So, that’s it.
Another transfer window has come and gone, and the January transfer lists are full of names who have switched clubs, either temporarily or permanently.
If you were looking for action and big names moving to and fro, that’ll all be in the summer, and given that it’s a World Cup year and some big performances by names known and unknown stand to have a great impact on the market, what a summer it projects to be.
Still, there was plenty of movement this past month, and though deadline day wasn’t exactly as action-packed as some might hope, one noteworthy name was on the move (again), and a few top clubs were busy making some last-minute additions.
And, for the sake of playing a bit of spoiler, Birmingham City didn’t land any of the strikers they were after, neither did Sunderland, and Roman Pavlyuchenko is still at Tottenham.
Keane Set For Celtic Switch
In what was a relatively quiet day in terms of ‘wow’ deals, the biggest comes at the end of the day, as Celtic are wrapping up a loan move for Tottenham striker Robbie Keane. (The Mirror)
Keane looked to be on the way to Sunderland yesterday, and West Ham looked like a possible option earlier today, but while neither of those sides saw fit to dip that deeply into their finances, Celtic are.
Analysis: Celtic may have given up Scott McDonald (more on that below), but they’re greatly upgrading in Keane, who should hit the ground running in Glasgow. More importantly, does this mean that Roman Pavlyuchenko will finally get a game at Tottenham?
City Sign Johnson
Manchester City had a much quieter winter window compared to last year, but they ended it with a bang by signing Middlesbrough winger Adam Johnson for an initial fee of around 6m. (Daily Mail)
Analysis: Part of me thought that Middlesbrough would wait until the end of the season to see if they were able to return to the Premier League and then sell him, but given that they’re on the outside looking in right now, this is the right move at the right time for all parties. Johnson’s good enough to go into Roberto Mancini’s side straight away, but we’ll see if he throws him in immediately or prefers to ease him into the action.
Sunderland Sign Hutton
As it turns out, Sunderland have missed out on Egyptian star Ahmed Al-Muhammadi, as their offer was rejected by ENPPI (Sky Sports). However, the day was not lost for the Black Cats, as they signed Tottenham right back Alan Hutton on loan for the remainder of the season (Sky Sports).
Analysis: With John Mensah fit and two new signings in Hutton and Matthew Kilgallon, there’s no reason why Sunderland shouldn’t be better at the back from here on out. Far too late to make a run at a European place that it was thought they could contend for at the start of the season, but a top-half finish is well within reach.
Stoke Bag Begovic
The deal looked to be in danger for a while, but Stoke City were able to thrash out a 3.25m deal for Portsmouth keeper Asmir Begovic before the window slammed shut. (The Guardian)
Analysis: In the end, things work out well for Stoke (future #1), Begovic (regular first-team football quicker than he would have gotten at Tottenham), David James (gets the first-team football he needs by staying at Portsmouth), and Portsmouth (a helpful injection of cash). The only loser? Tottenham, who weren’t able to find a new keeper today.
New Strike Trio At West Ham
West Ham may have passed on the chance to land Robbie Keane, but perhaps their hope is that at least one of their three new strikers can do the job. Along with the expected signing of Blackburn’s Benni McCarthy, West Ham landed Middlesbrough’s Mido on loan for the remainder of the season. (Daily Mail)
And they went abroad to land a third striker, in Brazilian striker Ilan, who signs on a free transfer after being released from his contract at St. Etienne. (Sky Sports
Analysis: These bargain buys could turn out really well for West Ham. McCarthy is a proven commodity in the Premier League, and so is Mido, who, while he comes with plenty of baggage and red flags, has the talent to be a big hit if he wants to be. This is Ilan’s first foray into the Premier League, but he found the net on a regular basis in Ligue 1, and even just a few goals for West Ham can go a long way for their survival hopes.
Wigan Loan Moreno
Wigan have signed Shakhtar Donetsk striker Marcelo Moreno Martins on loan for the remainder of the season. (Sky Sports)
Analysis: Europe hasn’t exactly worked out so well for Moreno so far, as he hasn’t made a significant impact at Shakhtar and wasn’t able to crack the scoresheet in a loan stint at Werder Bremen. However, he has a ton of talent and potential, and if he can show off the finishing abilities that got him to Europe in the first place, this will be a real coup for Wigan. Definite low-risk, high-reward signing.
Boro Make Double Striker Swoop
Middlesbrough greatly strengthened their front line on deadline day, landing Celtic goal-getter Scott McDonald and Aberdeen star Lee Miller. (Daily Mail)
Analysis: Even without Adam Johnson, Strachan has a side that could compete for a European spot in the SPL – but will they be good enough to make the playoffs in the Championship? The loss of Johnson takes away both their leading scorer and provider, so we’ll see if the purchases of M & M will have as profound of an impact as they could have.
Inter Sign Mariga
After Manchester City were unable to work out a work permit for Parma midfielder McDonald Mariga, Inter Milan swooped in to land the Kenya star, who has signed a four-and-a-half year deal. (Sky Sports)
Analysis: Mariga is just regaining his match fitness after playing only two matches in almost four months, so it may well a while yet before we see what he can fully do with his new side.
AC Milan Land Mancini
Inter Milan winger Mancini has a new club for at least the remainder of the season, and he didn’t have to go far to complete the move, as Inter have done their archrivals a solid by loaning out the Brazilian. (The Sun)
Analysis: There’s no guarantee that Mancini will see more opportunities with AC Milan than he did with Inter, but it doesn’t hurt to have more quality in key positions when you’re making a run at multiple honors.