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January Transfer Window: Assessing the Activity of Top Premier League Clubs

Basel's Mohamed Salah celebrates after scoring a goal against Chelsea during their Europa League semifinal second leg soccer match, at Chelsea's Stamford Bridge stadium in London, Thursday, May  2, 2013. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
Sang Tan/Associated Press
Dietmar HamannGuest ColumnistSeptember 24, 2016

Let me start by saying the January transfer window is a farce. Nothing happens for weeks and then you get a mad rush of deals in the last few hours. Just look at the percentage of deals being done at the final hour.

Why do we need a month? The window should be a week long or perhaps even three-to-five days. It would benefit everybody involved.

With that said, here's my assessment of the business done by the big Premier League teams.

Manchester United

I'm a bit surprised they stopped at Juan Mata. He's a very good signing, but that's a lot of money for a player who was out of favour at his club. He'll improve them and he'll give a lift to the players and the fans, but United needed further reinforcement and to get rid of a few more players.

Jon Super/Associated Press

I'd give them an outside chance of breaking into the top four, no better than that. With Mata's signingand Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie backthey have a shot at it, but more arrivals are needed in the summer.

 

Liverpool

Whether Liverpool sign Yevhen Konoplyanka in this window or not (looks like they didn't, report from Metro here—Ed), I can't see him having a big impact this season. When a player comes in from Russia or the Ukraine they need a lot of time to settle. Should the deal go through, we won't see his best until next season.

Fabrizio Giovannozzi/Associated Press

Manchester City

The way they've been playing, there was no great need for City to do anything in this window. Sometimes bringing in new players can unsettle your squad and disrupt your rhythm—with new arrivals meaning current players get sat on the bench.

City are doing the right thing. They have plenty of cover at the back and should be well set for the business end of the season.

Arsenal

Loan signing Kim Kallstrom has been around for a while and has a very good left foot.

KIEV, UKRAINE - JUNE 15:  Kim Kallstrom of Sweden and Steven Gerrard of England battle for the ball during the UEFA EURO 2012 group D match between Sweden and England at The Olympic Stadium on June 15, 2012 in Kiev, Ukraine.  (Photo by Christopher Lee/Get
Christopher Lee/Getty Images

My worry is that with Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey out, Arsenal do not have enough pace going forward. It will become harder and harder as the season goes on—especially away from home, where you need that speed on the break.

It's my prediction that, within four or five weeks, the Gunners will be completely out of the title race. They have tough fixtures coming up and I think they'll fall away.

Chelsea

Mohamed Salah has been dubbed the 'Egyptian Messi' and for the price Chelsea paid—£11 million according to the Daily Mail—he looks a very promising player.

Chelsea have no shortage of attacking talent, but I think he could make a difference for them.

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