Christian Eriksen

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Champions League squads changes for four PL teams

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Monday was the deadline for all clubs to submit their final 25-man squads to UEFA for the knockout phase of the Champions League. With all four qualified Premier League teams still in the mix, it’s time to run through each club’s squad and see who made the cut and who was left at home.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Tottenham sees goalkeeper Hugo Lloris back in the fold after a serious elbow injury forced him to withdraw from the Champions League squad in October.

One significant note, thanks to new UEFA rules instituted during last year’s competition, no players are cup-tied for the knockout phase regardless of what competition they played for in the group stage. This is particularly of note to Liverpool who was able to add winger Takumi Minamino to the list despite the former RB Salzburg player having been deployed for the German club in the group stage before his January move. Spurs also benefitted from the new rule as Steven Bergwijn and Gedson Fernandes both would have previously been cup-tied.

The most notable exclusion comes for Tottenham Hotspur who sees Victor Wanyama left off the squad, having made just one appearance for Spurs since September in a six-minute showing against Bayern Munich in the Champions League group stage finale. Liverpool also left off young defender Sepp van den Berg who was sacrificed for the inclusion of new boy Minamino.

For Manchester City, the injured Leroy Sane was left on the squad with nobody new arriving. The same occurred for Chelsea who saw Ruben Loftus-Cheek still in the group despite his recovery from an Achilles tear.

Liverpool

IN: Takumi Minamino (transfer, RB Salzburg)
OUT: Sepp van den Berg

Full squad: Alisson, Adrian, Andy Lonergan, Caoimhim Kelleher*; Virgil Van Dijk, Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Andy Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Adam Lewis*; Fabinho, Georginio Wijnaldum, James Milner, Naby Keita, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Adam Lallana, Xherdan Shaqiri, Harvey Elliott, Curtis Jones*, Herbie Kane*, Neco Williams*, Yasser Larouci*; Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Takumi Minamino, Divock Origi, Rhian Brewster*.

Manchester City

IN: [none]
OUT: Angelino (loan, RB Leipzig), Ian Poveda (transfer, Leeds United)

Full squad: Ederson, Claudio Bravo Scott Carson; John Stones, Kyle Walker, Aymeric Laporte, Nicolas Otamendi, Benjamin Mendy, Oleksandr Zinchenko, Joao Cancelo, Eric Garcia*; Fernandinho, Ilkay Gundogan, Rodri, Leroy Sane, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, David Silva, Riyad Mahrez, Phil Foden*; Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus, Sergio Aguero.

Chelsea

IN: [none]
OUT: Marc Guehi (loan, Swansea City), George McEachran (loan, Cambuur)

Full squad: Kepa Arrizabalaga, Willy Caballero, Jamie Cumming*, Nicholas Tie*; Antonio Rudiger, Marcos Alonso, Andreas Christensen, Kurt Zouma, Cesar Azpilicueta, Fikayo Tomori, Emerson, Reece James*; Jorginho, N’Golo Kante, Ross Barkley, Willian, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Mateo Kovacic, Mason Mount*, Callum Hudson-Odoi*, Christian Pulisic, Billy Gilmour*, Tammy Abraham, Pedro, Olivier Giroud, Michy Batshuayi.

Tottenham Hotspur

IN: Steven Bergwijn (transfer, PSV), Hugo Lloris, Gedson Fernandes (loan, Benfica)
OUT: Christian Eriksen (transfer, Inter), Danny Rose (loan, Newcastle), Kyle Walker-Peters (loan, Southampton), Victor Wanyama, Troy Parrott

Full squad: Hugo Lloris, Michel Vorm, Paulo Gazzaniga, Alfie Whiteman*, Brandon Austin*; Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vergtonghen, Davinson Sanchez, Serge Aurier, Juan Foyth*, Ben Davies, Ryan Sessegnon, Japhet Tanganga*, Timothy Eyoma*; Eric Dier, Harry Winks, Erik Lamela, Moussa Sissoko, Giovani Lo Celso, Dele Alli, Tanguy Ndombele, Gedson Fernandes, Oliver Skipp*, Jamie Bowden*, Harvey White*; Harry Kane, Lucas Moura, Heung-Min Son, Steven Bergwijn.

*denotes a “List B” player, who must be born on, or after, 1 January 1995 and eligible to play for the club concerned for any uninterrupted period of two years since his 15th birthday. A club can list an unlimited number of List B players, whereas they may only list 25 List A players

Christian Eriksen blasts Spurs for treatment, trophies

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New Inter midfielder Christian Eriksen has spoken out about his final year at Tottenham and his desire to win trophies, and neither of those topics make for particularly easy reading for Spurs fans.

In an interview with BBC Sport, the 27-year-old said he felt like he was often made a scapegoat after announcing he would depart at the end of the season upon the expiration of his contract.

