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The January transfer window is now closed without any big drama, and most of the people following the transfer tickers yesterday were simply bored of the lack of proper action. Total spending of Premier League clubs reached £130m, which is in the same range as the previous two years (2014: £130m, 2013: £120m).
The biggest deal of the month was done already few weeks earlier, when Swansea sold their star striker Wilfred Bony to Manchester City with a £28m price tag. The Welsh club didn’t even get any loan players to replace him and will continue the 2014/15 with Bafetimi Gomis, who is yet to prove himself as a goal scorer in Premier League.
The biggest deadline day deal was the official signing of Colombian winger Juan Cuadrado; Chelsea splashed £23.3m and made very likely a good signing. Cuadrado was one of the Colombia’s top performers in the 2014 World Cup and provides a different type of option as the right-back for Mourinho. But Chelsea ended up making a profit anyway after selling Andre Schurrle to Wolfsburg for £22m and also got £10m from left-back Ryan Bertrand, whose transfer to Southampton was made permanent.
Other interesting signings are centre-back Gabriel Paulista from Villarreal (to Arsenal), striker Jermain Defoe making a come-back to Premier League (to Sunderland) and attacking midfielder Carles Gil, who tries to help Aston Villa to solve their attacking issues.
We also received interesting news right after the transfer window closed because QPR manager Harry Redknapp resigned all of sudden. He gave a knee injury as an official excuse but everyone will of course question that. Striker legend Les Ferdinand will be part of the coaching team who will guide R’s for now.
Here is our analysis of the transfers and also a betting guide per team for the remainder of the season.
Note: when talking about making profit for / against, it means backing asian handicaps with the closing odds of SBO and only Premier League matches are included.
Ins: Krystian Bielik (Legia Warsaw, undisclosed), Gabriel Paulista (Villarreal, £14m)
Outs: Lukas Podolski (Inter Milan, loan), Yaya Sanogo (Crystal Palace, loan), Joel Campbell (Villarreal, loan), Benik Afobe (Wolves, undisclosed), Matt Macey (Accrington, loan)
Transfer window had very little effect on Arsenal, but the signing of Gabriel Paulista should be a useful one and add quality to CB position, which hasn’t been their strength for sure. In general Arsenal is in a good form right now and they’ve also got some long-term absent players back such as Theo Walcott. Gunners are 9-1-1 from last 11 games in all competitions and won 5 in a row. This is not the best time to go against this team. So far you’ve made a bit of profit if backing overs for Arsenal but it’s a team in general that is so well priced you shouldn’t expect to make big bucks either way. Look for the inevitable injury drama to happen and how they cope without Alexis Sanchez (if he’s out).
Ins: Carles Gil (Valencia, undisclosed), Scott Sinclair (Manchester City, loan)
Outs: Darren Bent (Derby, loan), Gary Gardner (Nottingham Forest, loan), Daniel Johnson (Preston, undisclosed), Chris Herd (Wigan, loan), Jordan Graham (Wolves, undisclosed), Callum Robinson (Preston, loan)
Villa have tried to solve their attacking issues by signing two attacking midfielders in the transfer window. Carles Gil did great in his debut in FA Cup scoring a goal and looking like bringing something new to the team. He could even turn out to be one of the best signing of this transfer window: good value for the money and add strength exactly to the area where Villa needs it most. Scott Sinclair is one of these “lost talents”, who was a quick and promising guy few years ago but got stuck to Man City bench. If he finds his form he’d be useful player. Villa has been a gold mine to keep backing unders and you should continue that way; the 5-0 loss of Arsenal was the first match all season (=26 matches) which ended to higher than 3 goals. Villa cannot score but in general they don’t concede either despite constant defensive absences, and you’d make good profit backing unders in the future matches as well.
Ins: Michael Keane (Manchester United, undisclosed)
Outs: Alex Cisak (Leyton Orient, loan)
The transfer window was a very quiet one for Burnley. There were some rumors of Danny Ings transfer, but Clarets kept their striker star which is important for their survival. Michael Keane has been already in the team and now his move was made permanent. Burnley hasn’t been overall a cashing cow for or against this season and you’d look for situations if Danny Ings is injured or suspended. They have also kept playing with the same starting XI for months now and didn’t do any rotation in the heavy X-Mas schedule either. This might backfire in the spring rounds, look for signs of Burnley simply starting to look tired and then go aggressively against them.
