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Top 10 winter window bargains to give inspiration for January 2016

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With the January transfer window set to slam shut at 6 p.m. ET on Monday, here’s a little bit of inspiration from past winter windows for you.

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Below we rank the top 10 last-minute buys for Premier League clubs over the years, as plenty of managers will want to get some business done late on in the window.

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Here’s a look at which players made the most of being bought during the January window.


10. David Bentley ($2.5 million – Arsenal to Blackburn, 2006) Remember him? Retiring before his 30th birthday, things didn’t quite pan out for the mercurial midfielder… but he was very good at Blackburn. Bentley spent time on loan at Rovers and after making the move permanent scored a hat trick against Man United in a memorable 4-3 win. He ended up signing for Spurs for $22 million two years later but the former England international failed to live up to the high expectations.


9. Kevin Campbell (Free – Everton to West Brom, 2005) – Not so much for his goals but for his influence. Veteran Campbell took over as captain with the Baggies bottom of the PL on Christmas Day. No club had ever survived having been bottom at Christmas. 3 goals in 16 games from Campbell meant West Brom pulled off the “great escape” on the final day of the season.


8. Asmir Begovic ($5 million – Portsmouth to Stoke City, 2010) – The Bosnian goalkeeper arrived at Stoke from Portsmouth and never looked back. After spending five wonderful years at the Britannia Stadium building his reputation Begovic, 28, signed for Chelsea last summer and is now Thibaut Courtois‘ backup.


7. Alvaro Arbeloa ($3 million – Deportivo La Coruna to Liverpool, 2007) – He only stayed at Anfield for two years but Arbeloa’s versatility and comfort on the ball caught the eye. He signed for Real Madrid in a $7.5 million deal and has played over 200 times for Los Blancos. Steady and a supreme pro.


6. Pedro Mendes ($2 million – Tottenham to Portsmouth, 2006) – One of the main reasons Pompey stayed up in 2006 was Pedro Mendes. Bending in ridiculous goals and spraying around passes to dictate play, the pony-tailed Portuguese international midfielder was an inspired signing by Harry Redknapp.


5. Mikel Arteta (Loan – Real Sociedad to Everton, 2005) – Initially a loan signing, at the age of 22 it was a gamble but Arteta went on to be a mainstay under David Moyes after completing a permanent move to Goodison. Now club captain at Arsenal, it’s safe to say the Spaniard has done well for himself in England after arriving on a wing and a prayer.


4. John Stones ($2.2 million – Barnsley to Everton, 2013) – Take note Roberto Martinez, the Toffees do quite well on Deadline Day. John Stones was David Moyes’ final signing as Everton boss and he’s turned out to be a gem. The Everton and England defender, 21, has excelled and Chelsea had $45 million and $50 million bids turned down for him last summer. Tremendous business.


3. Daniel Sturridge (Loan – Chelsea to Bolton Wanderers, 2011) – Bolton were struggling. Big time. They needed help and Sturridge’s arrival on loan saw the future Liverpool and England star score eight times in 12 appearances to lift them out of trouble as the Trotters staved off relegation. A star — albeit it an oft injured one — was born.


2. Jermain Defoe ($12 million – West Ham to Tottenham, 2004) – Wherever he goes, he scores goals. After staying loyal to West Ham United following their relegation on 2004, Defoe left the Hammers in January and turned into a hero at White Hart Lane. Across two spells at Spurs he scored 137 goals in 352 appearances. The ultimate poacher.


1. Luis Suarez ($32.6 million – Ajax to Liverpool, 2011) – Probably the greatest signing in Liverpool’s history, let alone in January. Suarez arrived from Ajax as a largely unknown and temperamental Uruguayan forward. He left for Barcelona in a $120 million deal in 2014 as a hero and one of the greatest players on the planet. Sure, he had plenty of problems on the pitch at Anfield (the Branislav Ivanovic biting incident and Patrice Evra racism incident) but scored 82 times in 133 appearances.

Jorge Sampaoli resigns as Santos boss

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Brazilian club Santos confirmed Tuesday evening that manager Jorge Sampaoli has resigned as boss.

Sampaoli, who won the 2015 Copa America in charge of Chile but could not recreate that success with the Argentinian national team, signed on with Santos a year ago and guided them to a second-place finish in the Brazilian top flight, 16 points behind runaway champions Flamengo. His contract had another year, expiring in the winter of 2020, but with reports of offers from multiple clubs, he has stepped down.

