Seán Grennan takes a look at the story lines which accompanied the close of the January transfer window.
cheap serif;”>Each year January transfer windows spring up some big-money moves, with the likes of Fernando Torres, Andy Carroll and Dimitar Berbatov making winter moves in the last few years. This year’s winter window did not, however, wield as many high-profile moves as previous years. Clubs had one eye on their bank accounts and the other on UEFA’s financial fair play guidelines which determine how much money football clubs are allowed to spend.
Seasoned Premier League strikers Louis Saha, Bobby Zamora and Djibril Cissé were among the biggest names to change clubs during last week’s January transfer deadline day, with Saha moving to Tottenham Hotspur and the others to big-spending Queens Park Rangers. It was in fact QPR who were most active, securing the signatures of more players than any other team in the league. Surprisingly enough, Premier League heavyweights Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea didn’t bring in many players in what was a frustrating transfer window for their fans.
On the other hand, mid-table teams such as Everton, Sunderland and QPR seemed to be the most active in securing deals, with Everton swooping on deadline day to secure the services of in-form Nikica Jelavic from Rangers on a permanent deal. The Toffees also re-signed playmaker Steven Pienaar on loan until the end of the season in a deal that went right to the wire, while QPR brought in Nedem Onuoha from Manchester City and Federico Macheda. Sunderland secured the services of Wayne Bridge and ex-Liverpool player Kyrgiakos.
The summer transfer window typically produces more moves than the winter window and this year was no different. Only an estimated 70 million euro was spent – far less than previous winter windows even. It is quite possible that clubs are feeling the pinch and are holding back on splashing the sums of money which they may have spent a few years ago.
It was thought that Carlos Tevez would finally be able to make his Manchester City exit after a difficult few months in terms of his relationship with the club. Due to problems off the pitch he has fallen out of favour and has not played first team football. As the minutes ticked by on deadline day, however, it seemed clear that Tevez was not moving anywhere, failing to negotiate rumoured deals with either AC or Inter Milan. Tevez could be in with a chance of negotiating a deal elsewhere, as transfer windows in Asia and South America do not shut for at least a month. There may be an option to rejoin the squad at City in the coming weeks if no other options become available, although manager Roberto Mancini is quoted as saying that it would be “impossible” for Tevez to come back into the City squad.
Unlike Tevez, it was clear that many players have one eye this summer’s European Championship in Poland and Ukraine, especially Irish internationals. There were plenty of deals in January involving Irish players, including out-of-favour Manchester United midfielder Darron Gibson’s move to Everton earlier in the month. Ireland’s record goalscorer Robbie Keane moved to Aston Villa on a short-term loan move in order to keep his fitness levels up during the MLS off-season. As the month came to an end, other Irishmen looked to move clubs in search of much-needed first team action. Keith Andrews signed for West Bromwich Albion from Blackburn Rovers on a free transfer.
Two of the League of Ireland’s most sought-after full backs made big moves to English sides, with former Shamrock Rovers left-back Enda Stevens joining up with Aston Villa and ex Derry defender Daniel Lafferty moving to Burnley. Both follow a long line of domestic league talent that have made big moves across the Irish Sea in recent years; joining the likes of Séamus Coleman, Kevin Doyle, Keith Fahey and Pádraig Amond in England.