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01st Feb 2018

Rating every Premier League club’s January transfer business

Get ready for a brutally honest run down of your team's transfer business

Wayne Farry

The madness is finally over.

The transfer window has come and gone and boy howdy it was a humdinger. Not really, but it was mildly interesting. We saw a number of unexpected moves take place this January, as well as the arrival of a few (well, one) genuinely world class into the Premier League.

Now that the dust has settled, we figured it was about time to sit back and take a measured look at the business carried out. We’ve taken the respective teams’ different league positions and overall situations into account when handing out the ratings, so bare that in mind before calling this fraudulent. Enjoy!

Arsenal C

In? Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. Out? Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott, Olivier Giroud and Francis Coquelin.

Not in? A defensive midfielder or defender. In many ways this was the most Arsenal transfer window ever. They’ll score goals but Wenger’s refusal/inability to address clear problems is astonishing. As good as Aubameyang is, and he is phenomenal, the delight over his signing appears to be papering over some massive cracks in the team.

Bournemouth C

Sitting five points from the relegation zone and seven points from seventh place, Bournemouth will probably be fine despite not bringing in any new faces. They got their work done in the summer and appeared to be happy with it.

Brighton B

Chris Hughton’s team have an abysmal goalscoring record (18 in 25 games) so the recruitment of Leonardo Ulloa and PSV’s Jurgen Locadia should, in theory, help. If those two don’t score goals Brighton will continue to struggle, but at least they’ve addressed their weaknesses.

Burnley B

Burnley are having a much better season than anyone expected, and the acquisitions of Aaron Lennon and Georges-Kevin N’Koudou mean that they should have more of an attacking threat in the second half of the season. Job done.

Chelsea C

Chelsea wanted bodies this window, and they got them. The club doesn’t seem to particularly care about the quality of players they bring in anymore, and none of their recruits are better than the players they already have. But they are footballers, so there’s that.

Crystal Palace C

Palace have brought in three players this window: Alexander Sorloth, Jaroslaw Jach and Erdal Rakip. I’m not going to lie to you, I’ve never heard of these people. Ultimately though, Palace simply needed more players who can contribute. Providing these three can help improve things and barring another lengthy winless run, Hodgson and co. should be fine.

Everton B

Everton needed to do something to clean up last summer’s transfer mess and have, for the most part, done just that. Theo Walcott has already started well, while Mangala will be an upgrade if he can recapture his Porto form. Given time, Cenk Tosun should also be decent.

Marks taken away for the inexplicable decision to let the always dangerous looking Ademola Lookman go on loan to RB Leipzig.

Huddersfield Town C-

19 goals in 25 games meant that the Terriers really needed to bring in someone who could at least threaten to score six or seven goals during the remainder of the season. They got Alex Pritchard from Norwich, who will need to have the season of his life to get those sort of numbers.

Terrence Kongolo is a decent acquisition from Monaco but, like many sides, Huddersfield will probably have to rely on there being three worse teams than them come May.

Leicester City B-

Claude Puel didn’t really need to do much during the transfer window, and he didn’t need to. Letting Ulloa, King, Slimani and Musa leave on loan illustrates his (probably) justified confidence with the squad he has, especially with Mahrez staying. While Fousseni Diabate is a risk-free signing at less than £2 million, he has started well.

Liverpool C+

The Reds lost one important player and gained one important player, in Philippe Coutinho and Virgil van Dijk respectively. While the focus tends to shift to Liverpool’s thrilling attack and sometimes slapstick defence, the midfield remains a major area of concern. This should be taken care of once Naby Keita arrives in the summer, so presumably Klopp is happy to wait.

Manchester City B+

Jokes about their transfer expenditure aside, City’s purchase of Aymeric Laporte should prove a good buy. The high mark for their window is purely to recognise how little work needed to be done, and the fact that they actually did it. It’s also unaffected by their failure to bring in Riyad Mahrez, which I don’t believe will affect them in any way whatsoever.

Manchester United B

United got rid of a player they didn’t want (Henrikh Mkhitaryan) and brought in a better player (Alexis Sanchez). Sanchez’s signing should be enough to keep the Red Devils in the Champions League places, but that’s about as much as they can expect.

Newcastle United C

Newcastle brought in a winger (Kenedy), a striker (Slimani) and a goalkeeper (Dubravka), all of whom are welcome additions to a squad that is thin on quality and numbers. As with most things which involve Mike Ashley spending money, Newcastle did the absolute bare minimum.

Southampton C-

They sold their best player in Virgil van Dijk, but Southampton really didn’t have any other choice. His departure does however shed further light on just how poor their squad is. Whether they stay up will probably depend entirely on whether new striker Guido Carillo – as well as teammates Shane Long and Manolo Gabbiadini – actually score some goals. If Carillo does end up prolific, consider this bumped up to a B.

Stoke City C+

Stoke actually brought in some players, which is an improvement. If Badou Ndiaye can score a fraction of the goals he scored for Osmanlispor (prior to his move to Galatasaray) they should have a good player, while Bauer from Rubin Kazan seems an okay player.

Their squad remains fairly low on quality, but they’re probably not one of the three worst teams in the league.

Swansea City C+

The Swans have had a miserable season, but the return of Andre Ayew and the signing of the very accomplished and experienced Andy King, as well as their unexpected upturn in form, could be crucial to keeping them up.

An out-and-out striker would have been nice, so there’s going to be a lot of pressure on Ayew to rekindle the form he showed when he first arrived at the Liberty Stadium.

Tottenham Hotspur B

Spurs’ main problem this season is their squad’s inability to match last season’s performance level, with the notable exception of Harry Kane. The difference between them finishing second or fifth could very well be a couple of points, so the addition of Lucas Moura for what seems like a bargain price could be pivotal.

Watford C

This transfer window saw Watford continue their tradition of buying players from far and wide in the hope that they will salvage enough points before the end of the season.

While this transfer policy is not exactly conducive to long-term stability, neither is sacking managers every nine months, so it seems quite appropriate. To be honest, Watford probably had enough quality to stay up even before the additions of Didier Ndong and Gerard Delofeu, so they’ll likely be fine.

West Bromwich Albion C+

Alan Pardew’s squad is probably not as bad as their place in the table suggests but they are where they are. If nothing else, Daniel Sturridge’s signing is a risk worth taking and should probably be considered a coup. If – and it’s a big if – he can stay fit until the end of the season then they have a strong chance of staying up.

West Ham United C-

An upturn in form since David Moyes’ arrival meant West Ham’s transfer window was less vital than it may have been. Saying that, their inability to sign a proven goalscorer could prove detrimental. They let Andre Ayew leave for Swansea, a sensible move considering how disappointing he’s been, but the signing of Jordan Hugill (eight league goals in the Championship for Preston this season) is a massive risk.

Joao Mario could be a cracking signing if he settles quickly.

So, that is our ratings for the transfer window. Have we been incredibly unfair on your club or too generous to your rivals? Let us know.