Ins: Juan Cuadrado (Fiorentina, £26.1m)
Outs: Fernando Torres (AC Milan, undisclosed), Marko Marin (Anderlecht, loan), Mark Schwarzer (Leicester, free), Todd Kane (Nottingham Forest, loan), Nathaniel Chalobah (Reading, loan), Tomas Kalas (Middlesbrough, loan), John Swift (Swindon, loan), Andre Schurrle (Wollfsburg, undisclosed), Lewis Baker (Sheff Wed, loan), Alex Kiwomya (Barnsley, loan), Mohamed Salah (Fiorentina, loan), Stipe Perica (Udinese, loan), Ryan Bertrand (Southampton, £10m)
Chelsea made the biggest deadline day transfer by signing Cuadrado, who should be a very useful addition to Mourinho’s squad and give them a fresh option to flanks, especially to right side. This move won’t decide the title race alone but won’t hurt either. They didn’t lose any regulars, Schurrle & Salah being closest, but both have mostly just featured from the bench. It’s no surprise you make money in the long run by backing unders to Chelsea matches and this plan is valid as long as Mourinho is in charge. So far they’ve also covered handicap nicely which is a lot due to the early-season winning run. Just look for situations like last weekend where they played without both Costa and Fabregas and also matches right / before Champions League playoffs.
Ins: Yaya Sanogo (Arsenal, loan), Shola Ameobi (free agent), Jordon Mutch (QPR, undisclosed), Pape Souare (Lille, undisclosed), Andreas Breimyr (Bryne FK, undisclosed) Wilfried Zaha (Manchester United, undisclosed), Keshi Anderson (Barton Rovers, undisclosed), Lee Chung-yong (Bolton, undisclosed)
Outs: Stuart O’Keefe (Cardiff, undisclosed), Lewis Price (Crawley, loan), Jake Gray (Cheltenham, loan), Zeki Fryers (Rotherham, loan), Jack Hunt (Rotherham, loan), Andreas Breimyr (Bryne FK, loan), Peter Ramage (Barnsley, loan extension), Andy Johnson (released), Barry Bannan (Bolton, loan)
Crystal Palace have made quite a bit of signings but if you think of Premier League there is very little proven quality. Sanogo has been sitting on Arsenal bench, Ameobi shouldn’t start in any PL club, Mutch is a squad rotation guy and so on. Lee could be an interesting signing; he’s been great in Bolton in the past months. But, Palace have tons of attacking players already so do they really need even more of those? What comes to betting: there is a time before and after Alan Pardew. Palace has been transformed into a new team and you might very well see them make a run like they did last spring. This team should be high-scoring than earlier as well.
Ins: Aaron Lennon (Tottenham, loan)
Outs: Samuel Eto’o (Sampdoria, undisclosed), Chris Long (Brentford, loan), Hallam Hope (Bury, undisclosed), Matthew Kennedy (Cardiff, undisclosed), Conor McAleny (Cardiff, loan), Conor Grant (Motherwell, loan)
The loan of Aaron Lennon was one of the most significant moves of the deadline day and it tells a bit how boring day it was. Lennon has fell out of favor at Spurs and there are people who really like him (due to the speed), but many claim there never comes anything useful out of it. He won’t be a “game changer” but we’ll see if Everton can use him properly. Overall this has been a very disappointing season for EFC and you’ve so far made profit backing against them, but not much, since the market has picked this too. This whole season smells for one of those that will never really pick up the pace but they won’t go down either. Everton is one of the least interesting team in the PL right now.
Ins: Dame N’Doye (Lokomotiv Moscow, undisclosed)
Outs: Tom Ince (Derby, loan), Greg Luer (Port Vale, loan)
Hull have made only one move in the transfer market and that was to bring Lokomotiv Moscow striker N’Doye. Transfers like this are very difficult to rate before hand, but when looking at the current striker quality it’d be surprising if N’Doye wouldn’t be an improvement when starting. What comes to betting: Hull has been a poor team all season so it’s quite natural you’d have made decent profit going against them. There are no signs really this team would get out of this pit, even if their recent bad run is also partly due to injuries. Keep going against Hull but watch out of they change the manager, that could be the only thing saving this team.
