Top 50 Premiership Transfers in January
The January transfer window slammed shut at 5pm Monday 2 February, or a little longer if there were problems with the weather. Anyhow, a record £160 million was spent by desperate Premiership clubs during the window who were trying to improve their squads for the remainder of the season. Much of the money was spent by Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur, both staring relegation in the face and who forked out £47 million and £48 million respectively.
Here, Daily Soccer Blog looks at 50 of those transfers – the bizarre, the boring and the breathtaking and looks at how their arrivals will affect the clubs who bought them.
50. Julian Gray
Teams Involved – Coventry City to Fulham
Fee – Undisclosed
Former Arsenal trainee Gray can operate as a left winger or as a makeshift left back, but has not seen any first team action this season while on loan at Fulham. Gray was instrumental during Crystal Palace’s promotion during the 2003/04 season and even found time to have a loan spell at Cardiff City that season. After making 125 appearances for the Eagles, he joined Birmingham City on a free transfer in June 2004, making 60 appearances, before moving to Coventry City in July 2007.
Transfer Rating – 4/10. Despite not playing a single game for Fulham while on loan, Roy Hodgson saw fit to sign Gray on a permanent deal. Perhaps he was desperate for some deadline-day buzz, or perhaps he feels Gray can add something to the squad. Either way, it’s hardly an exciting move amid a frenzied day of transfer action.
49. Ariza Makukula
Teams Involved – Benfica to Bolton Wanderers
Fee – Loan
Ariza Makukula has certainly done the rounds and Bolton are the tenth club he has represented during his career which began at Portuguese outfit Vitoria Guimaraes a decade ago. The Congolese-born Portugal international enjoyed the most prolific spells of his career at UD Salamanca in 2001/02, where he scored 21 goals and on loan at Maritimo from Sevilla in 2007/08, netting 10 goals in just 13 appearances. Aside from that, goals have been hard to come by for a striker deemed good enough to represent Portugal and who scored on his debut in a 2-1 win against Kazakhstan on 17 October 2007.
Transfer Rating – 4/10. Makukula could provide a stop-gap for Bolton who are not known for their prolific scoring abilities but it’s unlikely he is going to set the Premiership goal scoring charts alight. He’s started three matches for the Trotters so far and has been substituted in each one of them, scoring no goals in the process. He’s on loan until the end of the season with a view to a permanent £4.5 million move – Bolton fans must be ecstatic at the prospect.
48. Peter Lovenkrands
Teams Involved – Schalke 04 to Newcastle United
Fee – Free
Out of the frying pan is a term which could describe Peter Lovenkrands’ transfer to Newcastle United. After playing just nine minutes of first team football this season for Schalke 04 in the Bundesliga and not starting a match for them since February 2008, he was released and joined the Magpies until the end of the season. Lovenkrands is best known for his six year spell at Rangers, where he scored 54 goals in 182 appearances and was instrumental in the Gers reaching the last 16 of the Champions League during the 2005-06 campaign.
Transfer Rating – 4/10. At 28-years-of-age, Lovenkrands should be at his peak, but after two years in Germany ravaged by injury and poor form, it looks as though his better days are behind him. Newcastle are a club in turmoil, with uncertainty and in-fighting the order of the day. Lovenkrands was probably seen as a cheap option to try and score some much-needed goals but the problem is, he hasn’t scored in two seasons.
47. Marlon King
Teams Involved – Wigan Athletic to Middlesbrough
Fee – Loan
Marlon King joined his second club on loan of the season when he cut short his spell at Hull City to join struggling Middlesbrough. King scored five goals in 20 Premiership appearances for the Tigers, with his last goal coming on 6 December in a 2-1 victory, ironically against Middlesbrough. King only joined Wigan Athletic a year ago for around £3 million from Watford, but it is unlikely he has a future at the JJB Stadium.
Transfer Rating – 4/10. Middlesbrough are in real danger of relegation this season and Gareth Southgate appears to be pinning their survival hopes on King, a nomadic striker who rarely scores goals – this season’s Marcus Bent, if you like. King is known for his recent problems, including a speeding ban and arrest for alleged assault, so perhaps a change of scenery will do him good. If not, Middlesbrough could be in a lot of trouble come the end of the season.
46. Youssouf Mulumbu
Teams Involved – Paris St. Germain to West Bromwich Albion
Fee – Loan
Youssouf Mulumbu is a Zaire-born Congo DR international who joined the Hawthorns outfit on loan for the rest of the season from Paris St Germain. The midfielder made 13 appearances for Paris St. Germain since making his debut in 2006 and also made 23 appearances, scoring one goal on loan at Amiens during the 2007/08 campaign. Baggies manager Tony Mowbray sees Mulumbu as one for the future and doesn’t expect the eight-times capped player to make an instant impact in the first team.
