A pesky flurry of snow might have delayed the sound of the blasted January transfer window slamming shut, but according to the official site we’ve completed all our deals. Now would be a good time to run down what we’ve done over the last month or so.
We know that Jimmy Bullard has gone – and that subject really has been done to death. The latest revealation about Jimmy’s knee seems to suggest that, with every day that goes by, the deal that took the cheeky chappie off to Hull for a cool £5m was a good one from our point of view.
Joining Jimmy through the exit door are two also highly-rated midfielders who I would have thought might have had a bit more of a future at the club. Leon Andreasen, who might have thought he could have a bit more of a look-in after Bullard’s departure, has gone back to Germany to join Hannover on loan with a permanent deal widely expected to be completed in the summer for about £2.5m. We haven’t really seen a lot of Andranik, largely due to injuries, but his loan to Barnsley has come as a bit of shock. It might point to the fact that he hasn’t really had too much of an opportunity to get competitive football under his belt or that Roy doesn’t see long-term future for the Iranian at the Cottage. I guess we’ll see at the end of the season.
The midfield replacements are very interesting. Roy seems to have gone for the ‘exceptional potential’ in Giles Barnes, taking a risk given his lack of match fitness. Barnes certainly has that X-factor that could inject a bit of spark into our midfield but it remains to be seen whether that potential can translate itself into real Premier League ability. Who will drop out of the team if Barnes is to play on the right wing is a very interesting question indeed.
If Barnes whets the appetite of those of us who savour the prospect of watching flair players, then the arrival of Oliver Dacourt – who has plenty of Premier League and continental experience – is very interesting. Dacourt has graced the top flight over here before with Everton, has 21 French caps and featured in the Champions’ League for Inter Milan last season. He’s got the ability to pick a pass and is handy in a tackle so he might make a more than passable replacement for Dickson Etuhu.
I was a little surprised that we’ve signed Julian Gray on a permanent basis given that we haven’t seen too much of him since he arrived on loan from Coventry. I guess he gives us another option down the left but I’m not sure I’m the only one wondering just how much money we’ve spent on a guy who couldn’t break into the Sky Blues side.
The impressive Eliot Omozusi has returned from his loan at Norwich, even if we’re not sure whether he’ll play too much with us and where (given that he played most of his games for the Whites – if not all? – at right back and then represent Norwich at centre back). Adrian Leijer has replaced Junior at Carrow Road on loan.
Sadly, we weren’t able to bring Brian McBride back on loan as the paperwork couldn’t be completed in time.