The January transfer window is upon the footballing calendar once more with each of Europe’s respective leagues looking to welcome in a brand new year of success and achievement, both on and off the pitch.
Although the winter window is often categorised by less activity than its summer counterpart, January nonetheless manages to produce some great transfers that no one saw coming with every passing season.
Whilst that may be true, the January transfer window also brings with it its fair share of overpriced players, no-name flops, and overall transfer blunders.
With that in mind, here are five players the footballing world should perhaps look to avoid this January…
This former Manchester City starlet certainly doesn’t need any more talk about his recent circumstances, but Ched Evans nonetheless represents the number one player that teams across England will be looking to avoid in this window.
The 26-year-old Welsh striker was once known for his fairly clinical nature in front of goal, and with 48 goals for Sheffield United in just over 110 games, Evans’ stats imply that he could still be a handy asset for some teams in need of that extra fire power.
A subsequent rape charge and conviction, and apparent denial on the players’ front, have since thrown Ched Evans’ career into complete jeopardy, thought. Oldham Athletic have so far been touted as the most likely side to sign the former Manchester City man, but with everything that has happened in recent months, even that deal looks unlikely at the moment.
Whilst Charlie Adam may suit his current Stoke side with his rugged style of play, the 29-year-old Scotsman finds a place on this list after being linked with a sensational, yet most likely false, move to La Liga.
David Moyes’ new found club Real Sociedad have apparently expressed an interest in signing Adam, who could potentially bring some new found strength, grit and the odd nice goal to the Spanish league. His crossing ability in the Premier League has also been highlighted, largely with his time at Blackpool, but is this enough to warrant a move to the Anoeta Stadium?
We have seen already seen that Adam is simply not the kind of player big teams should be looking at – his time at Liverpool in 2011/12 is a great example of this – but as two Scotsman rarely get to strike up a partnership in La Liga, perhaps there is more to this rumour than meets the eye.
This once unplayable Marseille and Newcastle United star has been nothing short of a shadow of his former self in recent seasons. Hatem Ben Arfa has everything in his locker to remain a star, but seemingly has no place left for a bit of honest hard work.
Whilst we can’t claim to know anything about the attacker’s personal situation and why things haven’t been going well for him recently, the fact that Hull City, a team who have been struggling themselves in the Premier League of late, have no place left for Ben Arfa says a great deal about the player’s character.
On his day he can beat players for fun and score near impossible goals at the drop of a hat, but at 27-years-old, the creative midfielder can no longer be categorised as an immature youngster. Whilst it may seem a shame, Hull City’s experiment with the player, and Newcastle’s subsequent distancing of themselves from Hatem Ben Arfa, should prove to be enough warning for the rest of the league this January.
One player who looks set to be on his way this January is Tottenham Hotspur’s ever-forgotten winger Aaron Lennon. The former Leeds man was one a big name down at White Hart Lane, but these days the 27-year-old is anything but that.
In the past few years, Spurs have landed themselves a whole succession of different managers that just haven’t seen fit to restore Lennon to his former glories. Time seems to have taken its toll on his pace and direct nature, leaving only an average crossing ability that won’t turn heads any time soon.
Aaron Lennon may still be able to offer some of the Premier League strugglers a route out of their current plight, but as he lacks the experience of a relegation dog-fight, is Tottenham’s no.7 really worth taking a gamble on? But with West Brom reportedly stepping up their interest, perhaps we will find out soon enough.
Once one of the most talked about young talents in English football, Scott Sinclair is now desperately in need of a move to resurrect whatever is left of his career. Aston Villa have so far been touted as the favourites to land his signature, but such a deal may not go down as smoothly as expected for Paul Lambert’s side.
The former Chelsea youngster staked his claim in English football with Swansea City back in 2011. He eventually moved to Manchester City with an impressive goal record, ability to send in a nice cross, and an overall effective vision across the pitch. Since that move, however, things haven’t exactly gone well for Sinclair.
The no.12 now sees his game time largely restricted to the City bench, as both under Roberto Mancini and Manuel Pellegrini, Scott Sinclair just hasn’t been fancied at the Etihad. It has largely been reported that the 25-year-old is only at City to make up their home-grown contingency, but as a lack of game time and very little chance to develop his game have certainly been suffered by Sinclair, any future move would prove to be a big risk.