Transfer Rating – 5/10. Mulumbu’s arrival gives boss Mowbray further options in midfield he doesn’t see him as immediate first team material. He’s the sort of signing you get the feeling won’t really make a massive impact at a struggling club like the Baggies. If he’s up for the fight, he could prove vital during the latter stages of the season but if not, he’s just another player to send packing at the end of May.
Teams Involved – FC Porto to Portsmouth
Fee – Loan
No… not that one! Instead, “Pele” is a relative unknown who has played only a handful of games for three clubs during the past three years. After failing to make an impact at Vitoria Guimaraes, a modest club in Portugal’s top division, he signed for Serie A giants Inter Milan in the summer of 2007. He broke into the first team, mainly due to an horrific midfield injury crisis but was shipped out to Porto a year later as a makeweight in the deal which took Ricardo Quaresma to the San Siro. Pele has hardly had a sniff of first team football this season and joined Portsmouth on loan to try and resurrect his faltering career.
Transfer Rating – 5/10. You have to be either very good, or very confident in your own ability to get away with a moniker like “Pele”, but so far Vitor Hugo Gomes Passos hasn’t really done anything to prove he is worthy of the name. He is still young, at 21-years-old, so he deserves the benefit of the doubt and it will be interesting to see if makes any sort of impact in the Premiership after being largely frozen out at Porto.
44. Gael Givet
Teams Involved – Marseille to Blackburn Rovers
Fee – Loan
Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce may have pulled off a coup in clinching the signing of Marseille defender Gael Givet. During his time at Monaco, Givet played in the 2004 Champions League final for Monaco, a team he made 178 league appearances for in seven years. Givet joined Marseille ahead of the 2007/08 campaign and featured regularly but fell out with manager Erik Gerets before the start of this season and has not played at all. He has won 13 international caps for France and can play at left back or central defence.
Transfer Rating – 5/10. Givet is a vastly experienced defender who has played at the highest club level. However, there may be issues with his temperament, hence his loan move to Blackburn and since he has not played much football this season, it could take a while for him to regain full match fitness.
Teams Involved – Manchester United to Hull City
Fee – Loan
Not much is known about Manucho, the Angolan striker who signed for Manchester United during last year’s transfer window. The 25-year-old was swiftly sent out on loan to Panathinaikos while awaiting a UK work permit and he scored four goals in seven appearances for the Greek club. After making just one first team appearance for United this season, as a substitute against Middlesbrough in the Carling Cup, he joined Hull on loan until the end of the 2008/09 campaign.
Transfer Rating – 5/10. Manucho’s transfer to Hull is difficult to assess because there’s not really much to go on. However, Phil Brown worked wonders with an on loan Manchester United striker last season, Frazier Campbell, who fired in 15 goals as the Tigers won promotion from the Championship. If Manucho can have the same sort of impact, there will be no danger of Hull being dragged into the relegation mire after making such a great start to the season.
42. Juan Carlos Menseguez
Teams Involved – San Lorenzo to West Bromwich Albion
Fee – Loan
Attacking midfielder was weaned on football from an early age and joined River Plate when he was just five years old. He never made a senior appearance for the Argentine giants because he was sold to Bundesliga outfit VfL Bochum in 2003. He made 110 appearances for Bochum, scoring five goals and then returned to his homeland in 2007 when he signed for 10-times league winners San Lorenzo. Menseguez made 34 appearances, scoring six goals for the club before joining the Baggies on loan with a view to a permanent move in January.
Transfer Rating – 5/10. Aside from one or two notable exceptions, such as Carlos Tevez and Julio Arca, Argentinian players are a bit hit-or-miss in the Premiership. Perhaps Mowbray thinks he may have unearthed another Mauro Zarate, who rose to prominence last season with Birmingham City, though he could just as easily be another Esteban Fuertes.
41. Marc-Antoine Fortune
Teams Involved – Nancy to West Bromwich Albion
Fee – Loan
With the Baggies propping up the rest of the league, Marc-Antoine Fortune arrived at the Hawthorns on loan until the end of the season, with manager Tony Mowbray also having the option to make his move permanent. Fortune made his debut during West Brom’s 3-0 victory against Middlesbrough, in which he received a standing ovation when finally replaced by Craig Beattie. He may have scored a debut goal, as he deflected in an effort from Robert Koren but thusfar the goal has been credited to the Slovenian international.