“If you have a short contract, you will be the black sheep,” Eriksen said, then discussing an “honest” interview given after the Champions League final where he first mentioned the possibility of leaving after the following season. “I did get the blame for a lot of stuff, for being the bad guy. I read I was the bad person in the changing room, that ever since I said I wanted to leave, it was no good me being there. To be honest, over the last few years, if anything came up, any player would think about leaving but I was the guy who said it publicly.”

Eriksen praised Jose Mourinho for allowing him to continue playing despite his situation, and said that it was not definite he would depart this winter until talks with Inter became more serious.

Then, speaking with Sky Italy, Eriksen blasted Spurs for the club’s inability to win trophies, coming closest during last summer’s Champions League final, in which the club fell to Liverpool. Eriksen seems to believe Tottenham wouldn’t come that close again.

“There’s a big chance of winning a trophy here or a bigger chance than where I was of course,” Eriksen told Sky Italy. “The Champions League final was a very bad day, we lost which you don’t want to remember. I’m here to win and start something new. The last time I won something was at Ajax so it’s many years ago. I still remember the feeling so I want to achieve it here as well.”

At Ajax, Eriksen was a three-time Dutch league champion and won the KNVB Bekker once as well. Inter is currently three points back of Juventus in a race for the Serie A title and has reached the Coppa Italia semifinals, while the club has fallen out of the Champions League and will take on Russian side Ludogorets in the Europa League later this month. Overall, Inter has not won a trophy since its 2010/11 Coppa Italia win, the season after winning its last Serie A title.

PL Club Power Rankings: Week 25

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As Liverpool chases a season-long zero in the loss column, other normal challengers are measuring themselves in new ways.

For Tottenham Hotspur, it’s about how the pieces fit into Jose Mourinho’s system.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

Sunday’s 2-0 defeat of Man City was wonderful for the club on the table, of course, but it was even more intriguing because Steven Bergwijn and Japhet Tanganga offered promise of the new and long-term.

Christian Eriksen is gone. Danny Rose is probably out, too. Others will leave Tottenham Hotspur Stadium as well, but Mourinho has reinspired Dele Alli, found the fit for Giovani Lo Celso, and introduce at least two new pieces.

Now, what’s next? And how high do they rise on our rankings after toppling Man City?

Green: New season-high ranking
Red: New season-low

[ MORE: PL Club Power Rankings archive ]


20. Norwich City — After failing to bring their finishing boots to St. James’ Park, the Canaries are going to find it hard to find 15 points from their remaining fixtures, let alone 22 to get to the fabled 40-mark. Liverpool, Wolves, Leicester City, and Sheffield United are next. Woof.
Last week: 20
Season high: 10
Season low: 20
Last match: Drew 0-0 at Newcastle United
Up next: 12:30 p.m. ET Feb. 15 v. Liverpool

19. West Ham United — All David Moyes does is win, which is why West Ham has claimed five points from six league matches under his leadership. The first one was the only win, home to woeful Bournemouth.
Last week: 19
Season high: 5
Season low: 20
Last match: Drew 3-3 v. Brighton and Hove Albion
Up next: 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday v. West Ham United

18. Brighton and Hove Albion — There’s a lot to like about the Seagulls, who have to find a way to stay up and give Graham Potter another transfer window to implement his system. Three big matches ahead, as Brighton will then face six brutal fixtures in seven.
Last week: 12
Season high: 6
Season low: 18
Last match: Drew 3-3 at West Ham
Up next: 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday v. Watford

17. Aston Villa — Good battle and a fine first PL goal for Mbwana Samatta, but 2-1 to 10-man Bournemouth is a hard place to find yourself.
Last week: 14
Season high: 6
Season low: 19
Last match: Lost 2-1 at Bournemouth
Up next: 9 a.m. ET Feb. 16 v. Spurs

16. Watford — Probably deserve to be above Bournemouth, but equally deserving of slippage for the manner of its loss to Everton.
Last week: 15
Season high: 13
Season low: 20
Last match: Lost 3-2 v. Everton
Up next: 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Brighton

15. Bournemouth — Back-to-back wins are a fine tonic after a wretched loss at Norwich City.
Last week: 18
Season high: 6
Season low: 18
Last match: Won 2-1 v. Aston Villa
Up next: 9 a.m. ET Sunday at Sheffield United

14. Crystal Palace — Four of the next six are away from Selhurst Park, but Roy Hodgson‘s men will still like the look of the schedule more their most recent handful of matches.
Last week: 13
Season high: 5
Season low: 18
Last match: Lost 1-0 v. Sheffield United
Up next: 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday at Everton

