Best and worst deals of the January transfer window
By NICK PAPADIS
College Contributor Network
With the January transfer window now closed, squads across Europe are set for the rest of the season. Teams will now have to hope that the transfers they made over the last month will be sufficient to help them close out the 2014/15 campaign.
Millions upon millions of dollars were spent in January, some on good deals, some on poor deals. Some clubs also neglected to make necessary deals.
Xherdan Shaqiri to Inter Milan: Inter's signing of Xherdan Shaqiri, which took place early in the transfer window may be one of the best signings by any European club.
Inter, who currently sits 13th in the table, needed to make key signings to help them reach their goal of a European qualifying spot. They will hope that the loan signing of the 23-year-old, Swiss International, will help them close the eight-point gap.
Toronto signs Giovinco: After losing some talent with the departure of Jermain Defoe, Toronto responded quickly by signing Sebastian Giovinco from Juventus.
The Italian forward had opted not to resign with the Italian giants, and it was expected that he would move to another top European club. Many clubs around Europe were interested in the striker, but Toronto captured his signature early in the transfer window.
Torres makes Atletico loan move: Though many never thought they would see the day, Fernando Torres' career has made a drastic recovery. The Spaniard made an early window move to AC Milan permanent and the Italian giants then immediately loaned the 30-year-old to his former club Atletico Madrid. Since joining his former side, Torres has scored multiple goals against both Barcelona, and derby rival Real Madrid.
Real Madrid sign future star: One player who was sought after by almost every club in Europe was Martin Ødegaard. The 16-year-old had been courted by several top name clubs, but signed with Los Blancos.
If he stays healthy and lives up to potential, Ødegaard will undoubtedly be one of the best signings of this transfer window, though it may not be seen for years to come.
Wolfsburg gets rejected star: Hopes are extremely high at Wolfsburg following the past week's events. After handing Bayern Munich its first loss of the season in league play, the Wolves have made a huge signing in André Schürrle.
The 24-year-old German, who scored key World Cup goals, has returned to his home country and will link up with former Chelsea teammate Kevin de Bruyne. Schürrle will definitely provide a spark to Wolfsburg as they look to hold second place in the Bundesliga.
Destro makes Milan move: AC Milan will hope to turn around their mediocre start with the signing of Mattia Destro from Roma. Milan have had scoring troubles and will hope that Destro is the man to do the job.
The young Italian scored 24 goals in 57 matches for his former side and will hope to bring that form to Milan.
Doumbia replaces Destro: Roma did not go without making moves of its own in the transfer window. After sending Destro to Milan the Giallorossi replaced the striker with Seydou Doumbia.
Doumbia, who moved to Serie A from CSKA Moscow, is going to be a key signing for Roma as they hope to challenge Juventus for the top spot in the league. He will also be a great addition to a squad with experienced forwards such as Francesco Totti.
Ali chooses Spurs: England U18 and U19 midfieder Delle Ali was also involved in a January transfer window move. The switch came as part of a buy-loan deal with MK Dons.
Ali moved to Spurs, but was loaned back to the Dons for the remainder of the season. Ali had been surrounded by transfer rumors and was wanted by multiple English clubs, but ultimately chose a move to North London.
Bertrand deal made permanent: After a successful loan spell in the first part of the season, former Chelsea defender Ryan Bertrand made his move to Southampton permanent on deadline day.
The signing is sure to be key to Ronald Koeman's squad as he looks to keep the Saints in a spot near the top of the table. Southampton is currently in a Champions League qualifying spot and will hope to stay there through the end of the campaign.
Aaron Lennon goes to Everton: Everton's signing of Aaron Lennon was one of the weaker signings of the transfer window. With quality wingers such as Kevin Mirallas, the signing of Lennon was not a necessary one for the Toffees.
With the loss of Samuel Eto'o, depth at striker should have been the key move for Everton.
Real Madrid signs another midfielder: With considerable depth at midfield, Los Blancos should not have opted to sign Lucas Silva, but they chose to sign the 21-year-old Brazilian. The signing of Silva adds to Toni Kroos, James Rodriguez, Isco, and many other central midfielders.
However, Carlo Ancelotti opted to add depth to his team with the possible departure of Asier Illarramendi and Sami Khedira this summer. Silva's choice to join Los Blancos could cost him some playing time, but also could pay off if some players depart in the upcoming transfer window.
Sanogo joins Palace on loan: This move of Arsenal's Yaya Sanogo was not a poor signing for Crystal Palace, but was a poor choice for the Gunners. The North London side severely lacks depth at forward, yet they opted to allow a quality young player out on loan.
Arsenal will have to hope that Olivier Giroud and the other forwards stay healthy for the remainder of the season now that they are a man light until the end of the campaign.
Defoe/Altidore swap: Neither Sunderland nor Toronto benefited from the swap of the two forwards. Though Toronto gained a younger player in Altidore, they lost the quality goal-scoring ability of Defoe.
Defoe, as an older player was much more suited for MLS than the Premier League. This could be an issue for Sunderland as they have lost a young, fit player in return for an older forward that may not be able to play a full-length match.
Chelsea signs star winger: While many consider the move of Juan Cuadrado to Chelsea one of the key moves of the transfer window, it was certainly not one of the best. The Colombian international joined the league leaders on deadline day in a move that saw Mohamed Salah go the other way and Schürrle join Wolfsburg.
The major issue with this transfer is the considerable depth at the same position. With the former Fiorentina man's arrival, it is imminent that a current Chelsea starter will now be riding the bench. It is likely that Willian will be the victim of Jose Mourinho's latest signing and will possibly lose his starting spot.
Bony joins City: Another team that did not take depth into consideration when making January transfers was Manchester City. The Citizens spent a reported £28m on Ivorian Wilfried Bony and added further depth at striker.
With so many quality strikers such as Sergio Aguero, Stevan Jovetic, and Edin Dzeko, the question must be asked of the decision to spend so much on Bony. It can only be expected that at least one striker may be on their way out in the next transfer window.
Arsenal: Though they did make a couple of January transfer moves, Arsenal failed to make signings at key positions to fill gaps in their squad. The Gunners lack considerable depth at forward and central midfielder, yet opted to sign no players at either position.
Dortmund: After finishing second in the league last season, Borussia Dortmund sits in a dismal last place, despite making several summer signings. Jürgen Klopp's side also failed in the January window, making only one signing.
Dortmund signed Kevin Kampl from Red Bull Salzburg, but failed to make very necessary signings if they have any hope of avoiding relegation this campaign.
Liverpool: Another club that failed to make necessary moves to help their position in league play was Liverpool. The Reds lack depth at several positions including forward and holding midfield, but failed to make any January signings for the second season in a row.
Brendan Rodgers has chosen to wait until the summer transfer window to sign a replacement for Steven Gerrard who will join the LA Galaxy this summer.
Manchester United: Despite good form, Manchester United is one of many Premier League squads that could have added depth in the January window. The Red Devils have some of the best forwards and midfielders in the league, but do not have the needed depth needed at center back.
Louis van Gaal has opted to wait until the summer window to make several large moves, rather than settling for a player lower on his wishlist. The Manchester club did not go without attempting to make January moves but was unsuccessful in all attempts.
Nick Papadis is a sophomore at American University majoring in broadcast journalism and broadcasts AU Men's Soccer amongst other sports. Nick is an avid Liverpool fan. Follow him on twitter @NPSoccerTalk