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Premier League January Window Tier List

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The January transfer window is finally over and Premier League clubs have submitted the squads that they will have at their disposal in the second half of the season. Some clubs have shown tremendous ambition while others have failed at every turn. Here we are going to take a look at how each of the Premier League clubs faired in the form of a tier list. As teams often use the January Transfer Window to move around youth players this tier list will only take into consideration transfer activity related to the first team.

Image credit www.tiermaker.com

Arsenal

In – Nobody

Out – Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Loan), Folarin Balogun (Loan), Sead Kolasinac (Transfer), Pablo Mari (Loan), Calum Chambers (Transfer), Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Transfer)

Tier Rating – Bad

Any team with serious ambitions of challenging for the top four this season should have been strengthening in this transfer window. Arsenal achieved the opposite. Not only did they allow the club’s best striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to leave on a free, but they also failed to replace him. Not only that Arsenal also let multiple squad players leave the club. The only thing saving the club from this being a terrible window is the fact that they significantly lowered the wage budget. Both Aubameyang and Sead Kolasinac were high earners and this will allow arsenal some room to bring in more expensive talent in the summer.

Aston Villa

In – Philippe Coutinho (Loan), Lucas Digne (Transfer), Robin Olsen (Loan), Calum Chambers (Transfer)

Out – Keinan Davis (Loan), Wesley (Loan), Anwar El Ghazi (Loan), Matt Targett (Loan), Jed Steer (Loan)

Tier Rating – Excellent

From one club that showed no ambition in January to a club that has shown plenty. Aston Villa arguably had the best window of any Premier League club. Both Philippe Coutinho and Lucas Digne have played football at the highest level and represent improvements to the Aston Villa first team. At the same time, Villa did not lose any of their top players. This is a club that strengthened the starting eleven significantly and as a result, had an excellent January.

Brentford

In -Jonas Lossl (Loan), Christian Eriksen (Unattached), Deji Sotona (Loan)

Out – Joel Valencia (Loan), Charlie Goode (Loan), Mads Bidstrup (Loan), Marcus Forss (loan)

Tier Rating – Good

It might not have been an active transfer window at Brentford but it was a special one for the west London side. The signing of Christian Erikson is the biggest in the club’s history. Not that long ago the player was lining up for a title-winning Inter Milan and captaining his country at the European Championships. There will be questions regarding the midfielder’s health leading into his return to football but if Christian Erikson is close to his best then Brentford will be far better for it. The club also didn’t lose any top talent during this window making it a good one for The Bees.

Brighton and Hove Albion

In – Benicio Baker-Boaitey (Loan), Deniz Undav (Transfer), Kacper Kozłowski (Transfer)

Out – Aaron Connolly (Loan), Deniz Undav (Loan), Kacper Kozlowski (Transfer), Jurgen Locadia (Transfer), Dan Burn (Transfer)

Tier Rating – Average

Nothing special for Brighton but nothing to worry about either. The club did lose center-back Dan Burn to big spenders Newcastle United but Brighton have plenty cover in that position and are unlikely to suffer. Notably, the club did agree on a deal to sign exciting striker Dante Vanzeir from affiliate club Union SG, however, the player has been loaned back to the Belgian side so this one is for next season.

Burnley

In – Wout Weghorst (Transfer)

Out – Chris Wood (Transfer)

Tier Rating – Average

One in and one out at Burnley. This might be a like-for-like replacement on the face of it but Dutch international Weghorst is an exceptional goal scorer and may actually represent an improvement over Chris Wood. The giant striker has 86 direct goal involvements in 118 Bundesliga games. This may turn out to be one of the most significant signings in this season’s relegation battle.

Chelsea

In – Nobody

Out – Nobody

Tier Rating – Average

Chelsea has an impending issue at centre back with César Azpilicueta, Antonio Rüdiger, and Andreas Christensen all running out of contract in the summer. There wasn’t a necessity to replace any of these players just yet but it is an issue worth keeping an eye on as the season goes on.

Crystal Palace

In – Jean-Philippe Mateta (Transfer),

Out – Nobody

Tier Rating – Average

Not much happened at Palace in this window. The club was able to make the loan signing of Jean-Philippe Mateta a permanent transfer while also holding on to their entire first-team squad. It wasn’t an ambitious showing from the London side but they have nothing to fear going in to the second half of the season.

