Deadline day has been and gone, and clubs have finalised their squads for the rest of the season with 34 deals completed across the January transfer window.
Two managers lost their jobs while chairmen scrambled to improve their squads in a desperate attempt to secure Premier League football next season.
But who had the most successful window? 101 ranks each team based on their transfer activity.
1. Aston Villa
Aston Villa could probably not have imagined a better first transfer window under Steven Gerrard. The Midlands outfit were able to add players of a calibre above many of those already at the club, wooing Gerrard’s former team-mate Philippe Coutinho to Villa Park and also shelling out £25 million for Lucas Digne, while they shipped out Anwar El Ghazi, who managed just 383 minutes in the first half of the campaign.
Aston Villa during January Transfer Window
Philippe Coutinho ✅
Lucas Digne ✅
Calum Chambers ✅
— VBET News (@VBETnews) January 31, 2022
In Robin Olsen and Calum Chambers, they have also secured suitable backup options for low fees, with Chambers to replace the outgoing Axel Tuanzebe, who joined Napoli.
Currently in 11th place, the second half of their season should be far better than the first, and the Villans’ additions will certainly help take the burden off the likes of Emi Buendia and Danny Ings, themselves only months into their Villa careers.
With so much to do, it would have had to be a perfect transfer window for Newcastle to take top spot in our list. However, while it was not perfect, it is still a significant improvement on windows gone by.
The Magpies were left frustrated over deals for Lille’s Sven Botman and Sevilla’s Diego Carlos as they looked to reinforce the centre of defence, but Dan Burn is an experienced and consistent, if not exceptional, addition in that position.
…and the window is now over for Newcastle, first one of the new ownership. pic.twitter.com/KhGshk5jpl
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 31, 2022
The standout coup was undoubtedly Bruno Guimaraes from Lyon, with the midfielder a potentially transformative signing and the cornerstone of any ‘project’ on Tyneside in the coming years. Meanwhile, Kieran Trippier and Chris Wood are smart and experienced, if expensive, additions.
The same can be said for Matt Targett, who provides another option at left-back and another potential selection headache for Eddie Howe in the second half of the season.
✍️ #NUFC are delighted to announce the signing of Matt Targett on loan from Aston Villa until the end of the season!
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) January 31, 2022
Newcastle have set themselves up well for at least a fighting chance at avoiding relegation this campaign: whether they will or not remains to be seen. Key areas (namely a second central defender and another striker) were not addressed despite suggestions that they could be, and that could prove a major error come the end of the campaign.
The business that they did manage, however, was very good.
Everton would have been well down the list were it not for the events of deadline day.
The Toffees endured a tumultuous month, in which they parted ways with Lucas Digne after a fallout with Rafa Benitez, only to sack Benitez a week later. Not, however, before the Spaniard had signed a new pair of fullbacks in Vitaly Mykolenko and Nathan Patterson for a combined £35m.
️”I’m over the moon to sign for Everton. It was an easy choice to sign.”
Nathan Patterson has completed a move worth £16m to Everton and signed a five-and-a-half-year deal at Goodison Park where he will wear the number three jersey
— Sky Sports Scotland (@ScotlandSky) January 4, 2022
Adding Anwar El Ghazi on loan seemed underwhelming, but a loan move for Donny van de Beek and a permanent swoop for Dele Alli on deadline day have made the window a good one for Everton, especially with a new manager at the helm in Frank Lampard.
The former Chelsea midfield legend now has two ideal midfielders to mould into his next Mason Mount, with both options technically gifted and out of favour at their previous clubs.
In what is looking like a damp squib of a season for the Toffees, their transfer business could prove to be the spark that was needed.
Liverpool’s biggest business is arguably yet to come, in their attempt to renew the contract of talismanic forward Mo Salah when he returns from the Africa Cup of Nations.
In typical Liverpool fashion, however, they have not panicked this January, and would seemingly have been happy to go through the month without additions. Then, opportunity struck as Tottenham bid for Luis Diaz, a long time target for the Reds.
Liverpool will pay €40m fee in three years for Luís Diaz – and €20m add ons package in five years. #LFC
Jurgen Klopp: “I’m super happy. Luís is a player we believe will make us better now & in the future. Incredible signing”.
