January Transfer Deadline Day: Winners and Losers from Winter Transfer Window
The January winter transfer window is closed.
No more will the transfer rumors, the speculation about which players could be on the move and contract negotiations dominate the headlines and our news feeds. That is, until the current talk of the winter transfer window dies down and the chatter of the summer transfer window begins once more.
But for the most part, the transfer window is complete.
Read on to find the biggest winners and losers from this January, and see which clubs are primed for a strong remainder of the 2012/13 season because of it.
Winner: Newcastle United
Newcastle United have to be considered one of the biggest winners of the winter transfer window after manager Alan Pardew's big-name signings for the club.
The Magpies entered January slipping further and further into relegation trouble and looked for all money like they would lose star striker Demba Ba to another Premier League club—which they would soon do to Chelsea for just £7 million.
Newcastle's response was to bring in a number of key players—particularly defenders—to significantly boost their squad for the remainder of the 2013 season.
Mathieu Debuchy was brought in at the back, as was Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa. Yoan Gouffran was picked up to replace the void left by Ba in the attack, whilst the addition of Moussa Sissoko gave the Magpies a playmaking complement to Yohan Cabaye.
From their first outing against Aston Villa, it was clear that these signings will be the difference for Newcastle United as they seek to avoid relegation again.
And if they play like they did there, you have to think they'll be safe—all because of how they operated over the January winter transfer window. Definitely a big winner.
Loser: Roberto Mancini
Whilst the sale of Mario Balotelli from Manchester City to AC Milan was the right move to make for Roberto Mancini, the transfer window still doesn't reflect all that well on him this time around.
First off is the issue of Balotelli, whose £19 million transfer to the Italian giants means that City have lost a total of £5 million since signing him in 2010.
And whilst that isn't entirely bad, it's hard to say that they got everything they wanted from the Italian international on the pitch—especially given all the drama and controversy that surrounded the 22-year-old every time he stepped off the pitch also.
Mancini stuck his neck out time and time again for Mario, with their recent training ground spat and subsequent forgiveness a prime example of that.
And yet, his departure means that Mancini was willing to concede he was wrong on Balotelli—he was no longer worth having at the club anymore. In other words, he was wrong in his £24 million spent on the Italian and he was wrong to have stuck up for him time and time again.
That can't be a great reflection on the Citizens manager.
Also, City did not bring anybody in this winter, which in itself is not an issue, but when you're trailing by seven points in the Premier League, is somewhat of an issue. They've already been knocked out of the Champions League without winning a single game and now they face defeat in the domestic competition also unless they can get their act together and start catching United.
They have a talented squad, which is why Mancini didn't bring anybody in, but still—something could have been done to try and bridge that gap back.
There's no point waiting until the summer to try and win anything this year, and Mancini's decision not to move on anything could indicate a small resignation of defeat to some.
I guess it's all in the way you interpret his actions, but for mine, Mancini should have done more this winter than just selling Balotelli and failing to find a replacement.
Winner: Queens Park Rangers
Harry Redknapp must look like the Messiah to Queens Park Rangers.
Winless through their opening 16 matches of the season, the London club's decision to hire the former Tottenham Hotspur boss is paying huge dividends on the pitch, with Rangers slowly climbing their way up from the bottom with strong performances against very good teams.
However, it's been his workings off the field that have been most fruitful for the club, and the winter transfer window showed just how good he truly was.
To land the players that he did whilst running a club coming dead last is truly magnificent from Redknapp, who has now given QPR every chance at avoiding relegation.
Loic Remy, Christopher Samba, Jermaine Jenas, Andros Townsend, Tal Ben Haim—it's truly been a stellar transfer window from the London club.
Now to turn all those signings into further success on the field.
Loser: Peter Odemwingie
You almost have to feel for West Bromwich Albion striker Peter Odemwingie.
With a transfer fee seemingly agreed between the Baggies and Queens Park Rangers, Odemwingie arrived at Loftus Road to begin negotiations about his transfer.
Only problem was that no fee had been agreed and West Brom refused to let the 31-year-old leave, meaning he was unable to negotiate with the London club.
He will now return to the Hawthorns both very embarrassed and under a lot of scorn from the club, which has already labelled his actions "wholly unprofessional".
Queens Park Rangers boss Harry Redknapp has said that the situation was more of an "unfortunate mistake" and that Odemwingie was still "a good lad".
If only West Bromwich Albion would see it that way.
Have fun at the Baggies for another 18 months, Peter.
Winner: Daniel Levy
Tottenham Hotspur continues to sparkle in the transfer windows, and much of it can be put down the brilliant management and ownership of Daniel Levy.
