Are we looking at the most impressive signing of the January transfer window?
Although the January transfer window seemingly fails to experience the same level of long-term hype or last minute drama as can often be found throughout the largely more hectic summer months, this season’s famed winter transfer period nonetheless provided a few fleeting moments certainly worthy of our attention.
The so-called ‘big boys’ of the Premier League admittedly failed to get the cheque-book out as much as the transfer-fuelled headlines initially made out this January, but as each of Newcastle United, Norwich City, AFC Bournemouth and Stoke City most definitely completed their fair share of interesting January deals this time around, a certain shake-up has definitely been felt across the English top-flight of late.
So then, now that January deadline-day has come and gone for all those with a vested interest in Premier League proceedings this season, which signing ultimately represents the most impressive capture of the entire winter transfer period?
Although Swansea City seemed suspiciously keen on getting rid of the former Liverpool midfielder this January, especially to potential relegation rivals Newcastle United – Steve McClaren and his struggling Magpies have certainly looked a great deal stronger with Jonjo Shelvey solidly involved this season.
Via his ambitiously intelligent vision in the middle of the park, promising technicality when finding teammates all across the pitch, and clear desire to get stuck in when the going invariably gets tough down at St. James’ – Newcastle United really look to have acquired a top talent here.
He may fail to represent a player genuinely worthy of his £12 million price-tag within the grand scheme of things, but as Jonjo Shelvey’s exploits could be enough to maintain his side’s Premier League survival this term, maybe that £12 million will be money well spent at the end of the day.
After Stoke City somehow splashed out £18.3 million on FC Porto’s Giannelli Imbula this January, perhaps it’s fair to say that Mark Hughes and the Potters ultimately completed the most daring signing of the window if nothing else…
Again, Porto’s decision to part ways with the Belgian midfielder does seem a little questionable on the surface. The Portuguese giants only managed to capture the former Marseille battler less than a year ago of course – and as Stoke eventually paid out quite a bit of cash for their latest big money acquisition – maybe this specific transfer will have ‘flop’ written all over it if things go particularly bad down at the Britannia Stadium between now and the end of the season.
Based on his prior reputation in France however, the Potters have seemingly captured a very talented player here – one that could even go on to achieve great things among the Premier League with just a little bit of luck on his side.
Whilst few Premier League onlookers could claim to know much about Everton’s latest foray into the transfer market before the close of the January transfer window, Oumar Niasse is yet another name who could really thrive among the English top-flight this season.
The Senegalese international nonetheless excelled among the Russian Premier League before making his big money move to Goodison Park on deadline-day – and although the former Lokomotiv Moscow man may admittedly need a little time to settle in at his new club in 2015/16 – the early indications look rather promising for the Goodison Park faithful.
If the Toffees can successfully hold onto Romelu Lukaku this summer, then Everton may have just about sourced themselves the perfect long-term strike-partner for the big Belgian centre-forward in the shape of Oumar Niasse.
But even though each of the aforementioned January acquisitions all represent exciting new additions in the cold light of day, Southampton have arguably the landed the out-in-out signing of the window in the shape of Charlie Austin – based purely on impressive value for money alone.
The Premier League has become notorious for willingly matching ridiculous transfer-fees over the last couple of years, and although several big-money signings have subsequently failed to hit the ground running among the English top-flight of late, such a trend doesn’t look like it will be stopping any time soon.
Southampton’s ability to source Charlie Austin – a player who thrived in front of goal whilst operating for an admittedly weak QPR side in 2014/15 – for as little as £4 million this January, arguably marks this one out as the best signing of the entire bunch when all is said and done!
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