How are the big January transfers getting along?
It’s been a fortnight since the closing of the January transfer window and a lot has happened. This year’s window was potentially the most memorable in a very long time, if not ever. We saw the transfer of the most expensive defender involving Virgil van Dijk. We saw the first triangle of transfers between Chelsea, Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund. We also saw Alexis Sanchez land on his feet in Manchester receiving the largest pay packet in English Premier League history.
So, how has it turned out for both players and clubs alike since deadline day? Still Manchester City are dominating the Premier League, whilst in the Champions League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup everything is still to play for. Particularly as the season reaches its apex, football tickets are highly sought after as the largest transfers settle further into their new teams.
One of the last transfers of the period was Olivier Giroud who moved across London from Arsenal to Chelsea in a £15 million deal. Unluckily at the time of his transfer, both teams lost enormously to much smaller teams. Arsenal lost 3-1 to Swansea and Chelsea lost 3-0 to Bournemouth - The only constant? Olivier Giroud. He was the first player on Match of the Day to feature on the bench of two losing teams in one week of football.
Since then, the Frenchman has settled seemingly well. Chelsea’s fixture featuring West Bromwich Albion saw Giroud receive plenty of chances, most notably feet away from Baggies’ keeper Foster where the forward played it to the English man’s hands. He did however come away with an assist for Eden Hazard. A worthwhile home debut. Giroud will be hoping to compete on a regular basis for the starting position of forward in the Chelsea squad against Alvaro Morata.
Michy Batshuayi left Chelsea for Borussia Dortmund as part of a three way swap, albeit on a temporary basis. Although he received a lot less media attention in comparison to the other two transfers in Olivier Giroud and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, he has perhaps stood out the most following the closing of the transfer window. He addressed his Twitter followers stating that he was delighted to move to Germany and that black and yellow were his colours. This was further cemented by scoring two goals and an assist on his debut to seal a 3-2 victory against Cologne.
He left the Premier League as the most efficient forward with regards to minutes per goals, an impressive achievement for any player. It looks as though his form won’t stop and he’ll be much better received at Dortmund than he was at Stamford Bridge. Perhaps he will be viewed as the solution, if not the surpasser of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang for the rest of the season.
The third of the transfer triangle was of course Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the largest transfer of the three. He was sold for a record breaking £55 million from Borussia Dortmund to Arsenal. It was highly disputed that his move was encouraged by former Borussia Dortmund midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan who had also recently moved to Arsenal also from Manchester United.
Only three days after deadline day, Aubameyang featured in his first Premier League match for Arsenal. This thrashing against Merseyside Blues, set the perfect opportunity for the Gabonese forward to score on his debut. Of course he converted and has shown very promising signs of settling into his new home at the Emirates.
The fixture that took place between the Gunners and Everton finishing 5-1 to the Gunner and was not a particular happy return to North London for Theo Walcott. The winger made a swift return to his former home after a twelve year stay in the capital before moving north to Everton to gain regular football. Despite leaving the club he was well received at the Emirates on his return in Everton blue.
Theo Walcott appears to be in form for Everton with four appearances under his belt, as well as two goals. A much more impressive statistic than his final season with Arsenal, of which he played six fixtures without scoring once. His departure was a little unexpected as he’d been settled for the entirety of his career however, having not started in the Premier League since April of last year. Walcott felt it would be a good opportunity to reignite his career and push Everton to start winning more. Thus far he has done just that only losing two out of their past five fixtures.
It’s evident, there have been transfers that have quite clearly paid off, however there are some that simply haven’t lived up to expectation, yet. An example of this would be Ross Barkley. His transfer from Everton to Chelsea appeared impulsive and rushed. Antonio Conte expressed disappointment in the transfer and it’s obvious why. Ross Barkley simply doesn’t seem passionate enough.
The ex-Everton player made his debut as an early substitute in the Carabao Cup Semi-final against Arsenal where Chelsea lost 2-1 and consequently exited the competition. A fixture in which he failed to impress. He also failed to impress on his Premier League debut again, resulting in a loss for the London blues. Since then hasn’t really been at the forefront of Chelsea news and it looks as though it may remain that way for quite some time.
Virgil Van Dijk is also a player that hasn’t received as much success as he probably would’ve decided. He hasn’t played particularly badly since his arrival at Liverpool from Southampton. After all he did score on his debut against Everton. Quite an impressive feat for any member of the squad yet alone a defender. Since then though they have only won half of their fixtures across all competitions. Of course we can’t simply blame one player for a team’s loss but, as the world’s most expensive defender, we’d have hoped for him to deal better with the amount of exposure he has had at times.
It has only been two weeks since the end of the transfer window and there’s a lot more to play for as the season reaches its apex. Virgil Van Dijk could grow to live up to the enormous price tag however at the moment that isn’t the case. An example of where he could improve is his composure. It was him that committed a foul in their own penalty box against Tottenham which lead to a draw and Harry Kane’s 100th Premier League goal. Perhaps this could’ve been avoided if he’d remained calmer in the dying embers of such an important fixture that could’ve quite easily given Liverpool three points rather than one.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan was another massive transfer this January as he left Manchester United for Arsenal. Speculation arose as his delayed to response to the proposal gave the impression he didn’t want to leave the Red Devils. However after a week or so it became official. He broke internet by inviting Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to the Gunners under his breath in his announcement video and since then he has been truly welcome by Arsenal fans. Like Aubameyang, he also found his feet during their fixture against Everton in which he bagged two assists. Altogether he now has more assists for Arsenal in two fixtures than Alexis Sanchez did for the first half of the season. The rapport between Mkhitaryan and Aubameyang is set to only grow stronger and we could see a really strong attacking side forming for Arsenal in the future.
Finally, we had arguably the biggest signing of the entire window in Alexis Sanchez' £35 million move from Arsenal to Manchester United. Aided by the swap deal involving Mkhitaryan, Sanchez made a swift move from London to Manchester following a month of speculation. He is now the highest paid player in the Premier League earning around £350k a week. Scoring 80 goals throughout his career at Arsenal, Manchester United fans expected a very positive start for the Chilean backed up by a goal tally. In this respect Manchester United fans will be disappointed as he’s only scored one thus far, bundling home a tap-in following his missed penalty against Huddersfield Town on his home debut.
Despite the slow start there are lots of positives to draw from Sanchez’s arrival at Old Trafford. Firstly how he looks on the pitch, confident, already showing chemistry amongst his new teammates going forward. Secondly, is the work ethic that has been reported by players, manager and staff. He works hard in the gym, on the training pitch and there are already countless highlights of him chasing down the ball and making impressive runs into dangerous places. It won’t be long before Sanchez becomes a household hero for many Manchester United fans.
The Premier League may already have a clear winner but football this year still looks to be very exciting with plenty still to play for in the Premier League. All with the help of some of the biggest transfers in history during the recent January transfer window. You can purchase tickets to Premier League games safely at Football Ticket Pad. Watch the new arrivals settle into your favourite side this year!