Winners and Losers of the January Transfer Window

Allan JiangTransfers CorrespondentFebruary 3, 2014

Winners and Losers of the January Transfer Window

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    Here are the biggest winners and losers of the January transfer window.

    The recurring theme was Premier League dominance, per BBC Sport:

    Club spending in the 2013-14 season included £130 million in January's transfer window, which closed at 23:00 GMT.

    That surpasses spending in last year's window of £120 million , but is less than the £225 million record set in 2011.

    Dan Jones of the sport business group at Deloitte said spending was supported by record level of revenues driven primarily by new broadcast agreements.

    "This gives Premier League clubs the ability to continue to invest significantly in their playing talent," he added.

    Feel free to comment below with your views.

Winner: Juan Mata

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    Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was open about Juan Mata's unhappiness which led to a £37.1 million transfer to Manchester United, per United's official website.

    "I tried to make (Mata) play in a position where he was not comfortable," Mourinho said, per Sky Sports, adding, "I gave him nothing to be honest and I feel sorry with that."

    In 13 Premier League games this season for Chelsea, Mata failed to score and only created two goals.

    His act of insubordination toward Mourinho when subbed off in the 3-0 win over Southampton, per Neil Ashton at the Daily Mail, foreshadowed the end of Mata's tenure with the Blues.

    The winner of this deal is Mata: two assists in two Premier League games for United.

    Another winner is United chief executive Ed Woodward, who has deflected attention away from his forgettable debut summer transfer window by securing a world-class player in Mata during the January transfer window.

Loser: Arsenal

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    Kim Kallstrom's signing is five to eight years too late—he has not been relevant since winning six titles with Lyon.

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger probably thought to himself, "What is the catch?" when Spartak Moscow, Kallstrom's club, were willing to pay the Swede's wages "for at least another six weeks," per Jeremy Wilson at the Telegraph, to push through the loan deal.

    The catch was Kallstrom had a "damaged vertebrae" from playing beach football during Spartak's warm-weather training in the United Arab Emirates, per BBC Sport.

    "We accepted to share the costs," Wenger said, per BBC Sport. "So they [Spartak] will pay him for the first six weeks of his wages."

    This means Arsenal will pay a portion of Kallstrom's salary starting from March 14, around six weeks from the day the Gunners announced Kallstrom's signing on the club's official website.

    Coincidentally, that exactly matches Wenger's latest projection of when Kallstrom will be back in action, per Sky Sports: "The earliest he could be available would be the end of February and the latest would be mid-March."

    Kallstrom was intended to be an injury-replacement player yet is injured himself.

    After six weeks, Arsenal could end up paying a part of Kallstrom's wages to have him sit on the bench or be a squad player.

    What a bizarre signing from Wenger.

Winner: Chelsea

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    To quote Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho, per the Telegraph: "In almost every position we have the present and also the future."

    Rather than let Benfica sell Nemanja Matic to another big European team, Chelsea re-signed the former Chelsea player for £21 million, per Sky Sports.

    While it is grovelling, the arrival of Matic, a tough and technically gifted midfielder who can play in a variety of formations, gives Mourinho more tactical flexibility.

    The signing of Kurt Zouma, a world-class centre-back prospect, from Saint-Etienne for £12.5 million, per ESPNis brilliant.

    "(Zouma is) a player with big potential, physically ready," Mourinho said, per the Telegraph. "One thing is to be physically ready, another thing is to be tactically ready. Well done Chelsea."

    The "well done" Chelsea part is the telltale sign that Zouma was a Mourinho recommendation.

    To not stunt his development, Chelsea have loaned Zouma back to Saint-Etienne.

    Mohamed Salah, an £11 million signing from Basel, per Alex Richards at the Mirror, is the riskiest of the three signings.

    £11 million for a player who may end up being an occasional starter/impact sub is not an economically efficient deal.

    The only winner of this deal is Eredivisie club Vitesse.

    As soon as Salah, the reigning Swiss Football League player of the year, starts voicing his unhappiness at not being a regular starter, he will probably head to Vitesse on a loan.

    There are currently four Chelsea loanees on Vitesse's books: Lucas Piazon, Patrick van Aanholt, Christian Atsu and Cristian Cuevas.

    That said, it has been a winning transfer window for Chelsea, which was accentuated by the sale of benchwarmer Kevin de Bruyne to Wolfsburg, which netted the Blues approximately a £10 million profit, per the Independent.

Loser: Liverpool

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    Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre actively pursued Mohamed Salah and Yevhen Konoplyanka in the January transfer window and came up short.

