Newcastle United v Manchester United: Pictures
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The last two transfer windows have thrown up various curveballs in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many clubs resorting to loan deals to curtail their spending. Yet whilst some have spent small, some have spent big – although it may not have paid off. Express Sport takes a look at the best and worst transfers of 2021.
Aaron Ramsdale to Arsenal: B+
Many laughed when Arsenal spent £24million on Ramsdale, especially with Bernd Leno already in their ranks.
Having endured two successive relegations with Bournemouth and Sheffield United respectively, Ramsdale looked set to be branded as a curse given Arsenal were bottom of the league at the start of September.
Yet his stellar performances and superb saves have propelled him into Arsenal folklore already.
Martin Odegaard to Arsenal: B-
Odegaard originally joined Arsenal last January on loan and only registered one goal and two assists from 17 league games.
Yet after making his move permanent for £34m, Odegaard has come to life – registering four goals and three assists in the same amount of games.
And at just 23, he looks to be a bargain already.
Jesse Lingard to West Ham: A
Lingard was discarded by United at the start of the 2020/21 season, making just three appearances – none in the Premier League or Champions League – with his career in tatters at Old Trafford.
A loan move to West Ham beckoned under David Moyes, where he found a new lease of life with nine goals and five assists in just 15 games for the Hammers.
His form helped them into the Europa League, where they remain at the moment, learning their fate at the end of February.
Maxwel Cornet to Burnley: A-
Cornet came to Burnley as the Clarets’ first major foreign import since Steven Defour in 2016.
He burst onto the scene in Lancashire and has registered five goals in just nine Premier League games as the Clarets accrued four games in hand on their relegation rivals.
Had it not been for his goals, Sean Dyche’s men would sit on just eight points – bottom of the league.
Conor Gallagher to Crystal Palace: A
What more could Gallagher have done to endear himself to the Palace faithful?
The winner and an assist at Manchester City, a double away at London rivals West Ham, and a spectacular double against Everton has seen him earn an England call-up.
They will surely be sad when he leaves to rejoin Chelsea at the end of his loan spell.
Joe Willock to Newcastle: A+
Willock was loaned to Newcastle at a time when they were in the pits of the Premier League.
The Magpies sat 16th and would have been in the relegation zone in recent years had the bottom three not been so poor.
Seven consecutive games with a goal from the London-born talent – in which Newcastle lost just once when he scored – propelled them to 12th, before a £25m move followed in the summer.
Tino Livramento to Southampton: B+
Livramento was a relative unknown when he joined Southampton for £5.5m from Chelsea in the summer.
He hadn’t played a single minute for the Blues and hadn’t had a single loan spell in his time at Stamford Bridge – raising eyebrows when Southampton threw him into the Premier League deep end.
But his superb attacking performances – despite Southampton’s league position – have proved doubters wrong.
Josh King to Everton: D-
King joined Everton in January as backup for Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison for the rest of the season.
No starts, 11 sub appearances, no goals and no assists beckoned for the Norwegian before his release.
And to rub salt into the wounds, he scored a hat-trick for Watford against Everton this season in a 5-2 win. Ouch.
Ben Davies to Liverpool: F
Davies was ever so close to joining Celtic on a cut-price deal before joining Liverpool in January.
He didn’t make a single appearance for the Reds before joining Sheffield United on loan.
And with three-and-a-half years left on his deal, it remains to be seen where his career will end up.
Willian Jose to Wolves: D
Jose joined Wolves as Raul Jimenez’s temporary replacement with the Mexican out with a fractured skull.
The Brazilian failed to flatter as he joined on loan from Real Sociedad, scoring just one goal in the 1-0 win over Sheffield United – who finished bottom of the league.
And with Wolves winning just six of the 19 games Jose played in, the Black Country will be glad to see the back of him.
Saul Niguez to Chelsea: E
This is probably the biggest shock of all failed transfers this season.
Saul had previously been a star at Atletico Madrid ahead of his £4m loan move to Stamford Bridge in the summer, with big things expected from the Spaniard.
But just 161 minutes in the Premier League and no goals or assists has seen the Blues waste money on a world-class talent.
Danny Rose to Watford: D-
Rose’s time at Tottenham came to an end over the summer, where he moved to Watford on a free transfer.
The Hornets have won four games and collected one draw in their 17 so far this season.
Yet Rose has been part of just one of those wins and the draw – coming against the worst two teams in the league, Norwich and Newcastle.
His poor form shows that it is no coincidence that Watford’s impressive wins over Aston Villa, Everton and Manchester United came without him in the squad.
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