The January Transfer window is now done and dusted. While some players and clubs have spent wisely, some others have failed to make the most of the time. Let's take a look at which clubs made it count and which clubs were caught hibernating.
Inter Milan were one of the biggest winners in the transfer window and it was their approach that made them stand apart from others. This year, they have come out of their " Big Club" shell and have gone for quality players for whom they would have to pay less.
The Antonio Conte lead team signed Ashley Young, Victor Moses and Christian Eriksen in this window. Although Conte doesn't want to boast about the business they have done as he said "You in the media seem to act as if we just signed half of Real Madrid, but that’s not the right message," but it is beyond denial that the Nerazzurri have been the clear winners of the January transfer window.
How are Borussia Dortmund the undisputed winners in the transfer window with only one signing?
Because they have signed Erling Braut Haaland!
How is that a win?
He scored 5 goals in his first 57 minutes of play.
The teenager was the hottest property in Europe and Manchester United were looking the favourites in the chase because Ole was the one who gave him his first senior appearance in Molde. But Dortmund hijacked the deal from the Red Devils.
Keeping in mind that they spent their entire summer reinforcing their midfield with Brandt, Weigl and Thorgan Hazard, getting Haaland for just 20 million was the cherry on the cake. Also on deadline day, they secured the services of seasoned midfielder Emre Can, who was out of favour at Juventus and would look to restart his career in his native Germany.
Given the injury woes that they had with Rashford, McTominay and Paul Pogba on the bench, United needed to strengthen their squad. Signing 25-year-old Portuguese Bruno Fernandes could be a massive upgrade from the likes of Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira in the midfield.
They were also strengthened by a deadline day signing of Odion Ighalo, who lit up the Premier League with Watford a few seasons back. The 31-year-old has been signed on a loan deal for the next six months, and presents a completely non risk option for the Red Devils as they deal with their injury crisis. He’s Premier League proven, but whether he can still deliver for an elite club is to be seen.
Frank Lampard has done a commendable job with a limited number of players to his disposal till now but one would've expected Chelsea to sign at least another striker to partner Tammy Abraham.
Olivier Giroud has featured in the team only when Lampard has to choose between him and a defender playing as a centre forward and his lack of efficiency has not helped his cause for the Blues.
Lampard was livid with the situation as he said "I certainly wanted to bring players in. I think I’ve made that pretty clear over the last few weeks and it hasn’t happened."
Adding to their worries, Clinton Mola and Tariq Lamptey, the two highly rated Chelsea teenagers have also left. So, the first transfer window after the ban was lifted was not much of a success for the London club.
RB Salzburg have to accept that they are doing great when it comes to grooming players, but when it comes to business, they might feel robbed.
With two young sensations, Takumi Minamino and Erling Braut Haaland, in the team, they could've surely cashed in on them. After Mane and Keita, Minamino also joined Liverpool but for just 7.25 million Euros.
Haaland had scored a staggering 29 goals in 27 games for the Austrian side, including 8 in the Champions League. Therefore, seeing him go for just 20 million Euros was probably a big miss in the business planning of Salzburg.
Life has not been easy for Quique Setien who seems to be happy just to be at Barcelona. But with an injured and clearly ageing Luis Suarez, signing a centre-forward was only logical.
But the Barcelona management seemed least interested in the business. Now they will go into the second half of the season with no one to lead the attack. But with Setien still in awe to have Messi playing for him, it wouldn't be a surprise to see him asking the Argentine to finish every game for him.
Whether Messi can keep on doing what he does for the entire second half of the season is something to be seen, but in any case, the transfer window was nothing but messy for the Catalan giants.
Feature image courtesy: AFP/ Ina Fassdender