We all know exactly who the imps signed this transfer window, and if you are in any doubt you can find more information on the links below.
City have signed Morgan Rogers, Regan Poole, Cohen Bramall and Max Sanders in this transfer window, an impressive haul and one that few would have predicted back at the end of December. Crucially, there have been no major departures, with only Aaron Lewis and Alex Bradley leaving the club permanently, and Ethan Ross, Max Melbourne and Zack Elbouzedi heading out on loan.
However, are you aware of the business other sides in our division did? There was a lot of activity across the league, and plenty of supporters who think their side have done the best deals over the last month, but who is right? I can’t say definitively, but here are a selection of teams I think have done well, and a couple of teams who, if I were a fan of, I might not be happy with this afternoon.
In: Ronnie Schwartz – FC Midtjylland, Liam Millar – Liverpool (Loan), Jayden Stockley – Preston (Loan), Matt Smith – Arsenal (Loan), Diallang Jaiyesimi – Swindon (Loan)
Out: George Lapslie – Mansfield, Alfie Doughty, Omar Bogle, Brendan Sarpong-Wiredu – Colchester, Marcus Maddison (Loan), Johnny Williams – Cardiff
I don’t think Charlton’s business had been bad as such. Ronnie Schwartz looks like a decent signing, whilst Millar already has a goal to his name and Jayden Stockley should give his career a bit of a boost now he’s getting regular games, but I think there are worrying signs for Addicks fans nonetheless. My concern is in the players that have been allowed to leave, Marcus Maddison and Omar Bogle in particular. A sure sign of a floundering manager is a squad churn of his own making, the proud capture of a player in August turning into a backdoor exit six months later. Bogle and Stockley are both experienced attackers with plenty to offer, so why would one come and go so quick?
I appreciate that their incomings look very good on paper, but I said the same thing about one or two they signed in the summer, Maddison being one. Yes, his attitude has been questioned, but a manager signing him would know that, surely? I got concerned for Charlton when Bowyer hung Maddison out to dry, rightly or wrongly, and I can’t help but wonder if exciting signings on paper, like Jaiyesimi, might not thrive under the current regime. Also, losing Johnny Williams is a blow as he is a strong character behind the scenes.
In: Joe Hilton – Blackburn (L), Janoi Donacien – Ipswich (L), Daniel Batty – Hull (L)
Out: Ched Evans – Preston, Sam Stubbs – Exeter, Paul Coutts – Salford, Jay Matete – Grimsby, Jayson Leutwiler – Huddersfield
When I say ‘I fear for Fleetwood’, I really do mean ‘fear’ in the loosest possible sense. They’ve appointed Simon Grayson as manager, and for me that would be the biggest disappointment of the transfer window. He came in yesterday, with no time to bring his own players in, which might even be a blessing. He was awful for Blackpool last season, and has flopped in other management spells too, Sunderland sticking in my mind. Yes, he has had success in this division before, but I can’t help but think he might have been left behind by new coaches and managers.
That aside, Fleetwood lost Ched Evans, a focal point of their attack early on in the season, as well as Paul Coutts who I felt should have bossed this division. Donacien and Batty have been borrowed from teams in our division hunting promotion and to me, that smells like mid-table consolidation, not play-off ambition. Six months ago, Fleetwood were many pundits tip for promotion, but after the winter window, I think their future direction is simply one of stability and avoiding a late relegation battle. Having won once since November 21st, I suspect supporters might have liked to see something a little more inspiring.
In: Jordan Flores – Dundalk, Gavin Whyte – Cardiff, Dan Crowley – Birmingham, Max Clark – Vitesse Arnhem
Out: Daniel Batty – Fleetwood, Martin Samuelsen – Aalborg (L)
This time tomorrow (or next Weds if Bubs isn’t there tonight) I’ll finally have pictures of a Hull side that isn’t fifteen years old. It’s great we get to resume the rivalry we had with them and three matches in three months against them could define our season. If their January business is anything to go by, it’ll be a tough ask.
Hull lost nobody of note, Batty had two league starts to his name and Samuelsen had none. In Flores they signed an exciting talent with future potential, whilst in Whyte they picked up a proven League One attacker who added serious options to their side. Dan Crowley has looked solid in the Eredivisie and for Birmingham City at times and should also do well at this level. They’re all very good signings, and the capture of Max Clark is another level in my opinion, a returning home-grown hero who has experience in the Dutch top flight. Hull mean business, they want promotion and I suspect they want the title too and their business is a clear indication of that.
