January Transfer Window Round-Up
Following a good month of results in December letting us rise higher in the league after 15 points gained from a possible 21, Leeds bolstered their first-team with four new additions to the squad.
The first through the door was Rangers attacking midfielder Joe Aribo, who was transfer listed in December at Ibrox following a discussion with his manager Steven Gerrard regarding a move to a new challenge.
Aribo began his career in the lower reaches of English football, making 25 appearances for National League South side Staines Town between 2013 and 2015 before a move to then-Championship side Charlton Athletic.
It took Charlton’s relegation to League One in 2016 for Aribo to find a starting spot in Charlton’s team, making a total of 97 appearances with 16 goals and 15 assists to his name before a £300,000 move to the Scottish Premiership in 2019 with Rangers where he has since made 100 appearances, scoring 17 times and assisting 15 times.
He joins Leeds United for an up-front fee of £5M and will wear the number 17 shirt at Elland Road.
Leeds bolstered their midfield strength further with the £1.5M addition of Riechedly Bazoer from Eredivisie outfit Vitesse.
Starting his career at PSV Eindhoven, Bazoer made the move across to their rivals Ajax in 2013 where he would first feature in the club’s reserve team before progressing to make 71 appearances for the first-team between 2014 and 2017, scoring 8 goals and assisting 5 times.
Bought for £10.5M in the January 2017 transfer window by Bundesliga’s Wolfsburg, the midfielder failed to make a proper impression at the Volkswagen Arena where he only managed to make one assist in the 27 games he played in the one-and-a-half year spell in Germany before loans to Porto B and a loan return to Netherlands with Utrecht bringing him back into form with 3 goals and 4 assists from 14 appearances.
His performances back in his homeland didn’t convince Wolfsburg to keep him on, as they sold him to Vitesse for £1.25M in the summer of 2019 where he has since played regularly.
Bazoer’s position has shifted further backwards since his return to the Netherlands, playing 12 times as a defensive midfielder out of 25 games in his first season at the GelreDome and has since spent the past two seasons consistently playing at centre-back a total of 68 times.
It is unknown where Mateo Pérez plans to play Bazoer, but with a lack of options in midfield it could be suggested that a return to the middle of the park is on the cards for the 25-year-old.
Leeds made arguably their most significant signing midway through the month of January, bringing in Argentinian winger Thiago Almada from Vélez in a transfer worth £14M.
The 20-year-old has been heavily linked with some of Europe’s elite clubs and was previously linked with Leeds upon their promotion due to former manager Marcelo Bielsa’s link with the Argentinian top tier.
However, following 12 goals and 3 assists in the past 35 games for the youngster, Mateo Pérez has finally capitalised on the opportunity to bring the Argentina U20 international to West Yorkshire.
Thiago Almade has signed a four-and-a-half year deal with Leeds and will wear the number 8 shirt for the remainder of the 21/22 season.
Leeds’ final move of the window came as they snapped up Napoli striker Andrea Petagna for a total £8M fee, split in half with £4M paid immediately and the remaining fee to be paid next January.
The move derived from Patrick Bamford’s move to Newcastle United, with the Magpies’ new Saudi-based owners opening their chequebook within the region of £215M so far this season.
Following impressive spells in Serie A with both Atalanta and SPAL, Petagna was signed by Napoli for £17.5M in 2019. However, it never really worked out between the two parties after his return from his agreed loanback spell to SPAL in 19/20.
Petagna struggled in 20/21 with only 5 goals and 3 assists from 36 games. He continued his journey for more goals this season, with only 3 goals from 17 games (16 games being an oncoming substitute).
The one-time Italian international made his feelings clear before January that he wanted to seek a new club to prove his quality once more and when Leeds came calling, he was instantly interested in the possibility of a move to the English Premier League.
Signing a three-and-a-half year deal with Leeds, Petagna takes the number 9 shirt from the outgoing Patrick Bamford.
In total, Leeds’ net spend in January only added up to around £1M, with Patrick Bamford sold to Newcastle for £11.5M before Robin Koch’s departure to Napoli for a fee of £15.5M.
The only other action outside of the first-team was Cuba Diboe’s reported £25,000 transfer to Newport County, followed by Connor Ferguson’s move to Luton Town. U23 player Lewis Bate also moved on loan for the rest of the season to Austrian outfit WSG Tirol.
In the wider transfer window, Newcastle were responsible for the two highest transfer fees of the window, signing Diego Carlos for £64M and Matheus Nunes for £51M from Sevilla and Sporting Club respectively.
Thank you! I will be doing a breakdown of Mateo's first season in charge at the end of the season (if I get that far
) so that will be when I will be looking at how my tactics have evolved throughout.
I can only hope that you're right and I wish that I had your positivity
as for the graphics, I use a template that I created myself on Photoshop, it might take a while to understand.
I hadn't noticed your point about the amount of top 10 teams we have faced which could be playing a big part in our lack of perceived quality so far, we'll see in the coming weeks.
A tough run of games is the last thing a new, seemingly inexperienced manager needs and we have suffered through that. Hopefully Kalvin can see some light once we play some weaker teams and try build our way up the table!
It has always been disappointing towards the end of the two halves, we seem to let our guard down despite my best efforts from the touchline at those times. Hopefully something I can work on regarding game management moving forwards.
The bottom 4 have been thankfully woeful so far, however, we can't rely on those to fail for our own improvement. I'd like to think we're a lot better than doing that. Looking forward to the winter period!