Deadline Day winners and losers

by Neil Sherwin

Kevin Doyle QPRNeil Sherwin looks at some of the main talking points from the final day of the January transfer window in England.

Winners

Crystal Palace

It was no surprise to see most people tipping Crystal Palace to go straight back to the Championship before the season kicked off, and their short stay in the top flight looked nailed on when Ian Holloway left the club after only a handful of games.

However, Tony Pulis stepped into the breach and now has Palace getting dizzy in 14th spot in the league. In order to maintain that position, Pulis has delved into the transfer market and made some astute signings yesterday.

Goalkeeper Wayne Hennessy has previous Premier League experience with Wolverhampton Wanderers and will provide good competition for Julian Speroni.

Joe Ledley and Scott Dann came in from Celtic and Blackburn Rovers respectively, Tom Ince joined on loan from Blackpool, and Jason Puncheon made his move from Southampton permanent by inking a four year deal.

At this stage, there are far worse teams than Palace in the Premier League and with these pick ups they have given themselves an even better chance of survival.

Fulham

Despite sitting second from bottom in the Premier League, Fulham are only five points away from 11th spot, such is the tight nature of the Premier League this season.

Rene Meulensteen had obviously seen enough of the squad he invested from Martin Jol and has now firmly put his own stamp on it.

Energy levels at the club will rise notably now that both Dimitar Berbatov (Monaco) and Adel Taarabt (AC Milan) have left on loan.

Underperforming centre back Philippe Senderos has joined Valencia, while club favourite and loyal servant Aaron Hughes was loand to QPR until the end of the season.

In their place have come a duo with Premier League experience in Lewis Holtby (Tottenham Hotspur, loan) and Johnny Heitinga (Everton, free transfer), and Dane William Kvist (Stuttgart, loan).

The biggest coup though is the acquisition of Greek international Kostas Mitroglou for £11 million from Olympiakos, a player who scored a hattrick in this season’s Champions League against Anderlecht.

Meulensteen also raided former club Manchester United to bring in youngsters Ryan Tunnicliffe and Larnell Cole, making a very satisfactory day for the London club.

Kevin Doyle

The Republic of Ireland international hasn’t bad a good time of it in recent seasons, with his own form mirroring that of Wolverhampton Wanderers as they slid to English football’s third tier.

Finally, after months of speculation about a move to here, there and everywhere, Doyle has finally left Molineux and will link up with Harry Redknapp at Queens Park Rangers until the end of the season.

Redknapp’s side currently sit in second spot in the Championship and are in a great spot to make a run for the Premier League so Doyle will be looking to impress in the hope of securing a permanent deal at Loftus Road.

Doyle will be competing with the fellow Deadline Day pick up Modibo Maiga from West Ham United, as well as Charlie Austin, Bobby Zamora and Andy Johnson who are already at the club.

If he can rediscover his goalscoring touch then Doyle could be an important part of Martin O’Neill’s Ireland squad for the European Championship qualifiers which get underway later this year.

Losers

Liverpool

Fans of the Anfield club have seen it all before but it was still difficult to put a positive spin on the news that a deal for Ukrainian forward Yevhen Konoplyanka had broken down.

Spurs were rumoured to be sniffing around the player too, and had previously beaten Liverpool to Clint Dempsey and Gilfi Sigurdsson, but their interest disappeared a few days ago.

The word is that Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk’s owner Ihor Kolomoyskyi decided at the last minuted that he didn’t want to sell after the player had completed a medical and agreed personal terms with Liverpool, no doubt frustrating for Ian Eyre and co.

However, one can’t help but wonder why Liverpool put all their Deadline Day eggs in one basket and spent so long chasing a player who was no certainty to sign.

Liverpool were also in the hunt for Mohamed Salah only to lose out to Chelsea, something which Brendan Rodgers described as “difficult to take”, and also failed to complete moves for Willian, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Diego Costa in recent months.

Obviously there is no point buying just for the sake of it but Rodgers clearly wanted to bring in an attacker this week with the race for fourth spot hotting up.

With a paper thin squad and very little real quality outside the starting eleven, Liverpool could very well find themselves in trouble if they pick up any significant injuries during the run in.

West Ham United

The sum total of West Ham’s Deadline Day activity involved releasing one average defender in Razvan Rat and replacing him with another, Pablo Armero.

The 27-year-old Colombian played in the Champions League for Napoli this season and, while he will probably go straight into the starting line up, you can’t help but feel that the Hammers needed a lot more to aid their survival bid.

Sam Allardyce’s side are coming off the back of a hard earned point away to Chelsea but are still in the relegation zone with just four wins from 23 games.

With four very winnable games in February against Swansea City, Aston Villa, Norwich City and Southampton, they really should have pushed the boat out to bring in at least one or two more players on loan.

Arsenal

Ok, this one might be a little harsh as Arsene Wenger brought in Kim Kallstrom from Spartak Moscow on loan, and he is a very accomplished player, but they failed to address a problem of over reliance on Olivier Giroud to lead the line up front.

There were reports of a late bid to bring in Newcastle United’s Papiss Cisse, while the asking price for Julian Draxler of Schalke proved to be just too much in the end, though we can expect that one to be revisited in the summer,

With Theo Walcott done for the season thanks to a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament and Nicklas Bendtner still returning from a January injury, the Gunners are looking very light up front with a horrible run of fixtures ahead of them over the coming weeks.

What did you think of your team’s Deadline Day activity? Let us know below.

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