By Teo Icliyurek
As we begin February, we say goodbye to one of our favorite times in Football, the January transfer window. As the third, and final, assessment of this year’s shorter period of exchange, we will recap the most high profile deals alongside some smaller ones that are worth noting.
Wilfried Bony to Manchester City
The Ivorian striker completed a somewhat surprising move to the blue side of Manchester earlier in the transfer window. His 28 million pound switch, making him one of the most expensive signings of the window, adds a fourth high-profile striker to the club that already has Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, and Stevan Jovetic. His addition, nonetheless, should not seem such a surprise. In a side whose strikers scored a combined 45 goals and for whom Yaya Toure alone contributed 20 goals, this season has seen a relative dearth in firepower. With Toure’s dip in form (7 goals in all comps. so far) and a poorer return from the strikers (Aguero the only stand-out with 14), City needed a proven Premier League striker to step on Chelsea’s heels. With 15 goals last season and 9 so far this year, the large front-man provides the reigning champions with another shoulder to bear the goal-scoring load.
His Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUMBC-23yv8
Juan Cuadrado to Chelsea
Another one of the high profile exchanges, Juan Cuadrado’s move to Chelsea marks the end of much speculation regarding his future. After an impressive world cup showing, the fiorentina wide man comes in to fill the gap created by Andre Schurrle’s departure to Wolfsburg (which will be assessed shortly). The Colombian international, known for his trickery and pace has been lacking goals so far this season, however. In fact, his 4 Serie A goals so far this season were already off track to his record the previous year of 11. Another downside to this transfer has been Chelsea’s depth in all points of their attacking game. Cuadrado would no doubt fall into the right side of midfield, likely displacing Willian. Not being a goalscorer, however, Cuadrado won’t be adding much to the squad that has the highest scorer in the league, Diego Costa. Furthermore, Willian’s role in recent games (such as against Liverpool in the league cup and Manchester City in the league) has been one resembling that of a right wing back. His defensive responsibilities have seen him become an important part of the blues’ formidable defensive record. Cuadrado will need to up either his offense or his defense to make an impact.
His Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lajEptHUxD0
Andre Schurrle to Wolfsburg
To fund, and open space, for Juan Cuadrado’s arrival at Stamford Bridge, World Cup-winning Andre Schurrle was offloaded to Wolfsburg in a deal worth 23 million pounds. The speedy GOAL-SCORING winger (emphasis on goal-scoring) notched 3 in 6 substitute appearances and 3 goals in 5 starts and 9 substitutions in the league. It would seem that Chelsea have rid themselves of the sort of winger they needed the most. Schurrle will certainly find more playing time in his home country of Germany, potentially showing signs of the player Chelsea paid 18 million pounds for two summers ago.
His Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uPeOjkAc12I
Seydou Doumbia to AS Roma
One of the most touted fringe league players in Europe, the underrated Ivorian striker has long been expected to make a move away from CSKA Moskow. His 11 goals in all competitions this season, 20 the season before, and 37 in 2011-12 (he missed most of 2012-13 due to a herniated disc that caused him to miss 36 games) have set him as a proven striker. He has certainly become a potential starter even though the Italian side boast an attacking squad of Adem Ljalic, Francesco Totti, new addition Victor Ibarbo, Gervinho, and Juan Manuel Iturbe. Rudi Garcia will have a difficult time assessing his striking options, nevertheless, Doumbia’s 14.4 million euro addition will certainly be something for the French manager to look forward to.
His Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lewpJELIq3E
Apart from these big name signings, sixteen year-old Norwegian international (yes, international) Martin Odegaard was signed by Real Madrid, Samuel Eto’o left Goodison Park for Sampdoria, and Sebastian Giovinco finally left Juventus to join Toronto in the MLS. Despite a largely uneventful transfer window, some interesting changes have been made, especially in the Premier League. Now all is left for these signings to prove themselves, or flop, entertaining audiences either on the pitch or off the pitch.