Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris, Davies, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Tanganga, Winks, Ndombele, Gedson, Lamela, Lo Celso, Bergwijn
What they’re saying
Ben Mee on Burnley’s team commitment: “I think you can work together on the pitch even if you’re not that close off it, but I think as a group as a whole we chat a lot and we are a close-knit group. There’s a British and Irish core to it and we all have the same mentality. Even the boys that have come in from other places feel really at home with the warmth of the group and the welcome they get. It’s credit to the coaching staff and the environment they create and the culture.”
Jose Mourinho on the squad’s injury problems: “Imagine my team playing – Lucas, Kane and Son. And Lucas and Son, minute 70 they are tired. Let’s go. Lamela and Bergwijn. We have the squad for that. Midfield players – you are feeling the team is going a little bit down. You feel the players are a little bit in trouble – change one and get another one. We have a squad for that. It’s not like I’m saying our squad is not good. The squad is good. In this moment we are in trouble. It’s so simple as that.”
It seems just as unlikely that Spurs’ struggles would continue as Burnley defy the statistical odds and stretch its unbeaten run, but Tottenham will have an eye on RB Leipzig. Call it 2-1 to Spurs.
Premier League side Burnley has confirmed that record signing Ben Gibson is training with his old club Middlesbrough after a difficult 18 months with the Clarets.
The 27-year-old arrived at Burnley from Middlesbrough in the summer of 2018 for a joint-club record $19 million, but the defender has made just six total appearances, including just one in Premier League play. Initially felled by a hernia problem that left him sidelined for the first three months of his Burnley tenure, Gibson has been unable to crack Sean Dyche‘s squad, only making the bench once in the past nine league games.
The club released a statement on Wednesday to say that Gibson had wished to leave the club in January, and with a deal not materializing, he felt it necessary to continue his training elsewhere. “The defender made it clear, in the weeks leading up to the end of the January transfer window, that he wanted to leave Turf Moor to seek regular first team football,” the team wrote in a statement. The club confirmed he remains contracted to Burnley.
Gibson was linked to Watford in the January transfer window, but Sky Sports reported that the Hornets saw a loan deal rejected three different times, with the hold-up being the value of the summer option to buy.
According to Burnley Express beat writer Chris Boden, it is likely that Gibson would have been sent to train with the reserve squad had this opportunity not materialized. Boden also reports that he heard about some “flashpoints” at training that may have led Gibson to wish for a chance to train elsewhere. It is certainly still odd to see a club’s record signing allowed to train elsewhere while still under contract, but given that Gibson is clearly on the outside looking in and with the relationship almost completely broken down, his departure from the club in practice has little effect on the matchday squad.
Sensible if not unspectacular signings as Cedric Soares and Pablo Mari arrived on loan. Arsenal needed additions in defense and they’ve done that but the caliber of signings are perhaps a little lower than what many were expecting. Mikel Arteta has had a big impact early on and knew the Gunners defense needed shoring up. Cedric and Mari should have the desired impact. Keeping hold of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who was linked with a move to Barcelona, was also a big plus for the Gunners.
Aston Villa: B
They made five new signings in January and they were forced to do so after injuries to Tom Heaton, Wesley and John McGinn. Danny Drinkwater and Pepe Reina arrived on loan and bring experience, while Mbwana Samatta is a wild-card signing who may take a little time to settle and Louie Barry is one for the future. Borja Baston arrived on deadline day as they got the deal over the line. A busy and solid January for Dean Smith.
No new arrivals at Bournemouth and perhaps most importantly, no departures. Josh King, Ryan Fraser, Callum Wilson and Nathan Ake were all wanted but they have stuck around to help Eddie Howe‘s men battle against relegation. Given that is the case, it was surprising that Bournemouth haven’t added reinforcements, especially in defense as they are struggling with injuries. They have plenty of options up top but they’ve struggled to score goals and the Cherries may rue not doing business when the final day of the season rolls around.
Brighton & Hove Albion: D Graham Potter‘s side have played well all season but have just lacked cutting edge so it is a surprise they haven’t shuffled their strikers around. Aaron Mooy’s loan deal was made permanent and Tariq Lamptey is a very promising player who has arrived from Chelsea but they probably need a couple more players to help drag themselves out of a relegation battle.
A quiet window for Burnley but that is how Sean Dyche likes it. They brought in Josh Brownhill from Bristol City who will add poise to their midfield, while they brought back Nakhi Well from a loan spell at QPR then sold him to Bristol City. Shrewd business, as usual, from Burnley.
No new signings for Frank Lampard who still hasn’t signed a single player as Blues boss. Lampard looked disappointed when he spoke on deadline day as the transfer ban had been lifted after appeal but Chelsea didn’t make the most of that opportunity. Olivier Giroud didn’t leave after all and Lampard couldn’t bring in Edinson Cavani or Dries Mertens late on to bolster their attack. A poor window for a young Chelsea side who needed a few additions to cement their spot in the top four.
Crystal Palace: D
Not a great window for Roy Hodgson‘s side after injuries hit them hard over the winter months. Cenk Tosun will score a few goals but his loan move from Everton isn’t really the answer and although Hodgson spoke about Palace spending big and wanting to be backed in the window, nothing was spent. WilfriedZaha is still around, so that’s the main positive.
