Danny Drinkwater

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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Transfer Tracker: Every January done deal in Premier League

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Below are all the completed incoming and outgoing first-team transfers by Premier League teams this winter. This January transfer tracker will be updated in real time to reflect completed transfers that make it through to confirmation before the window shuts.

Watch our transfer deadline day show from 6-8 p.m. ET on Jan. 31, live on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com.

Player names with clickable links will send you to the story for that particular signing.

ARSENAL

IN
Pablo Mari – loan, Flamengo
Cedric – loan, Southampton

OUT
Konstantinos Mavropanos – loan, Nurnberg
Emile Smith-Rowe – loan, Huddersfield Town

ASTON VILLA

IN
Mbwana Samatta – $15.7m, KRC Genk
Danny Drinkwater – loan, Chelsea
Pepe Reina – loan, AC Milan
Borja Baston – undisclosed, Swansea City

OUT
Jonathan Kodija – $4.4m, Al Gharafa
Scott Hogan – loan, Birmingham City

BOURNEMOUTH

IN
[none]

OUT
Asmir Begovic – loan, AC Milan

BRIGHTON & HOVE ALBION

IN
Aaron Mooy – $9m, Huddersfield Town
Tariq Lamptey – undisclosed, Chelsea

OUT
Anders Dreyer – undisclosed, FC Midtjylland

BURNLEY

IN
Josh Brownhill – $11.8m, Bristol City

OUT
Nahki Wells – $6.6m, Bristol City

CHELSEA

IN
[none]

OUT
Danny Drinkwater – loan, Aston Villa
Victor Moses – loan, AC Milan
Michael Hector – $8.8m, Fulham
Tariq Lamptey – undisclosed, Brighton

CRYSTAL PALACE

IN
Cenk Tosun – loan, Everton

OUT
[none]

EVERTON

IN
[none]

OUT
Cenk Tosun – loan, Crystal Palace

LEICESTER CITY

IN
Ryan Bennett – loan, Wolves

OUT
Andy King – loan, Huddersfield Town

LIVERPOOL

IN
Takumi Minamino – $12.7m, RB Leipzig

OUT
Rhian Brewster – loan, Swansea City

MANCHESTER CITY

IN
[none]

OUT
Patrick Roberts – loan, Middlesbrough
Lukas Nmecha – loan, Middlesbrough

MANCHESTER UNITED

IN
Bruno Fernandes – $88m, Sporting CP
Nathan Bishop – undisclosed, Southend United
Odion Ighalo – loan, Shanghai Shenhua

OUT
Ashley Young – loan, Inter Milan
Marcos Rojo – loan, Estudiantes

NEWCASTLE UNITED

IN
Nabil Bentaleb – loan, Schalke
Valentino Lazaro – loan, Inter Milan
Danny Rose – loan, Tottenham Hotspur

OUT
Ki Sung-yeung – Release
Rolando Aarons – loan, Motherwell

NORWICH CITY

IN
Ondrej Duda – loan, Hertha Berlin
Lukas Rupp – $747k, Hoffenheim

OUT
Carlton Morris – loan, MK Dons
Denis Srbeny – undisclosed, Paderborn

SHEFFIELD UNITED

IN
Sander Berge – $26m, Genk
Jack Rodwell – unattached
Jack Robinson – undisclosed, Nottingham Forest

OUT
Callum Robinson – loan, West Bromwich Albion

SOUTHAMPTON

IN
Kyle Walker-Peters – loan, Tottenham Hotspur

OUT
Josh Sims – loan, New York Red Bulls
Cedric – loan, Arsenal
Maya Yoshida – loan, Sampdoria

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR

IN
Steven Bergwijn – $44.8m, PSV Eindhoven
Gedson Fernandes – loan, Benfica
Giovani Lo Celso – triggered option to buy at $35m, Real Betis

OUT
Christian Eriksen – $22.8 million, Inter Milan
Kyle Walker-Peters – loan, Southampton
Cameron Carter-Vickers – loan, Luton Town

WATFORD

IN
Ignacio Pussetto – $12m, Udinese
Joao Pedro – $5.9m, Fluminense

OUT
Marvin Zeegelaar – $3m, Udinese
Dimitri Foulquier – loan, Granada

WEST HAM UNITED

IN
Darren Randolph – $7m, Middlesbrough
Tomas Soucek – loan, Slavia Prague
Jarrod Bowen – $24m, Hull City

OUT
Roberto – loan, Alaves

WOLVERHAMPTON WANDERERS

IN
Daniel Podence – $29.2m, Olympiakos
Leonardo Campana – free, Barcelona
Enzo Loiodice – loan, Dijon

OUT
Patrick Cutrone – loan, Fiorentina
Ivan Cavaleiro – trigger option to buy $17.6m, Fulham
Rafa Mir – loan, Huesca
Jesus Vallejo – loan, Granada
Ryan Bennett – loan, Leicester City

Aguero rewrites record book as Man City unloads on Aston Villa

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Manchester City took over second place in the Premier League with an emphatic 6-1 beating of Aston Villa at Villa Park on Sunday.

