QPR recruit Bobby Zamora and Southampton signing Billy Sharp feature as TEAMtalk guest Nick Hext picks his best January transfer window deals.
Nick’s been looking at the deals from the top divisions of English football during the January transfer window.
Here he picks out his four best pieces of business from each league.
Bobby Zamora (Fulham to QPR, undisclosed)
No surprise to see we start with a deal in the Premier League where the fee is undisclosed. That has become a real trademark of the transfer world in recent years but QPR fans won’t be too worried by that after this move was completed. The transfer fee is thought to be around £4.5million and, even at the age of 31, that represents a good deal. QPR boss Mark Hughes puts it best with his view on what the England international will bring to the Loftus Road outfit. “Bobby is a guy that makes things happen on the pitch, be it scoring goals or creating chances for others,” he said. “He’s a great foil for any team. We needed a player of his ilk at the football club and I couldn’t be more delighted.”
Nedum Onuoha (Manchester City to QPR, undisclosed)
It is another new face at Loftus Road that features in second place on our Premier League list. Onuoha was definitely underrated by Roberto Mancini at Manchester City but Hughes is certainly a fan of the versatile defender. The 25-year-old’s stock is sure to rise with regular first-team football and we reckon he will play a big part in QPR’s climb up the standings. It shouldn’t be too big a worry for Hughes that he missed out on Alex from Chelsea as this is a much better deal.
Gylfi Sigurdsson (Hoffenheim to Swansea, loan)
The Iceland international cost Hoffenheim £6.5million when he made the move from Reading in 2010. It hasn’t quite worked out for the midfielder in Germany but anyone who saw him perform for the Royals knows Brendan Rodgers has a very talented player on his books. Glimpses of his class have already been shown at the Liberty Stadium and expect plenty more where that came from.
Emmanuel Frimpong (Arsenal to Wolves, loan)
It’s tough for Wolves at the moment but Mick McCarthy deserves credit for signing Frimpong on loan. The 19-year-old provides extra bite to the midfield and has already proved his commitment to the cause when he was accidentally caught by Aston Villa midfielder Stilian Petrov in a brave challenge. Wolves’ bid for safety will go right down the wire and the youngster may well be the difference between a spot in the Premier League or Championship next season.
Best of the rest: Steven Pienaar (Tottenham to Everton, loan); Keith Andrews (Blackburn to West Brom, free); Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy to Everton, loan).
Nicky Maynard (Bristol City to West Ham, undisclosed)
This is the pick of the deals on a busy deadline day at West Ham. Maynard oozes class in the Championship and he brings guaranteed goals to Upton Park. It wasn’t a surprise to see various Premier League clubs linked with a swoop for his services so this acts as a real statement of intent from Sam Allardyce. Expect the Hammers now to convincingly secure a spot in the top two.
Jason Roberts (Blackburn to Reading, undisclosed)
The takeover of Reading by Thames Sports Investment has given boss Brian McDermott new power with the chequebook. He used it wisely to bring in Roberts from Blackburn with the experienced forward sure to provide nous to a young and vibrant squad. The Royals are well positioned for a promotion push so head to the Madejski for some entertainment during the rest of the campaign.
Billy Sharp (Doncaster to Southampton, undisclosed)
The first two Championship selections show that deals for top strikers are to be valued. That is certainly the case with this transfer as goals win you games and victories win you promotion. That makes the purchase of Championship goalscorer extraordinaire Sharp smart business for the Saints. Nigel Adkins has already got the best out of the forward during his time at Scunthorpe and more of the same will see St Mary’s hosting Premier League football next season.
Ben Mee (Manchester City to Burnley, undisclosed)
One by-product of Manchester City’s mega-rich status has been the falling by the wayside of plenty of promising youngsters from the club’s youth set-up. Mee was captain of City’s youngsters when they won the FA Youth Cup but failed to make an impression in the first-team. Now he finds himself at Turf Moor permanently and should benefit from the opportunity of regular football.
