A busy January transfer window saw some EPL clubs emerge primed for the back-half of the season, while others failed to get what they came for.
Five points clear with a game in hand, table topping Arsenal needed to bring experience and class to an already strong squad to shore up their EPL title bid. And that’s exactly what they did, bringing in Leandro Trossard and Jorginho. The fact some Gunners fans are angry with sporting director Edu baffles, given their strong position. Yes they missed out on Trossard’s former Brighton teammate Moises Caicedo, but when the Seagulls snubbed an enormous £70m bid, there’s little they could do. In Trossard and Jorginho they have two EPL-ready guns — an undoubted good window for Mikel Arteta and his staff.
🗣 "The best window has been Arsenal."@SkyKaveh ranks Arsenal as the strongest January transfer window in the Premier League 🔴 pic.twitter.com/sq1dQNLklg
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) January 31, 2023
Certainly in the short-term, the fact that Chelsea have added World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez, exciting winger Mykhailo Mudryk and Joao Felix (loan) to their squad makes them ‘winners’. Whether the enormous sums they paid — particularly Fernandez for an EPL record £106.8m — turns out to be a good move for the club in the long run is another matter altogether. While Todd Boehly continues his spending spree, the fact is that the Blues still lack a grunt-work defensive midfielder that can fill position N’Golo Kante once occupied. Many believe the creative Fernandez is more likely to occupy the number eight than number six role. Nevertheless, Boehly has given the Blues faithful hope they’ll improve going forward.
Jürgen Klopp on Chelsea's January splurge 💰:
'I say nothing without my lawyer! Congratulations if you can do it. I don't understand it.' pic.twitter.com/GpNrVYZJz9
— B/R Football (@brfootball) February 3, 2023
Ok, we’re a little biased. But you love to see it.
Without doubt the most exciting signing for Socceroos fans in several years, Harry Souttar completed an $A26 million move from Stoke to Leicester to shore up their struggling backline. Stellar performances at the FIFA World Cup undeniably boosted the tall centre-back’s transfer currency. And he’s cashed in. While big Harry might not feature in Leicester’s clash against Aston Villa this weekend, he’ll be making his EPL debut shortly according to manager Brendan Rodgers.
The Premier League isn’t ready for Harry Souttar pic.twitter.com/sOVranbGWC
— COPA90 (@Copa90) January 31, 2023
From bad to worse for the Toffees, who completed the grand total of zero signings. A faultless completion of Dry January, some have said. The club sold Brazilian star Richarlison in the summer and have not replaced him. They have now sold Anthony Gordon and failed to replace him or deliver any ounce of hope to frustrated fans on how they might avoid relegation this EPL season. New manager Sean Dyche is absolutely up against it in the months to come, and an unproductive January won’t make his job any easier.
“We need a striker…we’ll get one” – Farhad Moshiri January 2023
Everton end the January Transfer Window with 0 signings
— 𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗧𝗼𝗳𝗳𝗲𝗲 𝗕𝗹𝘂𝗲𝘀 (@EvertonNewsFeed) January 31, 2023
At least with Chelsea — who sit alongside Liverpool smack bang in the middle of the EPL table — fans can see a way out of the logjam following their January acquisitions. But for the Reds, any improvement is going to have to come from within. Sure, they beat rivals to Dutch young gun Cody Gakpo, but fans were crying out for a midfielder. And they didn’t get it. There’s still huge hopes of signing Jude Bellingham in the summer. But their immediate focus, this season, was not addressed in this window. Having been knocked out of the FA Cup, League Cup and trailing well behind in the EPL, Liverpool’s only remaining hope for a trophy this campaign is in the Champions League. Success in Europe, however, is looking slimmer by the day.
"Liverpool should have done something in January… You could make a case for doing something in the forward line and something in midfield."
"If I had to choose… I'd go for midfield. You could've made a case for the forward line, but they had to do two."
🗣 The Anfield Wrap pic.twitter.com/mhiy8X1yfs
— The Anfield Wrap (@TheAnfieldWrap) January 30, 2023