The January transfer window failed to live up to expectations for a number of different reasons.
Manchester United finally secured the signature of Bruno Fernandes and Tottenham Hotspur have replaced Christian Eriksen with Steven Bergwijn and Gedson Fernandes, but the difficulty numerous different Premier League clubs experienced in attempting to recruit a new forward encapsulated the difficulties of the January market.
United, Spurs, Chelsea and others had all hoped to recruit a new striker, only to struggle to recruit players with the desired profile. Gone are the days when such clubs could pick off the likes of Louis Saha from Fulham or Nicolas Anelka from Bolton Wanderers. Now top-flight clubs from around Europe have little incentive to sell their star assets mid-season, particularly if worried by the prospect of relegation.
Much has been made of Barcelona’s struggles this window. The Spanish giants wanted to sign a new striker to replace the injured Luis Suárez and quickly began offloading their deadwood in order to raise the necessary funds.
Two forwards were offloaded – Carlos Pérez to Roma and Abel Ruiz to Braga – but Barcelona failed to replace them with tentative interest in Everton’s Richarlison and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang failing to lead anywhere. Things then went from bad to worse for Barcelona on Tuesday, when it was announced that Ousmane Dembélé will miss the rest of the season with a ruptured tendon in his thigh.