This month has not, of yet, lived up to the expectations of many. Of course I’m talking about the football transfer market. With only one weekend left in the window, there does not seem to be a whole lot to look forward to. With the recent Chelsea signing of Juan Caudrado, that seems to be that. With just over £100 million spent between clubs this month, and Wilfried Bony covering £28 million of that, we must say it has been disappointing. Don’t worry football lovers, the general trend see’s one fifth of football transfers have occurred on deadline day so there might something up the sleeves of managers in the next few days.
For now, let’s take a look at the 7 most notable ones in the Premier League so far.
Since his arrival from Dutch side Vitesse in the summer of 2013, Bony has been a pleasure to watch. He immediately burst onto the scene after a club record fee of £12 million at Swansea. Many saw it as a risk by, then manager, Michael Laudrup. It turned out to be a genius move by the former Real Madrid and Barcelona star. Scoring more Premier League goals than anyone in the 2014 calendar year (20), it was inevitable that the big clubs were going to come knocking in January. Having the African Cup of Nations to look forward to, the Ivorian was able to relax even further when Man City offered the Welsh side £28 million, making him the most expensive African signing, and the player £100,000 per week. Both parties were only too glad to accept.
After long negotiations, it is now official that Juan Cuadrado is a Chelsea player. Despite having a world class strike force at Stamford Bridge, Jose Mourinho has brought in more talent to better their chances of the near impossible treble. The Colombian, who made 85 appearances for Fiorentina over a three year period, impressed many at last year’s World Cup having scored 1 and assisting in 4 (Tying for the tournament’s most assists alongside Toni Kroos). The Italian side had previously said they would not sell Cuadrado for anything under his £26.8 million buy-out clause, but it appears £23.33 million and the services of Mohamed Salah moving in the opposite direction was enough to bring the star to London.
Many people were surprised to discover Villarreal defender Paulista high up on Arsene Wengers shopping list. Some are still very sceptical of the impact he will make in the Gunners side. With the constant injuries of the centre halves at the Emirates, a defender was needed, but most thought it was destined to be West Ham’s Winston Reid. The Brazilian has moved for an undisclosed fee, believed to be around £15 million. Having seen several clips of the 24 year old, it looks like he will be a great fit alongside Per Mertesacker and/or Laurent Koscielny.
Having only 5 starts under Mauricio Pochettino and not featured for Tottenham since November, it was on the cards that Kyle Naughton was changing clubs this month. Having fallen out of the ranks at Spurs, Swansea came calling splashing £5 million on the 26 year old defender. Naughton moved to White Hart Lane in 2009 and has since had loan spells at Middlesbrough, Leicester City and Norwich City. Swans manager, Gary Monk, revealed that he had been trailing the former England U21 international for quite some time.
Despite offloading 5 players in the transfer window, Aston Villa have only invested in two. The most notable is Spanish attacking midfielder, Carles Gil. The former Valencia man signed on a four-and-a-half-year deal for £3.2 million. He has already represented Spain at U21 level. Gil scored for the Villains on his second appearance for the club, in their FA Cup win over Bournemouth. He promises to be a great asset for Villa, one that Mourinho and co. will be keeping a close eye on.
The veteran looks set to end his illustrious career in Italy, as the Cameroonian has left Goodison Park for Sampdoria. He had initially signed a 2-year contract with the Merseyside Blues back in August, after his contract expired with the Blues of London, Chelsea. However, having only scored 3 goals in 14 appearances for Everton this season, he has fallen down the pecking order behind Steven Naismith and Belgian duo Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas. With the 1991/92 Champions League runners up only 2 points off third place in Serie A, Eto’o feels that this might be his best chance of playing in Europe’s top club competition again before he decides to hang up the boots.
Having only featured in one U21 match since his arrival at Manchester United, Louis Van Gaal still claims that the Spaniard has a huge role to play at Old Trafford. Valdes shocked the footballing world back in May 2013 when he announced he would not be renewing his Barcelona contract after 12 years with the Catalan giants. Barcelona’s loss was United’s gain as the 33-year-old, who went almost 10 games without conceding a goal in the 2011/12 season, decided to move to England. He has signed an 18-month contract, with an option of a further year. For now, it seems like he will be David De Gea’s replacement, should anything happen to the former Atletico Madrid man. Valdes has already been noted for his positive attitude and inspirational team talks, something which he claimed he picked up from former coach, and now Bayern Munich manager, Pep Guardiola.
by Ciaran Cronin