13. Newcastle United — It would be nice if we could have as much confidence in Newcastle playing from positions of power as we have in them in a low block against Champions League contenders. For example: We feel it’s as likely they take a point from Arsenal in two weeks as they are to comfortably beat Oxford United in Tuesday’s FA Cup replay.
Last week: 12
Season high: 11
Season low: 20
Last match: Drew 0-0 v. Norwich City
Up next: 11:30 a.m. ET Feb. 16 at Arsenal

12. Burnley — Just doing what they do, manufacturing points out of nearly nothing (To be fair, Sean Dyche‘s crew was deserving of three versus Arsenal but became the latest to be foiled by Bernd Leno).
Last week: 16
Season high: 5
Season low: 17
Last match: Drew 0-0 v. Arsenal
Up next: 7:30 a.m. ET Feb. 15 at Southampton

11. Manchester United — Bruno Fernandes showed promise, but United’s depth is inexcusable with Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford missing. Zero accountability.
Last week: 11
Season high: 2
Season low: 16
Last match: Lost 2-0 v. Burnley
Up next: 3 p.m. ET Feb. 17 at Chelsea

10. Southampton — Danny Ings was fouled. How did VAR next catch that?!? Anyway, Saints are at home for three of the next five, and everyone on the fixture list is 12th or lower on our rankings. What we’re saying is, don’t be surprised if Southampton is in the Top Seven mix with eight matches to play.
Last week: 7
Season high: 7
Season low: 20
Last match: Lost 4-0 at Liverpool
Up next: 7:30 a.m. ET Feb. 15 v. Burnley

9. Arsenal — Mikel Artera has the side pointed in the right direction, but the draw with Burnley basically ties their UCL fate to the Europa League. That competition is also about to make their calendar insane.
Last week: 8
Season high: 4
Season low: 13
Last match: Drew 0-0 at Burnley
Up next: 11:30 a.m. ET Feb. 16  v. Newcastle United

8. Everton — A must-win when Palace visits Saturday before two weeks off a four-match run against traditional powers (Arsenal, Man Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool).
Last week: 10
Season high: 5
Season low: 19
Last match: Won 3-2 at Watford
Up next: 7:30 a.m. ET Saturday v. Crystal Palace

7. Chelsea — From Feb. 17-25, the Blues will face Manchester United, Spurs, and Bayern Munich. A plus: They’re at home. A minus: Christian Pulisic is still hurt.
Last week: 5
Season high: 2
Season low: 12
Last match: Drew 2-2 at Leicester City
Up next: 3 p.m. ET Feb. 17 v. Manchester United

6. Wolves — Enjoy the rest, boys; Wolves play five matches in 16 days beginning Valentine’s Day versus Leciester City.
Last week: 4
Season high: 3
Season low: 17
Last match: Drew 0-0 at Man Utd
Up next: 3 p.m. ET Feb. 14 v. Leicester City

5. Sheffield United — Top four might be too big of an ask, but the Blades remaining fixture list says a Europa League spot is truly an option. Sander Berge looks the truth, but a star striker will be a summer priority.
Last week: 6
Season high: 5
Season low: 17
Last match: Won 1-0 at Crystal Palace
Up next: 9 a.m. ET Sunday v. Bournemouth

4. Leicester City — The Foxes are on a week-to-week evaluation now. Drawing Chelsea is a great result as Leicester looks to hang onto a Champions League place.
Last week: 3
Season high: 2
Season low: 10
Last match: Drew 2-2 v. Chelsea
Up next: 3 p.m. ET Feb. 14 at Wolves

3. Tottenham Hotspur — We can’t quite put them on Man City’s level despite a 2-0 win in North London, because, well, 18-3 in shots really did tell the story. But the result itself is vintage Mourinho, and thoughts of silverware should be on the mind if a win over Saints on Tuesday leads to Norwich City in the FA Cup’s fifth round.
Last week: 7
Season high: 2
Season low: 16
Last match: Won 2-0 v. Man City
Up next: 9 a.m. ET Feb. 16 at Aston Villa

2. Man City — Rodri is right.
Last week: 2
Season high: 1
Season low: 6
Last match: Lost 2-0 at Spurs
Up next: 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday v. West Ham United

1. Liverpool — Reds supporters need to make a bargain with the rest of the league’s supporters: They need to acknowledge that Jurgen Klopp‘s machine is one of the most impressive in history, and the Anfield faithful should acknowledge that the 22-point gap atop the table has involved heaping spoonfuls of good Fortune to go with magnificent heart and talent.
Last week: 1
Season high: 1
Season low: 3
Last match: Won 4-0 v. Saints
Up next: 12:30 p.m. ET Feb. 15 at Norwich City

PL Sunday preview: Spurs host Man City; Burnley v. Arsenal

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Matchweek 25 of the 2019-20 Premier League season wraps up on Sunday with a pair of fixtures featuring three of the “big-six” sides, two of which have slipped to mid-table mediocrity, in action…

[ MORE: Klopp: “Really special” Liverpool group overcame rough half ]

Burnley v. Arsenal — 9 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

Fun fact: a February meeting between Burnley and Arsenal will decide which of the two sides sits higher in the table after 25 games. If you had bet any amount of money that the Clarets and Gunners would be level on points (30) heading into their matchup on Sunday, you would be in possession of one very valuable betting slip.

