The Premier League's 10 Biggest Misses During January Transfer Window
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Deadline day of the 2013 January transfer period was a typically frantic, if ultimately underwhelming conclusion to proceedings. Chock-full of hype and speculation, with ultimately little of anything big really happening.
Unless transfers happen, it is difficult to get a grip on how close certain deals came to closing. So the following list of the biggest misses of the transfer window is, to an extent, based on what various media outlets suggested was in the works among various Premier League clubs.
Still, there was undoubtedly reasoning behind the stories (like Tottenham Hotspur's need for a striker), even if they were not always wholly factual.
Peter Odemwingie to Queens Park Rangers
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The saga of Peter Odemwingie's desire to leave West Bromwich Albion and join Queens Park Rangers provided some of deadline day's only drama as the Nigerian turned up in London to force a move.
As reported by BBC Sport earlier in the week, the Baggies had turned down a bid from QPR for Odemwingie, but moves were still being made to try and engineer a deal up until the final day.
Harry Redknapp still managed to bring in some additions to his squad as he looks to stave off relegation. The signing of Loic Remy gave QPR some firepower, but the Hoops' boss was evidently keen to bring in a striker of proven Premier League class, too.
Odemwingie may not be among the division's most prolific strikers, but he can score and would have brought some nice variety to QPR's forward line.
The Daily Mail was among those reporting that Redknapp was looking to bring back Peter Crouch to Loftus Road, too. In the end, this one did not seem like it was ever a goer.
Leroy Fer to Everton
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David Moyes has bought smartly for Everton over the last 12 months or so. He has put together what may be his best squad at Goodison Park since he took charge.
FC Twente's Leroy Fer was evidently someone Moyes thought could make a contribution for his team, but as The Guardian reports, uncertainties over the Dutchman's fitness ultimately killed the deal.
It was a blow for Moyes, as he knows how valuable one or two additional players can be to a team looking for a push as the season heats up. Everton have been undone in the past by their lack of numbers as their best players have grown tired after giving so much.
Missing out on Fer might not ultimately matter for the Toffees, but if they miss out on a top-four place this season, they will wonder if the midfielder could have made a difference.
Leandro Damiao to Tottenham Hotspur
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It was never quite clear just how badly Andre Villas-Boas wanted another striker, even with all the late window rumors circulating about Tottenham's interest in Leandro Damiao.
The Guardian were among the media outlets on deadline day suggesting that Internacional had turned down a bid from Spurs for their star striker. Yet early in January, the Portuguese coach had publicly stated (via BBC Sport) that despite rating the Brazilian highly, he was not desperate to bring someone in despite his squad's lack of numbers in the position.
Not adding another striker is somewhat of a risky move with only two other experienced players to call on. We will never know if Damiao would have been able to make an immediate impact in North London; there was no guarantee of that.
Spurs have recalled Harry Kane from his loan at Norwich, but they could have done with the boost someone as potentially good as Damiao might have given them.
Tom Huddlestone to Fulham
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Fulham have missed a passer of genuine quality since the departure of Danny Murphy last summer. It was not surprising then that they pursued the signing of Tom Huddlestone, a player who manager Martin Jol worked with in his time at Tottenham.
Sky Sports reported on deadline day that Spurs had given the Cottagers permission to speak to Huddlestone, but things went quiet soon after that (though there was also interest from Stoke City, according to the Daily Mail).
Fulham did manage to get in Emmanuel Frimpong on loan to add some bite to their midfield. Given their tendency to be a bit of a pushover away from home, this was a smart acquisition.
But missing out on Huddlestone will be a bit of a blow. The midfielder has yet to develop into the game-dominating player his qualities may suggest, but nonetheless, Fulham would have benefited from the extra bit of class he would have given to their passing game.
Gary Hooper to Norwich City
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Norwich City did manage to add another striker to their ranks with the signing of Luciano Becchio from Leeds United. But with Steve Morison going the other way in that deal and Harry Kane being recalled by Tottenham from his loan spell, the Canaries are a little light on numbers in that department.
Chris Hughton seemingly viewed Gary Hooper as the extra pair of legs he wanted up front, as according to Sky Sports he bid for a fourth time late in the window to try and sign him.
Hooper has never previously played in the Premier League. However, he has scored goals wherever he has been, while his recent performances in the Champions League have suggested he has the quality to do well at a higher level.
Norwich will be hoping now that Becchio has the goals in him to take some of the pressure off Grant Holt and fire them to safety.
Mohamed Diame to Arsenal or Tottenham
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There were reports on deadline day of Mohamed Diame's release clause being triggered. The Independent suggested it may have been Arsenal and Tottenham who did so, but in the end, nothing more came of it.
Though neither club is in desperate need of a midfielder, the West Ham midfielder could have provided a physicality in the position from which both North London clubs may have benefited.
David Villa to Arsenal
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Persuading David Villa to leave Barcelona was always going to be something of a long shot, but according to The Independent, Arsenal did try to recruit the Spanish striker.
Even if this deal was never a goer, that Arsenal were unable to get Villa has to count as a miss just because of how good he is.
Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott are providing plenty of goals for the Gunners right now, but if one of them gets injured, they will be severely hampered. Villa would have been an extraordinary player for them to be able to call on.
Paul Robinson to West Ham United
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West Ham United's fall down the table of late is reason for concern for all at the club. Manager Sam Allardyce has undoubtedly been examining the reasons why, and judging by his interest in Paul Robinson, he decided the position of goalkeeper was one of them.
Jussi Jaaskelainen has been a top keeper for many years, but at 37, he has been showing signs of a downward trend.
Robinson may have been on a relegated Blackburn Rovers team last season, but that was hardly his fault. He did his best with a hapless defense in front of him, and if not for his performances, they would have gone down a year earlier.
The Daily Mail were among those reporting a deal for Robinson was close to being sealed, but it did not materialize in the end. West Ham missed out on a potential upgrade and will now have to hope Jaaskelainen still has enough about him that they won't regret missing out on Robinson.
Maarten Stekelenburg to Fulham
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Similar to West Ham with their worries over Jaaskelainen, Fulham are at a stage where they are contemplating having to look beyond Mark Schwarzer as their goalkeeper. He has given them some great service in recent times, but at 40, he is looking more and more past his best.
Martin Jol was keen to bring in a quality goalkeeper and had seemingly chosen Roma's Maarten Stekelenburg.
It has not gone as well in Italy as the Dutchman would have hoped, but Jol worked with him before at Ajax and obviously viewed him as more than good enough for his team.
As The Telegraph reported, what seemed a done deal fell apart with Stekelenburg on his way to England after Roma were unable to find a replacement.
This might be a deal Fulham revisit, but they will hope missing out on Stekelenburg does not prove costly in the meantime.
Tom Ince to Liverpool or Reading
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It might turn out that Tom Ince is better off where he is right now, continuing to learn his game at Blackpool and hopefully continuing the impressive progress he has made.
Liverpool and Reading, who both were interested in the England Under-21 international (according to BBC Sport), would not have minded being able to call on such an exciting young player, though.
Ince has impressed that much for Blackpool in the last year or two that he has come to be regarded as one of the best creative talents in the Championship. With his skill and goal-scoring ability, he would have given either squad a good alternate option to use as they pursue their ambitions for the season.