Neither Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur nor Liverpool made any attempt to bring in more players to rescue their title hopes during the January transfer window, despite Chelsea taking a stranglehold on the Premier League this season – leading second-placed Spurs by nine points. The transfer window closed without too much fuss from England earlier this week, while Chinese football clubs continued their dominance in the market.
The most significant transfer this winter is that of the so-called “New Neymar” – Gabriel Jesus – from Palmeiras to Manchester City, although the deal was actually signed last summer. The heaviest investment this winter came from clubs in the middle of the table. Everton signed Morgan Schneiderlin from Manchester United for €22.9 million, Southampton acquired Manolo Gabbiadini from Napoli for €17 million while Crystal Palace secured Luka Milivojevic for €16 million and scored Liverpool outcast Mamadu Sakho on loan on the final day of the window.
At the same time, Chinese football clubs are now the major players in the transfer window. The record signing for any player in world football this winter transfer window was Brazilian talent Oscar’s €60 million move from Chelsea to Shanghai SIPG. China’s determination to invest in football continues, with Changchun Yatai signing Odion Ighalo for €23.3 million and Tianjing Quanjian, a club that was linked to Deigo Costa days ago, signing Axel Witsel and Alexandre Pato for a combined fee of €38 million.
The Chinese Super League is now becoming a dreamland for football agents the world over. Instead of attracting football players that are close to retirement, the incoming players are getting younger and more talented.
Of course, European clubs are still ambitious in their pursuit of a Champions League title. Paris Saint German made two significant signing in Julian Draxler and Gonçalo Guedes for €40 million and €30 million respectively.