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Wednesday, 8 February 2012

My Top 10 January Transfers

With the January transfer window slammed shut just over a week ago, the time has now come for me to analyse the transfers and pick my top 10 transfers of the window so here goes:

10. Taye Taiwo AC Milan - Queens Park Rangers (Loan)

A very good capture for QPR in my opinion.  As well as being a complete animal on Fifa 12 for his pace and strength, the Nigerian left back also has bags of experience playing almost 200 times for Marseille in the Ligue 1 and lets be honest, if your at AC Milan then you must have something about you.  Left back was certainly a problem for Mark Hughes side who had Armand Traore, not the best full back in the world lacking consistency and the all round play needed for a side who are desperate to stay in the top flight. Taiwo will add a bit more in defence and attack - the 26 year old found the net 17 times for Marseille and is a very good free kick taker.

9. Will Hoskins Brighton & Hove Albion - Sheffield United (Loan)

Coming in at 9th place is Will Hoskins.  The striker joined Sheffield United on loan from Brighton on deadline day in a move that saw the former Watford player return to League 1.  It was only last season when the prolific frontman netted 20 goals in a Bristol Rovers side that eventually were relegated to League 2.  The hitman will be looking to find his goalscoring touch again after scoring only once in seven games for the Seagulls this season.  United will be hoping that Hoskins' probable partnership up front with Welshman Ched Evans will bear fruit and, if it does, expect the Blades to be up in those automatic promotion places come May.

8. Jonny Howson Leeds United - Norwich City (£1.5m - £2m)

8th place goes to new Norwich midfielder Jonny Howson.  Howson who was Leeds captain joined the club for a fee believed to be around £2million.  The 22 year old joins former team mate Bradley Johnson in the centre of the park for the Canaries and signals another of their players that has played his way to the top having played in League 1 with the Elland Road club.  Howson was known as one of the best young stars in the Championship and one renowned for often popping up with a goal.  A good signing for Norwich who will now look to maintain their Premier League status by the end of the season.

7. Clarke Carlisle Burnley - Northampton Town (Loan)

Its not often you get an intelligent footballer but this is what Northampton Town now have.  Clarke Carlisle who has appeared the television show Countdown, was playing for Burnley in the Premier League only two years ago and has decided to take the plunge to join League 2 relegation battlers Northampton Town.  The Cobblers who are managed by Carlisle's former Gaffer at Watford, Aidy Boothroyd are currently struggling at the foot of League 2 and three points from safety and conceded a whopping 56 goals so far this season.  Carlisle, Boothroyd and the Cobblers fans will be hoping the defender can help block a very leaky backline.  An experienced campaigner, Carlisle will be hoping not to add another relegation to his CV.

6. Matt Tubbs Crawley Town - AFC Bournemouth (£800,000)

In at 6 is one of my favourite ever Crawley players; Matt Tubbs.  Tubbs joined Bournemouth for a fee of around £800,000 only two days after he sealed Crawley's path into the fifth round of the FA Cup in a record breaking sale for the Red Devils and a record breaking purchase for the Cherries.  Fans favourite "Tubbsy" banged in 40 goals for the Reds in their Blue Square Premier Championship winning season and had already found the net 17 times this campaign before his move to his home-town club.  I know what your thinking ..... "He's bias and he's only putting him in there because of the Crawley connection ...." the truth is, I honestly think he can fire in the goals to get Bournemouth into those play offs / automatic promotion places come May (See you next year Matt!).  A good deal for both clubs with Crawley only singing him for circa £55,000 in July 2010.

5. Nicky Maynard Bristol City - West Ham United (£1.5m)

Number 5 in the list is striker Nicky Maynard who joined West Ham from Bristol City on deadline day.  The 25 year old was a January target for the likes of Wigan Athletic and Roy Hodgson's West Bromwich Albion however decided that east London was the place to play his football.  Prolific at Championship level, the Hammers will have felt they have a bargain for a player who was out of contract at Bristol City at the end of the season.  Having smashed in 45 goals for the Ashton Gate club over four years including a "Football League Goal of the Year" in 2009, Maynard will be hoping to replicate that at the very least at Upton Park.  This signing shows that Sam Allardyce means business in terms of winning promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt.

4. Steven Pienaar - Tottenham Hotspur - Everton (Loan)

A late, late deadline day signing was the loan deal of Steven Pienaar.  The hardworking South African only joined Spurs last January from the Toffees and is a signing that David Moyes' side was crying out for.  There is no doubt Pienaar will add a lot more creativity to a side that is, to be honest, lacking in that department.  A deal that seemed to be on and off for the final few hours of the window, Pienaar will be a replacement for the departed Diniyar Bilyaletdinov who was transferred to Spartak Moscow.  A signing that suits both parties - Pienaar knows Everton, Everton know Pienaar and he will actually play games, unlike his last year at White Hart Lane.

3. Sebastien Bassong Tottenham Hotspur - Wolverhampton Wanderers (Loan)

Defender Sebastien Bassong sneaks into third place for what I believe is a great bit of business from Mick McCarthy.  Frozen out at Spurs, the Cameroon international defender will shore up the Wolves defence and lets be honest here, I'm probably better than Christophe Berra and the mistake prone Richard Stearman ..... Well, maybe not but nevertheless, a superb signing for the relegation threatened Wolves.  If Mick can get Bassong back to the excellent form he showed for Newcastle that quickly prompted Spurs to splash £8million on the centre back then I feel that they might have enough to stay in the top flight.

2. Billy Sharp Doncaster Rovers - Southampton (£1.5m - £2m)

The runner up to my prestigious "Number 1 Signing Award" goes to Southampton new boy Billy Sharp.  The 26 year old has been a consistent performer in the Championship the last few years at Doncaster where he notched an impressive 25 goals in 49 games including 10 in 20 this campaign.  An excellent signing for the Saints who fought off interest from Leicester City and Ipswich Town for the lethal front-man's autograph.  Having worked with Southampton manager Nigel Adkins before at Scunthorpe United, Adkins knows what he's getting and will be hoping that a potentially potent strike-force of Sharp and the Championship's top goalscorer, Rickie Lambert up top can help push Saints into the Premier League in a few months time.

1. Nikica Jelavic Rangers - Everton (£7m)

Drum roll please .......... and the winner is ..... Nikica Jelavic!  The striker finally made his "dream move" to the Premier League by signing along with Steven Pienaar on deadline day.  David Moyes needed a clinical striker or two and that's what he has in the tall Croatian who bagged an impressive 30 goals in 45 games for Rangers albeit in the SPL where you have a 50% chance of winning the league.  A typical Everton type signing in that Jelavic didn't break the bank (Money was used from the Bilyaletdinov sale) and will score a few goals in the Prem with the service from Pienaar, Phil Neville, Royston Drenthe and of course Leighton Baines who simply loves to get forward.  Believe he will be a very good player for the Toffees.

And there we have it! ...

Feel free to leave comments below on the ones that got away and the ones that are rated too highly or not rated enough! Enjoy!

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