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The January transfer verdict: How did your club do?

There were some major deals done this winter but some clubs failed to improve in the market.

AFC Bournemouth

What they needed:

With four wins to their name all season it was clear Bournemouth needed to add some fresh legs in January if they were going to stand any chance of staying up.

What they got:

And to their credit, the Cherries did a good job of strengthening all over the pitch. A centre-back, right-winger, centre-forward, left-back and goalkeeper were all brought in over the past month – taking Bournemouth’s spend to around £50m this winter.

Verdict: 8/10

Arsenal

What they needed:

What they got:

In a blow to the Gunners, they were beaten to the signing of Mudryk by London rivals Chelsea, with Arsenal seeing three bids for the forward rejected. However, they did land Brighton’s Leandro Trossard, who has impressed in his two appearances to date for his new side and adds some much-needed cover to their frontline for the remainder of the campaign, and only set the club back £21m.

They also sprung a surprise with a move for left-footed central defender Jakub Kiwior, who arrived from Spezia in a deal worth £22m, adding cover for Gabriel in central defence. Though it was not a priority move, it looks like a shrewd investment. Finally, they added Chelsea midfielder Jorginho, who was certainly not a first-choice option and seemed quite a climb down from previous option Moises Caicedo.

However, it is certainly a viable option in central midfield, and will bring a wealth of experience into Arsenal’s youthful side for a reasonable price, while his 1.5 year contract is unlikely to prohibit further moves in the summer.

Verdict: 7/10

Aston Villa

What they needed:

Aston Villa had a pretty decent summer transfer that saw them strengthen across the pitch. And whilst they had a rough start to the campaign, results have taken a dramatic upturn since Unai Emery took the reins. So, Villa only really needed the January window to add some depth to their side.

What they got:

Villa signed Jhon Durán, a striker from Chicago Fire for around £14m. They also landed left-back Alex Moreno from Real Betis for £11m to cover for the injured Lucas Digne.

Verdict: 7/10

Brentford

What they needed:

Brentford have never been known to spend huge sums of money on players and with the Bees comfortably in the top half of the Premier League, no major business was needed nor expected in January.

What they got:

Kevin Schade, on loan from Freiburg, was Brentford’s only signing this month. He has so far made two appearances for Thomas Frank’s side.

Verdict: 6.5/10

Brighton

What they needed:

Brighton lost Leandro Trossard to Arsenal in January, so signing a replacement was a priority for the Seagulls. They also could have perhaps added a new striker but they have still had a successful season to this point with their current forward options.

What they got:

The best bit of business Brighton probably did this winter was keeping hold of Moises Caicedo despite heavy interest from Arsenal. Elsewhere, they signed 19-year-old Yasin Ayari and 18-year-old Facundo Buonanotte. Neither player has much of a profile on the big stage at present, but given Brighton’s track record with unknown players, they will both probably turn into top talents.

Verdict: 7.5/10

Chelsea

What they needed:

Despite a heavy spend in the summer, Chelsea probably needed a top goalscorer, a central midfielder and some cover at right-back for Reece James in the winter window.

What they got:

After setting the record for most money spent in a single summer window, the Blues did the same this January. Eight players arrived through the door, setting the club back over £300m. Mykhaylo Mudryk, Benoît Badiashile, Noni Madueke, Malo Gusto, Andrey Santos, David Fofana, Joao Felix and Enzo Fernandez all joined the west Londoners.

This saw much-needed cover brought in at right-back and in central midfield, but Graham Potter remains without a quality no.9 for the rest of the season.

Verdict: 7.5/10

Crystal Palace

What they needed:

Crystal Palace’s main issue in the first half of the 2022/23 campaign was a lack of goals. The Eagles have scored just 18 goals in 20 games so far, suggesting some attacking reinforcement were required.

What they got:

Palace left it late to do any business in January. The Eagles signed Albert Sambi Lokonga on loan from Arsenal for the remainder of the campaign on deadline day and he is sure to add some quality to their midfield. Naouirou Ahamada, another midfielder, also made the switch on deadline day from Stuttgart.

Verdict: 6/10

Everton

What they needed:

Deep in the mire of a relegation battle, Everton’s best transfer this window may well have been to replace Frank Lampard, which they duly did, appointing Sean Dyche in a bid to stay up this season.

