Since it’s inception in the 2002/03 season the January transfer window has thrown up some interesting moves. Some managers hate it, some love it and for varying reasons they’re probably all right! However, as a fan I like watching the transfers come in at the deadline and as the current window closes I thought I’d have a look back through the footballing archives and suggest a few good and bad moves in January.
I’ll start with the bad moves, in no particular order…..
Jean Alain Boumsong – Glasgow Rangers to Newcastle United £8million, 2005
He came too St James’ Park with a big reputation and a very hefty price tag. The Toon army were expecting a lot more than they got from Boumsong and the only memories they will have of this centre-half will be his gaffes (of which there were plenty). Somehow after leaving Newcastle Boumsong’s career saw him move to Juventus and then to Lyon leaving everyone in the North East scratching their heads as too how anyone signed him after a series of dismal displays on Tyneside.
Marlon King – Watford to Wigan £4million, 2008
King was the key player in Watford’s Championship promotion campaign in the 2005/06 season and drew acclaim nationwide for his goal scoring exploits in the second tier of English football. He missed the majority of Watford’s brief stay in the Premier League through a knee injury but did manage to score in the final two games of the season. Despite missing most of the season Wigan boss Steve Bruce thought he saw enough in King to fork out £4million for him in January 2008. It never quite materialised for King in the North West and after scoring just once in 15 games for the Latics he was shipped out on loan to Hull. King is now at Middlesbrough after a bust up with Hull boss Phil Brown and his brief career at Wigan looks to be over, with King spending more time out on loan than at his parent club.
Paul Jewell – appointed Derby County boss November 2007
Ok so Jewell isn’t a player and he didn’t arrive in January but I don’t think anyone in Derby would argue his appointement was a mistake. Derby sacked Billy Davies and appointed Jewell in November, presumably with an eye on the transfer window, with the Rams rock bottom and with only one win too their name. Jewell came in and spent big in January (well bigger than Davies spent through the summer anyway) on players like Robbie Savage. It didn’t work and Derby nearly went an entire calendar year without recording a win in the league. Jewell left Derby earlier this season, with Derby placed just above the relegation places in the Championship.
It’s not all bad though! There have been some great moves in the January transfer window and I’ve picked out the three I think could be most important. Again in no particular order.
Javier Mascherano – West Ham United to Liverpool £undisc, 2007
After arriving at Upton Park with Carlos Tevez in summer 2007 big things were expected of the two argentines in East London. Mascherano was hardly played by then West Ham boss Alan Pardew and he promptly moved North too Liverpool in Januray. Since his arrival on Merseyside Mascherano has become a firm fans favourite and has added some much needed steel to the Liverpool midfield. One of the better holding midfielders in the Premier League, Mascherano has been compared favourably to Claude Makelele and has been one of Liverpool’s stars this season.
Youri Djorkaeff – FC Kaiserslaughtern to Bolton Wanderers loan, 2002
French World Cup winner Youri Djorkaeff raised a few eyebrows when he moved to Bolton in 2002 but qucikly settled in too life in Lancashire. The Wanderers were in real trouble when Djorkaeff and Freddi Bobic joined in January but the two helped lift Bolton and they managed to survive in their debut Premier League season. Djorkaeff’s performances at the Reebok earned him a recall to the French national side and he went on too represent them in the 2002 World Cup. The classy midfielder turned his loan into a permanent move in the summer of 2002 and his arrival at the Reebok marked a change in direction as other big names followed such as Jay Jay Okocha, Fernando Hierro and Ivan Campo. Unsurprisngly the Wanderers faithful named Djorkaeff ‘Le God’ and the talented playmaker went on to play66 times for Bolton, netting on 16 occasions.
Nemanja Vidic – Spartak Moscow to Manchester United £7million, 2006
Not that many people had heard of Vidic when he signed in 2006 but everyone knows who he is now. The big Serbian is arguably the best centre-half in the Premier League, if not the world, and is an absolute rock in the heart of the United defence. Vidic has gone on to make 90 appearances for the Old Trafford side and will surely break the 100 mark, probably the 200 and even 300 mark if he stays injury free (Vidic is still only 27 years of age). United paid £7million for Vidic, a snip when you consider they splashed out nearly £30million on Rio Ferdinand.