The January transfer window is over, and though there hasn't been a major deal of Andy Carroll or Fernando Torres proportions, there has been plenty of movement to mull over now that the dust is beginning to settle. So who were the winners and losers in the market? talkSPORT rate and slate the transactions...
The major priority for Liverpool in the January window was bringing in a striker to provide some extra potency in front of goal, with the Reds relying heavily on Luis Suarez in the first half of the season. In that regard, Liverpool already look like winners, with Daniel Sturridge hitting the ground running and scoring three goals since joining his new team in January. Philippe Coutinho will need time to settle in the Premier League, according to Spanish football correspondent Graham Hunter, who told talkSPORT that the former Espanyol man is physically frail, but bursting with talent. If Coutinho can produce the kind of form he displayed in La Liga, he could be a big signing for the Reds and should offer them more quality on the ball.
While bringing Lewis Holtby to White Hart Lane earlier than expected was a positive for Spurs, it's worth keeping in mind that they have still failed to strengthen in the area needed to most. With Jermain Defoe carrying an injury and Emmanuel Adebayor at the Africa Cup of Nations - and not exactly in top form this season - bringing in an additional forward should have been a priority for Spurs. Their failure to do so could prove costly in the coming weeks.
They left it late, but in signing Nacho Monreal Arsenal may have finally solved their problem at left-back, albeit after their hand was forced by an injury to Kieran Gibbs. With their attacking players finally clicking and a range of options in midfield with Abou Diaby returning from injury, the main focus for the Gunners was improving their back line and they achieved that right at the end of the window.
The January transfer window tends to be associated with panic buying, something Sir Alex Ferguson is understandably keen to avoid, so Manchester United's relative lack of movement in the window is understandable. On the other hand, United have brought in the likes of Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic in past winter windows, players who went on to be stalwarts of the team for years to come, proving that intelligent purchases in January can pay off. Wilfried Zaha was recruited, which could prove a fantastic signing in years to come, but he has already gone back on loan to Palace, so Alex Ferguson will forge on with the same squad this season. What is perhaps most surprising about United's lack of movement this year is that their lack of a truly world class central midfielder has been known for some time and could well be the difference between Champions League glory and an early exit. With a revitalised Real Madrid side waiting in the Champions League, the Red Devils could be made to pay for their failure to strengthen.
Verdict: Jury's out
Given Chelsea paid around £50m for Fernando Torres in 2011 (and we all know how that worked out), the Blues could be forgiven for treating the winter market with the utmost caution, but they desperately needed reinforcements up front. That situation only became more urgent when Daniel Sturridge was sold to Liverpool, so to sign Demba Ba for less money was a coup. Radamel Falcao may be the one Roman wants this summer, but Ba's three goals in four starts is a promising return for the new arrival.
It's impossible to talk about the recent transfer window without mentioning QPR, whose £12.5m signing of Chris Samba alone meant they spent more than the entirety of Spain's La Liga! Samba, along with the £8m spent on Loic Remy, were the two big fees paid by the Super Hoops, while Tal Ben Haim, Jermain Jenas and Andros Townsend will all cost their weight in wages too. All in, it's a high risk strategy for the Premier League's bottom side, but they were already in trouble having spent big money under Mark Hughes, so while they have raised the stakes, at the same Tony Fernandes has given Harry Redknapp a better chance of keeping them up. Winners, for the moment.
Norwich decided to give Celtic a call some time in January and ask them if they would like to sell Gary Hooper, to which Celtic CEO Peter Lawwell politely replied, 'no'. Not content, the Canaries attempted the same trick three more times, increasing their bid on each occasion, only to receive the same reply. In the end, they got Luciano Becchio instead.
The long, drawn out break up between Mario Balotelli and Roberto Mancini finally came to an end, with Manchester City sending the unpredictable striker on his way to AC Milan. The forward had been living on borrowed time for a while and his departure should help to remove some tension from a difficult to manage City squad. Some parties have suggested that the Manchester side should have added an additional striker to replace him, but with Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and Carlos Tevez on their books and no Champions League football to play, they should be well covered.
Do you agree with our ratings? How do you rate your own club's business in the transfer window? Let us know below...