Transfer Rating – 5/10. Fortune has not exactly been prolific during his career and has mustered around one goal every four to five matches. This is not the sort of ratio a struggling team at the foot of the table can rely on to avoid relegation and while Fortune may be a decent enough player, he is unlikely to pull up any trees in the Premiership.
40. Savio Nsereko
Teams Involved – Brescia to West Ham United
Fee – Undisclosed (believed to be around £10 million)
Relative unknown Savio Nsereko is a Ugandan-born German Under-19 international who has spent the last three-and-a-half years plying his trade in Italy with Serie B club Brescia. He is a direct replacement for Craig Bellamy, who left for Manchester City, but his fee is believed to be higher than the club record £7.5 million paid to Liverpool for Bellamy in 2007. Nsereko, who came on as a substitute in West Ham’s 2-0 win over Hull, was also rumoured to be attracting interest from Juventus and Roma.
Transfer Rating – 5/10. One of the strangest transfers of the season until you discover who was involved in the deal. The Sporting Director of West Ham is Gianluca Nani, who just happens to be the son-in-law of Brescia club president Luigi Corioni. In the words of one tabloid journalist: “Savio Nsereko had better be good”.
Teams Involved – Manchester City to Everton
Fee – Loan
Manchester City’s club record transfer, at an eye-watering £19 million, Jo, has been farmed out on loan to Everton for the remainder of the season. One tabloid columnist described him as the only Brazilian unable to trap a bag of cement and he has made just 13 senior appearances for City since joining from CSKA Moscow last summer. In Russia, he was a revelation, scoring 44 goals in 77 appearances but has not found the net in England since scoring in City’s 6-0 drubbing of Portsmouth last September.
Transfer Rating – 5/10. Jo has been one of the most expensive flops in Premiership history and will attempt to resurrect his tattered career at Everton. With the likes of Louis Saha and James Vaughan injured, Toffees fans will be used to strikers who don’t score any goals. Only time will tell if he is the right man to fill the void left by the injured Yakubu, which has forced midfielder Tim Cahill to play up front in recent weeks.
38. Pascal Chimbonda
Teams Involved – Sunderland to Tottenham Hotspur
Fee – Undisclosed (believed to be around £3 million)
Defender Pascal Chimbonda was one of three former Tottenham Hotspur players, sold by manager Juande Ramos, who returned to the club during the January transfer window. He only joined Sunderland last summer but failed to settle in the North East and has a second chance at Spurs where he spent two seasons previously. Arguably, Chimbonda played his best Premiership football at Wigan Athletic during the 2005/06 season. He was named in the PFA Team of the Year, where he was voted best right back in the league ahead of Gary Neville, Paul Ferreira and Steve Finnan. He has one cap for France and also represented Guadeloupe in 2003.
Transfer Rating – 5/10. Chimbonda seems to have lost his way since he burst into the Premiership with Wigan three-and-a-half years ago. However, Harry Redknapp was keen to bring the player back to White Hart Lane and it is up to Chimbonda to repay the faith shown in him.
37. El-Hadji Diouf
Teams Involved – Sunderland to Blackburn Rovers
Fee – Undisclosed (believed to be around £2 million)
Blackburn Rovers manager Sam Allardyce linked up with striker Diouf for the second time when he brought him to Ewood Park from Sunderland. The pair worked together previously at Bolton Wanderers where Diouf spent three seasons, scoring 12 goals in 87 league appearances. He also spent a spell on loan at Bolton during the 2004/05 season, where he scored nine goals in 27 appearances. Diouf rose to prominence during the 2002 World Cup and scored the winning goal for Senegal against France. His performances persuaded Liverpool to part with £10 million to sign him from Lens but lthis season he failed to score in 14 appearances for Sunderland.
Transfer Rating – 5/10. Rovers find themselves in the relegation mire and all new arrivals at the club need to be positive. Allardyce knows exactly what he is getting with Diouf and if he can encourage the player to repeat the performances of his Bolton days then he will be an excellent addition to the Rovers quad.
36. Tal Ben Haim
Teams Involved – Manchester City to Sunderland
Fee – Loan
Tal Ben Haim’s career has stuttered over the past two seasons. He arrived in English football in 2004 with Bolton Wanderers and went on to make 88 Premiership appearances for the Trotters over three seasons. His impressive displays in defence did not go unnoticed and he joined Chelsea on a free transfer in the summer of 2007. However, he was largely frozen out under manager Avram Grant and was shipped out to Manchester City for around £5 million last summer. Despite making his debut against EB/Streymur in City’s UEFA Cup qualifying campaign at the end of July he made only nine Premiership appearances and his search for regular, first team football has now seen him move to Sunderland in January.
