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Transfer Window Round Up - January 2016

A poor December and a worrying start to January had seen Brighton and Hove Albion's promotion bid derailed slightly. How much that led to the club to be quite so proactive in the transfer window we'll never know but it has been a surprisingly good winter of signings.

Normally we do next to bugger all business in January and what we do do turns out to be a complete waste of time - Leon Best last year and David Rodriguez the season before anyone? But Tony Bloom can obviously smell the lure of the Premier League and so has taken a gamble by signing a proven Championship performer and splashing the cash else where as well.

Injuries had played a large part in that disappointing run of form with Gaetan Bong and Liam Rosenior both out for the long term meaning a total lack of left backs. Liam Ridgewell has arrived to rectify that problem while the continued fitness woes of Solly March and Kazenga LuaLua have seen Anthony Knockaert come in for a reported club record fee from Standard Leige.

The Albion's bid to re-sign every single player from the 2002-03 squad gathered pace with Steve Sidwell returning on loan from Stoke City and Irish PFA Player of the Year Richie Towell arrived from Dundalk although he hasn't been thrown in yet. There was also a deadline day move for Czech Republic international Jiri Skalak and a whole host of signings for the development squad.

Going out the door were three players who have limited game time this season as Rohan Ince, Jake Forster-Caskey, Adam Chicksen and Elvis Manu left the building for loan spells with Fulham, McDons and Huddersfield Town respectively.

Here's who came in and out in January 2016:

OUT:
Rohan Ince - Fulham
Last seasons Young Player of the Season has hardly had a look in this time around such has been the performances of Beram Kayal and Dale Stephens. He now has the fit again Andrew Crofts and Steve Sidwell ahead of him in the pecking order so a loan move for first team football at Fulham is sensible.
Jake Forster-Caskey - Milton Keynes Dons
The England under 21 midfielder is in the same boat as Ince, unable to shift a plethora of players ahead of him in the pecking order. He spent time with McDons earlier in the season and returns to stadium:mk on loan for the rest of the season.
Elvis Manu - Huddersfield Town
He has said he regrets the decision to sign for the Albion and we're sure given the 1.5m spent the feeling is mutual. A loan move will allow him game time to learn the Championship and he may come back a better player. Rumours that he spent his medical in an offside position remain unconfirmed.
 
IN:
Anthony Knockaert - Standard Leige
Rumoured to be the clubs record signing, the winger already looks like a great piece of business after arriving from Standard Leige marking his home debut against Huddersfield with two assists and a man-of-the-match showing. Has experience of winning promotion with Leicester.
Jiri Skalak - Mlada Boleslav
Another forward, he can play anywhere across the front three and arrives from Czech side Mlada Boleslav for an undisclosed fee where he had six goals in 16 games this season. Will almost certainly prove to be an upgrade on Elvis Manu and add competition, probably to the wide areas.
Steve Sidwell - Stoke City
Scored five goals in 12 games during a previous loan spell back in 2002. He will add top flight experience and quality to the midfield on his return from Stoke City - but was another central midfielder what we really needed in this window?
Liam Ridgewell - Vancouver Whitecaps
It was fairly obvious we were buggered at left back when our first two choices received long term injuries. Signing an experienced Premier League player for a couple of months from the MLS has proven to be an excellent move and he hasn't yet taken a photo of him wiping his arse with any 50 notes.
Richie Towell - Dundalk
Irish PFA Player of the Year scored an obscene amount of goals from midfield for Dundalk from whom he arrives on a free transfer. Players from Ireland are notoriously hit and miss so it will be interesting to see if he can establish himself ahead of a wealth of other creative midfield players.

Positives:

Negatives:

Rating:

  • For once the club have shown they are willing to spend money in January with the captures of Anthony Knockaert and Jiri Skalak
  • Left back was a major cause of concern and that was addressed early on

  • Young players such as Rohan Ince, Elvis Manu and Jake Forster-Caskey who aren't going to get a game here move to other Championship clubs to continue their development.

  • One word - striker.

8.3
/10