January Transfer Window: 5 Most Active Clubs and Signing Ratings

Phil ConstableCorrespondent IJanuary 25, 2012

January Transfer Window: 5 Most Active Clubs and Signing Ratings

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    The January transfer window is nearing its end and let's face it: It has been incredibly underwhelming. Just over £20 million has been spent and to put that in real terms that's one million spent per team.

    Last year, Chelsea and Liverpool may have been stupid enough to spend £50 million and £35 million, respectively, on Fernando Torres and Andy Carroll, but at least it provided some drama and retrospectively a lot of humour.

    It must be taken into consideration that both those deals went down on deadline day which leads me to believe two things. 1) There is hope yet to find a bigger story than Mario Balotelli's brother having a trial at Sunderland and 2) Football managers are idiots.

    Why do some of the most in-the-loop, shrewd managers go in with this completely illogical game plan to sitting calmly before annually deciding to lose all sense of self-control and start throwing money at people in bizarre monetarist seizures.

    Harry Redknapp is the worst of all these perpetrators. On deadline day, look for Harry Redknapp to try and put more money into a big club's bank account than Milan Mandaric did to Harry's offshore one (allegedly).

    Anyway, here are five teams that have at least tried to spark some life into this dire month of moves and one thing's for sure: Arsenal be on it. 

Newcastle

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    Alan Pardew has done an incredible job since taking over in the north east and this largely down to a sublime record in the market.

    Demba Ba was the signing of the summer with Johan Cabaye not far behind. In January, they've once again spent reasonable amounts and have been prudent with their money.

    Signing Grades:

    Pappis Cisse—B

    Rumour Grades: 

    Adrian Mariappa (via The Telegraph)—C

    Aly Cissokho (via Sky Sports)—B+

    Ravel Morrison (via ESPN)—A-

    Wilfred Zaha (via ESPN)—B+

    Andy Carroll (via The Daily Mirror)—D

Chelsea

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    Andre Villas Boas seems to have recognised him core is getting really old and really fast. John Terry already seems to have embraced that stereotypical racism of a cranky, paranoid grandad.

    AVB has spent wisely thus far and seems to have no intention of stopping. Chelsea could be in play to spend big once again at the close of the window (though hopefully more wisely this time).

    Signing grades:

    Gary Cahill—A

    Thomas Kalas—C

    Rumour Grades:

    Willian (via The Guardian)—B+

    Kevin De Bruyne (via The Telegraph)—B-

    Milos Krasic (via The Guardian) —C+ (F for his hair)

Everton

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    Over the past few windows, David Moyes hasn't had enough money to afford a rumour. 

    With a small amount at his disposal this time around, Moyes has looked to spent with precise efficiency.

    Signing Grades:

    Landon Donovan (loan)—A+

    Darren Gibson—C+

    Edison Buddle—C-

    James McFadden—D

    Rumour Grades:

    Steven Pienaar (via The Daily Mirror)—A

    Danny Simpson (via Sky Sports)—C+

QPR

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    QPR have already shipped out Neil Warnock to be replaced by Mark Hughes. The Welshman has money at his disposal, an impatient owner and Joey Barton and Adel Taarabt in the dressing room. Good luck, Mark, you're gonna need it.

    With money, Hughes has the chance to shape a side in his own image and there's still plenty of time for moves to be made.

    Signing Grades:

    Federico Macheda—C-

    Bruno Perone—D+

    Taye Taiwo (loan)—B

    Rumour Grades:

    Henrique (via the BBC)—A

    Alex (via The Telegraph)—C-

    Nedem Onuoha (via ESPN)—B

    Christopher Samba (via The Daily Mail)—A

Aston Villa

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    Alex McLeish is still in his first season as Villa boss and is making moves to solidify his team moving forward. 

    They seem to have money to spend, and Darren Bent could be a dark horse to be that big deadline day move waiting around the corner.

    Signing Grades:

    Robbie Keane (loan)—B

    Enda Stevens—D

    Rumour Grades:

    Brian Brown (via The Daily Mail)—E

    Scott Dann (via The Week)—B+

    Ki Sung Yueng (via The Daily Record)—C

    Assani Lukimya-Mulongo—E

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