The Toffees didn’t do any major business which was a little surprising but new boss Carlo Ancelotti is still getting to know his players and they are far enough away from the relegation scrap to stick with what they have. Youngster Jarrad Branthwaite arrived from Carlisle United. That was it. Richarlison was linked with a big move to Barcelona but that was never really going to happen. Quiet window.
Leicester City: C-
The Foxes swooped to sign Ryan Bennett on loan from Wolves on deadline day and they didn’t really need to do anything in January. Brendan Rodgers has a strong squad with plenty of options and they are in third place in the table for a reason. Many believed they needed extra cover for Jamie Vardy but Kelechi Iheanacho and Ayoze Perez have stepped up.
Man City: C
Getting Aymeric Laporte back to full fitness was like a new signing and Man City and Pep Guardiola rarely do business in January and they didn’t do anything. That said, a new center back has to be the main aim in the summer.
Man United: C+ Bruno Fernandes finally arrived for up to $88 million which is great news for the next few years but why did it take so long? United could have really used him in the last few weeks. Anyway, it is done. A loan deal for Odion Ighalo was struck on deadline day as a short-term option with Marcus Rashford out injured, as they were linked with signing Islam Slimani, Josh King and many others but Ighalo was the man to get a dream move to Old Trafford.
Norwich City: F
It is clear the Canaries think they are going to get relegated. They do not spend big in the transfer market and they have picked up Lukas Rupp and Ondrej Duda who will bolster their options in midfield and attack. If Norwich were serious about staying up they would have spent $50-60 million in this window but that isn’t their model and the yo-yo club have had enough of saddling themselves with debt when relegation arrives.
Their recent form suggests the squad is good enough to be midtable in the Premier League so they didn’t need any additions but after losing Cedric and Yoshida on loan ahead of their contracts expiring (both were good deals as they received loan fees for players they would lose in the summer for nothing) they only brought in Kyle Walker-Peters on loan from Spurs. Ralph Hasenhuttl will be eyeing a big clear out in the summer as Saints have a huge number of players out on loan.
Tottenham Hotspur: B
Jose Mourinho will be fairly pleased with their business but admitted it would have been better had they signed a striker. With Harry Kane injured they pushed hard to sign Edinson Cavani, Willian Jose, Olivier Giroud and others, but couldn’t get them over the line. Exciting winger Steven Bergwijn arrived and Christian Eriksen finally signed for Inter Milan for $20 million in a great piece of business for a player who was out of contract this summer. Gedson Fernandes is on loan with a view to buy permanently and Mourinho has done some decent business.
Pretty poor window for the Hornets and that was probably because they were playing so well at the start of it, then Nigel Pearson‘s side suffered a few disappointing results late in January. They could probably have done with adding another defender and they tried hard to sign Ben Gibson on loan. Wide player Ignacio Pussetto did arrive and he looks like he will have a big impact.
West Ham United: C David Moyes did some business late on and boy did the Hammers need that. Jarrod Bowen and Tomas Soucek arrived in the final days of the window and Darren Randolph provides cover in the goalkeeping department. West Ham needed to do more business but couldn’t get deals over the line for Gedson Fernandes and a few others. Bowen should help deliver the goals they need to get themselves out of trouble.
More than half of the Premier League’s teams broke transfer records in 2019. Half!
Arsenal, Brighton, Newcastle, Watford, Spurs, West Ham, Man City, Wolves, Leicester City, and Aston Villa all have new top record holders, but where do those (reported) fees line up in comparison to other clubs’ records?
Marco Silva‘s Toffees jumped all over Burnley from the opening whistle on Boxing Day, scoring three goals in the opening 22 minutes, and routing the Clarets for just their second victory away from home this season.
Yerry Mina opened the scoring with 99 seconds on the clock, heading home Bernard‘s deftly floated cross to the back post. The chance came from Burnley’s inability to completely clear an Everton free-kick routine.
It was 2-0 barely 10 minutes later, thanks to another sensational free kick from left back Lucas Digne. It was the Frenchman who snatched a point from Watford with a stoppage-time equalizer last week.
3-0 came eight minutes later, when Gylfi Sigurdsson beat Joe Hart from the penalty spot. Burnley struggled with yet another Everton set piece, Ben Mee handling the ball inside the box as Mina and Kurt Zouma caused all kinds of problems at the back post.
Burnley pulled a goal back before halftime, but that’s as close as they would get. James Tarkowski‘s header hit the post and was narrowly kept out by Jordan Pickford and Co., but everyone in a white shirt appeared to stop after the ball caromed back into play, leaving Ben Gibson in perfect position for a relatively simple finish.
Following a rather nondescript opening 25 minutes of the second half, Digne restored the three goal lead and put the game away with a long-range strike in the 71st minute. No one closed him down from nearly 30 yards out, so he fired a low, bouncing ball through traffic. It just so happened to evade a sea of bodies, including an outstretched Hart.
Everton put the cherry on top and scored a few style points as Sigurdsson found Richarlison with a seeing-eye through ball in the 93rd minute. The Brazilian split two defenders and fired past Hart to make the final score 5-1.
The victory sees Everton pick up three points and leapfrog three sides en route to eighth place in the league table (for the time being, as Watford play later on Wednesday). Burnley, meanwhile, remain in 18th, with the prospects of a tough relegation battle now realer than ever.