Football League: January window shopping
Now that the January transfer window has been slammed firmly shut, it is time to reflect upon the work done by England’s Football League sides.
The window may have been rather quieter than usual in the country’s top division, but the rest of the world’s oldest Football League has been as busy as ever. So, with all of that in mind, here are the winners and losers from the last month of transfer action.
If you were to single out a big winner in the Championship look no further than league leaders Newcastle United, who drafted in six players during January. Names included winger Wayne Routledge, who will ably fill the void on the right hand side of the Magpies midfield.
Fellow promotion candidates Sheffield United have also been busy, signing Mark Yates after a short-term stay at Middlesbrough, Richard Cresswell from Stoke City, as well as the permanent signing of midfielder James Harper after his loan deal.
Elsewhere in the Championship Peterborough have added yet another striker to their squad, signing Ruben Reid from West Bromwich Albion. Bristol City’s attempts to revive their season have led to the acquisition of Barnsley’s Jamal Campbell-Ryce and Watford have been able to retain their star loan players including Arsenal starlet Henri Lansbury.
Southampton were the big winners in League One with a number of big money signings acquired from their league rivals.
Jason Puncheon and Lee Barnard, the former joining after being on loan at MK Dons, should ensure the club are in the play-off mix come April.
Colchester United have swooped for former Saints mid-fielder David Prutton after missing out on Noberto Solano, but the permanent signings of Kevin Lisbie and John-Jo O’Toole will go a long way to assuring their place in the top six of League One.
Brentford have bolstered their squad with John Akinde and Lionel Ainsworth amongst others. Gus Poyet has acquired Cambridge United start Chris Holroyd for £60,000 and Exeter City made their first cash-based transfer for seven years by signing Troy Archibald-Henville.
In League Two, a division where money is as tight as ever, Grimsby Town have been making some radical changes. Tommy Wright and Dean Sinclair are just two of the names to come in to help strengthen their survival challenge.
Notts County have seen an ownership change restrict their activity in the window and Rochdale have taken full advantage, making Chris O’Grady a permanent signing as well as adding highly-rated goalkeeper Frank Fielding.
Transfer stories elsewhere have been few and far between, with Bury picking up Manchester United’s Sam Hewson on loan and Chesterfield signing Adam Rundle and Barry Conlon to add to their attacking prowess.
With administration looming, Crystal Palace have seen their prized asset Victor Moses depart to Premier League side Wigan Athletic for £2.5 million, but Neil Warnock will be delighted that his sale is the extent of the damage.
For all their signings from Gordon Strachan’s former club Celtic, you have to feel the sale of Adam Johnson on deadline day will only weaken Middlesbrough’s Championship play-off challenge.
The constant managerial changes at Loftus Road might be the reason behind the quick-fire sale at QPR with Fitz Hall, Heidur Helguson and Patrick Agyemang all departing with very little in the way of adequate replacements coming in.
League One strugglers Stockport have seen influential forward Carl Baker leave for Coventry in one of the worst kept secrets of the transfer window, but elsewhere influential losses have been few and far between.
Dagenham and Redbridge have seen yet another one of their young stars Scott Griffths move permanently to Peterborough United following a loan spell.
League leaders Rochdale have lost both Adam Rundle and more decisively Will Buckley, but the losses shouldn’t disrupt their promotion quest.
Finally, strugglers Torquay United are reeling after the departure of club stalwarts Chris Todd, Tim Sills and skipper Chris Hargreaves, a trio of loses that might be too much to bear for Paul Buckle’s side.