With the transfer window now officially shut, the 90MAAT transfer team will be reviewing the transfer window in the coming days. From best signing to worst, surprise signing to biggest gamble, the team will have your post-transfer window needs covered.
Today, we begin by taking a look at the players we feel were the best signings.
Jackson Rawlings: Gonzalo Higuain (Juventus > Chelsea – Loan Deal)
It’s been a bit of an odd transfer window. Most of the best deals have been in the form of loans, with the top six, in particular, reticent to spend the big bucks midway through the season.
I could have quite easily picked Denis Suarez to Arsenal here – his mercurial creativity will I think fill the gap inevitably left by Aaron Ramsey in the long term, and perhaps even some of burden shouldered by the, now out-of-favour Mesut Özil, over the last few seasons.
However, it’s impossible to look past Higuain joining Chelsea on loan.
This is a player who has scored hatfuls of goals wherever he’s gone. Yes, he may now be on the wrong side of 30, but like Ibrahimovic at United, a player of such quality can still play a role, even at the highest level.
You only need to see the partnership the Argentine has already struck with Eden Hazard to understand why Sarri was desperate to bring him in, and he’s hit the ground running with goals in his first games too.
Genuinely think he will be the difference between Chelsea finishing in the top four or not, therefore he has to be my pick.
Dan Blank: Michy Batshuayi (Chelsea > Crystal Palace – Loan Deal)
After being recalled from an unsuccessful loan spell at Valencia, Roy Hodgson will hope his new signing can perform as well as he did at Dortmund this time last season (7 in 10 league games).
This really could be a tremendous piece of business for a side who are in desperate need of a player to take some of the attacking burden off of Wilfried Zaha’s shoulders; Jordan Ayew and Christian Benteke have been struggling for form and fitness respectively.
Batshuayi will perhaps always draw comparisons with fellow 25-year old Belgian Romelu Lukaku, due to their similar career paths, but if Michy can perform even half as well as Romelu did on-loan at West Brom (17 in 35 league games) 6 years ago, then the Eagles will remain a Premiership team.
If Michy does perform for Palace don’t be surprised to see fellow Premier League sides lining up for his permanent signature this summer.
Laurie Dalton: Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund > Chelsea – £57.6m (Rejoined Dortmund on-loan until the summer))
My pick for the best signing is a bit of a slow burner. Unfortunately we will not be able to witness the talent of Pulisic in the Premier League until next season.
His January move sees him return to Dortmund on loan to potentially win the Bundesliga before starting with Chelsea in the summer. Although his form is currently ephemeral and is being overshadowed by the excellent Jadon Sancho, I believe capturing Pulisic for under £60 million (£57.6 million) is a bargain.
Not only because he is a Dortmund graduate but the American already has 23 caps (and 9 goals…) for his country and is still only 20 years old. Bearing in mind other notable Dortmund graduates are going for over £100 million in today’s market (Ousmane Dembele), I think this a bit of shrewd business from Chelsea who are looking to find a long-term replacement for Eden Hazard (28) as Real Madrid are getting closer by the day.
Finally, this signing opens up huge business and economic opportunities for a growing football (soccer) market in the USA for Chelsea to exploit.
Dan Stokes: Jonny Otto (Atletico Madrid > Wolves – £15m)
My choice for the best deal done this window goes to Wolverhampton Wanderers and their permanent signing of Jonny Otto from Atletico Madrid for £15m.
Whilst it is tough to consider this a wholly new signing, the fact that the mercurial full back will ply his trade at Molineux beyond the summer is a huge bonus for the midlands club.
Full backs who can attack and defend are in very short supply at the moment and Jonny is certainly one of those who can do both. He is versatile and of proven Premier League quality.
He already has 3 international caps to his name and at only 24, has the potential to be long term successor to the Spanish right-back role. Come the summer, it would have been no surprise to see other European clubs vie for his services.
Jonny Otto is a trustworthy Premier League player with many years ahead of him and to sign him up at a cut price of £15m is a great deal for Wolves, and the best bit of business this transfer window.