In: Ethan Laird – Man Utd (L), Charlie Brown – Chelsea, Warren O’Hora – Brighton, Harry Darling – Cambridge, Matt O’Riley – Unattached, Zak Jules – Walsall, Will Grigg – Sunderland (L)
Out: Baily Cargill – Forest Green, Richard Keogh – Huddersfield, George Williams – Bristol Rovers, Regan Poole – Imps
It may seem a little strange to pick a team that lost a key player to us, but MK Dons fans will be very pleased with their efforts this window. MK are marooned in the middle of the pack at the moment, but are only a couple of wins shy of launching a late play-off bid, and their business suggests to me they might fancy it. Obviously, Will Grigg arriving on loan is big news and I strongly suspect him to do much better without the pressure of the big price tag on his shoulders, but I’d be excited about Charlie Brown too. He’s got lots of potential and if there is one thing I think we lack, it is a young striker we can develop. Ethan Laird is a great capture from Man Utd, albeit on loan, whilst Zak Jules should step up with consummate ease having represented Scotland up to under 21 level.
Yes, they lost Regan Poole, but it seems as though they couldn’t accommodate a right back with an expiring contract and felt a move would be right for him. Some fans were not overly impressed he’d gone, but I think those who see the bigger picture understand they are working to fill gaps, not sell off the family jewels. The same goes for Richard Keogh – yes he was a decent player for them, but to get a fee for a player they took a punt on was great business. I suspect a few will be smiling around Stadium MK this morning.
Out: Serhat Tasdemir – Oldham, Ryan Broom – Burton (L)
Is no business, bad business? Peterborough didn’t make a signing this window, clearly happy with what they already have on offer, but does their form suggest they are right or wrong? Time will tell, but fans like signings and purely by not making one, Posh have perhaps angered a few supporters. It might point to a settled side, I guess, but they’re without a win in two and have Crewe and Ipswich at home, neither of which are likely to be easy games. Would a new face have shaken things up? Would a fresh body have helped them kick on and finally get the promotion they have coveted for so long?
I also think Ryan Broom’s move to Burton is great business for the Brewers. I could only have so many teams on this article and wasn’t entirely sure all of Burton’s business was great, but they must be impressed with his capture. Broom needs regular football to stop him going the same way as Alex Woodyard did when he joined Posh, and Burton will give him that.
In: Carl Winchester – Forest Green, Jake Vokins – Southampton, Jordan Jones – Rangers (L), Ross Stewart – Ross County
Out: Morgan Feeney – Carlisle, George Dobson – Wimbledon (L), Will Grigg – MK Dons (L), Elliott Embleton – Blackpool (L), Danny Graham – Released
They are the behemoth of this division, they are the Man Utd or Liverpool of League One and their transfer business matters. I’m not convinced it looks great though, although maybe Black Cats’ fans might disagree. Sure, losing Graham and Grigg might please a few, and George Dobson wasn’t a huge hit (despite obvious talent), but overall the departures are neither here nor there. Mostly they are loans and just look to be a vehicle to get faltering players out of the training ground. The outward loan of Embleton does surprise me though, and I think it may have done a few Sunderland fans as he is quite highly-rated.
In terms of incomings, it does all look a little understated too. Carl Winchester is a functional worker type, and Ross Stewart has done well for Ross County, but Alan Power did well at Kilmarnock after previously doing well in the National League. Sunderland have seen risks with Scottish league players fail in the past (McGeouch and Morgan spring to mind), and whilst that might not be a reason for Stewart to fail, it could set fans on edge if he has a couple of bad games, the same going for Jones. Jake Vokins does fill a functional hole for them at left back, but I suspect a few Sunderland fans might have like a bit more sparkle on their captures. Perhaps functional signings are what Lee Johnson needs to spark a team that seems a little dysfunctional at times.
In: Corey Whelan – Unattached, George Johnson – Feyenoord, Zach Clough – Nottm Forest, Tendayi Darikwa – Nottm Forest, Funso Ojo – Aberdeen (L), Curtis Tilt – Rotherham (L), Jamie Proctor – Rotherham (L)
Out: Ollie Crankshaw – Bradford, Kai Naismith – Luton
Make no mistake, Wigan are in a mess and are still likely to be amongst the teams scrapping to avoid the drop, but I suspect that they have been given a fighting chance with their recent business. The two names which stand out for me are Clough and Darikwa, both of whom I feel are functional players who can add some experience to a young side.
I remember watching them against us earlier in the year thinking their processes weren’t bad, but they lacked leaders and maybe a little bit of quality. Funso Ojo has a bit of quality, he fought at the top end of League One with Scunthorpe for a while and played Under 21 football for Belgium. Even Jamie Proctor brings experience and a combative element to their forward line. It might not be enough to keep them up, but they certainly look much stronger coming out of the window and the same can’t be said for relegation rivals such as Swindon Town.