The most widely reported destination is fellow Brazilian club Palmeiras, whom many believe Sampaoli has already entered talks with. He has also been linked with Argentinian club Racing, and his name has cropped up on occasion with the Arsenal vacancy, although that seems like a longshot. It was said in late October that Sampaoli had an offer from an unnamed La Liga club, but those rumors have cooled.

His reason for leaving Santos after just one successful season in charge is unconfirmed, but rumors are circulating that Sampaoli had incredibly ambitious transfer plans for the offseason, and when club president Jose Carlos Peres could not guarantee his support, the relationship became strained.

The 2019 season was mostly successful for Sampaoli at Santos, finishing second in the league table, but the secondary competitions were somewhat disappointing. They received a tough first-round draw in the Copa Sudamericana, falling to River Plate on away goals. They were also ousted from the Copa do Brasil in the Round of 16, falling 2-1 to an Atletico Minero side that finished 13th in the league table.

Tierney out months as Arsenal injuries pile up

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According to multiple reports, including Mark Mann-Bryans of PA Sport and Charles Watts of Goal.com, Arsenal full-back Kieran Tierney could be out up to three months after dislocating his shoulder in the 3-1 win over West Ham on Monday.

Tierney was withdrawn in the 29th minute after an awkward fall, using the bottom of his shirt as a makeshift sling. The club is still deciding on whether he will require surgery, according to Mann-Bryans, and that decision will ultimately determine the length of time he will miss. Still, even without surgery, it could leave him sidelined for a month or more.

The 22-year-old has struggled with injuries since joining the Gunners this past summer, missing the first seven games of the year with a hip injury. He has seen action in just five Premier League games thus far, and again could be sidelined for a significant spell. He could also end up missing Scotland’s critical playoff match against Israel in late March depending on his recovery timeline and fitness level.

Tierney’s injury is not the only one Arsenal is currently sweating. Granit Xhaka will miss the Europa League group stage finale against Standard Liege with a concussion, while Hector Bellerin is struggling with a hamstring problem. “Hector had a feeling in his hamstring during the warm-up [before West Ham] and we took the decision,” said interim manager Freddie Ljungberg after the win over the Hammers. “Not going to force anyone to play if they don’t feel 100%.”

Dani Ceballos is still sidelined with a hamstring injury suffered against Vitoria in October Europa League play and won’t return to training until later this month, while Rob Holding is a question mark this week after missing the West Ham game thanks to a bruised knee.

Arsenal, currently sitting ninth in the Premier League table and is scheduled to host Manchester City this coming Sunday following the trip to Belgium. They have upcoming games against Everton, Bournemouth, Chelsea, and Manchester United through the festive period.

Report: Leicester City looking to give Maddison, Soyuncu pay raises

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According to a report by Sky Sports, Leicester City has started negotiations with young stars James Maddison and Caglar Soyuncu about new contacts with increased pay.

The pair of 23-year-olds have current deals that run through the summer of 2023, so there is no urgency to lock them up long-term, but the Foxes are hoping to ease any lingering doubts about their futures at the club by rewarding good play on the field with a salary that fits the bill.

Soyuncu has been one of the league’s breakout defensive stars this season, partnering with veteran Jonny Evans to produce the Premier League’s stingiest defense thus far. The Foxes sold Harry Maguire in the summer for a record fee, and thanks to Soyuncu haven’t missed a beat.

Maddison, meanwhile, has proven himself the heartbeat of the Leicester City attack. He is assisting or taking nearly six shots per 90 minutes, and is on pace to score double-digit goals in league play.

The Sky Sports report says both club and players are “relaxed” about securing a new deal, given the lack of urgency required, but locking down the pair with improved salaries will ward off any significant noise about their futures – at least, for now.

The 2 Robbies podcast: Liverpool, Chelsea through to UCL knockouts

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Robbie Mustoe and Robbie Earle on Liverpool’s nervy 2-0 win against Red Bull Salzburg to take first place in Group E of the Champions League (1:55), Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Lille to secure a place in the Round of 16 (13:15) and who is the current favorite to win it all (20:45).

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Plus, what Arsenal’s come-from-behind 3-1 win at West Ham means for both London clubs (29:10) and the Robbies discuss what they’re looking forward to most at the next Live Premier League Mornings Fan Fest in Miami Beach (46:05).

To listen to more lively conversations and passionate debate from Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe, subscribe to The 2 Robbies Podcast on Apple Podcasts or anywhere you listen to podcasts.

And you can follow them on Twitter @The2RobbiesNBC here.

Click here for The 2 Robbies archive ]