2016 January transfer window

VIDEO: Martino, Earle praise Stoke City’s record-breaking buy Imbula


Why did Stoke City break their transfer record for Porto midfielder Giannelli Imbula?

That’s the $26 million question, but the answer isn’t too tricky according to NBC Sports Soccer’s Robbie Earle and Kyle Martino.

[ MORE: Deadline Day Done Deals ]

The 23-year-old French midfielder is a box-to-box hustler with plenty of grit and creativity to him, a two-way player if you will.

Stoke’s 33 points have the club four points back of fifth place Manchester United and nine back of No. 4 Tottenham Hotspur.

The strange trip of U.S. U-23 back Shane O’Neill heads to England

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What a weird journey it’s been for former Colorado Rapids youngster Shane O’Neill.

As long as the paperwork goes through, England is about to have another American competitor. The 22-year-old Irish-born defender is leaving Cypriot side Apollon Limassol to join Cambridge United on loan.

[ MORE: Deadline Day Done Deals ]

The U’s are three points out of a promotion playoff spot in League Two, England’s fourth-tier. Cambridge is managed by longtime Crystal Palace, QPR and Leeds midfielder Shaun Derry.

O’Neill has made 22 appearances for the United States’ U-20 and U-23 sides, but can still represent Ireland if he’d like. He left Apollon Limassol on loan last year, but hasn’t played for loan club Royal Mouscron-Péruwelz or his permanent club.

Let’s hope this is a step in the right direction — or at least out of the wilderness — for the promising and versatile O’Neill.

TRANSFER GRADES: How did each Premier League team fare in January?


Below is a look at how each Premier League team fared during the 2016 January transfer window.

[ MORE: Latest transfer news

With plenty of ins and outs this month, it’s safe to say some did better business than others.

Do you agree with these grades?

source:  A- Newcastle: Adding Shelvey and Townsend for $17.3 million each was pricey but worth it from the top spenders in January. Saivet will add competition and grabbing Doumbia on loan is a gamble which could save them from relegation. Brave, and a very good, window.
source:  B+ Watford: The Hornets kept splashing the cash. Bringing in Pantilimon, Suarez and Amrabat made their squad stronger and adding two prospects then loaning them out on Deadline Day. Very good way for the PL new boys.


 B+ Stoke City: Mark Hughes and Stoke kept up their trend of surprising transfers late on in the window. Giannelli Imbula arrived on Deadline Day for a club record $26 million and will strengthen them considerably in midfield. The Potter look to keep pushing for the top six.
source:  B Bournemouth: The Cherries added plenty of bodies in attack, which is what they needed. Benik Afobe and Lewis Grabban have settled quickly, while Juan Iturbe looks dangerous. A top defensive addition would’ve made this window better.
source:  B Norwich City: Like Bournemouth, the newly-promoted Canaries added plenty of numbers as they aim to avoid the drop. Naismith and Bamford arrived up top, while Klose and Pinto arrived at the back. Promising youngster James Maddison joined late on as Alex Neil bought well.
source:  B Everton: The Toffees were very quiet up until the last day and then they signed Oumar Niasse from Lokomotiv Moscow for $20 million. Perhaps Roberto Martinez should’ve spent more on new defenders but Niasse will add goals and assists and is the Russian Premier League’s reigning player of the year. Tidy.
source:  C+ Sunderland: Kone, Khazri, Kirchhoof and N’Doye all arrived, while Sam Allardyce did some necessary trimming to their squad. Not a bad window but will the new additions be enough to keep them up?
source:  C+ West Brom: The main aim in this window was not to sell Saido Berahino to a relegation rival and chairman Jeremy Peace achieved that. Alex Pritchard coming in will add some trickery in midfield.
source:  C+ Crystal Palace: Emmanuel Adebayor arrived on a short-term deal and could deliver the goals to push Palace into the top six. With his temperament, he’s a gamble, but Palace need goals to keep their good start to the season going.
source:  C+ West Ham: The Hammers brought in Emmanuel Emenike on loan to help push them into the top five and his goals will help. Adding Sam Byram at right back is also a shrewd acquisition.
source:  C+ Leicester City: The Foxes were hoping to get a move for Loic Remy or Ahmed Musa over the line late in the window but the title-chasers did add Demarai Gray and Daniel Amarety during January. They also kept hold of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez.
source:  C Southampton: Saints had two aims in the window: keep hold of Sadio Mane and Victor Wanyama. Check. Add a striker. Check. A $6 million move for Charlie Austin could be the bargain of the season. Job done for Ronald Koeman.
source:  C- Swansea City: Leroy Fer joined on loan and striker Alberto Paloschi arrived from Chievo in Italy. Swansea fans will be concerned with the hole Jonjo Shelvey has left. A relegation battle now beckons. Can this squad cope?
source:  C- Manchester City: Not a lot going on at all for City… well, on the playing side at least. With Pellegrini confirming he’s out in the summer and Guardiola confirmed as his replacement, pretty simple to expect no ins or outs.
source:  D Liverpool: Steven Caulker arriving on loan was as good as it got for Liverpool, plus youngster Marko Grujic arrived. The pursuit of Alex Teixeira turned into a saga and Shakhtar Donestk wanted $75 million for the Brazilian. It is likely Jurgen Klopp will go back in for him this summer when his price drops.
source:  D Manchester United: Like Liverpool, a little disappointing for United. They added nobody and you have to think someone like Berahino would make a difference between now and the end of the season. Maybe Louis Van Gaal has spent all the cash?
source:  D Arsenal: Mohamed Elneny was Arsenal’s only signing and they let Yaya Sanogo and Mathieu Debuchy go on loan. This was a big chance for the Gunners to add some real depth and perhaps another attacking option to breath new life into their title charge.
source:  D Chelsea: The Blues were trying to move on Falcao and Remy until the end, and many Chelsea fans were hoping for a new striker (Pato joined on loan but is more of a winger and unlikely to feature often) to ease the pressure on Costa. USMNT youngster Miazga arrived which was big news Stateside. That said, the biggest news in January from Stamford Bridge was John Terry not being handed a new deal and he will leave this summer.
source:  D- Tottenham:  A real missed opportunity for Spurs. Berahino, again, would’ve made sense and with Jan Vertonghen going down they look a little short at the back. Just five points off the top, why didn’t Spurs board back Pochettino and give him some money to spend?
source:  F Aston Villa: A very, very bad window for Remi Garde. No new arrivals means the Villans will struggle on between now and the end of the season. How did this happen? Is owner Randy Lerner already resigned to relegation?


