The biggest winners and losers from the January transfer window 2023
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The January transfer window is over for another year, and as the dust settles, now we embrace the inevitable period of contemplative reflection. A midseason opening of the market has always provided a sense of optimism to the desperate - an opportunity to consolidate or strengthen ahead of the second half of the campaign.
The other side of the coin, of course, is that things can go wrong. Whether it’s losing a key player or missing out on a target entirely, January can also be a bleak, worrying time. With that in mind, we’ve taken a look at the Premier League to pick out five winners and four losers from the past month of business...
Nowhere near as frantic as their summer blowout, but still very impressive nonetheless, Forest traded quantity for quality this January. The arrival of goalkeeper Keylor Navas on loan is one particulartly eye-catching deal, but the signings of Jonjo Shelvey and Chris Wood should provide Steve Cooper’s men with a welcome dash of Premier League experience.
Elsewhere, the Brazilian trio of Gustavo Scarpa, Danilo, and Felipe bring a certain element of Samba flair to the spine of a team who were already looking much, much improved prior to the turn of the year.
In years to come, Newcastle United will have vastly bigger transfer windows than this one, but their work this winter has been steady nonetheless. The divisive Anthony Gordon was the Toon’s only real extravagant purchase, but while some remain unconvinced, it is important to remember that Eddie Howe and his recruitment team have clearly seen something that they like in the former Everton man. This kind of prolonged pursuit doesn’t happen by accident.
Even better still, the £45 million that Newcastle spent on Gordon has been largely offset by the aforementioned exits of Shelvey and Wood, who will rake in a combined £30 million or so, once various obligation-to-buy clauses are met.
Arsenal wanted Mykhailo Mudryk. They didn’t get him. Then Arsenal wanted Moises Caicedo. And they didn’t get him either. But by no means was January a bad month for the Gunners. Instead, they moved for Leandro Trossard, Jakub Kiwior, and Jorginho - three players who will add quality and depth to their title charge without necessarily altering Mikel Arteta’s preferred starting XI too much.
It may not have been the window that Arsenal had planned, but it could still represent a very successful few weeks for the Premier League leaders, especially if any of their newly-signed trio help them to wrestle the title from Manchester City’s grasp.
No discussion of the January transfer window 2023 would be complete without a word on Chelsea and their remarkably liberal approach to the market. Todd Boehly has not so much splashed the cash, as he has sprayed it like a fire hose into the face of anybody willing to get in his way.
Regardless of what you think of the Blues’ spree, you have to admit that the quality of their new acquisitions is rather imposing. Enzo Fernandez, Mykhailo Mudryk, Benoit Badiashile, David Datro Fofana, Andrey Santos, Joao Felix, Noni Madueke, and Malo Gusto have all joined, and now it just remains to be seen whether they have the desired impact or not.
Credit where it is due, Brighton said they wouldn’t sell Moises Caicedo in January, and they absolutely stuck to their guns. Perhaps lesser sides would have buckled and caved under the massive weight of Arsenal’s multi-million pound interest, but instead, the Seagulls dug their proverbial heels in, and look much the stronger for it.
The Ecuador international may still leave in the summer, make no mistake, but for now at least, he remains a huge asset to Albion in a season that continues to promise an awful lot.
For Everton to enter the transfer window in the state they were in, and then subsequently exit it without signing a single player is borderline scandalous. Sean Dyche may have appointed as the Toffees’ new manager, but if he is to keep this ailing squad in the Premier League, he is going to have to draw on every last drop of the grit and pragmatism that he became renowned for during his time at Burnley.
Losing out on Arnaut Danjuma at the very, very last moment was a particularly chastening blow, and if anything, the departure of Anthony Gordon - and the failure to reinvest the £45 million he was sold for - has left the Blues looking weaker, on paper at least, than they were at the turn of the year.
Out of the title race, out of both cup competitions, and with a fiendish Champions League draw against Real Madrid to come, things are looking pretty dour for Liverpool at the present moment. Truthfully, the January transfer window has done little to alleviate the mood around Anfield either.
Granted, Cody Gakpo arrived earlier in the month, but for all of his liveliness, he is still yet to score or assist in any of his first five outings. Far more concerning, however, is the persistent incapability to address the need for midfield reinforcements. Yet another opportunity to strengthen in the centre of the park has passed, and while the hope will be that it leads to a bigger swoop in the summer, the reality is that there are no guarantees.
West Ham had a fairly quiet window, especially considering how perilously close they currently are to the relegation zone. Just one point separates the Hammers from the bottom three, and yet they only really made one surefire senior addition.
Danny Ings joined from Aston Villa for £15 million, and subsequently sustained a knee injury on his debut that looks set to sideline him for a number of weeks. When your luck is out, it’s well and truly out.
Technically speaking, did Chelsea do anything wrong this January? Absolutely not, no. But is there something inherently and unsettlingly uncouth about a club treating the winter window with the wanton financial abandon of a teenage lottery winner handed a blank chequebook for the very first time? Kind of.
The Blues have spent big, much to the chagrin of those around them, and while they will care little about the feelings of others if their fresh injection of talent catapults them up the table, it has been quite amusing to see people lose their minds over Todd Boehly’s splurges. In all seriousness though, if your Financial Fair Play regulations are allowing a club to spend over £600 million on players since May, they’re probably not fit for purpose.