Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcot, Daniel Sturridge, Virgil van Dijk and Patrice Evra were among the players on the move in January (Picture: Getty; PA)It’s been nearly two months since the close of the January transfer window and with the cheques having cleared we can assess which moves really warranted all the hype.
It was arguably the most exciting mid-season window ever, with huge stars switching between some of the biggest clubs and vast sums of money changing hands.
But which new arrivals have had fans out of their seats and which have had them pulling their hair out?
Biggest flop – Alexis Sanchez
Alexis Sanchez couldn’t stop Manchester United being dumped out of the Champions League by Sevilla (Getty)Alexis Sanchez’s move to Manchester United was the biggest deal of the lot, with the Chilean dramatically snubbing Manchester City in favour of Old Trafford (and the £350,000-a-week that came with it). The Red Devils revelled in his capture with the release of a cringey video to make the announcement, but things haven’t gone so well since.
In 10 appearances he’s scored just one goal and has looked well short of the levels he once showed at Arsenal. His arrival has also caused Jose Mourinho a selection dilemma in attack, with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial pushed to the margins. Paul Pogba’s bad season has also deteriorated since January, with some pointing to Sanchez’s role in the team.
And now it’s even being reported that Sanchez is cutting an isolated figure and is eating alone in the Manchester United canteen. Is the former Arsenal man the new Angel Di Maria?
The perfect fit – Virgil van Dijk
Virgil van Dijk’s arrival was announced before the window even opened (Getty)For what felt like years Liverpool were persistently told ‘buy a top quality defender and you could be genuine contenders’. In January they finally heeded that advice with the £75m signing of Virgil van Dijk and the upturn in defensive displays from Jurgen Klopp’s side has been dramatic.
They’ve kept clean sheets in half the 10 games the Dutchman has played and some are beginning to believe Liverpool could be Man City’s biggest title challengers next season.
Inevitably disappointing – Ross Barkley
Ross Barkley upon his arrival at Chelsea (Getty)Chelsea’s signing of Ross Barkley always felt more likely to fall into the category of a Scott Parker or Steve Sidwell arrival than the next Frank Lampard. And so far there’s been little evidence to the contrary.
Following his switch from Everton he’s made just three appearances and has since suffered a recurrence of the hamstring injury that scuppered a move last summer. His one showing in the Premier League was the 3-0 home defeat to Bournemouth.
Surprising success – Theo Walcott
Theo Walcott has been Everton’s best player since his arrival (Getty)There was so much focus on a certain Alexis Sanchez and the possibility of some big-name arrivals at Arsenal that the departure of Theo Walcott went relatively unnoticed. But he’s arguably been the most successful transfer of the January window. In his eight appearances for Everton he’s scored twice, created another two and overall been the Toffees’ standout player.
Potential life saver – Kenedy
Kenedy celebrates one of his two goals against Southampton (Getty)In Newcastle’s final match before the international break young Chelsea loanee Kenedy scored a brace in a 3-0 win over relegation rivals Southampton. A couple more performances like that will be enough to save the Magpies from the drop.
Depressingly predictable – Daniel Sturridge
Sturridge moved to West Brom on loan (Getty)Switching to West Brom on loan looked the perfect move for Daniel Sturridge. Away from Liverpool he would get the regular football he needed and with the motivation of a place in the England World Cup squad there would be no stopping him.
But just three games into his loan spell at the Hawthorns the inevitable injury happened and, without a goal to his name, he hasn’t played since.
Smart buy – Alex Pritchard
Alex Pritchard celebrates (Getty)Huddersfield looked to be on an inevitable slide back to the Championship with the club suffering five straight Premier League defeats in January. But since then, they’ve picked up seven points from 15 and moved away from the relegation zone.
The busy displays of Alex Pritchard in midfield, signed for around £12million from Norwich, have been key to that. The former Tottenham academy product has weighed in with a goal and an assist and could just keep David Wagner’s team up.
Least missed – Philippe Coutinho
Philippe Coutinho switched to Barcelona (Getty)Philippe Coutinho’s move to Barcelona saw him become the second most expensive player in history. But rather than feeling the void of one of the world’s best players having just left, Liverpool have thrived in his absence with the club third in the Premier League and through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
Still to convince – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has three in six (Reuters)The most expensive arrival in the Premier League during the January window has bagged three goals in six appearances for Arsenal which is a healthy return. But having essentially ousted Alexandre Lacazette from the side and been unable to play in the Europa League (the only competition that actually matters to Arsenal) it’s too early to say if he was worth the £56m Arsenal paid.
Unhappy return – Patrice Evra
Patrice Evra in action for West Ham (Getty)Patrice Evra is something of a Premier League legend having won a shedload of titles with Manchester United. So when it was announced he was returning to England in the colours of West Ham it was widely welcomed. But since the veteran’s free transfer, he’s played twice and been on the wrong end of two 4-1 scorelines. Meanwhile West Ham fans have suffered a total meltdown and recently came close to a full-on riot at the London Stadium (although to be fair to Evra, that wasn’t really his fault).
More: Manchester United FC
The one that got away – Michy Batshuayi
Michy Batshuayi celebrates one of his eight goals for Borussia Dortmund (Getty)During the January window Chelsea manager Antonio Conte wanted a striker who could provide competition for Alvaro Morata and bang in a few crucial goals. So in came Olivier Giroud from Arsenal who’s managed to score one goal in eight appearances. At the same time Michy Batshuayi went out on loan to Borussia Dortmund where the Belgian has since scored eight goals for his new club. It’s impossible not to conclude that somewhere Chelsea made a mistake.
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