Sergio Aguero wrote a new Premier League record with his 12th hat trick, breaking Alan Shearer’s two-decade old record. He also became the all-time leader in goals for a foreign-born player. Aguero added an assist, because why not?

Riyad Mahrez scored a brace, Kevin De Bruyne supplied a pair of assists, and Gabriel Jesus also scored as the two-time reigning league champs opened up a four-goal halftime lead.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Ilkay Gundogan gave away a needless penalty to Trezeguet in stoppage time. Anwar El Ghazi blasted his effort home for the consolation.

City’s 47 points are 14 back of leaders Liverpool, who have a match-in-hand.

Villa is in the Bottom Three with 21 points, its minus-15 goal differential second worst in the league.


Three things we learned

1. City piling up numbers as sensational Aguero sets standard: Sergio Aguero’s two goals gave him a new Premier League record. His 175 goals are the most scored by a non-English player in league history, and it’s fitting that it came off a David Silva assist. That helped is Silva’s 137th for the club.

Then he upped the ante, scoring his 12th Premier League hat trick. No one’s done that.

2. History-chasing De Bruyne puts on show: Kevin De Bruyne’s .636 assists per league match this season have him well on his way to breaking Thierry Henry’s PL single season assist record. KDB has 14, meaning at current pace he’ll tie or break the record even if he misses four matches.

This pass to meet Gabriel Jesus’ run was just stupid.

3. Nightmare debut for Drinkwater: Danny Drinkwater has a new claret shirt after his loan to Burnley changed to a loan to Aston Villa, but the Chelsea man is still in relegation form. Drinkwater was worked by Mahrez for City’s first goal and then played with lower league speed in failing to clear danger on the second. Honestly, the embattled midfielder could’ve been at fault for a third before the match was 25 minutes old.

Man of the Match: A-guer-o.


City was ready to pounce on any mistakes from Moment No. 1, and Mahrez didn’t need much room to make it 1-0.

The Algerian danced past Danny Drinkwater and then used Kortney Hause as a screen to fire a low shot inside the near post.

Mahrez got his second after some real industry from Aguero on the left. The Argentine pushed a ball off the end line and back into the mixer. Both David Silva and Gabriel Jesus got a piece of the ball en route to Mahrez’s finish.

[ MORE: Premier League stats ] 

Jesus turned a terrific Mendy pass to rip a shot over the bar in the 26th.

Aguero made it 3-0 when Villa’s back line gave him acres of space to rip a shot that Nyland could only slow on its journey to the back of the net.

Aguero and David Silva each could’ve made it four before the 37 minute mark, the latter curling his free kick around the near post.

Jesus hit the scoreboard off a fantastic and acute pass from De Bruyne, the latest example of the latter’s pure wizardry.

Aguero collected a giveaway and clinically finished past Nyland for 6-0 in the 82nd. It was his 16th hat trick for City.

Watch Live: Aston Villa v. Manchester City

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Manchester City bids to move back into second place in the Premier League when it visits Aston Villa on Sunday. (Watch live at 11:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

Danny Drinkwater will make his Villa Park debut in a midfield with Douglas Luiz and Conor Hourihane.

[ STREAM: Aston Villa v. Man City ]

Aston Villa enters the day in the Bottom Three and will finish there without an upset of City, who passes Leicester City with a draw or win.

Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus both start for Man City, as John Stones is fit to partner with Fernandinho in the the back line.

LINEUPS

Aston Villa

Man City

Danny Drinkwater joins Aston Villa on loan

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Chelsea midfielder Danny Drinkwater, desperate for playing time, has joined Aston Villa on loan for the remainder of the season.

The former Leicester City title winner joined Chelsea in the summer of 2017 but has made just five Premier League starts for the Blues.

Drinkwater had joined Burnley on loan this past summer but made just two appearances for the Clarets across all competitions, with the team conceding five goals to Man City and Sunderland while he was on the field. He also struggled through a two month injury spell after hurting his ankle in a nightclub fight.

“Danny was a key member of Leicester City’s title winning team and has represented England so he is a vastly experienced player,” said Aston Villa manager Dean Smith in the official team release. “He will strengthen our squad significantly.”

The 29-year-old is a boost for Aston Villa with key squad member John McGinn sidelined for three months with an ankle fracture. In his absence, Villa has rotated Henri Lansbury, Connor Hourihane, and Marvelous Nakamba as compliments to regular starter Douglas Luiz.