There have been no blockbuster signings in the January transfer window as yet, but sides in Europe are beginning to bolster their squads mid-season, while teams further afield are sculpting their sides ahead of a fresh campaign. FIFA.com takes a look at the rather frugal business being done so far, with teams in England raiding the lower divisions and tentative loan deals seeming popular across the board.
New boys splashing the cash
In the English Premier League, newly-promoted Bournemouth and Norwich City have dug deepest into their pockets in an attempt to keep above the dreaded drop zone. Full-back Ivo Pinto and central defender Timm Klose have been imported by the Canaries from Dinamo Zagreb and Wolfsburg respectively to bolster their backline. Steven Naismith and Matt Jarvis have also joined up from Premier League rivals Everton and West Ham, the latter turning a loan move permanent. Bournemouth swooped on the second tier to improve their attacking options, with former Arsenal frontman Benik Afobe joining from Wolverhampton Wanderers, while Lewis Grabban returned to the club from Norwich and eye-catching arrival Juan Iturbe jetted in from Roma on loan. Fellow promoted side Watford brought in a winger of their own, with Nordin Amrabat arriving from Malaga.
It is not only Bournemouth who have looked to the lower leagues for reinforcements, with Charlie Austin (to Southampton) and Steven Caulker (on loan to Liverpool) making the step up from QPR, alongside Sam Byram (Leeds United to West Ham United) and Demarai Gray (Birmingham City to Leicester City).
Newcastle United have added to their summer investment by bringing in Jonjo Shelvey from relegation rivals Swansea City and Henri Saivet from French Ligue 1 team Bordeaux, in an attempt to drag themselves out of the relegation scrap. Local rivals Sunderland are also hoping Dame N’Doye (on loan from Trabzonspor) and Jan Kirchhoff (from Bayern Munich) can steer them clear of danger.
The sides towards the top have been more tentative, with only Arsenal spending a sum of any significance, bringing in Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Elneny from Swiss side Basel.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) January 14, 2016
Eerily quiet across Europe
The only league able to match the activity in England so far is the German Bundesliga, with a number of familiar faces making their move already this month. Former Werder Bremen forward Hugo Almeida has returned to Germany, joining Hannover after departing Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala. Kevin Grosskreutz ended his unhappy sojourn in Turkey by signing for Stuttgart from Galatasaray.
His former club Borussia Dortmund saw Jonas Hofmann depart to Borussia Monchengladbach, with Thomas Tuchel seemingly happy with his squad - the only activity at the Westfalonstadion during January has seen Felix Passlack and Christian Pulisic promoted to the first team squad after impressing in Chile at the FIFA U-17 World Cup. Marco Fabian, who was notably nominated for the 2014 FIFA Puskás Award, completed a move from Mexican giants Chivas to Eintracht Frankfurt.
Marcelo Diaz made the move from Germany to Spain, setting up shop at Celta Vigo to end his brief spell at Hamburg. Joining him at the Balaidos is Claudio Beauvue, with the outlay on the Guadeloupian at least partly paid for thanks to Augusto Fernandez’s move to Atletico Madrid from Os Celestes. He is joined in the capital by Matias Kranevitter who, after signing for Atleti in the summer, can finally begin training with his new team after seeing out the season on loan at former club River Plate.
— Atleti English (@atletienglish) January 4, 2016
Youth and experience in France and Italy
Kranevitter may be an exciting young talent, but he is trumped by the pair of major signings in Italy’s Serie A in terms of precociousness. Rolando Mandragora and Gerson, both 18, represent significant signings for two of the top teams in the country, joining Juventus and Roma from Genoa and Fluminense respectively. The former was immediately loaned out to Pescara in the second tier, but it is likely the latter will be looking to make an instant impact for the capital club.
Elsewhere, Ciro Immobile returned to Torino on loan from Borussia Dortmund, hoping to rekindle the form of his breakthrough 2013/14 campaign at the Stadio Olimpico. He has not done too badly so far, scoring on his second debut for the club in a 4-2 league win against Frosinone in front of an adoring crowd in Turin.
Samba stars making a move
Monaco fans will be hoping their new striker will also be spreading the affection, with Brazilian forward Vagner Love making a return to European football after spells in Brazil and China PR followed his long-time stint with CSKA Moscow. The dreadlocked hitman represents the only significant move in France so far, but his countrymen have been the subject of the biggest deals in one of his former stomping grounds. Elkeson, whose goal saw Guangzhou Evergrande lift their second AFC Champions League title to take their place at last year’s FIFA Club World Cup, has made a surprising switch to Chinese Super League rivals Shanghai SIPG, while Renato Augusto has swapped Sao Paulo for Beijing, signing for Beijing Guoan.
On Renato’s side of the Pacific, something rather alien to most football fans took place in the USA, with Englishman Jack Harrison gaining the honour as ‘first pick’ in the MLS SuperDraft. Despite being selected by Chicago Fire, he was instantly traded to New York City FC, meaning the former Manchester United youth team player will take his place alongside Andrea Pirlo, David Villa and Frank Lampard under the tutelage of Patrick Vieira at Yankee Stadium next season.
— New York City FC (@NYCFC) January 14, 2016
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