Luis Diaz. PHOTO: Liverpool FC Twitter
The January transfer window is a notoriously difficult period to strengthen your squad. Teams are often reluctant to let players go midway through the season and it’s usually harder to get players at the right price. Here is a look at which Premier League teams thrived and which teams gambled last month.
In letting more than 10 players go this window, Arsenal has taken a huge gamble. One of the strangest ones was their decision to let Ainsley Maitland-Niles go on loan to Roma at the beginning of the month. This, despite knowing they would lose several players to Afcon and had ongoing injury concerns.
To top it off they have let Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leave for Barcelona on a free transfer after the striker had a fallout with manager Mikel Arteta.
To say that the team lacks strength in depth would be an understatement. Lose any of their key players to injury and it could end their chances of finishing in the top six. One wonders what their plan was, indeed if there was any, going into the window.
OFFICIAL: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leaves Arsenal to join Barcelona on a free transfer 🔵🔴 pic.twitter.com/298bLdIO4h— GOAL (@goal) February 2, 2022
Aston Villa did their business early in the month and Steven Gerrard will be happy with his new recruits. Bringing in Philippe Coutinho on loan from Barcelona could prove a masterstroke. Their signing of Lucas Digne from Everton and Calum Chambers from Arsenal further showed their ambitions. They will hope to have a strong finish to the summer and bring in some fresh faces in the off season.
Everton have had an eventful month. Manager Rafael Benitez was fired after a sting of disappointing results, leaving them closer to the relegation zone than the top of the table. They have since replaced him with Frank Lampard. While it didn’t work out for him at Chelsea, the Everton hierarchy will be hoping he can turn things around for them.
Lampard’s appointment was confirmed on transfer deadline day when they also sealed the signings of Dele Alli from Tottenham Hotspur and Donny van de Beek on loan from Manchester United. Van de Beek will certainly be coming in with a point to prove having been sidelined in Manchester.
Dele Alli and Donny van de Beek in blue 🔵 pic.twitter.com/G6Yyy2NavV— GOAL (@goal) February 9, 2022
Title rivals Manchester City and Liverpool both looked to the future with their purchases. City finally signed a striker in the form of Julian Alvarez from River Plate for a cool 14 million. The highly rated youngster will join up with City before the start of next season. Fans will be hoping that City finally have a long-term replacement for Sergio Aguero.
Meanwhile, Liverpool swooped in for Colombian international attacker Luis Diaz. The club had initially wanted to sign him at the end of the season. But when they became aware that Spurs were interested and Porto were willing to sell, they went for it at the 11th hour. Diaz will be seen as part of the long-term project at Liverpool and they will be looking to further refresh the squad. He’s seen as a perfect fit for Liverpool’s front three. Still only 25, Diaz has lots of potential to light up the Premier League.
Meanwhile, while disappointed not to seal the signing of Diaz, Spurs did boost their midfield with Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski signing from Juventus. They also shifted a few players out and manager Antonio Conte will hope this will be enough for a top four place.
A debut for Luis Diaz 🇨🇴🔴— Liverpool FC (@LFC) February 6, 2022
The first-ever Colombian to represent the Reds 🙌 pic.twitter.com/qZGNmHPKIn
Teams such as Manchester United and Chelsea decided to wait until the end of the season to boost their squads. Many of their fans would have been keen to see new players arrive to strengthen key areas. However, it appears their coaches are confident that the squads will do well until the next transfer window opens.
Newcastle put their newfound wealth to good use and were the big spenders of the teams in the relegation battle. Bringing in Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid, Chris Wood from Burnley, Matt Targett from Aston Villa, as well as Dan Burn from Brighton.
They also made their first marquee signing of the new era in the form of Bruno Guimaraes from Lyon. It was a significant move signing the exciting Brazilian midfielder considering that clubs like Arsenal and Juventus were also keen. It will be interesting to see how they incorporate all of these new players into the team in their quest to beat the drop.
Bruno Guimaraes response to whether Newcastle can be bigger than Arsenal 😅 pic.twitter.com/sSn2WSBjLI— GOAL (@goal) February 7, 2022
Without a doubt though, the story of the transfer window was the return of Christian Eriksen to the Premier League. Eriksen signed on loan for Brentford until the end of the season from Inter Milan. The Danish midfielder has not played since suffering a cardiac arrest at the Euros in June but has been passed fit to play.
But Brentford fans, as well as all football fans in general, will look forward to seeing him on the pitch again. It is genuinely heartwarming to see him back in the league.