Now that the winter window has shut, it’s time to disect some of the deals that were done yesterday, and see what each player really has got for their money.
NAME: Odion Ighalo
MOVE: Shanghai Shenhua – Manchester United
This was one that no-one saw coming, really, until around lunchtime yesterday onwards. United needed a striker, quite simply, after filling the no. 10 hole in their team by signing Bruno Fernandes. Ighalo is a player I really liked when I watched him at Watford, when they got promoted to the Premier League, and there’s no doubt he has goals in him, but can he deliver for one of the so-called “Top 6” clubs? He is 30 now, but time will tell.
NAME: Jarrod Bowen
MOVE: Hull City – West Ham United
Bowen has been one of the best players in the Championship over the last few seasons, and he is a very talented winger. However, whilst wingers sometimes tend to stay wide and fizz balls into the box for others to get on the end of, Bowen likes to cut inside and take shots on himself. It’s not unique, but West Ham needed someone who can play as a winger or a striker, especially as they have Michail Antonio and Andriy Yarmolenko who have both had injuries recently. Bowen is an outstanding addition and should now see West Ham home in their survival fight.
NAME: Josh Windass
MOVE: Wigan Athletic – Sheffield Wednesday
Windass has been one of Wigan’s best players over the last couple of seasons, and can play in a variety of positions. He has featured previously for Rangers as a no. 10, scoring goals from behind the striker, whilst with the Latics he has often played in the striker’s position. Therefore, he brings that versatility to Wednesday, and goals is something that they need from their midfield – too often they are relying on the likes of Steven Fletcher to score, and struggling when he has an off day. This looks like Garry Monk’s way of trying to amend that.
NAME: Lee Peltier
MOVE: Cardiff City – West Bromwich Albion
West Brom’s squad is very well assembled, with good young players such as Darnell Furlong, Semi Ajayi, and Nathan Ferguson in the defence. However, none of those three players have the experience of a promotion, and I wonder if that’s why the Baggies moved for Peltier – because he then adds that experience of promotion to help them over the line. With Leeds faltering, this becomes even more important as West Brom try to take advantage and seal promotion as soon as possible.
NAME: Shandon Baptiste and Tarique Fosu
MOVE: Oxford United – Brentford
DEAL: Undisclosed (both)
Two very exciting wingers making the step up to the Championship, and a team where I think both will thrive. They are young but have goals in them, and are as able to dribble and pass and create opportunities for others as they are at scoring them themselves. Both have been a huge part of why Oxford have done so well in League One this season so far. When you are in the position that Brentford are in, it is just about seeing it over the line, but at the same time, they have also invested in the future with Baptiste, as he is still only 21.
NAME: Marcus Maddison
MOVE: Peterborough United – Hull City
With Hull losing Kamil Grosicki and Jarrod Bowen this window, it was perhaps expected that they would make attacking signings to replace them. Maddison has been one of the trio that had become English football’s deadliest strike force – along with Ivan Toney and Mo Eisa. He can play anywhere across the front three, and certainly has goals in him. The other benefit will be that he previously worked with Tigers boss Grant McCann when he was in charge of Posh, so there is that understanding from them. This was a really positive signing from the Tigers.
NAME: Kamil Grosicki
MOVE: Hull City – West Bromwich Albion
This was another shrewd piece of business by the Baggies, as the Poland winger comes with a guarantee of goals. As I said previously, the Baggies need to ensure they can take advantage of Leeds’ slight slip, and adding another weapon to their attacking arsenal is a very good move towards sealing an expected return to the Premier League.
There were obviously many, many more moves that happened, but these were some of the major and perhaps more documented moves. Now we just have to see, in time, whether they were the right moves or not.