Ins: Mark Schwarzer (Chelsea, free), Andrej Kramaric (Rijeka, £9m), Robert Huth (Stoke, loan)
Outs: Tom Hopper (Scunthorpe, loan extension), Jack Barmby (Rotherham, loan), Callum Elder (Mansfield, loan), Adam Dawson (Bristol Rovers, loan)
Leicester have made at least on useful signing and that’s CB Robert Huth, who have fallen in the pecking order at Stoke. He’s a decent quality CB for Premier League and strengthens the Leicester back line. Schwarzer is a very experienced back-up they can use if (and when) Kasper Schmeichel is out. Kramaric is a mystery really; he could be something and Leicester paid big money of his services. They made a good deal with FW Ulloa as well in the summer so I wouldn’t be shocked if Kramaric will be helpful too. So far this season you would have made lots of profit backing against Leicester every week but watch out this team seems to go really in streaks: either they lose to everyone or then they are in a good streak getting unlikely points. When the bad run starts again it’s good to be anti-Leicester. In general you’ve also profited from unders and that trend should continue as well; Leicester don’t often lose with a big margin and will struggle to score unless Kramaric goes wild for some reason.
Outs: Suso (AC Milan, undisclosed), Oussama Assaidi (Al Ahli Club, undisclosed), Connor Randall (Shrewsbury, loan), Kevin Stewart (Cheltenham, loan), Lloyd Jones (Cheltenham, loan), Jack Dunn (Cheltenham, loan), Sheyi Ojo (Wigan, loan)
Liverpool haven’t made any moves during the transfer window which would matter at all. In betting the season has been very much divided in two: Reds have now lost just one out of previous 18 matches and totally transformed to a new team, when manager Rodgers started to try 3-4-3 formation. One MASSIVE bonus you should also remember: they get striker Daniel Sturridge back, who’s been out practically the entire season. So, not only they lost Suarez but also Sturridge – no wonder goals haven’t come. Expect value to be more on Liverpool than against them in the near future.
Ins: Wilfried Bony (Swansea, £28m)
Outs: Matija Nastasic (Schalke, loan), Scott Sinclair (Aston Villa, loan), Devante Cole (MK Dons, loan), George Evans (Scunthorpe, loan), Sinan Bytyqi (SC Cambuur, loan), Jordy Hiwula (Walsall, loan)
Man City have made the biggest signing of the transfer window when they acquired Ivory Coast international striker Bony from Swansea. This happened already few weeks back when Bony traveled to AFCON, so he hasn’t played a match yet. Bony was the top scorer of calendar year 2014 in the Premier League and now 3/4 highest scorer of that period are wearing a Man City shirt (Bony, Dzeko, Aguero). So far there haven’t been any significant trends in with City if you look at the season so far, and the best bet out of for / against / over / under has been to back for Man City. But keep one thing in mind; City have been struggling badly without Yaya Toure, and even when he’s back from AFCON it’ll take some time to recover. Hence, City might be on their best only after 2-3 weeks or so. Watch also if market overreacts to signing of Bony based on some 1-2 high-scoring games first.
Ins: Victor Valdes (free agent), Sadiq El Fitouri (Salford City, undisclosed), Andy Kellett (Bolton, loan)
Outs: Michael Keane (Burnley, undisclosed), Will Keane (Sheff Wed, loan), Ben Amos (Bolton, loan), Joe Rothwell (Blackpool, loan), Marnick Vermijl (Sheff Wed, undisclosed), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace, undisclosed), Ben Pearson (Barnsley, loan), Sam Johnstone (Preston, loan), Jesse Lingard (Derby, loan), Saidy Janko (Bolton, loan), Darren Fletcher (West Brom, free transfer)
Manchester United spent so much cash on summer it’s understandable they haven’t made any investments now. Some big names like Gareth Bale are being rumored to join but nothing happened for now. Experienced GK Valdes came in as a free agent as a good back-up for De Gea. Betting-wise you can split the United season in half; the first part they were a cashing cow to go against but during the past 2 months you’ve made money going for the Red Devils. I think this trend is going to continue; United suffered also badly from injuries earlier, but now they got everyone fit and even Falcao scoring – it’s unlikely Van Gaal’s men would get derailed now. In general it’s a tough team to find value for in practice but don’t go against them too much at least.
