Grading the transfer windows of each PL team — part 1

Aakash Rao
5 min readFeb 2, 2022

Welcome to my latest series, and today I will be grading how well the top 10 teams of the PL have done this transfer window. Ready? Let’s get started.

Man City — A

Incomings: Julian Alvarez (River Plate)

Outgoings: Ferran Torres (FC Barcelona),Taylor Harwood-Bellis (Stoke City, loan), Patrick Roberts (Sunderland), Tommy Doyle (Cardiff, loan)

Manchester City didn’t need much reinforcements, except for a striker, and they have gone ahead and signed a striker. Julian Alvarez is a fantastic, prolific forward, and even though they have loaned him out back to River Plate, he is a good signings. The outgoings have also been on point, with two youngsters leaving on loan, flop Patrick Roberts leaving for Sunderland and Ferran Torres returning to FC Barcelona for a massive profit. In the end, a solid January transfer window for the soon-to-be champions of England.

Liverpool — A-

Incomings: Luis Diaz (Porto)

Outgoings:Tony Gallacher (St Johnstone, free), Morgan Boyes (Livingston) and Nat Phillips (Bournemouth, loan)

Liverpool didn’t have the liveliest of windows, which was surprising to me. Liverpool and January transfers usually go well together, i.e. Luis Suarez and Virgil Van Dijk, and honestly I expected more from the Scousers. Signing Luis Diaz is a statement from Liverpool that they are preparing for a squad rebuild, which means they should have signed a midfielder too. There has been a lot of movement and rumours involving midfielders in 2022, and Liverpool should have seized the opportunity to sign someone like Tchouameni to sort out their midfield for the next 5 years at least. Divock Origi and Minamino should have left along with the other three players as well, and in the end, a decent window for Liverpool which could have been better.

Chelsea — C-

Incomings: Dylan Williams (Derby County)

Outgoings: Tino Anjorin (Huddersfield Town, loan) and Juan Castillo (Charlton, loan)

This was a disappointing window from Chelsea. They needed someone at left wing-back, but failed to bring anyone in — even on loan. The player they HAVE signed, Dylan Williams, is expected to slot into the Academy set-up, and isn’t really the signing Chelsea needed urgently. The loan outgoings make sense, but I expected the Blues to do better in terms of incomings.

Manchester United — B-

Incomings: NIL

Outgoings: Anthony Martial (Sevilla, loan), Teden Mengi (Birmingham, loan),Ethan Laird (Bournemouth, loan),Axel Tuanzebe (Napoli, loan),Reece Devine (Walsall, loan), Amad Diallo (Rangers, loan) and Donny Van de Beek (Everton, loan)

The reason Manchester United get a B- instead of a C despite no incomings is because they managed to do something they haven’t done in a long time; get rid of deadweight/players who need game time. Sure, the likes of Phil Jones and Lingard are still at the club, but the loans of Martial, Amad and Van De Beek show that Murtough is more willing to shift out unneeded players, something his predecessor Ed Woodward struggled to do. Manchester United’s squad is still bloated, but at least the situation is less severe than it was before.

West Ham United — D

Incomings: NIL

Outgoings: Conor Coventry (MK Dons, loan) and Mipo Odubeko (Doncaster, loan)

West Ham are in a similar situation to Chelsea, except that they needed a striker, not a left-back. I gave them a D, however, as they haven’t signed anyone at all, forget signing a top class striker. Multiple strikers like Gabigol and even Darwin Nunez were linked with the Hammers, but David Moyes had nobody to unveil by the time the deadline was up. The Hammers have had striker issues for the past two years till Antonio’s emergence, and even then you could tell they still needed one. In the end, this window was a disappointment with a capital D for West Ham.

Arsenal — D

Incomings: Auston Trusty (Colorado Rapids)

Outgoings:Harry Clarke (Hibernian, loan),Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Roma, loan),Folarin Balogun (Middlesbrough, loan),Sead Kolasinac (Marseille),Calum Chambers (Aston Villa),Tyreece John-Jules (Sheffield Wednesday, loan) and Cameron Archer (Preston, loan)

Just like West Ham and Chelsea, Arsenal failed to sign the players they needed the most: a top class striker and a midfielder. Not only that, they also let players leave on loan, i.e. Ainsley Maitland-Niles, when they were in the middle of a COVID and injury crisis. Not much else to say here.

Tottenham — A+

Incomings: Dejan Kulusevski (Juventus, loan) and Rodrigo Bentancur (Juventus)

Outgoings: Kion Etete (Cheltenham, loan), Dilan Markanday (Blackburn), Nile John (Charlton, loan), Jack Clarke (Sunderland, loan), Bryan Gil (Valencia, loan) and Tanguy Ndombele (Lyon, loan)

The first club to get an A+, and deservedly so. Tottenham were surprisingly clinical in this January window, getting rid of fringe players, loaning out youngsters in need of game time and bringing in two crucial players who will make a difference in their fight for top 4. Kulusevski and Bentancur are two top class players who will fix problem areas for Spurs, which will prove useful in the short term and long term as well. Getting rid of Ndombele to bring in the latter was a smart move by Daniel Levy, who had to swallow his pride and let the Frenchman return to the club he was brought from, while letting youngster Bryan Gil leave to make space for Kuluskevski was a wise move as well. In the end, great window from Spurs, thanks to the expertise and connections of Paritici.

Wolves — B+

Incomings: Hayao Kawabe (Grasshoppers), Chiquinho (Estoril) and Hwang Hee-chan (RB Leipzig)

Outgoings:Theo Corbeanu (MK Dons), Luke Matheson (Scunthorpe United, loan), Dion Sanderson (QPR, loan) and Adama Traore (Barcelona, loan)

Wolves didn’t need much of a do-over this window, and they did reasonably ok. The signings make sense, letting go of Traore when he wanted to leave was classy, and the other outgoings aren’t an issue as well. One thing I didn’t understand, however, is Kawabe going back on loan to Grasshoppers. Yes, I understand that sometimes part of a January deal is letting the player return on loan to the club he’s leaving, but I feel Wolves could have used with an extra attacker.

Brighton — B

Incomings:Kacper Kozlowski (Pogon Szczecin) and Deniz Undav (Royale Union Saint-Gilloise)

Outgoings:Aaron Connolly (Middlesborough, loan), Leo Ostigard (Genoa, loan), Jurgen Locadia (Bochum), Kacper Kozlowski (Union SG, loan), Taylor Richards (Birmingham, loan) and Dan Burn (Newcastle)

Brighton also had a relatively quiet window, although I feel they could have used with some attacking reinforcements. They did bring in young talent Kozlowski and prolific striker Undav, but both went out on loan to Union SG, which was kind of a disappointment. Letting fringe players like Locadia and Connolly leave was a smart move, but not bringing in reinforcements to replace them was a not-so-smart move. To conclude, Brighton had a pretty average transfer window.

Leicester City — C

Incomings: NIL

Outgoings:Jacob Wakeling (Barrow, loan), Filip Benkovic (Released), Josh Eppiah (Northampton, loan) and Kasey McAteer (Forest Green, loan)

Leicester deserve a C mainly because they need reinforcements, and got none. Their squad is pretty balanced, but injuries and COVID have hit them hard, and they could have used with a couple of loans. I expected at least ONE loan to happen, and even that didn’t happen. The outgoings are reasonable, but I expected better recruitment from the Foxes.

So, that’s all for this article. I hope you enjoyed my in-depth article and grading, and do look out for my next article and the next part of this series as well. Till my next article, take care, and adios!

--

--

Aakash Rao

An avid Manchester United fan and football/music blogger!