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Chelsea, Dortmund and Adebayor among the transfer window losers

by new_c_admin

The transfer window is closed and there’s been a lot of talk regarding which Premier League club enjoyed the best month, but what about those who messed things up? Here’s a top tenner of the transfer window losers.10. Chelsea and their squad depth Flying Colombian winger Juan Cuadrado might turn out to be a fine signing for Chelsea and could certainly give them a little something that it is currently missing, specifically pure pace in attack. However, while many have praised the way Jose Mourinho managed to get a player he wanted and virtually recouped the money by selling one he didn’t want (Andre Schurrle), there are concerns. Perhaps the only hole you could pick in the Chelsea squad at the moment is a lack of depth; unproven youngsters are on their bench most weeks, and their good fitness record is one of the key reasons for their position at the top of the table. To get Cuadrado, Chelsea had to not only sell Schurrle but also loan out Mohamed Salah, who was obviously only a backup option, but that’s a backup option they no longer have. And Cuadrado is by no means a sure thing — he can be exhilarating but also profoundly frustrating. This is a gamble on the part of Mourinho, one that you would hesitate before backing against, but a gamble nonetheless. 9. Jermain Defoe and Sunderland There are a couple of ways to look at Defoe’s purchase by Sunderland. If one considers it a simple replacement for Jozy Altidore, then of course their squad has improved. Then again, if you wired up a mannequin to make random movements and stuck it up front, that might be more use in the Premier League than the American. The question must surely be whether Defoe is a significant enough upgrade to improve Sunderland enough to push them up the table, and that is another issue entirely. He started off well for Toronto in Major League Soccer but his form and enthusiasm fell away, and perhaps more pertinently his Premier League goals record for Tottenham before heading to Canada was dreadful. Defoe scored just two league goals in his final year in England, suggesting his days of top-flight marksmanship are behind him. Although he has opened his account for Gus Poyet’s side, one doubts if he will be able to keep up his scoring in the North East. 8. Everton Ribeiro Of course, after securing his transfer to Al Ahli, Everton Ribeiro’s bank manager will be absolutely delighted, and players moving for money is very much not a new phenomenon. But it was still reasonably depressing to see the Brazilian move to Dubai. Here is an attacking midfielder approaching the prime of his career (he’s 25) who won his first international caps only a few months ago, seemingly choosing an easy route, and it’s not as if other routes weren’t available. “Yes, there have been offers both in this transfer window and the last one,” he said after completing the move. “We had offers and conversations with Manchester United, Monaco and Milan, but none of those offers could meet the expectations of my club Cruzeiro. The only offer that everyone was happy with, it was the Ahli offer, and that’s why I am here.” Add him to the file of players who may never fulfill their potential. See also Ricardo Goulart and Alan, both of whom moved to Guangzhou Evergrande in China. 7. Everyone in Scotland apart from Celtic Against all odds, and in truth largely due to some large slices of incompetence on their part, Celtic have not run away with the Scottish Premiership title this season. Their inconsistency has allowed the likes of Aberdeen, Inverness and Dundee United to form credible title challenges, to the extent that the Glasgow giants have only just reclaimed the top spot after a season scrabbling around in unfamiliar places — a truly unusual occurrence since the demise of Rangers. However, such is the continued draw of Celtic that they were able to recruit two of the best young players in the league from Dundee United: Gary Mackay-Steven and Stuart Armstrong, 24 and 22, respectively. This should in theory make the second half of the season as much of a procession as we were expecting the first to be. Just when it was starting to look interesting, too. 6. Emmanuel Adebayor Late on Monday evening, as the transfer window was about to shut, West Ham fans were given hope of a new signing, as co-owner David Gold advised them not to go to bed as he worked on a deal to bring Adebayor to Upton Park. Of course, for Tottenham, the prospect of letting a potentially effective striker go to a club four points behind them in the table with no time to find a replacement was never going to be an attractive proposition. West Ham will be fine without Adebayor, though. The player, however, is left in limbo at White Hart Lane, with Harry Kane in brilliant form and Roberto Soldado the first reserve. With 18 months still remaining on Adebayor’s contract, Spurs are saddled with a player they neither want nor really need, and Adebayor will be left kicking his heels until someone can be persuaded to take on his reported 100,000 pounds-per-week wages. 5. Asier Illarramendi In the summer of 2013, Illarramendi and Isco were two of the brightest young midfield talents in Spain and were recruited at some cost by Real Madrid in what appeared to be an investment in domestic youth, rather than Real’s typical approach of spending big on glamourous talent. Since then, both men have been in and out of the Real side. This season, there has been a particular dearth of opportunities for Illarramendi; he has started just four league games while Toni Kroos and Luka Modric have cemented their places in the side. Illarramendi had an opportunity to leave, with Athletic Bilbao lodging an ambitious offer for the midfielder, but he chose to stay and fight for his place. Of course, that fight became rather more difficult after the arrival of Lucas Silva from Cruzeiro, and while it’s admirable that Illarramendi wants to establish himself at the Bernabeu, the chances of his doing so look increasingly remote. One can only conclude that the sensible move would’ve been to take the offer from Bilbao. 4. Ezequiel Lavezzi Similar could be said for Ezequiel Lavezzi, who has been a peripheral figure even in a disappointing season for Paris Saint-Germain, unable to claim a regular place in their first team as they languish behind Lyon and Marseille in the Ligue 1 table. Perhaps after scoring in a rare start against Rennes on Friday this will change, but he looked on the verge of leaving Paris, particularly after angering boss Laurent Blanc. Along with Edinson Cavani, Lavezzi returned late from the Christmas break and missed a training camp in Morocco. “These two players have done something unacceptable,” Blanc said. “It’s a total lack of respect towards the club.” As it was, no deal to take the Argentinian away could be arranged, and one wonders how long the seemingly fragile peace between player and manager will remain. 3. Samuel Eto’o and Sampdoria Eto’o’s brief time as an Everton player was odd enough even before he forced his way out of the club and back to Italy to sign for Sampdoria after just eight league starts on Merseyside. He was all smiles after arriving in Genoa, but they faded rather rapidly after his first game in which Sampdoria were soundly thrashed 5-1 by Torino and manager Sinisa Mihajlovic ordered a double training session as punishment. This apparently didn’t go down too well with Eto’o, who simply didn’t show up, preferring to stick to his existing plans for his day off and drive to Milan to see his family. “He just left,” said Mihajlovic, after a club spokesman gamely tried to play the row down. “It is certainly a grave lack of respect towards me and the entire team.” So one game, a heavy defeat and a dispute with his boss. Good start. 2. Borussia Dortmund It’s difficult to argue that Borussia Dortmund’s main problem this season is a lack of quality players. Even after their choice cuts were sliced off by Bayern Munich, they still have Mats Hummels, Ilkay Gundogan, Marco Reus and Jakub Blaszczykowski. However, injury problems have proved extremely disruptive, as all of these players have spent significant amounts of time on the sidelines. While all their key men are now coming back into the first team, the 0-0 draw with Bayer Leverkusen last weekend saw them slip to the bottom of the table. While new signings are obviously not a guarantee of success, a freshening of the squad could have pepped things up and provided a little impetus to a campaign that is sinking. Dortmund became embroiled in a relegation battle some time ago, and with their top scorer (Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang) registering just five strikes all season, surely something could’ve been done in January. As it was, Klopp recruited only Kevin Kampl from Red Bull Salz