Taking A Closer Look at the January Sales


Another January transfer window closes and the media hyperbole can be put away until the summer. The whole schebang inevitably focused on those transfers that didn’t happen – Kaka to City – and those that weren’t concluded until the very last minute – Arshavin to Arsenal and Keane back to Spurs. Naturally, there were some deals that seemed a good piece of business and those that seemed a little too inflated by mid-season panic buying.

The Sportboys like to put their neck on the line and make predictions. Andrei Arshavin’s impact at Arsenal has been analysed in a previous post and another blog over the coming days will deal with the football agents’ paradise, otherwise known as Tottenham Hotspur. Therefore, here is our guide to the rest of the best and worst of January’s transfer activity.

It’s a deal, it’s a steal, it’s the sale of the…

Kevin Nolan – Bolton to Newcastle – £4.5 mil


Nolan was one of Fat Sam’s key players at Bolton but things hadn’t quite worked out for him under Gary Megson. Newcastle were in need of a midfielder with pedigree in the Premiership and the eye for a goal. In Nolan, they have a player with over 200 appearances in the top flight and is at the ripe age of 26. At £4.5 million, he is great value for money and is the kind of player who will kick on and help Kinnear’s Toon Army with the unenviable task of sorting the Tyneside club out.

Jo – Manchester City to Everton – Loan until the summer


The Brazilian may have arrived at the Eastlands with a hefty £18.5 million price tag but Mark Hughes obviously didn’t fancy taking the risk of giving him a sustained run in the first team. With Man City holding a plethora of strikers and Everton struggling to field any (with no detriment to their team) this transfer made sense all round (unless Man City had actually been competing with Everton for European places). I saw some top performances for Jo while he was at CSKA, strong, pacey and good in the air. He will provide the Toffees with a good target man and make sure that Fellaini isn’t the only player with big hair playing at Goodison.

Hugo Rodallega – Necaxa to Wigan Athletic – £4.5 million


I won’t pretend to know anything about this guy’s playing history but he looked pretty handy against Liverpool last week. He seems to have the right attributes for the Premier League and Steve Bruce seems to have success with Latin American players. It will be interesting to see how he develops at Wigan but with Henri Camara joining Stoke on loan, he will get ample opportunity to play.

Charles N’Zogbia – Newcastle United to Wigan Athletic – swap deal plus cash


Left St. James’ Park in acrimonious circumstances, which perhaps put off bigger clubs from taking a gamble on him. However, Charles has an abundance of quality and is young. Bruce likes pace and flair from his wide players, which he should provide. Should he move on in the future, I am sure Wigan will make a tidy profit on the Frenchman.

Emile Heskey – Wigan Athletic to Aston Villa – £3.5 million


It would be easy to simply vindicate Martin O’Neill’s decision to bring in Bruno by pointing to the debut winning goal against  Portsmouth last week. However, I think we all know that Heskey is not going to score too many and may not even get into the first team when Carew is fit again. But for £3.5 million Villa have boosted their small squad with an experienced and dependable team player. Quite embarassing for Liverpool that they were pipped to him because they weren’t prepared to stump up the cash.

Ricardo Quaresma – Inter Milan to Chelsea – Loan until the summer


Undoubtedly this won’t go down too well with Blues fans but I am not so sure that the Portugese international will be so succesful at the Bridge. The winger has built himself a big reputation over the past few years and Mourinho obviously saw a new Ronaldo in him, hence paying a lot of money to take him to Milan last summer. As Inter’s form started to dip, Quaresma was eclipsed from the first team by others. However, this isn’t the first time that flamboyant wingers have fallen foul of Mourinho. Robben was sapped of confidence by the moody one and is now finding a new lease of life at Real Madrid. My reason for doubting Quaresma’s ability to succeed at Chelsea is a) the short amount of time he has to adapt and make a contribution and b) Scolari’s challenge of fitting him into a midfield that he continues to play Obi Mikel, Lampard and Ballack. Nevertheless, bringing Quaresma on loan is low risk and a coup in terms of players that are available in January. Was Mourinho doing Chelski a favour, hoping they return it in the summer in the form of Drogba and possible Lampard?

James Beattie and Henri Camara – Sheffield United and Wigan Athletic to Stoke City – £3.5 mil and Loan until the summer


Stoke are outside of the relegation zone and notched an important win against Man City last weekend. Nevertheless, it was clear that they lacked firepower this season. In James Beattie and Henri Camara, the Potters have picked up two players that have scored goals in the Premiership, are not past it, are still hungry and each bring different qualities and abilities. These are ‘staying up’ signings. Whether they can compensate for a poor defence and three games without Rory Delap mega-throws, it remains to be seen.



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