Soccer

Where’s everyone going?

A quick look back at the effects of the biggest transfers of this year's January window.

Anyone there?

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This January transfer window saw some of the most expensive transfer activity ever seen in the winter window. Although marquee transfers are known to occur in the summer months,  this month marked an opportunity for a multitude of star players to chase their dreams.

Let’s have a look back at the winning, losing, and indifferent clubs of this year’s winter transfer window.

The Winners

Manchester United

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This one was an impressive display of transfer market expertise by the greediest manager in soccer, Jose Mourinho. He managed a straight swap for Alexis Sanchez, in which he only had to give up a non-starter, Mkhitaryan. Alexis’s presence in the United line-up could propel them to European success, and with a whole lot of luck, they could make a late push for the Premier League title.

Manchester City

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Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, David Silva, and Raheem Sterling. All these players form one of the most formidable attacking lineups that the Premier League has seen in a long time. Throughout this season, Manchester City has relied heavily on their offensive prowess to win them games. They have been forced to start makeshift fullbacks and move defenders throughout their backline.

However, any defensive struggles may be a thing of the past. French center back Aymeric Laporte is on his way to Manchester. Laporte, the former Athletic Bilbao talent, is known for his all-around defensive capabilities, as well as ability to pass and head the ball. Jack Harrison is a young winger who was loaned out to Middlesbrough.

The Losers

Arsenal

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Alexis for Mkhitaryan – really? It’s understandable; Alexis wanted desperately to leave. But a straight swap for a player of his caliber is a poor move. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang finally completed his move to London, but he doesn’t help much. His pace will add firepower to the counterattack of the Gunners, however, he lacks in technical ability, and frankly, he is another poaching forward that Arsenal does not need.

With Lacazette, Mkhitaryan, Welbeck and Ozil already running the attack, it is clear that Arsenal’s problem does not lie in the front third. Changes need to be made in the midfield and the defense.

A more rational and helpful transfer would have been the young Brazilian midfielder Fabinho, who has developed into a promising holding midfielder while at Monaco.

Chelsea

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Just as FIFA did, I’m going to count Diego Costa’s transfer as a winter transfer. And with Costa’s fiery return to La Liga, it is clear that Chelsea came out with the short end of the stick on this one. Diego Costa has played in five games for Atletico Madrid thus far, and has scored three times and contributed two assists, while also adding a vintage Costa red card.

Alvaro Morata is a talented player, however, lacks the nastiness and drive that makes Costa a goalscoring nightmare for opposing defenses. Morata’s goal output will only further diminish with the recent addition of Olivier Giroud, who will likely play the same super-sub role that he did for Arsenal. Chelsea also partook in other menial transfers, such as the acquisition of Ross Barkley from Everton. It also seems as if their talented backup forward Michy Batshuayi is being loaned to Dortmund, which is another mistake. Chelsea seems to loan out a lot of talented young Belgians that end up having great careers for other Premier League teams (Lukaku, De Bruyne).

The Indifferent

Barcelona

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I understand; Philippe Coutinho is a mercurial midfield talent who can be an apprentice to Andres Iniesta and eventually help lead yet another world-class Barcelona midfield. However, it could have waited until the summer. But guess what, they don’t care!

Don’t get me wrong – this wasn’t a bad transfer for Barcelona, but it seemed rather unnecessary at the current moment. They are currently ahead in La Liga by 11 points, which is an impressive margin. They are the only world-class team left in the Copa Del Rey. And that leaves the UEFA Champions League – which Coutinho can’t even play in!

However, none of this seems to matter to this Catalonian club. They would rather have Coutinho watching from the bench during UEFA competition then watching from Liverpool. To be fair, any time spent playing for this team is worth it, and Coutinho could end this season a much better player than he would have had he stayed in Liverpool. Let’s just wait and see.

Real Madrid

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These Spanish Giants are the one team on this list that has done too little during this winter transfer window. They wasted the entire month insisting that their current line-up is sufficient, while simultaneously losing to Leganes in the Copa Del Rey and effectively losing La Liga already. With Ronaldo is such lackluster form, Karim Benzema’s goal-scoring deficiencies, and Gareth Bale’s shotty injury record, a forward was extremely necessary for the Madridistas.

And with the Champions League being their only available silverware left for this year’s campaign, it seemed like Mauro Icardi was a perfect choice. He wouldn’t be cup-tied, and his goalscoring record in Serie A has been nothing short of world-class. It seemed as if Real Madrid wasted this year’s mid-season transfer window due to unearned pride.

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