Another transfer deadline day is in the books. Below, we provide quick-hit analysis of the biggest deals – and rumors – from the final day of the January window.
DONE DEALS: Liverpool sign two defenders ?
- Details: Davies signed for reported £1.6M fee (Read more)
- Details: Kabak joins on loan with reported £18M option (Read more)
They waited until the final day of the window, but Liverpool finally managed to address their glaring need for defensive reinforcements, signing center-backs Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak from Preston North End and Schalke, respectively. The Reds beat the buzzer by roughly an hour on the latter.
Some eyebrows were raised when it became clear Liverpool would acquire both players, but confirmation that Joel Matip will miss the remainder of the campaign with ankle ligament damage provided clarity as to why multiple central defenders were required.
While Davies will provide some much-needed depth, Kabak could prove to be a masterful signing. Liverpool are expected to pay an initial loan fee – roughly £1 million – and then have the option to make the move permanent for £18 million at the end of the season. The Turkish international, 20, already boasts plenty of top-flight experience despite his youth. He’s talented enough to make an instant impact and has time to grow at the club for years to come.
Several names were suggested as defensive options throughout the January window, and while Jurgen Klopp was adamant the Merseyside outfit wouldn’t sign someone simply for the sake of it, the injury bug forced his hand; Matip joins long-term absentees Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez on the sidelines.
Simply having natural center-backs available is an obvious boost for Klopp and Liverpool’s title push. But the signings will have the knock-on effect of allowing captain Jordan Henderson, who has filled in admirably at the back amid the injury crisis, to return to his standard midfield position.
Reaction to Kabak’s arrival
The brands have weighed in on the big signing of the day …
DONE DEAL: Mustafi heads back to Germany ?
- Details: Mustafi joins Schalke on free transfer from Arsenal
Shkodran Mustafi, who has played a grand total of 45 Premier League minutes this season, is, mercifully, leaving north London. Arsenal found a taker for the defender, with sources telling James Olley of ESPN that no cash changed hands in the deal with Schalke; the Gunners were so desperate to move the center-back that they agreed to simply terminate his contract.
Mustafi, always prone to a glaring error (or two, or three) should get plenty of playing time for the Bundesliga’s basement club now that there’s a Kabak-sized hole to be filled.
DONE DEAL: Surprise move for Minamino ?
- Details: Minamino joins Southampton for remainder of season
Let’s face it: Outside of Liverpool’s defensive flurry, deadline day wasn’t great. Frugality was the order of the window, leading to a lack of surprising pursuits that have been staples of previous transfer periods.
Thankfully, Southampton spiced things up a little bit.
The Saints swooped in with a last-gasp loan deal for Liverpool’s Takumi Minamino, who joins the south coast club until the end of the season.
The versatile Japanese forward was used sparingly by Jurgen Klopp this season, making just nine league appearances (only two starts). Minamino, in theory, will slot in perfectly at Southampton thanks to his familiarity with high-pressing systems. Having come from Red Bull Salzburg and now Liverpool, the 26-year-old surely won’t need much time to adapt to Ralph Hasenhuttl’s style of play.
DONE DEALS: Odds and ends ?
In lieu of earth-shattering transfers, the January window typically tends to provide a slew of minor moves – often loans – on deadline day. Things were no different this year. Here are some of the less-celebrated deals that were completed:
- Sami Khedira ?? Hertha Berlin
- Cenk Tosun ?? Besiktas
- Josh Maja ?? Fulham
- Joe Willock ?? Newcastle
- Joshua King ?? Everton
- Bryan Reynolds ?? Roma
- Jean-Clair Todibo ?? Nice
- Gedson Fernandes ?? Galatasaray
- DeAndre Yedlin ?? Galatasaray
- Joshua Zirkzee ?? Parma
- Daniele Rugani ?? Cagliari
- Ainsley Maitland-Niles ?? West Bromwich Albion
Tottenham block Alli’s PSG move
Paris Saint-Germain’s pursuit of Dele Alli ended rather early on Monday.
Tottenham’s inability to find a replacement for the seldom-used midfielder scuppered any hopes the 24-year-old had of reuniting with Mauricio Pochettino. Spurs, now in the midst of a mini two-game slide, could use some creativity and shot creation, especially with Harry Kane sidelined. If Jose Mourinho doesn’t play Alli now, he never will, and we’ll be looking at a lose-lose situation for everyone.
Neymar to Newcastle?
Sadly, no …
It’s fun to dream, though.
Inter Milan slam the door shut
Inter Milan CEO Giuseppe Marotta poured cold water on the many rumors swirling around the Serie A title hopefuls. Christian Eriksen, Alexis Sanchez, and Ivan Perisic were all tipped as possible departures this month – the Chilean was viewed as a possible makeweight for Edin Dzeko – but deals involving all three fizzled, and a potential flurry of action never materialized.
“We’re not selling or buying any player today,” Marotta said, according to Fabrizio Romano of The Guardian. “Christian Eriksen is staying too. The (Dzeko-Sanchez) swap deal with AS Roma is off.”
Maybe in the summer, then?
No new strikers in Manchester
Classic domino effect
Minor as this since-collapsed three-way deal may have been, it’s always exciting to see how one potential move has a direct impact on others. Newcastle United, Watford, and Leicester City were reportedly in talks over a triangular swap that would have resulted in the following:
- Matty Longstaff: Newcastle ?? Watford
- Nathaniel Chalobah: Watford ?? Leicester City
- Hamza Choudhury: Leicester City ?? Newcastle
The whole operation collapsed when Longstaff’s proposed switch to Vicarage Road fell through.
Adding a little levity …
Remember, it’s important to try to enjoy transfer deadline day, even if your favorite club wasn’t active – or, worse, made a bad signing.
Thankfully, everyone’s favorite parody account kept things light: