Winter Transfer Window


Adama Traore was one of the many players on the move this transfer window. (Courtesy of Twitter)

Last month, the transfer window gave the soccer world a chance to shake up their teams and to try and bring in the one player they need or to get rid of some deadwood. For some clubs, it was a busy month filled with securing targets, while for others, it was a miserable failure.

One team that did well was Barcelona. Barcelona is currently having one of its worst seasons in recent history, which started with losing Lionel Messi, being knocked out of the Champions League. Barcelona then had to fire its coach mid-season, replacing him with former player Xavi Hernandez. Hernandez has improved the team slightly up until the window, where Barcelona showed an intent to reclaim the title of one of the top teams not only in Spain but in Europe. 

The team signed striker Ferran Torres from Manchester City for 46.3 million pounds. It then added right back Dani Alves. Alves, a former Barcelona player, won endless trophies, including the sextuple in 2009 and the treble in 2015. He came as a free agent and is being paid the bare minimum in order to help the club’s financial standing. 

Barcelona then continued with signing another former player, Adama Traore. Traore comes from Wolves and is on a loan deal for the season with an option to buy for a permanent transfer should Barcelona choose to. Then, on deadline day, Barcelona snagged Arsenal striker and former captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. Despite still being under contract with Arsenal, he joined Barcelona on a free transfer. 

Barcelona was also  able to send Phillipe Coutinho on a loan for the season to Aston Villa, getting his wages off of their balance sheet. This is a clear sign from Barcelona about what its intentions are. It already paid off when the team beat Atletico Madrid 4–2 over the weekend to leapfrog them into fourth place in La Liga, which is the final Champions League place.

Another team that made a splash was Newcastle from the Premier League. Newcastle was bought by new owners who are worth around 700 billion pounds. In a relegation battle, the team needed to spend big, and they did. Newcastle signed Kieran Trippier from Atletico Madrid for 12 million pounds. The team also paid 25 million pounds for striker Chris Wood and another 33.3 million pounds for Bruno Guimarães. Newcastle capped its window by signing defender Dan Burn for 12.5 million pounds, bringing their total spend to 82.8 million pounds. 

Another team that made news was Tottenham Hotspur. It got two players from Juventus: Rodrigo Bentancur and Dejan Kulusevski. Bentancur cost Tottenham 15.9 million pounds while Kulusevski is on a 18 month loan that cost them 10 million pounds with a 35 million pounds fee to make it a permanent transfer. The team also got rid of some deadwood in the form of Dele Alli, who made a move to Everton. Tanguy Ndombele departed to Lyon, Giovani Lo Celso moved to Villareal and Bryan Gil left for Valencia. 

However, while Tottenham Hotspur moved players in and out, the team failed to get two prime targets. One of them was Traore, who declined offers to return to Barcelona. Another player was Luis Diaz from Porto. Liverpool hijacked the deal and signed him within 24 hours for an initial 33.3 million pounds that can go higher with certain add-ons.

Aston Villa also succeeded, getting  Coutinho and Lucas Digne from Everton for 23 million pounds. Everton also did well, getting Alli and Donny van de Beek on a season long loan from Manchester United. 

Among several teams that didn’t do well were Arsenal and Manchester United. Neither team brought any players in, and United didn’t get rid of all of the players that it wanted. United loaned out several players and didn’t bring anyone in, a decision that has already backfired with the team crashing out of the FA cup against Middlesborough over the weekend.

If you were to ask me, the best deals of the window were Diaz to Liverpool, Coutinho to Villa, Alli and Van de Beek to Everton and Barcelona as a whole. With the window now shut, teams will now have to use their squads to fight in the various competitions that they are embroiled in and to do the best they can.