January Transfer Review

January usually comes with its fair share of shocks and 2012’s edition of the month was no different. From club’s showing such desperation, a cantankerous Argentine being a sure thing to join a number of clubs and even Everton signing players – just another January in terms of surprises and talking points.

Henry back at Arsenal

Let me check my calendar… 2012? That can’t be right, I heard about Paul Scholes playing for Manchester United again and Thierry Henry donning Arsenal’s kit recently. But no, it’s true. Two of the Premier League’s strongest clubs have returned to heros of the past to try to help them out in the situations they currently find themselves in. Both clubs are in the midst of their own different types of “crisis,” Manchester United knocked out of the Champions League at an early stage from an easy group, and Arsenal are dwindling in fifth place in the league, with Newcastle and Liverpool yet to play this weekend, both less than 3 points behind them.

Scholes was convinced to come out of retirement to play again, meaning that United didn’t have to spend any money they may or may not have on a new signing, while Henry returned to North London only on loan from New York Red Bulls. It seems as though both teams are desperate both for past glory but are going about it in the wrong way by sticking on the finished Golden Oldies.

Elsewhere in January, Everton have apparently become a rich, big spending club. Splashing a reported whopping £5.5 million on Nikica Jelavic, as well as signing a few others on loan have resulted in Everton’s busiest transfer window in a long time. Former Toffee Steven Pienaar was also brought in, as well as Landon Donovan and Darron Gibson. Everton’s activity this window also saw Louis Saha leave the club for Tottenham Hotspur. One of these signings have already paid dividends when Gibson scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Manchester City on transfer deadline day. The new signings should help the club climb up the table, away from Norwich, Stoke and Sunderland who all currently surround them.

In Europe, Inter Milan have captured one of Porto’s much lauded attackers from last year’s charge to a league, cup and Europa League treble. Fredy Guarín joined the Italian team, who are currently recovering surprisingly well from one of their worst starts to a season. Inter have their sights set on Champions League qualification this season, and Fredy Guarín should be a massive help for those ambitions.

Carlos Tevez has essentially turned into a soap opera now. The notoriously disobedient Argie was widely reported to be joining Italian Champions AC Milan this January, and looked all set to when Alexandre Pato looked like he’d be moving to Paris Saint-Germain to meet up with old boss Carlo Ancelotti. That move broke down though, resulting in Tevez’s deal being scuppered. Tevez rumours and links didn’t stop there though. Rivals Inter flirted with the idea of signing him, while the rich PSG were also interested. By the time the end of January came, Liverpool were also supposedly interested. Ultimately, Tevez stayed where he was – not playing football. (But on Manchester City’s books.)

Tevez would have been an excellent footballer with AC Milan. I’d have predicted him to find his feet quickly and score quite freely for the Rossoneri. But from a Milan point of view, I think it’s best for the Italians that they didn’t sign him. Carlito has been poison for the dressing room atmosphere in Manchester City of late, and what if a player that temperamental went and joined up with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the jewel in Milan’s crown at the minute? Sure, there’s every possibility that they’d get along and play pool and FIFA on their spare days – but I wouldn’t risk it if it was my decision. As well as Ibra, Milan already have Pato, Robinho, El Sharaawy, Inzaghi, new arrival Maxi Lopes and Antonio Cassano, who is to come back from injury, to deploy in the forward line. Tevez wasn’t needed at Milan.

Serie A’s unbeaten side Juventus have signed Martin Caceres to sure-up their defence. Caceres joins on loan from Sevilla, and he’s not unfamiliar with the Old Lady, as he spent some time on loan there between ’09 and ’10. Juve have also let go of Michele Pazienza. Interestingly, he signed on loan for league rivals Udinese. Udinese lie three points behind Juve and in third place, although the Tuscans have a game in hand.

A full list of transfers this year (last summer and this January) are available here.


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