The Spurs owner did wonderfully well over the summer transfer window, bringing in excellent players—Jan Vertonghen, Clint Dempsey, Hugo Lloris, Emmanuel Adebayor, Moussa Dembele—without breaking the bank and sold Luka Modric for the best possible price.
So whilst we shouldn't have really expected anything different from him this time around, it was still an excellent transfer period for the North London club.
He got rid of two goalkeepers who are never going to touch the ball as well as the likes of Jermain Jenas and Andos Townsend until the end of the season also.
Few would believe that you could sign Fryers and Holtby for £2 million.
Dan Levy just did.
Loser: Arsene Wenger
Some might disagree on this one, but Arsenal are still big losers over the winter transfer window.
Yes, they signed Nacho Monreal for less than £10 million and that's a great deal for the club, but at the end of the day, it's simply not enough for the North Londoners.
The only reason they signed Monreal was because of the injury to Keiran Gibbs and the incompetence of Andre Santos; otherwise, there's a strong case to be made that Gunners boss Arsene Wenger would not have made any moves at all this winter.
And for a club struggling to get pace with the top four, that's not good enough.
Only signing a defender and waiting until the summer is fine, if you're flying high in the Premier League, cruising in the Champions League and without any other worries.
But for a team lacking up front, over-relying on Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla, 21 points adrift in the Premier League and a win outside of the top four, it's not.
Plus German giants Bayern Munich await in the Champions League. They've lost just once all year and have conceded seven goals in 19 games.
That new left-back should really help you there Wenger.
Not to suggest that Steven Gerrard and Raheem Sterling were useless, but Luis Suarez was forced to carry a lot of the load in Liverpool's attack early this season.
The Uruguayan international was dominating his opponents, so it wasn't too much of an issue, but the Merseyside club were relying on his brilliance a lot to find the back of the net.
So to go out and spend £20 million on two excellent signings is great from Brendan Rodgers—not necessarily because he got amazing deals, but because he understood his team's needs. Unlike Wenger, Rodgers signed players that the Reds actually needed going forward this year.
Daniel Sturridge is already proving to be a great partner to Suarez at the top of the attack, and with Philippe Coutinho potentially slotting in behind them, the Reds suddenly look very strong right across midfield and attack in 2013.
The top four is probably beyond them this year, but expect Liverpool to finish well this season—largely thanks to a great winter transfer window.
Manchester United did not need another winger in Wilfried Zaha.
The fact that they wanted him and that they got him should therefore be troubling to a number of players—least of which being out-of-favor winger Nani.
The Portuguese international has had good success at Old Trafford but with recent reports of contract negotiations failing between the player and club, Nani has been touted as a potential departure from the Premier League giants in the near future.
The signing of Zaha seemingly makes that a certainty.
Nani is already struggling to playing time behind Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young and whomever Sir Alex Ferguson opts to use on the wings.
The addition of Zaha simply pushes the 26-year-old even further down the list, and he must be considered a viable summer transfer target as a result. That is great for clubs around the world, but not so great for the Portuguese star.
Winner: David Beckham
Chalk up another big win for Brand Beckham as the world footballing legend makes another great move—this time to French giants Paris St. Germain.
Firstly, and probably most importantly, is the fact that Beckham is going to a place where he has a chance for competing at the title (PSG tied for first domestically) and where he also gets to play Champions League football (playing Valencia in the round of 16).
Few clubs around the world could offer that to Beckham; even fewer could offer it to him with the close proximity to London that Paris does.
The chance to shine once again on the world stage—particularly the European stage—is chance that not even Beckham could pass up. Especially not when it offers everything that Paris St. Germain have thrown at the former England international.
He emerges as a big winner from the winter transfer window (as do PSG), though there is perhaps another winner that we haven't considered from all of this...
Loser: Shakhtar Donetsk
One of the more fascinating stories to emerge from the final hours of the winter transfer window deadline day was the fact that Shakhtar Donetsk have sold star attacker Willian.
That, frankly, seems like a bizarre move by the Ukrainian champions.
Whilst they don't need him domestically (having run rule over the Ukrainian Premier League for several years now) you have to think that Willian is a huge loss in Europe.
Shakhtar did very well to emerge from a strong group and position themselves well in the round of 16 in the Champions League—set to play German champions Borussia Dortmund in a mouthwatering clash in around two weeks' time.
Why they'd sell arguably their best player in the final hours is beyond me, especially if it costs them progression through to the remaining rounds of the tournament.
For this one deal alone—regardless of the money—this is a poor deal for the Ukrainian club and one that they could very well live to regret later this month.
Who were the biggest winners and losers of the winter transfer window?
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