The January transfer window has closed and the new signings are presumably getting settled in to new surroundings, if they aren’t away on international duty, but how many of these new chapters will end well.
GiveMeFootball is very aware of the danger inherent with making predictions in football but we have decided to do it anyway and will suffer the ridicule with good grace, should we be proved wrong.
GMF does not intend to go through every Premier League transfer to decide if they will flop or fly, so we are relying on you, dear reader, to take it further and continues the discussions in the comments section below.
Deadline day was not as frenetic as it has been in previous years, but a few managers will be eyeing their panic purchases with concern over whether they’d picked up a gem or a joke.
Anyway, here are GMF’s January transfer window predictions:
Wilfried Zaha, Crystal Palace to Manchester United
The Ivory Coast born England international has certainly picked up a few admirers this season as he has been the creative spark behind Palace’s push for promotion, though they have stumbled a bit in recent weeks. Zaha won’t join his teammates at Old Trafford until the summer and may find it difficult to repeat his thrilling performances in the Premier League as defenders are faster and stronger.
Age is on Zaha’s side, however, and he will have time to adapt his impressive raw talents to become a success and future England star.
Prediction: Rough baptism but eventual success
Demba Ba, Newcastle United v Chelsea
Stamford Bridge fans were crying out for another centre-forward to challenge the misfiring Fernando Torres, so a move for Newcastle’s proven goalscorer Ba appears a good move.
However, the Senegal international has not played for a club as high-profile as the Blues and he was thrust into a high-pressure situation where Chelsea fans were desperate for someone to relieve the scoring burden on Torres.
It nearly always takes time for new players to settle in at a new club and it won’t be a huge surprise if Ba does not fire like he once did for Newcastle and West Ham with many demanding success and goals straight away.
Prediction: Flashes of brilliance but ultimately mediocre
Nacho Monreal, Malaga to Arsenal
The price of the transfer has varied from source to source, so Monreal is either a bargain at £6million for a Spain international full-back or a gamble at £12million for a player unused to the rigours of the English game.
Monreal’s debut was as stereotypically English as you can get, with the visit of Stoke City; although he was relatively quiet during the game, the 26-year-old was solid when called upon.
Until the hapless Andre Santos, Wenger has had a pretty good record when it comes to signing full-backs, so GMF is expecting Monreal to be referred to as ‘a consistent performer’ in a couple of years.
Prediction: Will be a reliable choice for many years, possibly ‘unsung’.
Lewis Holtby, Schalke 04 to Tottenham Hotspur
Spurs might have pulled off the bargain of the window by signing the young Germany international. Holtby was already scheduled to arrive in the summer on a free transfer, that in itself was something of a coup, but chairman Daniel Levy managed to sign him early for pittance.
As with many young midfielders coming out of the Bundesliga, Holtby is technically excellent and his movement has looked promising in the brief performances he has made so far. It will be a great surprise if he does not become a success.
Prediction: Will become a White Hart Lane favourite quickly and an integral part of the team soon after.
Philippe Coutinho, Inter Milan to Liverpool
Big things were predicted for the young Brazilian when he moved to the San Siro side from Vasco da Gama in his native country. All guile and technique, Coutinho struggled to impose himself on games in Serie A and performances veered from inspiring to insipid.
The 20-year-old is blessed with sublime dribbling skills but that brilliance has been negated by his habit of hanging on to the ball too long – Liverpool already have Daniel Sturridge, so Coutinho is going to have do away with that habit quickly.
Prediction: All skill and no substance, Coutinho’s Inter experience looks like continuing at Anfield.
So, there you have them. GMF realises a very small group of readers may disagree with the predictions, so we want to hear why. We also want your success predictions for other January signings that weren’t covered. Get stuck into the comments section below and join in the debate…