Top 5 January transfers in the EPL
I wanted to do this immediately after the January window closed, but my judgements would have to be made purely on face value and on past accomplishments, future potential and, in many cases, performances in different leagues under much different circumstances.
It would have been a knee-jerk reaction and the results surely wouldn’t have been that impressive. The January transfer window this year never quite turned out to be the spending fest that we had witnessed in past seasons. But there were some shrewd buys throughout the Premier League from the teams as they bolstered the depth of their squad while also adding to the quality for the final stretch of games.
The Price – 6.5/10
The price of £8m for a player of his quality seems quite apt when taken into account that the asking price was about double the sum only last year. A knee injury that sidelined the Frenchman for early part of the season and an impending free agency dragged the price down for the forward.
But if the fee paid to the Marseilles doesn’t sink a big hole in Tony Fernandes’ pocket, the £75,000-a-week contract surely will. But that’s what they had to pay to lure him from the hands of Newcastle United who had already agreed terms with Marseille. The contract also includes a get out clause if the Rs are relegated. Bottom of the table with the lucrative TV deal set to kick in in the off season, the punt might be just worth the taking.
The Impact – 8/10
A 6’1″ forward with stunning pace and the trickery of a winger, and a French international at that, certainly went about his scoring ways from the game itself. In his 5 starts for Queens Park Rangers in the Premier League, the Londoners have lost just once. Meanwhile, Remy has helped himself to 3 goals to keep the fire of hope burning in the hearts of QPR fans.
Transfer Score: 14.5/20
The Price – 7.5/10
A reported £7 million fee for a promising centre-back who has already been internationally capped by France a couple of times at the ripe age of 23 represents another sound piece of business by the Magpies in the transfer market. When you take into account that the defender was widely sought after by some of the biggest names in European club football scene and often linked with Arsenal, Newcastle have got themselves a bargain for the man who skippered Montpellier to their maiden Ligue 1 title last season.
The Impact - 7.5/10
Yanga is quickly making his presence felt ever since hitting English shores. Strong, quick and calm on the ball, the Frenchman is becoming an anchor at the back with the absence of Fabricio Coloccini throwing the Frenchman into the firing line from the get-go. Newcastle have been able to conjure up 4 wins in their last seven Premier League games and are yet to concede in the knock-out stages of the Europa League.
Transfer Score: 15/20
The Price – 8/10
Someone finally exploited the £7.5 million release clause in Ba’s contract and it was Chelsea who finally made a bargain bin transfer for one the most prolific strikers in the Premier League for the last two seasons. Only Wayne Rooney and Robin Van Persie have scored more goals during the time Ba has been in England and to get a forward within £10 million is surely a great asking price.
The Impact - 7.5/10
Ba made an immediate impact as he scored a brace on his first start for the Blues against Southampton. Ba adds a different dimension to the Chelsea team being a willing runner and having the knowledge of where the back of the goal lies. It’s certainly a refreshing change for Chelsea fans who were getting disgruntled with each passing week at the the faltering Fernando Torres. Ba is yet to hit the highs he reached with Newcastle after having a disruptive start to his Chelsea career owing to Benitez’s oft-rotating policies and a brutal facial injury he had on his return to Newcastle.
Transfer Score: 15.5/20
The Price – 7/10
Many would have questioned the £12million price tag that Sturridge had on him but that’s what’s the price of “potential” from a player who has shown that he can stand his own at this level. But the question was whether Liverpool were getting the Sturridge at Bolton a season before when his magnificent skills to get the Trotters away from the danger zone, or the often frustrating snobbish figure that took to the pitch at Stamford Bridge.
The Impact - 9/10
Sturridge fired his first answer to his critics only 7 minutes into his debut. In his brief Liverpool career, the Englishman seems rejuvenated while working up a great understanding with Luis Suarez as Liverpool’s attack seems sharper than ever. In 7 appearances for the Merseyside club, Sturridge has scored 4 and assisted on 3 occasions while Liverpool have amassed 19 goals in those games.
Transfer Score: 16/20
The Price – 9/10
Newcastle not only scout talented young players, they also have shrewd boardroom skills with Derek Llambias at its head to hammer down a price that suits them. Newcastle are able to find loopholes in the contracts as well keep a tab on the contract situations of their scouted players. With the contract of the massively talented Sissoko expiring at the the end of this season, Newcastle certainly did hit the iron while it was still hot, paying a thrifty price of £2 million while rewarding the Frenchman with a six-and-a-half year deal.
The Impact – 9/10
It took most people by surprise when Alan Pardew decided to use Sissoko in a more advanced role than most have normally associated with the box-to-box midfielder and it paid off almost immediately. Sissoko has been instant hit in the Premier league with his bolstering runs from midfield creating havoc. He has proved to be a great foil for Papiss Cissé, who never looked quite at ease playing alongside Demba Ba, and has allowed Yohan Cabaye to dictate the game from a more deeper position which has proved to be very fruitful for Newcastle in the recent past.
Alongside Cabaye and Tiote, Sissoko gives Newcastle real quality at the middle of the pitch and the dimension of raw pace to the attack while helping the defensive cause as well. Since his introduction into the team, Newcastle have won 4 of their last seven Premier League games while progressing to the last eight in the Europa League; Sissoko himself has chipped in with 3 goals and 4 assists in his 11 appearances for the Magpies .