Premier League: Transfer Window Winners, Losers

IMAGE, MLSSOCCER.COM

BY MATTHEW LEVINE
Staff Writer

Now that the dust has settled and the window is firmly placed shut, the clubs of the Barclays Premier League will go into the remaining months of the season with the players they have. Although it is still early to tell the true impact players may bring to their new clubs, here is an early look of who took home the transfer window spoils — and those who came up short.

WINNERS:

Crystal Palace – The Eagles have struggled this season, but have improved so far under Tony Pulis. Sitting one place above the relegation zone, Palace added players that should help them survive relegation. Scott Dann has experience in the Premier League – particularly in being a part of the relegation dog-fight. His experience will serve Palace well over the next few months. Tom Ince is a creative player and will look to build his growing reputation from playing in the lower leagues while helping improve the club that has only scored 15 goals so far this season. Joe Ledley comes over from Celtic and will bolster the midfield.

Chelsea – Normally, this could be considered a loss due to the sale of Juan Mata to Manchester United (more on this move to follow), but in this case, it might not hinder them. There are numerous young, quality attacking talents within Chelsea’s ranks — even after the loss of Mata. Besides, with Jose Mourinho not truly believing in him, Mata hadn’t played as vital of a role as he did in previous seasons. The Blues added depth to the spine of their team, acquiring Nemanja Matic from Benfica — a player they had sold previously — and adding a young, talented defender in Kurt Zouma. He may have an impact now, but with some options for Mourinho to choose ahead of the center back, his true impact may not be for a few seasons. Mohamed Salah also adds more depth to the Chelsea attack.

Dmitar Berbatov and Phillipe Senderos – Fulham have struggled mightily this season, sitting on the bottom of the table and looking a likely candidate for relegation. Watching the Whites over the last few games, it was obvious that Berbatov needed a change of scenery. His languid style of play isn’t one that you want to enter into a relegation battle with. His body language alone told the story of a player that wasn’t up for the cause. He now will head over to Monaco on loan and fill the void that Radamel Falcao’s injury left behind. Senderos lands in La Liga with Valencia and can try to help make a push for a European place instead of trying to survive relegation.

LOSERS:

Arsenal – Although the Gunners have played extremely well throughout the season (barring a few blips this – Aston Villa opening day anyone?), not improving the squad at the January window could be a missed opportunity. The area the Gunners needed was another striker as a deal for Julian Draxler could not materialize. The player they did bring in is Kim Kallstrom, but according to reports, he will miss at last six games with a back injury. What’s worse? Arsenal knew about the problem before signing him on loan. Kallstrom would have been a good option to use with Mathieu Flamini on red card suspension and Aaron Ramsey still out injured. The Gunners hope the Swedish midfielder will prove the signing a decent one if he helps lead a trophy push during the latter stages of the season.

Newcastle – Yohan Cabaye almost left the club in the summer, but leaving during the January window is equally painful for the Magpies. Although you never want to keep a player who may not be totally committed, Cabaye ran the midfield and losing him now amidst a Europa League run is a massive loss. Whoever Alan Pardew deems capable of filling in for Cabaye has big shoes to fill.

Clint Dempsey – After a not-so-stellar return to MLS for the Seattle Sounders, Dempsey headed back to where he made his best stay in Europe – Fulham. So far, his grand return is not going according to plan. Fulham have not received the player that once helped lead them to a Europa League final. Instead, they have a shadow of the American captain’s former self. Continued struggles from Dempsey could possibly see him lose a starting berth for the World Cup. However, that scenario isn’t unfolding just yet. Dempsey needs to find his feet and confidence with the remaining time on loan to kickstart him into having a positive season in Seattle.

Juan Mata – In any other year in recent memory, joining Manchester United would mean competing for the BPL title among other trophies. Also in those same years, Chelsea would not have allowed Mata to head to Manchester. However, this season for the Red Devils has been quite dysfunctional. A period of transition was expected when David Moyes took over in the summer, but United have played like a mid-table club — a team trying to punch above its weight (Everton under, you guessed it, Moyes) rather than the defending champs. Mata certainly needed playing time in a World Cup year and he will certainly get it as the main creative midfielder. However, with United’s struggles, he may not be enough to turn things around and may be on the outside looking in to European competition along with his teammates come May.

  • Tony

    Great article! I agree that chelsea is the winner here and mourinho is building a team for the future. the young players they are bringing in will keep chelsea competitive for the next decade. I’m sure that this summer they will brink in another striker though lukaku should be their man.