By Bogdan Radchenko
It would seem that January is never a good time for clubs sign new players. All teams with our exception are keen on completing tasks for the season, and in any case do not want to lose any of their key players. However, top clubs of Premier League this winter behaved quite active and even set a few historical records.
“Manchester City” cannot afford to pick one player for 80-100 million pounds. We cannot pay that kind of money. Of course, we spend a lot of money, but about the same as other clubs “, – said the head coach of the” citizens “Pep Guardiola a few days before the winter transfer window closed.
Talks about buying midfielder from Shakhtar Donetsk remained as rumors. Of course «miners» did not want to let go their key player on the eve of Champions League play offs. Still Man City did not get anyone for the position of midfielder, of perhaps Guardiola will get back to the idea in summer. Which sounds rather odd, since Pep was always known for using a lot of players from the academy. this practice was very well known when he was a coach of Barcelona. Almost half of the team were local youngsters and that was part of the reason we now know and love professionals like Iniesta and Busquets. Maybe the amount money and opportunities has changed Guardiolas approach? Who knows. The fact is, «citizens» still set another record, by acquiring Athletics central defender America Laporte for 65 million euros. His rival for the position, Eliakim Mangala immediately left for Everton. The position of center-backs was always a problem for the “citizens”, who are very much often injured. The rest of purchases of “citizens” – a little-known youngsters, that were immediately sent on loans. In general, “Manchester City” behaved in the winter transfer market modestly.
“Red Devils” this winter managed to take only one pick, but it managed to force almost all football fans to talk about it. “Manchester United” exchanged attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan on the left-winger of “Arsenal” Alexis Sanchez.
It seems Mkhitaryan did not find mutual understanding with the head coach, Jose Mourinho, who desperately needed to strengthen the attack of his team. Sanchez – a strong and experienced players who can complete the task. For Mkhitaryan the transition to the “Arsenal” could become a new impetus in ршы career development, because this Shakhtar’s ex-player’s talent is undebatable. If all is well, this virtuoso exchange would benefit both players and clubs.
The question although stays, whether Mourinho actually needed this exchange. Looking at their last game with Spurs, two centre backs, Jones and Smalling, did not stand a chance against the mighty Harry Kane. Another concern might arise is the misunderstanding with the key player of Red Devils – Paul Pogba who seems to fall out of the game sometimes. Paul is a veryversatile player, however even he needs freedom on the pitch, he loves to shoot and assist, but Mourinhos plans and tactics clash with the style of frenchman.
On the winter transfer window Liverpool shot rarely, but neatly. And if not accurately, then certainly expensively. This applies to both purchases and sales. Purchase from a reds was only one. But what kind! For a fantastic amount of money was acquired the central defender of Southampton Virgil van Dijk. Still, the line of defense – the weakest point of the modern Liverpool, and the name often mistaken defender Lovren has become a dirty word for the fans of the reds.
Van Dijk – the most expensive transfer in the history of “Liverpool”, and therefore the expectations of football games are very high. So far, Van Dijk just eyeing his new team for himself, to make any conclusions yet. But the defender will have to try very hard to recoup its exorbitant price of the transfer.
Another transfer saga finally came to an end – Brazilian midfielder Philippe Coutinho left for Barcelona. The Catalan club actively bargained but the consensus was not achieved for the player last the summer. Fortunately, in winter clubs agreed on the price. “Liverpool” has received the money bag, Barcelona – a great football player. Yet Coutinho managed to hold just two matches for a new team. So its just as early to say whether the transfer was worth it.
Chelsea on the winter transfer market moved not too widely. Perhaps, this enhancement should be called rigorous and on point. Great success for the “blue” can be considered the signing of attacking midfielder from Everton, Ross Barkley for 16.9 million euros. Given the current prices for the players, Barkley went to Chelsea almost for free. But, of course, a newcomer has yet to take roots in the London team.
Left-back form Roma, Emerson this season almost did not play, so only time will show the validity of this transfer. But Michy Batshuayi since his arrival in the Chelsea from Marsielle in 2016 did not feel at ease. And because the blue, light-heartedly gave a striker to Borussia Dortmund, where he will have more match practice. He was replaced by the experienced Frenchman Olivier Giroud, who will not be confuses by the role of Alvaro Morata substitute.
London “Tottenham” in winter preferred not to shake their purse, but rather wanted to preserve the existing team, and succeeded. The only purchase Spurs made was a 25-year-old winger Lucas Moura from PSG, who was quite burned out in Paris. This season, Lucas spent for the French team a total of 6 matches in all competitions, scored one goal and one assist. What can you do, if your competitors are Mbappe and Neymar! Footballer Moura is a quality player and in Tottenham he is quite able to reveal his full potential.
Arsenal on the background of other English top clubs shook up a bit its starting line up. Gunners parted with many players. Firstly, in the camp of Londoners significantly decreased the French Diaspora: Giroux went to Chelsea, Coquelin – to Valencia and Debuchy – to Saint-Etienne. Secondly, Theo Walcott left to Everton, speaking of, played for Arsenal since 2006. The exchange of Sanchez for Mkhitaryan was mentioned above.
Arsenal bought not so many players. Besides Mkhitaryan there is a young Greek defender Konstantinos Mavropanos and Dortmund striker Borussia Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, for which the Gunners have laid out a tidy sum. Recently, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the BVB brought more scandals, his sale was a logical step for the leadership of the German club. Arsenal also received a quality player who can help the London team in the tasks for the season. (Like taking the 4th place in the league table =)
Virtually all the English top clubs have solved the current staffing issues. What that the British did not have time for in the winter, will catch up in summer, when fans will wait for another round of the endless transfer saga.