January is a month in soccer where transfer rumors come and go like mayflies, but some of them turn out to be the real deal. Fans hope their team snag a player they’ve had their eye on, but it seems that most winter transfers are sudden, and come of complete surprise to everyone not involved; 2016 is no different.
There has been a lot of action this year, but most of it is no interest to anyone, except the players themselves. In the Premier League, though, there have been 5 transfers that you need to know, as they may have an impact on the entire league. The British media will say what it wants, but some of these transfers may turn out to be great deals for everyone, especially the fans. Some are long overdue, and some are surprising to say the least. Check them out below.
New Guy: Matt Miazga
Old Club: New York Red Bulls
Price Tag: £3.5,000,000 transfer
How’s It Gonna Turn Out? Great for everyone. If Chelsea give him playing time, (I’m talking about starting, not giving him garbage minutes) Matt can grow to become an elite defender. Seriously. He’s only 20, but has already shown glimpses of his great potential during his time in New York; he’s tall and lanky at 6’4”, with legs longer than Sir Alex’s tenure at Man United. Good with both feet and his head, Miazga is the young defender that managers dream of, and he can be the defenseive foundation for a Chelsea team in the midst of rebuilding. Going from the MLS to the Premier League is a signifcant change in many ways, but I believe Miazga will adjust quickly, like the good ones always do. I may be over-hyping the kid, but let’s see what the (potentially very bright) future has in store for Matt Miazga. (Also, what in the name of all that’s round is going on at Stamford Bridge? Take back your ex, Chelsea, it was your fault, not his.)
Club: Newcastle United
New Guy: Andros Townsend
Old Club: Tottenham
Price Tag: £12 million transfer
How’s It Gonna Turn Out? Depends. Newcastle is seemingly destined to see relegation to the Championship, but this new addition won’t be able to do much to revive the club’s season. Townsend is a gifted winger who gives us tastes of his potential at times, and he can create some goals, but he hasn’t done that on a consistent basis, something that is a must from starting wingers in the Premier League. With a bigger role at his new club, he may be able to shine, but he and other recent additions at Newcastle likely won’t prevent them from the drop.
New Guy: Alexandre Pato
Old Club: Corinthians
Price Tag: 6 Month Loan
How’s It Gonna Turn Out? In a word: boring. Talented striker when he’s not on the sideline with injuries, Pato has long been a target of Chelsea, but it remains to be seen if it’ll be worth the wait. In all likelihood, he’ll just sit on the comfy bench and watch Diego Costa score goals and flop constantly. A short loan like this one is a fine experiment for the Blues, who are looking in all directions for a remedy to their deeply troubled season.
Club: Crystal Palace
New Guy: Emmanuel Adebayor
Old Club: Tottenham
Price Tag: £0 free transfer
How’s It Gonna Turn Out? If he can score consistently, then it’s a great pickup, but that’s a daunting task for an aged striker. Crystal Palace have one of the worst offenses in the Premier League, but signing Adebayor at the age of 31 isn’t going to change much; Adebayor hasn’t played a wink since May, so he’s not in top form. He’s past his prime, but you can’t blame the Eagles for at least trying to end their offensive drought, and a free transfer isn’t a bad deal at all for the club. Crystal Palace are in mid-table limbo, but this signing won’t bring them into the forefront of BPL competition, despite a crazy season where teams are in parts of the table the usually don’t occupy. Adebayor has bagged his share of goals, totaling 94 in his BPL career, but it’s doubtful that he will be able to change the fortunes of CPFC.
New Guy: Charlie Austin
Old Club: QPR
Price Tag: £4 million transfer
How’s It Gonna Turn Out? Perfect! Southampton are currently in the 8th spot on the table, and the addition of Charlie Austin could help propel them further up in the second half of the season. Charlie is a prolific goal scorer, having amassed 10 in 16 games for QPR this year, scored 18 in the BPL last year, and he could be of much more value to Southampton than his transfer fee belies. He’s already had every footballer’s fantasy debut, having scored a very late winner against the ailing Manchester United. The Saint’s next match is against Arsenal on February 2nd, a team three points back of Leicester, who sit at the top of the table. Saints fans surely are still riding the high from their 4-0 Boxing Day beating of Arsenal, and with another goal scorer among the ranks, Southampton could very well complete the double this year. The Saints are red-hot right now, and although he does have a high weekly wage at £100,000, Austin should prove to be a wise move.