Transfer Rating – 6/10. The defender has not played much football in the last two seasons during unsuccessful spells at Chelsea and Manchester City. However, he has a lot of Premiership experience from his time at Bolton Wanderers and links up again with Ricky Sbragia, who was first-team coach during Ben Haim’s stint at the Reebok Stadium. He will know what is required of him playing in a team which is striving to avoid relegation and will add needed depth to the Black Cats’ squad.
35. Calum Davenport
Teams Involved – West Ham United to Sunderland
Fee – Loan
Since making 83 appearances for Coventry City and winning the Young Player of the Year accolade at the end of the 2002/03 season, Davenport has move from club to club in an attempt to prove he can cut it in the Premiership. He left the Sky Blues for Tottenham Hotspur in August 2004, but after two-and-a-half frustrating years at White Hart Lane, he joined West Ham United, where he previously spent time on loan. However, after making just 14 appearances in two years at Upton Park and also being farmed out to Watford during this time, he joined Sunderland on loan until the end of the season.
Transfer Rating – 6/10. Davenport is still hunting for a Premiership team where he can command a regular, first-team place and Sunderland will be his seventh English club. After failing to impress Gianfranco Zola this season, he will give Ricky Sbragia further defensive options as the Black Cats batten down the hatches between now and the end of the campaign.
34. Nadir Belhadj
Teams Involved – Lens to Portsmouth
Fee – £4.4 million
After playing at Fratton Park on loan since August, Algerian international Nadir Belhadj joined Portsmouth on a permanent deal from Lens.He sparkled during Pompey’s run in the UEFA Cup against Vitoria and more notably AC Milan, where he was awarded Man of the Match. His long range goal against Sunderland also gave new manager Tony Adams his first victory in charge of the club.
Transfer Rating – 6/10. Belhadj is a quality player who can operate at both left wing and left back, although there are question marks over his temperament. He was sent off after picking up two yellow cards in Pompey’s 1-0 defeat against Aston Villa, but was fortunate not to receive a straight red for a hacking Craig Gardner to the ground. During times of crisis, you need your best players to keep a cool head and Tony Adams will have to ensure there isn’t a repeat performance.
33. Matthew Etherington
Teams Involved – West Ham United to Stoke City
Fee – £2 million
Manager Tony Pulis has been active during the transfer window as he attempts to haul his side out of the relegation zone and the arrival of left winger Matthew Etherington from cash-strapped West Ham could prove to be a good piece of business. Etherington made almost 200 appearances for West Ham during a five-and-a-half year spell at Upton Park and won “Hammer of the Year” in his debut season at the club. It was his cross which lead to the winning goal in the 2004/05 Play Off final, in which the Hammers beat Preston North End to return to the Premiership.
Transfer Rating – 6/10. Etherington seems to fit the bill at the Britannia Stadium and is reknowned for his crossing ability. A team known for its physical play, Etherington will be expected to sling balls into the box at every opportunity as the Potters battle for their lives in the top flight for the remainder of the season.
32. Henri Camara
Teams Involved – Wigan Athletic to Stoke City
Fee – Loan
Journeyman striker Camara makes Stoke City his sixth British club after moving to the Britannia Stadium on loan until the end of the season. When given a chance, Camara usually performs well, as 20 goals in 69 appearances for Wigan testifies, but he has found himself largely out of favour at the JJB Stadium. He had a productive loan spell at Celtic during the 2004/05 season, where he scored eight goals in 18 appearances but was used sparingly when on loan at West Ham last season. He is out of contract at the end of this campaign and will look to earn a permanent move to the Potters.
Transfer Rating – 6/10. It was a little surprising to see Camara join struggling Stoke, having made a decent contribution to Wigan’s season with six goals, including the winner against Everton last November. He should fit in well to Stoke’s style of play and his pace and directness makes him an ideal replacement for the injured Ricardo Fuller.
31. Radoslav Kovac
Teams Involved – Spartak Moscow to West Ham United
Fee – Loan
Czech international midfielder has spent the last three-and-ahalf seasons at Spartak Moscow, making 80 league appearances for the Russian side which limped to an eighth placed finish this season. Having also spent time at Sparta Prague and Sigma Olomouc in his homeland, the versatile Kovac is ready to take on the challenge of playing in England. The Hammers fended off interest from Celtic for the 29-year-old, who has won 25 caps for his country and who played in the 2006 World Cup and Euro 2008.
Transfer Rating – 6/10. Following the departures of Hayden Mullins and Julian Faubert, the Hammers needed some competition in midfield and Kovac brings a wealth of experience. A defensive-minded player, Kovac will help to solidify the Hammers midfield as they look to maintain their position in the top 10.