…and official too pic.twitter.com/2drKJ08wAA
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 30, 2022
Jurgen Klopp and co. sprung into action, and secured a deal for Diaz now, rather than in the summer as expected. The Reds did see a last-gasp swoop for Fulham sensation Fabio Carvalho fall through, but optimism remains regarding the possibility of a summer deal being struck.
A typically controlled, effective month’s work on the part of the transfer team at Anfield.
5. Manchester City
That Manchester City are so high on our list based on one addition and a further profit shows just how uneventful this transfer window has been for most clubs. Nevertheless, the Citizens fought off severe competition from cross-town rivals Manchester United and other European giants to bring highly-rated forward Julian Alvarez to the Etihad stadium, albeit only once his season at River Plate has concluded.
We are delighted to confirm that we have completed the signing of Julian Alvarez from River Plate ✍️
⬇️ DETAILS ⬇️
— Manchester City (@ManCity) January 31, 2022
Meanwhile, they managed to turn a hefty profit on Ferran Torres. Having paid £30 million for his services in 2020, they sold the Spaniard on for £50 million when Barcelona came calling 18 months later. The squad remains thin in places and a left-back would have been a useful addition, but it was a good window nonetheless for the Premier League champions.
Always providing the inventive transfer additions, Brighton have only added one player to their squad for the rest of the season, in the form of Benicio Baker-Boaitey, but have also managed to add Deniz Undav for next season. Undav, currently playing for Union SG, has provided 18 goals and 10 assists in 25 appearances in the Belgian top-flight this season, and could prove the goalscorer the Seagulls lack.
Albion have signed Porto winger Benicio Baker-Boaitey on loan until the end of the season, with a view to a permanent move. ✍️
— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) January 31, 2022
Graham Potter also added exciting midfielder Kacper Kozlowski to his ranks, albeit again for next season, all while keeping hold of Yves Bissouma. As Brighton look to work their way up the table in the coming seasons, these additions are cause for excitement.
Brentford have impressed many a neutral in the Premier League this season so far, and strengthened with the popular addition of Christian Eriksen on deadline day.
The Bees, crippled at times with injury and Covid cases, still sit an impressive eight points above the drop zone in their first season in the competition, and while this gap may decrease given the business around them, it has never been in the club’s DNA to panic buy their way out of situations.
— Brentford FC (@BrentfordFC) January 31, 2022
Eriksen, however, was an opportunity too good to miss, and offers some much-needed creativity for Thomas Frank to call upon, while the club kept hold of Ivan Toney. All in all, not a bad window.
Watford have added five players to their squad, including Ligue 1 pair Samuel Kalu and Hassane Kamara, as they look to beat the drop.
With Roy Hodgson back in football and taking over the managerial mantle from Claudio Ranieri, the Hornets sit in the relegation zone and are under severe threat of going down. But, unlike some of their fellow relegation candidates, the club have strengthened on paper, while they have cut ties with Danny Rose who looked well off the pace during his short stint with the Hornets.
— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) January 31, 2022
It remains to be seen if it is enough to avoid demotion to the Championship, but Watford’s additions have certainly given them a fighting chance.
9. Wolverhampton Wanderers
Wolves had a mixed transfer window. In terms of planning for the future, they made several low-cost additions, only for those additions to head back out on loan again. Meaningful business was limited to one in, and one out, however.
Hwang Hee-Chan’s loan move was made permanent, or at least the club notified their fanbase of their intention to make it permanent, which is a reward for his fine performances under Bruno Lage. In addition, they kept hold of Ruben Neves for another window, despite interest from other Premier League clubs.
However, Adama Traore joined Barcelona on loan, with Wolves failing to get the windfall that they were hoping for at the start of the transfer window.
Adama feels the colors pic.twitter.com/cawnt3Ciza
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 31, 2022
Should he return to Molineux, Traore will do so with just 12 months left on his contract, and no intention of renewing it. It could be a tricky sale for the midlands outfit.
Burnley pulled off a masterstroke in getting Chris Wood off the books for £25 million given his age and poor form this campaign, but waited until deadline day to reinvest that money.
In came Wout Weghorst, who at 6 foot 6 inches tall seems perfect for the Burnley system, but a creative midfielder and winger were the priorities heading into the New Year and, owing to apparent rejections from Aaron Ramsey and Mislav Orsic, those additions never arrived.
Confirmation from the club that there will be no more business tonight.
Just the one addition in the window. Wout Weghorst replacing the outgoing Chris Wood.