Best of the rest: Ravel Morrison (Man Utd to West Ham, undisclosed); Ben Marshall (Stoke to Leicester, undisclosed); Adam Smith (Tottenham to Leeds, loan); Wes Morgan (Nottingham Forest to Leicester, undisclosed).
Nicky Ajose (Peterborough to Chesterfield, loan)
One of the stars of Bury’s promotion to League One last season alongside Ryan Lowe has found the going tough this term. He joined Peterborough in the summer but hasn’t been able to make an impression in the Championship and his loan move to Scunthorpe didn’t go to plan either. The striker still has the talent to make a big impression and he will give a big boost to Chesterfield’s battle for survival after joining on loan until the summer. They have badly missed Craig Davies since his departure for Barnsley in the summer so could be the missing part of the Spireites’ jigsaw.
Luke Freeman (Arsenal to Stevenage, undisclosed)
Freeman is one of many Premier League youngsters who are forced to journey down the Football League for regular football. The forward joined Arsenal from Gillingham as a 15-year-old but it didn’t lead to fame and fortune at the Emirates. He has already impressed during his time in Hertfordshire and he is in a great position to prove himself as a fantastic leaving present from former Boro boss Graham Westley before he departed for Preston.
Alan Smith (Newcastle to MK Dons, loan)
Smith is definitely the ‘big name’ in the League One January deals. The former England international has tasted plenty of Premier League success during his career and we all remember just how good he was at the peak of his powers. He is a different player now but this deal makes sense for MK Dons as they only pay a fraction of the wages and get a player who will make a big difference in the promotion hunt.
Will Hoskins (Brighton to Sheffield United, loan)
Sheffield United have also bolstered their ranks for the promotion race. Hoskins hasn’t managed to become a first-team regular at Brighton since joining in the summer so a move back to South Yorkshire – where he enjoyed great success with Rotherham – is a good move. The Blades now have a plethora of attacking options and that will leave their rivals with plenty to worry about as winter turns to spring.
Best of the rest: James Harper (Hull to Wycombe, loan); John Bostock (Tottenham to Sheffield Wednesday, loan); Connor Jennings (Stalybridge to Scunthorpe, undisclosed).
Sanchez Watt (Arsenal to Crawley, loan)
This is one of the deals that definitely caught people by surprise. Watt played on loan for Leeds last season and League One promotion contenders Sheffield Wednesday earlier this term but now finds himself in the bottom rung of the Football League. He has already helped Crawley to the fifth round of the FA Cup on his debut in the 1-0 win over Hull and he can expect to take on an even more vital role after Matt Tubbs’ big-money departure to Bournemouth. He should be just what the Red Devils need to get over the automatic promotion line.
Jo Kuffour (Bristol Rovers to Gillingham, free)
This deal certainly didn’t catch anyone by surprise. Kuffour spent the first half of the season on loan at Gillingham and scored seven goals in 13 games. He didn’t have a future at League Two rivals Bristol Rovers so is now back at Priestfield on a permanent deal and will be after more of the same following his success at the back end of 2011.
Luke Guttridge (Aldershot to Northampton, free)
Northampton need to find form quickly if they are to avoid the dreaded drop to non-league football and will desperately hope the arrival of former favourite Guttridge is the spark to climb the table. The midfielder had become frustrated at Aldershot but it isn’t long since he was a vital cog in the Shots’ impressive Carling Cup run. The loan signing of Question Time favourite Clarke Carlisle is another deal to add experience at Sixfields and boss Aidy Boothroyd needs this approach to work before panic really kicks in.
Jermaine McGlashan (Aldershot to Cheltenham, undisclosed)
Cheltenham’s main transfer-window signing will be the man to keep their promotion campaign on track. The midfielder provides a new threat for the Robins and that will be vital as clubs start to show more respect to them after a fine first half of the season. Mark Yates has already made very strong loan signings during the campaign so don’t be surprised if has a few more aces up his sleeve before temporary moves are halted later on.