The January transfer window closes for Premier League clubs on Monday evening and late developments could potentially affect the Fantasy landscape – although it’s fair to say that it’s been a very quiet day (and month) in terms of significant comings and goings.
Cutting through the sourceless speculation and wearisome banter about Lionel Messi in small-town chip shops, we have summarised the confirmed deals that could present Fantasy bosses with new targets or have a negative impact on existing assets.
Any prices given in brackets are the players’ Fantasy Premier League cost, rather than their actual transfer fees.
We’ll be updating this article throughout the evening until the deadline passes.
(Preston North End to Liverpool)
No, not that one.
Liverpool’s injury crisis at centre-half has prompted the Reds to make a move for a stopper or two on transfer deadline day.
While a loan deal for Schalke’s Ozan Kabak is apparently imminent but not yet confirmed, the red half of Merseyside have announced the capture of Preston North End’s Ben Davies.
Hardly one for the future at the age of 25, Davies was out of contract with Preston at the end of the season and has been purchased for a cut-price £2m.
It’s an unexpected swoop and one that even Jurgen Klopp admitted probably wouldn’t have happened had the reigning champions not been so badly hit by injury:
I think it’s probably clear that in a normal transfer window, without any issues, we would not look at Preston if there’s a player for us or something like that. It’s not really likely. But since we saw him and since our situation got clearer and clearer – the problems we had – when we saw him we got really excited about it and thought, ‘Wow.’
We see the potential really. We see the quality and we see the potential as well because he’s 25 and there’s a lot to come for him. I love a lot about his play. He’s a really good footballer, looks like a proper leader in this Preston team, good in challenges, looks football smart, can play different positions because he played in a back three and a back four and all these things.
We could have asked and he said, ‘I’d prefer to stay at Preston or go somewhere else where I play 40-odd games per season.’ So this is a challenge but it’s an opportunity – a big, big opportunity. I see it exactly like that.
How much game-time the left-sided Davies sees is another question, with BBC pundit, and former Preston and Liverpool defender, Mark Lawrenson claiming the new recruit would even be behind Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams in the pecking order.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Having already recruited Robert Snodgrass (£5.6m) and Mbaye Diagne (£6.0m) to bolster his attacking options, Sam Allardyce has moved to shore up his backline with the capture of Okay Yokuslu.
The fact that the Turkish international is a defensive midfielder should immediately cool whatever limited interest there was from a Fantasy perspective, although underwhelmed owners of Sam Johnstone (£4.5m) will be hoping the new arrival can at least help stem the flow of goal concessions.
Sam Allardyce said of Yokuslu:
He’s the sort of player I have looked for at many clubs in this position, particularly at Sunderland and Crystal Palace. I signed Jan Kirchhoff from Bayern Munich at Sunderland and Luka Milivojević from Olympiakos at Crystal Palace. He’s that type of player.
The one who can protect the back four, can be the best passer to create openings in attack and hopefully, if he can settle as quickly as the two players I have just mentioned, then it will definitely help us to not concede as many goals.
It will also make us more creative by his passing quality that we have looked for and searched for through the last four weeks.
Brighton and Hove Albion have made a move for a player the South American football correspondent Tim Vickery described as “a box-to-box midfielder”, signing highly rated Ecuadorian Moises Caicedo.
Graham Potter confirmed on Monday that the teenager wouldn’t be loaned straight back out but there nevertheless may well be a gradual introduction to English football for the youngster, with his new manager saying:
He will need time to settle in with the group, for us to get to know him and vice versa, as well as get up to speed and ready for the demands of the Premier League.
He has done very well in Ecuador and made his debut for his country just 18. He’s an exciting signing, but it is important we give him time to adjust.
Newcastle’s quota of bona fide right-backs has been cut from three to two, with DeAndre Yedlin (£4.3m) – who had briefly been a regular for the Magpies over Christmas – departing for Galatasaray on a permanent deal.
Javier Manquillo (£4.2m), who started in Gameweek 21, and Emil Krafth (£4.2m) will be left to tussle for the problem position on the right-hand side of the Newcastle defence.
Cenk Tosun (£6.0m) has moved to Besiktas from Everton on loan, meanwhile, leaving Everton with little back-up to Dominic Calvert-Lewin (£7.6m) – although the Toffees are rumoured to be eyeing up reinforcements in attack at the time of writing.
Gedson Fernandes’ (£4.7m) loan deal at Tottenham Hotspur has now ended, with the midfielder returning to parent club Benfica.
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