Ah January, January, January… It’s a cold, wet and basically horrible month, but we do get treated to a bit of transfer action and I’m going to have a brief look at the early completed ones and rumours too see who’s doing the best business.
Probably best to start with the ‘big boys’. One thing that makes this window a bit more interesting than most is the strange absence of Chelsea on the scene. Apparently big Phil Scolari has no money to spend and he won’t even see the money from the sale of Wayne Bridge too add to his squad. Perhaps Scolari is happy with his current lot, that wouldn’t surprise me but rumours have been circulating that Roman Abramovich isn’t willing to bank roll the team anymore – so it could be the end of the mega transfer at Stamford Bridge then.
No such problems for title rivals Manchester United though. Sir Alex has already brought in two Serbian youngsters Zoran Tosic and Adem Ljajic, who with a combined price tag of £17million have quite a lot to live up to. United fans will have to wait to see these two in action though, Ljajic will stay with Partizan Belgrade for another 12 months and Tosic is unlikely to burst into the first team just yet. Another ‘one for the future’ for United then.
United’s local rivals Manchester City have been announced as the richest club in the Premier League and they will definitely be spending big in this transfer window. Whether we’ll see another Robinho-esque capture remains to be seen, its quite hard to attract world-class talent when you’re in a relegation battle. Valencia’s David Villa has been touted as a possible target for Mark Hughes but I think that might be a bit ambitious at this stage, they’re more likely to land Roque Santa-Cruz from Hughes’ former club Blackburn. Santa-Cruz would still be a great signing, even though his form has dipped this season, and City fans may yet see a big name come in but I very much doubt it will be a name held in as high regard as Villa’s.
Talking of big names, Bolton Wanderers have been linked with a move for the Brzilian ‘step-over king’ Denilson. Not the youngster who is an occasional part of the Arsenal midfield, the one-time world’s most expensive player who used to play for Real Betis – in case there is any confusion. Denilson’s career has taken him to the dizzy heights of FC Dallas in the MLS and Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Nasr, it now seems as if a move to Bolton is on the cards for the 31-year-old. I for one, would be quite excited to see Denilson in the Premier League. I remember him having a decent World Cup in 2002 and a bit of Brazilian flair can light-up any side (Just ask Hull City and Manchester City fans).
I’ve saved the best for last – the Russian maestro Andrei Arshavin could bet set for a move to Arsenal. This really is a signing to ignite a bit of interest, we all remember him from the European Championships in 2008 and I’m sure he could replicate that form in the Premier League. He almost single-handedly won the UEFA cup for Zenit St Petersburg and Arsenal could certainly do with a more experienced head in the ranks, especially one as talented as Arshavin.
In general it has been quite a quiet opening to the transfer window, but there is plenty of January left and I’m sure a few surprises will pop up as the month progresses.