaking. As news has reported, Sala has been missing for the past fortnight or so after his Piper Malibu aircraft went missing off the coast of Alderney on the 22nd January. It's unknown as to whether he is still alive or not, but the latest news is that a body has been found and there's an ongoing investigation into whose body is trapped inside the aircraft. Other signings include Oumar Niasse from Everton on an undisclosed fee, along with the £3 million arrival of Leandro Bacuna from Reading. In terms of outgoings, again, there's loan deals for a few fringe players.
Chelsea - Some big news from the Blues as Maurizio Sarri brought back old compatriot Gonzalo Higuain whom he managed during his tenure at Napoli. Higuain could solve the current striking crisis that Chelsea have with the fact that none of their forwards seem able to finish their chances, especially Alvaro Morata. Along with Higuain, Sarri has purchased starlet Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund but will be loaned back to them for the remainder of the season. Pulisic will provide some competition for the right-wing spot alongside Willian and is indeed a long term signing. Some clever business from Maurizio Sarri. Leaving the club this month are most notably Alvaro Morata on loan to Atletico Madrid and Cesc Fabregas joining AS Monaco on a free transfer, along with a few more.
Crystal Palace - No club so far hasn't been dormant so to speak and the Eagles carry on the trend with three signings of their own. Winger Bakary Sako has returned for a second stint at the club, alongside Michy Batshuayi on loan from Chelsea to give him some valuable game time. There's also the loan arrival of goalkeeper Luca Perri from Sao Paulo in Brazil. Palace are experiencing a goalkeeping injury crisis with both Wayne Hennessey and Vicente Guaita out on the sidelines. Long-time servant Jason Puncheon has left on loan to Huddersfield along with some other loan deals and Jonny Williams has left to Charlton Athletic for an undisclosed amount.
Everton - There's no new arrivals at Goodison Park for Marco Silva's side and only loan departures to speak of. Kieran Dowell has gone to Sheffield United and the most notable is Yannick Bolasie going to Anderlecht in the hope of gaining some valuable minutes.
Fulham - Craven Cottage has seen the arrival of three new players, including two former Liverpool wingers, who have joined Claudio Ranieri's set up, both on permanent deals. The Dutchman Ryan Babel has joined from Besiktas in Turkey to provide a quick option on the left-hand-side, whilst Serbian Lazar Markovic has finally been let go by Liverpool after numerous failed loan moves in the past few years. The other signing the Cottagers have made is a loan move of centre-half Havard Nordtveit of TSG Hoffenheim, formerly of West Ham United and Arsenal many years ago. After their large spending spree in the summer, Fulham have looked to increase first-team quality and appear to have done so with these deals. By way of departures, both Aboubakar Kamara and Elijah Adebayo have left on loan.
Huddersfield - Our final club for today, the Terriers, have made three signings, two of which are permanent. The only loan deal is for Crystal Palace stalwart and attacking midfielder Jason Puncheon who could provide some use if Huddersfield decide to change from their current 4-3-3 system, or if they push one of the flat midfielders forward, they could operate with a more attacking three-pronged system. Their two paid deals are for Karlan Grant from Charlton Athletic and Jaden Brown from Spurs; both players are young talents with Grant a striker and Brown an England Under-19s left back. As has become the common theme in this window, most clubs seem to be building for the not-too-distant future. Their outgoings are, like always seemingly, loan deals with Jaden Brown spending the rest of the season at Exeter and first-teamers Ramadan Sobhi and Rajiv Van La Parra going to Al Ahly and Middlesbrough respectively.
That's the first half of our transfer round-up complete! Be sure to come back tomorrow for the second half that will span from Leicester to Wolves!