    Reds manager Brendan Rodgers said Chelsea signing Salah was "difficult to take," per Andy Hunter at the Guardian

    Rodgers gave no definitive reason as to why Konoplyanka's transfer collapsed at the 11th hour.

    "We had our chief scout, managing director and doctor out there to conclude the deal—and from our point categorically Ian Ayre did a brilliant job trying to negotiate," Rodgers said, per James Pearce at the Liverpool Echo. "I've heard the problem mentioned was about the money but that was not a problem. It just wasn't to be."

    Konoplyanka would have been a luxury signing just like Salah.

    Instead of targeting wingers, what Ayre should have done was sign a consistent centre-back.

    Martin Skrtel has scored four own goals in league play since the 2010-11 season, two of which have come this season.

    Kolo Toure made a "crazy" mistake in the 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion, per Stuart James at the Guardian.

    Centre-back was a necessity.

    Meanwhile, signing a commanding midfielder would have been ideal for Ayre.

    If he was willing to take calculated risks on Salah and Konoplyanka, one wonders why Rubin Kazan defensive midfielder Yann M'Vila was not targeted to the same degree as Salah and Konoplyanka.

    It was a poor transfer window for Ayre.

Winner: Rene Meulensteen

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    Fulham manager Rene Meulensteen's previous coaching spell as Anzhi Makhachkala manager lasted 16 days, per the Telegraph, and he was on course to be relegated managing Martin Jol's squad.

    While relegation is still likely—Fulham are bottom of the Premier League—at least Meulensteen has signed players he wants.

    Konstantinos Mitroglou, Lewis Holtby and William Kvist are expected to play significant roles in Meulensteen's team.

    Mitroglou, who scored 17 goals in 19 games for Olympiacos, is tasked with being Fulham's saviour.

    Holtby, on loan from Tottenham Hotspur, wants to prove Spurs management wrong for not being an undisputed starter at the club.

    Kvist, on loan from Stuttgart, is second in the Bundesliga for interceptions per game (3.7), so his grit and ability to read play will be invaluable as Fulham look to stay up.

Loser: Newcastle United

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    Yohan Cabaye scored seven times, made 46 tackles, intercepted 46 passes and was the leader in Newcastle United's midfield.

    Selling him to Paris Saint-Germain for £20 million, per Louise Taylor at the Guardian, and not replacing him will expose Newcastle's flaws.

    A Cabaye-less Newcastle were shambolic in the 3-0 Tyne-Wear derby defeat to Sunderland.

    Newcastle manager Alan Pardew's non-responses to Cabaye questions were his way of saying he had no part in the sale of arguably the club's most influential player, per Luke Edwards at the Telegraph:

    Q: What do you say to Mike Ashley and Joe Kinnear when you're having those discussions on Friday and it’s clear you’re not going to get a replacement (for Cabaye)? Do you make your opinions clear on that?

    Pardew: I think I've made my opinion very clear this week and all the rest of it is confidentiality. ...

    ... Q: Part of the problem you’ve got is that if you don’t speak out against not getting a replacement it makes it look as though you’re going along with the decisions the board is making and therefore you get criticism heaped on your shoulders and take the blame for that.

    Pardew: Yeah, I'm a professional manager. You know, if I was in charge, solely, of transfers, the answer might be different, but I'm not.

Winner: Keisuke Honda

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    After six years in Europe, 27-year-old Keisuke Honda has finally taken his chance at signing with an illustrious European club in AC Milan.

    While Milan are 10th in Serie A and in disarray, Honda has a stage to prove to his detractors that he is a world-class playmaker.

    Four league games into the season, Honda is already third at Milan in chances created per game (2.0; behind Kaka [2.4] and Robinho [2.1]).

    Honda will only get better as he attempts to help Milan regain their dignity.

    The best aspect of Honda's transfer to Milan?

    It was a free transfer, per UEFA.com.

Loser: Valencia

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    It took years of misdemeanours for Valencia to say adios to Ever Banega, who has been loaned out to Newell's Old Boys, per Sky Sports. Why didn't he sign with a European club?

    Valencia loaned out Andres Guardado to Bayer Leverkusen, Dorlan Pabon to Sao Paulo and Helder Postiga to Lazio, per Inside Spanish Football.

    The club sold Sergio Canales, once Spain's next big thing, to Real Sociedad, per Inside Spanish Football.

    Valencia signed several players, Seydou Keita, Eduardo Vargas and Philippe Senderos being nameable footballers.

    They introduced the latter with a picture of his teammate Brede Hangeland, per James Andrew at the Daily Mail.

    Talk about revolving doors at Valencia.

    Bearing that in mind, it was astonishing that they beat Barcelona 3-2.

     

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