On the pitch, they needed a goalscorer, with their 15 goals scored the second lowest in the top flight, while they could also have benefitted from added threat from the wide areas.

What they got:

Selling Anthony Gordon would not have been on many Toffees’ minds before the window, but a £40m fee should have allowed them to strengthen elsewhere and proved a good return on the academy graduate. However, Everton were the only side not to make a single signing in January.

Verdict: 0/10

Fulham

What they needed:

Aside from keeping hold of their best players (i.e Mitrovic), what Fulham really needed this January was to add depth, especially in midfield. Joao Palhinha has proved a revelation and Harrison Reed has been adequate, but Tom Cairney is still their best option as a replacement, and beyond that options thin out even further.

What they got:

Fulham did not sign a single player until deadline day in January. But three players still arrived on Monday. Sasa Lukic arrived from Torino, Shane Duffy from Brighton and Cedric Soares from Arsenal. All three are quality talents with the latter two boasting plenty of Premier League experience.

Verdict: 9/10

Leeds United

What they needed

A left-back was a key area to strengthen for Leeds this winter, while they could also have benefitted from an additional striker and a midfielder as they look to stave off relegation under Jesse Marsch.

What they got

They didn’t manage to snag a left-back, which will leave them somewhat light in that position, but otherwise it was an excellent window for Leeds. They broke their record spend for Georginio Rutter, who will add some much-needed firepower at the top of the pitch, while they also added Weston McKennie in central midfield from Juventus, who provides further options for Marsch.

Verdict: 9/10

Leicester City

What they needed:

Leicester lost Wesley Fofana to Chelsea over the summer and Youri Tielemans is also expected to leave for free later this year. As a result, the Foxes needed to replace some huge players to revive their campaign, which could easily end with them in the relegation zone.

What they got:

20-year-old left-back Victor Kristiansen joined for 14 million euros, whilst Tete – a right-winger – arrived on a free from Shakhtar. Leicester’s final deal of the window saw Harry Souttar come in from Stoke for £15m to add some much-needed cover at centre-back.

Verdict: 6.5/10

Liverpool

What they needed

Midfield was the key area that Liverpool needed to improve after a poor first part of the season, with their options in the middle of the park all looking well short of their usual high standards. Meanwhile, injuries to Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota combined with Darwin Nunez’s mixed form left them looking somewhat light in attack.

What they got

Jurgen Klopp’s side failed to address their priority in central midfield, perhaps put off by the excessive price tags placed on the heads of target duo Moises Caicedo and Enzo Fernandez, especially in light of their impending pursuit of Jude Bellingham.

They did, however, add an attacker in the form of coveted forward Cody Gakpo, who became available for a reasonable £40m and adds yet more firepower to a fearsome attack when everyone returns. Despite this, Liverpool can only field three of those attackers, and will continue to struggle having failed to fix their major issues in midfield this month.

Verdict: 3/10

Manchester City

What they needed

Pep Guardiola’s side are perhaps the only side on this list that needed to do nothing except keep their current squad together, with the emergence of Rico Lewis allaying fears about cover for Kyle Walker and smart summer recruiting leaving them with a strong squad.

There will be more surgery to do in the summer, especially in midfield, but it was not something achievable in January.

What they got

Chasing trophies on three fronts with an already small squad, the decision to loan Joao Cancelo could come back to haunt them, even if he had become somewhat disruptive. Aside from that, it was a solid window for the Cityzens.

Verdict: 5/10

Manchester United

What they needed

Heading into the January transfer window Manchester United’s main priority was a centre-forward. The Red Devils terminated Cristiano Ronaldo’s contract in December, leaving them with Anthony Martial as their only natural striking option.

Elsewhere, despite Christian Eriksen’s good form in the first half of the campaign, some extra legs in central midfield to rotate with the Dane would not have gone a miss, especially after it was revealed on deadline day that the former Tottenham man would be sidelined until April. Fred and Scott McTominay can both fill in for the Dane, but they lack the on-the-ball ability that has made Eriksen such a useful cog in Erik ten Hag’s machine.

Further back, meanwhile, heading into January, some right-back cover Diogo Dalot seemed a must as Aaron Wan-Bissaka had been out of form for some time.

What they got

Manchester United made three signings during the January window. Wout Weghorst and Jack Butland arrived on loan from Burnley and Crystal Palace respectively.