Burnley have not managed to add a CM or WM which were the priorities at start of window.#twitterclarets
— Andy Jones (@adjones_journo) January 31, 2022
On paper, Weghorst replacing Wood is an upgrade, but much will depend on how fast he settles. And, with Newcastle strengthening, there will be plenty of nervous glances up to Tyneside in the coming months as Burnley look to stave off relegation.
11. Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham had a better window than most, mainly because they managed to bring in players, albeit only on deadline day.
Dejan Kulusevski and Rodrigo Bentancur were the final products of a transfer window that promised much, but ultimately failed to address some major issues in the Tottenham squad at wing-back and backup striker.
✍️ We are delighted to announce the signing of Dejan Kulusevski from Juventus, subject to international clearance and a work permit.
Welcome to Tottenham, Dejan!
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 31, 2022
Worse yet, they were left to watch on as Barcelona and Liverpool swooped for Adama Traore and Luis Diaz respectively, despite their concrete interest in the pair of players, leaving Spurs scrambling. The whole window smacked of poor planning, with one journalist describing it as “panic mode” in the final days. Yet, they still came away with two improvements to their side.
On the departures front, both of Tottenham’s big-money midfield signings in recent seasons departed on loan, while Bryan Gil also left the club until the end of the season. Meanwhile, Dele Alli moved to Everton permanently.
It was a good start in terms of getting wages off the books, though whether or not the Lilywhites have done enough to convince Antonio Conte of their ambition is another thing.
12. Crystal Palace
The permanent signing of Jean-Philippe Mateta was the only piece of business to write home about from south London, with the Eagles missing out on Donny van de Beek thanks to Frank Lampard’s influence at Everton following his arrival.
Luke Plange was secured at the last, too, but the young striker has since swiftly returned to Derby County on loan.
Jean-Philippe Mateta has signed a four-and-a-half-year deal with the club ✍️
Delighted to have you permanently, JP! #CPFC
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) January 31, 2022
Palace, nevertheless, are still in a good spot, with Ebereche Eze returning from injury and Michael Olise starting to find his feet. Beginning to implement Patrick Vieira’s system and with Chelsea having opted against recalling Conor Gallagher, it could be an exciting second half to the season.
No outfield players joining and a failure to agree a permanent deal for Chelsea loanee Armando Broja makes the window, on paper, a poor one for Southampton.
The Saints did manage to extend Willy Caballero’s short-term stint with the club through the summer, but a sole addition in the form of a 40-year-old goalkeeper is hardly the kind of return which fans of Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men would have been hoping for.
Add to this the fact that Sam McQueen was sadly forced to succumb to his long-standing battle with injury to announce his retirement from the game, and a disappointing month was aptly rounded out.
#SaintsFC can regrettably announce that Academy graduate Sam McQueen has taken the decision to retire from playing, following a long battle with injury:
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) January 1, 2022
Could Southampton’s failure to act see them dragged into the relegation scrap over the 2nd half of the season?
14. Leicester City
Despite plenty of injuries, Leicester City look well-stocked in their side, with the exception of central defence. Jannick Vestergaard, brought in from Southampton in the summer, has not had a great start to his Leicester career, but the return of Wesley Fofana should help stabilise the Foxes to some degree at least.
With plenty of options elsewhere in Brendan Rodgers’ squad, and several players returning from injury, it didn’t have to be a window of change for Leicester, and yet a defender may well have been a key addition for any Europa League qualification hopes given the quality of competition around them.
It was a difficult transfer window for Chelsea and Thomas Tuchel. Injuries forced them into a market that they probably had no intention of entering ahead of the season, but they couldn’t even agree a deal to bring one of their own players back to the club.
No expectation at Chelsea of Emerson coming back before the window shuts. They tried a few times but it’s not been possible and the expectation is he will see out what has been a very successful loan at Lyon. #cfc
— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) January 25, 2022
Late murmurs of a move for Ousmane Dembele proved unfounded, and Tuchel now has to deal with the four competitions that Chelsea find themselves in with a shortage of in-form attackers and left-back options of Marcos Alonso and Malang Sarr.
But, with the club’s Premier League title charge all but over, maybe keeping the powder dry for the summer when prices will be lower and there will be more time to assess is the most sensible, if uninspiring option. For a club like Chelsea, though, it is almost admitting defeat.