How, exactly, did it come to this for Arsenal?

For starters, they have just six wins from 24 PL games this season. Two teams have won fewer than six wins, and they currently sit 19th and 20th (Watford and Norwich City, respectively) in the table. The only thing keeping Mikel Arteta‘s side afloat is the 12 draws, including each of their last three games.

On the bright side, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is set to return from a three-game suspension. The Gabonese international is third in the PL with 14 goals this season and has a lethal record against Burnley: seven goals in four PL meetings.

INJURIES: Burnley — OUT: Ashley Barnes (groin), Johann Gudmundsson (hamstring) | Arsenal — OUT: Calum Chambers (knee), Kieran Tierney (shoulder); QUESTIONABLE: Sead Kolasinac (thigh), Shkodran Mustafi (ankle), Reiss Nelson (hamstring), Cedric Soares (knee)

Tottenham Hotspur v. Man City — 11:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

For the first time in nearly 15 months months, Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola are set to renew their longtime rivalry, doing so for the first time as the managers of Tottenham and Man City, respectively.

For Mourinho, it comes at a time of major transition within the Spurs squad. Gone are Christian Eriksen (Inter Milan) and Harry Kane (injury), leaving Mourinho with just four available attacking players for the foreseeable future, and that includes brand new signing Steven Bergwijn who arrived on Wednesday. According to Mourinho, the Dutch winger will go straight into the team out of necessity.

“We have four attacking players — Son, Lucas, Lamela and Steven — so he has to be involved,” Mourinho said ahead of Sunday. “I would like to give him more time, probably the perfect situation would be to come (in) after the winter break, but that’s not possible.

“It’s not a drama because he’s played with PSV, so he has match fitness, it’s just a question of learning how to play with us, but I don’t think it would be a problem for him to play some minutes.”

As for Guardiola, the rest of the PL campaign figures to be little more than a formality bordering on obligation. Liverpool lead the two-time defending champions by a mind-boggling 22 points with four months of the season still remaining. Finding the small joys and motivations — like beating Mourinho — will have to suffice for satisfaction, at least in league play.

INJURIES: Spurs — OUT: Harry Kane (hamstring), Moussa Sissoko (knee), Ben Davies (ankle) | Man City — QUESTIONABLE: Aymeric Laporte (knee), Leroy Sane (knee), Fernandinho (undisclosed), Benjamin Mendy (undisclosed)

January transfer window grades

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With the January transfer window now shut, it is time to reflect on which Premier League clubs did the best business as we dish out some grades.

Who doesn’t love to rank which team did the best business? Exactly. Here it goes.

[ TRANSFER TRACKER: Full list of January PL deals


Arsenal: B+
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.

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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.


Bournemouth: D-
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.


Burnley: C
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.


Chelsea: D-
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.

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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. Wilfried Zaha is still around, so that’s the main positive.


Everton: C
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.


Liverpool: C
Takumi Minamino came in early on a bargain deal and in truth, how on earth do you strengthen this team? Jurgen Klopp kept hold of some of his squad players as Xherdan Shaqiri was linked with a move away but right now this Liverpool squad is so strong and everybody wants to stay. An easy window.


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.

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Newcastle United: B+
You know what, that was a really good window for the Magpies. They had injuries and addressed them with Danny Rose coming in on loan at left back and Nabil Bentaleb will add extra quality in midfield. Valentino Lazaro will add some depth to the wide areas too and the only thing missing was a striker as they missed out on Olivier Giroud.


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.


Sheffield United: B+
Signing Sander Berge for a club-record fee was a huge surprise and the Norwegian midfielder is one of the brightest young central midfielders in Europe. Chris Wilder made a few other shrewd signings in Jack Rodwell, Jack Robinson plus young Greek defender Panagiotis Retsos and young Dutch striker Zivkovic also arrived. For a newly-promoted team who are pushing for European qualification, this was a great window.


Southampton: C
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.

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Watford: D-
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.


Wolverhampton Wanderers: C+
Some savvy buys from Wolves as they continue to purchase real quality with their links to Jorge Mendes. Daniel Podence is a great signing and will be an immediate starter while youngsters Leonardo Campana and Luke Matheson arrived and will be ones for the future.

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