The January transfer window tends to see much less movement than the summer one, simply because many clubs are unwilling to sell their key players midway through the season. For the most part that was the case again this January, although with the money in the game being what it is, there were still a few big money transfers for multi-million-pound fees during the month. Here we are going to take a look at three of those January signings and analyse what impact – if any – they have made for their new clubs.
Loanee Gonzalo Higuain was Chelsea’s only big new arrival during the window. He was brought in with manager Maurizio Sarri under pressure, so Chelsea needed him to start scoring right away. This has not really happened, although he did score twice in early February, during a 5-0 thrashing of Burnley. Higuain has played in the big matches against Man City in the league and Man Utd in the FA Cup, but Chelsea lost both and he made little impact. The cup game was of particular importance and Higuain squandered his one clear chance when he had a free header during the opening half, leaving Chelsea’s season in tatters.
Managing to bring in the Belgian striker on loan from Chelsea during the transfer window was a coup for Crystal Palace. The striker went on to provide an assist for the second goal in a 2-0 victory over Fulham at the start of February. However he followed that up by fluffing a great chance to score his first goal for the club during another substitute appearance in the draw with West Ham. He also failed to make an impression from the start in the FA Cup win over Doncaster, where he had only two clear sights of goal and missed both opportunities. So far he has not delivered the goals to take the pressure off Wilfried Zaha and needs to be far more clinical given that Palace do not create a lot of goal scoring opportunities in most matches.
Rafa Benitez had wanted Almiron for a while and finally got him for £21 million in January. The attacking midfielder is intended to give much more bite and drive to Newcastle’s rather impotent attack, but so far the fans have seen very little of him. His debut appearance came during the 1-1 draw with Wolves on February 11th, when he came off the bench for the last 20 minutes, but that has been his sole appearance thus far. This makes it difficult to evaluate whether he will be a good signing or not, but with the club just above the drop zone and with only 22 goals this season, they need him on the pitch and performing quickly.
It is much too early to say with certainty how these three will work out, but none has had the instant effect usually sought with January signings.