January Transfer Window Review

Chelsea vs Liverpool
Transfer Window Round Up January 2024

The January transfer window has closed, and left many people feeling a bit underwhelmed! It’s been the quietest window for a long time, which is probably more a reaction to the profit and sustainability rules rather than a lack of appetite from clubs to gather talent. The most high-profile moves across Europe were probably the transition from Saudi to the Netherlands of Jordan Henderson, whose move to Ajax from Al Ettifaq will probably enhance his chances of featuring in this summer’s European Championships; and secondly the return to Borussia Dortmund of Jadon
Sancho – a £73m player two and a half years ago, now a misfit shipped out on loan having been exiled by the Manchester United hierarchy four months ago. Neither Sancho or Manchester United will look back fondly on how this period has unfolded.

Henderson’s England colleague Kalvin Phillips has also moved, probably with the Euros in mind. A player who never made an impact at Manchester City – and frankly who would have actually expected him to rival the likes of multiple Champions League and Premier League winners Rodri, Kovacic et al in the City midfield? West Ham is a good opportunity for him, stepping into the shoes of his international colleague Declan Rice, and perhaps stepping on the toes of his international rival James Ward-Prowse, a player who could legitimately argue he’s proven himself to be a better option for the Euros squad – not that Gareth Southgate would seemingly agree.

Fulham snapped up forward Armando Broja on loan from Chelsea, which may go some way to replacing Aleksandar Mitrovic, who departed in the summer, and also add some competition for Raul Jiminez when he returns from injury. Broja has shown flashes of his ability during his time at Chelsea, and also the loan spell at Southampton when they were in the top flight a couple of years ago.

Nottingham Forest have been active in the market, which is both surprising given the size of their squad, and unsurprising given how much their owner loves to bring players in, and it being Nuno Espirito Santo’s first opportunity to shape his roster. USA international Giovanni Reyna has come in on loan from Borussia Dortmund, which will be an interesting move to keep an eye on. Reyna is a good footballer, coming in from a good club, but will it work out for him in a team like Forest, in a league as competitive as the Premier League? We will see over the next few months.

Most of the top sides in the division – Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United among them – brought no marquee players in – City have signed Claudio Echeverri from River Plate, but he won’t arrive until the summer. Newcastle added only youngster Alfie Harrison from Manchester City, while Aston Villa signed promising young talent Morgan Rogers from Middlesborough for an undisclosed multi-million pound fee.

Tottenham have bolstered their squad with the addition of former Chelsea forward Timo Werner on loan from RB Leipzig, as well as the permanent signing of defender Radu Dragusin from Genoa. Known as the “Romanian Van Dijk”, Spurs fought off competition from Bayern Munich to get their man for £26.7m.

As well as clubs looking to inject a boost ahead of a chase for the European places, January is also often a time for clubs at the other end of the Premier League to seek inspiration to stay in the division. This year, however, it has been relatively quiet… the big spenders being Roy Hodgson’s Crystal Palace who have spent £22m on 19 year old Blackburn Rovers midfielder Adam Wharton, and £8.5m to bring Colombian full back Daniel Munoz in from Belgian side Genk.

Over the next four months we’ll find out how much of an impact these players will have on their teams’ aspirations – at both ends of the Premier League, but there’s no doubt that the impact of financial fair play will continue to influence the transfer market in years to come.

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