It was a January transfer window with some heavy deals going through right up to the last minute. But who were the real winners and who made rash last minute buys? I will start with the biggest deal, Fernando Torres to Chelsea. With a £50m price tag he has become the biggest transfers in history for British to British clubs. Torres is proven goal scorer in the Premier League; yes he has had a poor year in football by his high standards. He didn’t really turn up at the World Cup and this season he has seemed uninterested. He was linked to Chelsea in the summer that deal didn’t happen. However his best game though this season was against, you guessed it Chelsea where he score twice and gave a man of the match performance. Since the transfer window opened in January Torres has scored 4 goals in 6 Premier League games, was he playing for a move? Whatever the reason Torres got his move and joins what he calls a ‘big club’ in Chelsea. That is good business for them, who also brought in David Luiz from Benfica another shrewd bit of business. The highly rated Brazilian centre half will be a perfect foil for Terry. He is young, strong and skilful and defiantly one of the hot prospects in Europe today. Chelsea’s signings are a sign of intent and that Roman has not got bored and I feel their squad has improved.
The 2nd biggest deal was Andy Carroll from Newcastle to Liverpool. In a deal worth £35m (David Villa was £34.2 I’m just throwing it out there). Now this is where I see Liverpool panic buying in someone who has had half a season in the Premier League. He has got 11 goals in 19 appearances which is very good, but is he really worth that price tag? Can he really replace a player such as Torres? Or will they pressure of being at a club of Liverpool’s size and history prove too much. While in the Championship he did bang in the goals, but Michael Chopra and Peter Whittingham scored more that season, so are they worth over £30million? To me Liverpool got robbed for the price they paid and that could be because of the last minute rush of finding a replacement. Carroll has had a good start, but this is price tag purely on potential to carry on his form. He got an England cap off the back of a woeful World Cup and Capello being pushed by the tabloids really to pick him. Can he carry Liverpool into the future? Only time will tell. Luis Suarez was another transfer in to Liverpool. With an outstanding goal scoring record in Holland he comes to the Premier League hoping to wash away that image of him playing rush goalie at the World Cup against Ghana. If you didn’t know the last player to come from Holland to England with a better goal scoring record was Alfonso Alves, who turned out to be a flop. The Dutch league is no way near the standard of the Premier League and Liverpool are gambling on these two players to launch them into at least a Europa Cup place finish this season.
Manchester United and Arsenal was the only ‘big’ clubs who didn’t make a move this January. Clearly both are happy with their squads, but I think it could be a mistake for Arsenal. Maybe a little cheeky bid for a centre half or centre midfielder could have helped, but as you know Wenger would not have wanted to be mugged in the transfer market. Arsenal still in all four competitions they entered might regret not buying.
I think it is interesting though that Liverpool sold to rivals. Manchester City would not let Bellamy go to another Premier League club he had to settle for Cardiff. They still have Shay Given doing nothing on the bench. They know you can’t give your rival clubs good players as your challenging for the same things. Manchester United would never let Rooney go to City, look at the impact Tevez has made, it’s very risky letting your rivals have one of your quality players. Arsenal wouldn’t do business with Chelsea. So have Liverpool now become a selling club and nothing more than a team who were great in the 80s but now they live in it?
My Top 3 Transfer Deals
1. Sulley Muntari to Sunderland. A big signing which has gone under the radar. He is on loan but a very good midfielder and Henderson will learn a lot from him.
2. Robbie Keane to West Ham. It could be the Tevez factor at Upton Park and give a massive lift, West Ham are in trouble, but Keane is expired and still can do a job in the Premier League.
3. James Beattie to Blackpool. Now you may find this strange but Blackpool having kept hold of Charlie Adam was hard enough now with Beattie who did nothing at Rangers is back at an unfashionable club, where he does well. Can score goals at this level and they will be vital for Blackpool’s run in.