Outs: Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa (Roma, £5.5m), Hatem Ben Arfa (released), Davide Santon (Inter Milan, loan), Kevin Mbabu (Rangers, loan), Haris Vuckic (Rangers, loan), Remie Streete (Rangers, loan), Shane Ferguson (Rangers, loan), Gael Bigirimana (Rangers, loan)
Nothing has basically happened at the St James’ Park; Ben Arfa, Santon and Yanga-Mbiwa haven’t featured in the squad, so their absences don’t mean anything. Rest are mostly U21 guys. We received the bigger news from NUFC camp already weeks ago when manger Alan Pardew surprisingly joined another PL club, Crystal Palace. Even more surprising was the news that Newcastle decided to go the rest of the season with the caretaker boss John Carver. But so far Newcastle have played very well under him even it took 4 matches to actually win a game. If they can keep this up NUFC might actually be a bit underrated in the coming months.
Ins: Mauro Zarate (West Ham, loan), Ryan Manning (Galway, compensation)
Outs: Jordon Mutch (Crystal Palace, undisclosed), Max Ehmer (Gillingham, loan extension), Bruno Andrade (Stevenage, loan)
Mauro Zarate is the only signing which has any importance here but it might be he won’t deliver much in QPR either. As written in the introduction part, the biggest news happened after the transfer window when manager Harry Redknapp resigned. Fans have been saying he doesn’t have his heart with the club anymore and hasn’t had in few years. They could be very well right. From betting point of view you’d carefully check where this team is heading now and what the effect Redknapp’s departure has. I think it’ll be positive and especially if they get Tim Sherwood as the manager, who is rumored. Watch out for QPR – they might surprise teams now and finally break the horrible away-match record!
Ins: Eljero Elia (Werder Bremen, loan), Filip Djuricic (Benfica, loan), Ryan Bertrand (Chelsea, £10m)
Outs: Jack Cork (Swansea, £3m), Jos Hooiveld (Millwall, loan)
Southampton have done excellent signings this season and many people expected this team to even collapse at 2014/15 after having to give up so many of their star players. Eljero Elia has already scored two goals after his debut and I have a feeling Djuricic will be a good addition as well. Manager Koeman is doing excellent work with this team. It’s a bit surprising Cork was allowed to go because they don’t have fit central midfielders now and have to use one U21 guy in his place. Overall Southampton should continue on their solid path and even if they messed up the Swansea match last weekend, the overall result is nice profit if you have kept backing this team every week. And this trend should continue.
Ins: Philipp Wollscheid (Bayer Leverkusen, loan)
Outs: Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union, undisclosed), Ryan Shotton (Derby, undisclosed), Robert Huth (Leicester, loan), George Waring (Barnsley, loan)
Nothing interesting happening here really, Wollscheid in and Huth out, this doesn’t change the strength of Stoke. The big news happened unfortunately last week when Stoke lost their star midfielder Bojan for the rest of the season. The summer signing had just found his best form and now the whole campaign is ruined. Stoke has been for long time a team which market does not put a high value on and there are often moves against them as well. But, we can just give you one advice: keep backing Stoke every week and you will cash in nice profit after every single season. So far so good with 2014/15 campaign as well.
Ins: Jermain Defoe (Toronto, undisclosed)
Outs: Jozy Altidore (Toronto, undisclosed), Mikael Mandron (Shrewsbury, loan), Charis Mavrias (Panathinaikos, loan), Scott Harrison (Hartlepool, undisclosed), Cabral (released)
Sunderland made certainly an interesting signing when they brought back former Spurs striker Jermain Defoe. He should be still a useful guy but they paid hell of a lot of money. Defoe is not going to solve Sunderland’s scoring issues alone and they would have needed simply more strength in attack. The good thing is they finally got rid of Altidore, who went other way to Toronto. This season Sunderland has been a profitable team if you have backed them on handicap + unders to each game. Black Cats don’t score much but they rarely collapse as well, hence U2.5 scores keep coming also due to several low-scoring draws. I don’t see this trend really changing and keep focusing to old trick; watch out Sunderland when they are favs and seek value when they are underdogs.