Weghorst is a goalscoring forward who is also excellent at pressing, as we have already seen in the limited games from him in a United shirt. And whilst he is likely not a long-term solution for United, he was a decent pick-up nevertheless.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s form has also taken a dramatic upturn in recent weeks, making the need for a new right-back much greater. And, with Eriksen’s injury ruling him out until May, they moved on deadline day to sign Marcel Sabitzer on loan, adding further to their ranks.

Verdict: 6/10

Newcastle United

What they needed

High-flying Newcastle United have shocked plenty, but come the January transfer window they, like Fulham, needed depth more than first XI quality. Eddie Howe’s midfield options dropped off dramatically beyond Bruno Guimaraes, Joe Willock and Joelinton, while injuries to Alain Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson also left them light in attack on occasion. A bad combination when chasing a Champions League spot.

What they got

Eddie Howe’s side saw experienced pair Chris Wood and Jonjo Shelvey depart, but they splashed out to land Everton talent Anthony Gordon, even if there were a few raised eyebrows at the £45m fee for the Englishman.

While this allows more flexibility across the frontline, it still feels as though they are a midfielder short of a perfect transfer window, and are relying heavily on Guimaraes and Willock to remain fit and in form.

Verdict: 6/10

Nottingham Forest

What they needed

Coming into the transfer window, it felt as though Forest had turned a corner, with several of their summer signings beginning to impress. Midfield remained a major issue, however, and injuries to Taiyo Awoniyi and Dean Henderson made deals for a goalkeeper and a forward important too.

What they got

Steve Cooper added Brazilian duo Danilo and Gustavo Scarpa, both of whom appear to be shrewd additions. And, in striker Chris Wood and midfielder Jonjo Shelvey, who both arrived from Newcastle, they have added some Premier League experience to their ranks. There were also late deadline day deals for experienced Atletico Madrid centre-back Felipe and PSG shot-stopper, Keylor Navas.

Verdict: 8.5/10

Southampton FC

What they needed:

With Southampton dead bottom of the Premier League and struggling to both score goals and keep them out, a big winter window was needed.

What they got:

To provide some much-needed goals, Kamaldeen Sulemana, Miraslav Orsic and 6ft 7 striker Paul Onuachu were all signed. Carlos Alcaraz was also brought in to provide depth in midfield whilst James Bree should be a decent rotation option at right-back. The Saints also opted to recall Jan Bednarek from his loan spell at Aston Villa in a bid to sure up their backline.

Verdict: 8.5/10

Tottenham Hotspur FC

What they needed

Tottenham’s main priority was in defence, where the wing-back, in particular, have flattered to deceive under Antonio Conte. Beyond that, another addition in central midfield to help guard against the massive drop-off in Rodrigo Bentancur’s potential absence would have been useful, and a defender remains a long-term target.

What they got

After a full month of negotiations, Tottenham finally managed to land their first-choice target, with Sporting defender Pedro Porro joining the club on deadline day. In addition, they added Villarreal attacker Arnaut Danjuma in a loan move to bolster their frontline, and while there are still question marks in the heart of defence and in midfield, it was not an awful window for the Lilywhites.

Verdict: 6/10

West Ham United FC

What they needed

Struggling for form, it was unlikely that West Ham were going to make too many changes this January, just six months on from their record spend in the summer. Keeping hold of Rice, though always likely, was imperative, but they could also have benefitted from adding more goals to the side amid Gianluca Scamacca’s injury issues.

Another wide midfielder would also have been beneficial, but was always unlikely.

What they got

The arrival of Danny Ings from Aston Villa seemed like a good move, only for the Englishman to get injured on his debut. Meanwhile, 20-year-old centre-back Luizão arrived from Sao Paulo on a free transfer.

Verdict: 4.5/10

Wolves

What they needed:

Wolves had a serious issue at the top of the pitch in the first half of 2022/23. They scored just 12 goals in 20 games, which is the lowest in the Premier League this season. So, it seemed obvious that some fresh legs up top were needed, especially as striker Sasa Kalajdzic remains sidelined.

What they got:

Wolves had a very active January window that saw six players come through the door. Matheus Cunha and Pablo Sarabia have been brought in to add some attacking bite. Elsewhere, Joao Gomes, Mario Lemina, Craig Dawson and Daniel Bentley were also signed.

Verdict: 7/10

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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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