After three weeks of chasing Dusan Vlahovic whilst in clear need of a forward, Arsenal ended the transfer window with fewer strikers than they began with (albeit on a technicality) as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang joined Barcelona on a permanent deal.
Understanding is Barcelona will sign Aubameyang from Arsenal on a free transfer. Permanent deal. His Arsenal career is over.
— James Olley (@JamesOlley) January 31, 2022
He was the last in a long line of departures, with Sead Kolasinac, Pablo Mari, Calum Chambers, Folarin Balogun and Ainsley Maitland-Niles all departing on loan or for free, leaving Arsenal with a threadbare squad in the process. Yes, it trimmed the wage bill, but the club only just have enough senior options to fill out the substitutes bench.
And, while the time of need for midfield additions was early in the window, even by deadline day they would have been welcome. There is a clear starting XI at Arsenal, but should one or more of these players get injured, it could prove too much for those in the wings to deal with, and top four may once again be a hope rather than reality.
17. West Ham
Like Arsenal, West Ham were desperately in need of additions this January to sustain their push for the top four. In fact, they needed new signings even more than the Gunners, as they are also fighting in the Europa League and FA Cup, neither of which the Gunners remain in.
However, no help for David Moyes and his men was forthcoming. Tentative action was taken towards the end of the window, with a bid rejected for Benfica’s Darwin Nunez and rumours suggesting an offer for Raphinha had too been placed, though it was never likely to be taken seriously.
West Ham have had one of the most disappointing transfer windows in Europe. Fifth in the league, one point away from fourth, fighting for Europa, and didn’t bring in a single player despite needing depth. David Moyes’ impact has really papered over the ownerships’s cracks.
— Zach Lowy (@ZachLowy) January 31, 2022
Come February 1st, however, Michail Antonio will still be the only striker at the club which, given his injury record and age, is a worrying thought for West Ham and their fans.
18. Manchester United
Ah, the transfer paradox that is Manchester United. Ahead of the transfer window, it was clear that they needed to strengthen in central midfield as the Red Devils look to put their wretched first half of the season behind them.
However, out went Donny van de Beek, and no one joined the club, meaning that Nemanja Matic is the alternative at the base of Ralph Rangnick’s high-energy midfield.
Worse still, there is animosity within the ranks after Jesse Lingard was denied a deadline-day move away from the club, despite having managed just 88 Premier League minutes so far this campaign – though Mason Greenwood’s availability could result in more opportunities for the attacker.
Jesse Lingard has been told by Man Utd he will not be allowed to leave before transfer window shuts. Despite Newcastle & West Ham pushing for #DeadlineDay loan, 29yo will stay at #MUFC + go into the final 6 months of his deal @TheAthleticUK #NUFC #WHUFC https://t.co/KkpEZjuRWZ
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) January 31, 2022
Paul Pogba returning from injury has the potential to be like a new signing (excuse the cliche), but his future is still no closer to being resolved, and United have missed the last chance to cash in on the Frenchman.
All in all, underwhelming at best at Old Trafford.
19. Leeds United
Even with youth options on the bench and knee-deep in an injury crisis, Marcelo Bielsa and co. still failed to strengthen this January, leaving their chances of survival in the balance. When all are fully fit, Leeds are one of the Premier League’s better sides, but that has not proved the case this season as injury after injury have plagued the Whites’ thin squad.
With no guarantee that such woes won’t continue, it is a massive gamble from the Yorkshire side not to reinforce when one or two additions could have made a real difference to the side. Whether or not it will come back to bite them remains to be seen.
The best thing about this transfer window that can be said is that they kept hold of Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips despite interest from elsewhere.
Not a single addition for the East Anglian outfit despite clubs around them strengthening, sitting just outside of the relegation zone, questions have to be asked at Carrow Road.
For the second consecutive occasion, Norwich are in danger of heading straight back down to the Championship, and while summer signings are beginning to find their feet, a couple of additions could have tilted the balance in their favour.
Worse still, Todd Cantwell, once linked with the likes of Manchester United, has joined Bournemouth on loan, and with his exit Dean Smith is left bereft of another creative outlet.
Todd Cantwell loan to @afcbournemouth to end of season done with option to make transfer permanent.
— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) January 31, 2022
This leaves Norwich in serious danger of dropping into the second tier of English football once more, as those around them strengthen.
Every deal of the 2021/22 January transfer window
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