Everton

IN- Vitalii Mykolenko (Transfer), Nathan Patterson (Transfer), Anwar El Ghazi (Loan), Donny van de Beek, (Loan), Dele Alli (Loan)

Out – Lucas Digne (Tranfer)

Tier Rating – Good

Everton’s transfer window is anything but average. Rafael Benitez fell out with French International Lucas Digne and sold the defender to Aston Villa. The player was replaced by Ukrainian prospect Vitalii Mykolenko who is yet to impress and looks a downgrade from his predecessor. Benitez was then promptly sacked and replaced with Frank Lampard. The club became very active after this change bringing in two first-team-ready players in Dele Alli and Donny van de Beek. Two players who at their best can line up for any side in the Premier League but have yet to show it this season. In the case of Dele Alli, the hope will be that a change of scenery will have a similar effect as it did with Jese Lingard last season. If Lampard can get the best out of either talent then it will be a huge upgrade for this struggling Everton side.

Leeds United

In – Nobody

Out – Cody Drameh (Loan), Ryan Edmondson (Loan)

Tier Rating – Poor

Leeds find themselves in a concerning position this season. The club is 7 points above the relegation zone, however, unlike some of the clubs around them they did not strengthen in January. Leeds has had a nightmare season with constant injuries to first-team players highlighting the squad’s serious lack of depth. The club has been without top striker Patrick Bamford and star player Kalvin Philips for significant portions of the season. This lack of depth was especially apparent during a Covid outbreak that lead to the club naming a 15-year-old on the bench. This window was the time for Leeds to build the squad to give themselves the best chance to survive the drop. As they have failed to do so they are likely in for a precarious second half of the season.

Leicester City

In – Nobody

Out – Filip Benkovic (Released),

Tier Rating – Poor

It can be argued that Leicester City overachieved in recent seasons. The club was agonizingly close to reaching the top four in each of the last two seasons but this year find themselves languishing in mid-table. The club has suffered in the defensive areas in the last 18 months. Constant injuries and the poor form of Çağlar Söyüncü has significantly hindered The Foxes and is a big reason for the decline. Leicester needed a solid option at centre back in January and as they failed to deliver it is likely a mid-table finish is on the cards

Liverpool

In – Luis Diaz (Transfer)

Out – Nat Phillips (Loan), Nico Williams (Loan)

Tier Rating- Good

Liverpool may have only completed a single signing but it is in no way a trivial one. Luis Diaz is an outstanding talent and represents the beginning of Liverpool’s next generation of attackers. Diaz is an electric winger with an eye for goal that usually plays on the left-hand side. He will provide cover and competition for Sadio Mane who is yet to reach the levels he has in previous seasons. While he is likely not ready to immediately replace Mane in the Liverpool side, Diaz is an improvement over Liverpool’s other options to cover that position. Liverpool will still hope to mount a title challenge this season and this signing can only help that cause.

Manchester City

In – Julian Alvarez (Transfer)

Out – Ferran Torres (Tranfer), Patrick Roberts (Transfer) Julian Alvarez (Loan)

Tier Rating – Average

It wasn’t an active window for Manchester City but in reality they didn’t need it to be. They are the outstanding side in the Premier League and only really lack a proven striker. Even then City have the best goal difference in the division. The signing of Argentinian International Julian Alvarez who will arrive in the Summer is a positive move for Pep Guardiola’s side and the club will be happy to have made a profit on Spanish prospect Ferran Torres. Overall a quiet window for Manchester City but the moves they did make were the right ones.

Manchester United

In – Nobody

Out – Axel Tuanzebe (Loan), Anthony Martial (Loan), Amad Diallo (Loan), Donny van de Beek (Loan)

Tier Rating – Poor

Manchester United have an outstanding squad of players but they are lacking a solid defensive midfield option. This has been the case for some time but the Red Devils still seem to be hesitant to make the necessary moves to fix these issues. Manchester United have also significantly weakened the squad by loaning out Anthony Martial and Donny van de Beek. It is entirely possible that United fail to make the top four this season and not making any significant signings in January will make that task more difficult.

Newcastle United

In – Kieran Trippier (Transfer), Chris Wood (Transfer), Bruno Guimaraes (Transfer), Matt Targett (Loan), Dan Burn (Transfer)

Out – Matty Longstaff (Loan), Freddie Woodman (Loan), Jeff Hendrick (Loan)

Tier Rating – Excellent

It begins. Earlier this season Newcastle United was bought by The Saudi-backed Public Investment Fund making them the richest club in world football. It is not a surprise then that Newcastle was the highest spenders in World Football during the January window. The club made sure to sign some proven Premier League players, particularly in defence where the club was one of the weakest in the league. These were signings to build on as the club looks to avoid relegation and build into becoming a contender for European Football. The marquee signing for Newcastle United was Brazilian international midfielder Bruno Guimaraes. The player was linked with some of Europe’s top clubs in this window and it is a real statement of intent that the player ended up at Newcastle.