30. Kamil Zayatte
Teams Involved – Young Boys to Hull City
Fee – £2.5 million
Defender Zayatte has been on a season-long loan at Hull City since August 2008 after having trial spells with both Everton and Newcastle United last summer. The Guinea international has featured heavily this season and manager Phil Brown has opted to make his move to the KC Stadium permanent in a deal worth £2.5 million. He scored his first goal for the club during a 3-0 victory against West Bromwich Albion during Hull’s strong start to the Premiership campaign.
Transfer Rating – 6/10. Zayatte has proven to be a solid performer for Hull during their first season in the Premiership and formed a good partnership with fellow centre back Michael Turner. His permanent arrival equals the amount paid for Anthony Gardner, ironically the player Zayatte is keeping out of the team.
29. Charles N’Zogbia
Teams Involved – Newcastle United to Wigan Athletic
Fee – Undisclosed (believed to be around £6.5 million)
French midfielder Charles N’Zogbia is probably the most relieved player of the transfer window, after engineering a move away from Newcastle, a club he couldn’t wait to see the back of. Fed up with the club’s ambitions and angered by manager Joe Kinnear’s mispronounciation of his name as insomnia, N’Zogbia stated he would never play for the Magpies again under the current management. After making 118 appearances for the Newcastle since 2004, in which he scored nine goals, N’Zogbia joined improving Wigan Athletic on deadline day.
Transfer Rating – 6/10. N’Zogbia finally managed to get the move away from Newcastle United he wanted but whether he will be satisfied at a club like Wigan, after he was previously linked with Arsenal, Aston Villa and Lyon, remains to be seen. N’Zogbia needs to get his dead down and stop complaining and if he does, then Wigan manager Steve Bruce will have a decent player to call upon.
28. Olivier Dacourt
Teams Involved – Inter Milan to Fulham
Fee – Loan
Roy Hodgson moved quickly to replace Jimmy Bullard by signing veteran defensive midfielder Oliver Dacourt on loan until the end of the season. Dacourt was an important player during Leeds United’s time as genuine Premiership challengers and then spent three years at Roma. He then signed a two-year deal at Inter Milan, where he was originally going to be used as a backup player. However, a severe injury to Patrick Vieria saw Dacourt become a key player in Inter’s winning of Serie A in the 2006/07 season but missed half of the following season with a torn cruciate ligament. Jose Mourinho didn’t see Dacourt as part of his plans this season so he returned to the Premiership, where he also spent time at Everton 10 years ago.
Transfer Rating – 6/10. Dacourt is coming to the end of his career but has the opportunity of one last crack at the Premiership wioth Fulham. He is vastly experienced and played some of the best football of his career during the successful Leeds United years before moving to Italy. With the influnential Bullard gone to pastures new, “The General” could prove an important player during the remainder of Fulham’s season.
27. Kevin Nolan
Teams Involved – Bolton Wanderers to Newcastle United
Fee – £4 million
Kevin Nolan brought a 12-year stay at Bolton to an end in January, where he scored 50 goals in 345 first team appearances, to join Newcastle United on a four-and-a-half year contract. The midfielder had featured in each of Bolton’s 23 league matches this season, scoring one goal. Alongside Nicky Butt, he will add some authority to the Magpies midfield, which has lost Joey Barton to a long-term injury. He made an instant impact at his new club, clearing a goalbound effort off the line during Newcastle’s 1-1 draw with rivals Sunderland on 1 February.
Transfer Rating – 6/10. A few seasons ago, Nolan was one of the most promising midfielders in the country. His tenacity and goal scoring ability alerted the attention of Liverpool, but a big-money move never transpired. He now joins a troubled club in Newcastle and will have to perform to the best of his abilities to avoid playing in the Championship with his new club next season.
26. Ben Watson
Teams Involved – Crystal Palace to Wigan Athletic
Fee – Undisclosed (believed to be around £2 million)
Former England Under-21 internation Ben Watson has been linked with several clubs over the past few months and looked set to join Middlesbrough in January. However, Wigan matched Boro’s offer and secured the midfielder’s services for the next three-and-a-half years. Watson totted up almost 200 appearances for Crystal Palace, including 21 in the Premiership in the 2004/05 season when the Eagles were relegated on the last day of the season.
Transfer Rating – 7/10. Full credit must be given to Wigan manager Steve Bruce who has moved quickly in the transfer market to replace his departed stars with quality players on a budget. Watson was named Crystal Palace’s Young Player of the Year in 2007 and he is bound to prove a worthy addition to the Latics squad.
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