Deadline Day Done Deals: Niasse, Doumbia, Imbula head to Premier League


Here are the most notable (as time of posting) Premier League moves made on this final day of the January transfer window.

[ MORE: Pep to Man City official ]

Newcastle United lands striker Seydou Doumbia on loan from AS Roma.

Everton brings Russian Premier League Player of the Year Oumar Niasse from Lokomotiv Moscow. The Toffees have loaned Aiden McGeady to Sheffield Wednesday.

Swansea City gets PL experience by bringing Leroy Fer on loan from QPR. The Welsh club has also loaned striker Eder to Lille.

Stoke City breaks its transfer record in bringing in French defensive midfielder Giannelli Imbula from Porto.

United States defender Shane O’Neill is headed on loan from Apollon Limassol to Cambridge United.

Sunderland has loaned striker Steven Fletcher to Marseille, while Arsenal loaned defender Mathieu Debuchy to Bordeaux.

BRISTOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 5: Jordan Rhodes of Blackburn Rovers during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bristol City and Blackburn Rovers at Ashton Gate on December 5, 2015 in Bristol, England. (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)
The 25-year-old Rhodes has 28, 25 and 21 goals in his last three full seasons (Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images).

Prolific Blackburn striker Jordan Rhodes (right) is making the move to promotion hopefuls Middlesbrough, after much interest from Premier League sides.

Longtime Arsenal prospect Yaya Sanogo is on loan to Charlton Athletic, while Chelsea prospect Marco Van Ginkel moves to PSV Eindhoven.

Leicester City has loaned Yohan Benalouane to Fiorentina for the remainder of the season.

It’s been a busy day in Major League Soccer as well, with Colorado Rapids signing two-time reigning Swiss Golden Boot winner Shkelzen Gashi as a DP, and New England Revolution have their Jermaine Jones replacement in FC Sion midfielder Xavier Kouassi.

Porto is talking with Sporting KC’s teenage defender Erik Palmer-Brown.

Leroy Fer joins Swansea City on loan from QPR

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QPR midfielder Leroy Fer has sealed a transfer Deadline Day move to Swansea City.

Fer, 26, has arrived at Swansea on a loan deal until the end of the season and makes the jump up from the Championship to the Premier League after spending last season in the top-flight with the R’s.

[ MORE: Latest transfer news

A Dutch international, Fer shone and scored some spectacular goals for the Hoops but missed plenty of the season through injury as the west London club were relegated.

Fer has the ability to play both in a central and wide position, but he does have the unwanted record of being relegated from the Premier League in each of the the last two seasons with first Norwich City in 2013-14 and then QPR in 2014-15.

Swansea — who currently sit four points above the drop zone — will be hoping lightning doesn’t strike three times.

The acquisition of Fer, a player who has proven himself in the PL with 10 goals in 63 appearances, will soften the blow of Jonjo Shelvey‘s departure earlier in the January window to relegation rivals Newcastle United.