Norwich City

In – Nobody

Out – Onel Hernandez (Loan), Jordan Hugill (Loan), Todd Cantwell (Loan)

Tier Rating – Terrible

First things first it has to be said that Dean Smith has done a fantastic job since taking over at Norwich. The club was easily the worst side in the division and looked sure to go down when he took the job and the club now sits just outside the relegation zone. This success is what makes it so surprising that the club decided not to strengthen at all in this window. The Canaries are terrible defensively and have conceded the most goals in the division. The club could have shown a real intent to fight for survival by bringing in some experienced defenders and Dean Smith’s job is going to be much more difficult as a result of not doing so.

Southampton

In – Willy Caballero (Transfer)

Out – Sam McQueen (Retired), Dan Nlundulu (Loan)

Tier Rating – Poor

It is rarely a good idea for a club to settle in the lower half of the English Premier League but that is exactly what Southampton seems happy with. The club has been close to relegation in three of the last four seasons and will likely continue to flirt with that prospect in the second half of the season. The Saints are not in any immediate danger but it’s worth remembering that the likes of Newcastle and Everton have strengthened significantly. A few bad results and they may find themselves regretting this disappointing window.

Tottenham Hotspur

In – Rodrigo Bentancur (Transfer), Dejan Kulusevski (Loan)

Out – Tanguy Ndombele (Loan), Bryan Gil (Loan), Giovani Lo Celso (Loan), Dele Alli (Transfer)

Tier Rating – Good

On the face of it, this window could be seen as a terrible one for Spurs. Luis Diaz and Adama Traore were the club’s top targets and they were left waiting at the alter as the players ended up at Liverpool and Barcelona respectively. These were high-profile setbacks but the club was also rejected by non-league footballer Ollie Tanner. Had the window ended like that then we would certainly be looking at an all-time poor window. To their credit, Tottenham went on and strengthened exactly in the positions they needed. Rodrigo Bentancur is a cultured midfielder who has shown an excellent ability to pick a pass. While Dejan Kulusevski is a versatile attacking midfielder that will bring creativity and a high work rate to Tottenham’s starting eleven. Spurs also managed to move on three players that have been dead weight in the squad for some time in Dele Alli, Tanguy Ndombele, and Giovani Lo Celso.

Watford

In – Hassane Kamara (Transfer), Samir (Transfer), Edo Kayembe (Transfer), Samuel Kalu (Transfer)

Out – Pontus Dahlberg (Loan), Domingos Quina (Loan)

Tier Rating – Poor

Watford is another side that desperately needed to improve the squad to have any chance of surviving the drop this season. The club is coming off a 3-0 home defeat to relegation favorites Norwich City further highlighting the need for improvements all over the pitch. It was perhaps time then for the London club to buckle down and bring in some experienced Premier League players to help them fight the drop. Instead, the club signed a collection of unproven talent from around Europe. Two of those signings featured in that defence which was so easily taken apart by Norwich. It’s going to be a hard slog for Watford for the remainder of the season. Perhaps the biggest signing they made was appointing Roy Hodgson as manager. The Englishman is experienced in the art of fighting relegation and he could have worked well with players who were also suited to this.

West Ham United

In – Nobody

Out – Nobody

Tier Rating – Poor

This window was an opportunity for West Ham to capitalise on their excellent form this season and show their intent to push for a top-four finish. While it is not a disaster by any means Hammers fans will no doubt be disappointed by the clubs’ lack of ambition in the January window. It was reported that the club did make offers for both Jesse Lingard and Kalvin Philips, however, neither transfer was ever close to completion. The club’s owners have been accused by the fans of not following up on their promises to bring top players to the East London club and this window will only strengthen that narrative.

Wolverhampton Wanderers

In – Chiquinho (Transfer)

Out – Adama Traore (Loan), Bruno Jordao (Loan)

Tier Rating – Poor

Simply put Wolves lost Adama Traore. That is a loss for the league itself never mind Wolverhampton. Seriously though Wolves have been in excellent form of late and Bruno Lage has the club going in the right direction. His side currently sits four points outside the Champions League places and can mount a serious challenge for European football this season. Unfortunately, the club decided not to strengthen and went on to loan out one of their most valuable assets. Wolves aren’t out of the race and will likely continue to have an impressive season. It is just unfortunate that the club will be without one of the league’s most entertaining talents.

Final Tier List

So here it is our final tier list ranking this year’s January transfer window! Be sure to let us know how you would have rated each of the clubs this January.

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