Ins: Kyle Naughton (Tottenham, £5m), Jack Cork (Southampton, £3m), Nelson Oliveira (Benfica, loan), Matt Grimes (Exeter, undisclosed)
Outs: Wilfried Bony (Manchester City, £28m), Rory Donnelly (Tranmere, loan), Ryan Hedges (Leyton Orient, loan), Liam Shephard (Yeovil, loan), Jazz Richards (Fulham, loan)
Swansea have made couple of useful signings to the defensive department; both RB Naughton and CB/DM/CM Jack Cork should be useful guys in this team and proven, decent, Premier League quality players. The big question is in the other end of the pitch of course: they sold the prime jewel Bony but didn’t replace him. This was probably a smart choice, though. Swansea can’t get relegated really and they have already lost the touch top 4. Hence, it’ll be a mediocre season anyway so why not just do proper signing at summer. Swansea has been so far mostly profitable from unders and now when Bony is out this should even get better. Pick Swans as your under-idea team for the rest of the season! Their defense is good anyway and they won’t be scoring many goals for sure.
Ins: Dele Alli (MK Dons, undisclosed)
Outs: Kyle Naughton (Swansea, £5m) Milos Veljkovic (Charlton, loan), Dominic Ball (Cambridge, loan), Kenneth McEvoy (Colchester, loan), Grant Hall (Blackpool, loan), Nathan Oduwa (Luton, loan), Jordan Archer (Millwall, loan), Emmanuel Sonupe (St Mirren, loan), Benoit Assou-Ekotto (released), Aaron Lennon (Everton, loan), Dele Alli (MK Dons, loan)
Nothing interesting going on at the White Hart Lane really, some youngsters have gone out of the door and Lennon as well but he hasn’t been a starting XI candidate for quite some time now. Spurs got so many players anyway they really should dump half a dozen guys off before adding any more so it’s not a surprise they haven’t bought anyone. Attack is still dangerously depending on Harry Kane, so if he gets injured who is going to score? So far you’ve made nice profits backing overs to Spurs matches each week and as long as Kane + Eriksen are fit, you’d continue doing so.
Ins: Callum McManaman (undisclosed), Darren Fletcher (Man Utd, free transfer)
Outs: Donervon Daniels (Aberdeen, loan), Bradley Garmston (Gillingham, loan), Luke Daniels (Scunthorpe, undisclosed)
West Bromwich have made couple of signings who won’t make a huge difference but should be pretty useful guys. McManaman was great in Wigan earlier this season and their top scorer as well, and he could be the attacking midfielder they’ve been lacking. Fletcher brings experienced to the central midfield. The biggest news for WBA came out already a month ago when they changed manager and living legend Tony Pulis took over. This appointment will influence betting as well since the trademark of Pulis has been to fix the defense first. And since WBA don’t have good attacking players that is how they’ll get points. You can pretty much forget all statistics until 1st of January 2015 and expect this team to be low-scoring and beat their closing handicaps often before the season ends. WBA is not a name anyone really likes so it’s very likely you keep getting nice value from them all season.
Ins: Doneil Henry (Apollon Limassol, undisclosed)
Outs: Mauro Zarate (QPR, loan), Ricardo Vaz Te (released), Sean Maguire (Accrington, loan), Jamie Harney (Colchester, free), Paul McCallum (Portsmouth, loan), Blair Turgott (released), Matthias Fanimo (released)
Nothing significant has happened here either. West Ham made also lots of signings last summer so there haven’t been many reasons to add to the squad now. They have all the ingredients needed and the big news is that key striker Diafra Sakho is also finally starting to get fit. He hasn’t been fully fit for 2 months and it’s no surprise West Ham have been in a poor trend as well. Overall you’ve made nice money backing West Ham but that’s mostly due to the good early season when market didn’t pick up their quality. Now I don’t see any clear trends coming to the remainder of the season and they’d end up pretty safely to 6th-8th position.