by James Oddy
Ivan Perisic (Borussia Dortmund to VFLWolfsburg)
The 23-year-old creation attacking midfielder is a real talent. He has an impressive goal scoring record for someone who isn’t an out and out striker for Club Brugge. However, he never managed to quite hit the same heights for Dortmund. Wolfsburg are one of the great underachievers in European football this season, in danger of slipping into the relegation battle. They will hope Perisic will give them a shot in the arm to pull clear, as well as linking up with the brilliantly named, extremely promising Bas Dost.
Lewis Holtby (Shalke to Spurs)
Perhaps I’m pushing the boundaries a little with this inclusion, as Holtby won’t be joining Spurs until his contract expires in the summer. However, Spurs have pulled off a real coup bringing the Anglo-German to White Hart Lane, especially on a free. Holtby is widely considered the most versatile of all of Germany’s current crop of midfield starlets. He can play deep, behind the strikers and even out wide if need be. Quick thinking, with great technique and passing range, I’d consider him an upgrade on most of Spurs’ current midfield, if he gains some consistency.
Demba Ba (Newcastle to Chelsea)
Whilst Chelsea are constantly in flux, their early season football was a joy to watch. If Rafa Benitez, or his successor, can get the likes of Oscar, Juan Mata and Hazard to link up as they did before, they could mount a challenge for the premier league next season. One thing that they were lacking early season however was a goal scorer who inspired confidence in those around him. Demba Ba can finish, is powerful enough to hold the ball up, but skilful and mobile enough to link play. He’s already hit the ground running.
Joe Cole (Liverpool to West Ham)
I’ll admit some bias here, as Joe Cole is still one of my favourite English footballers. Whilst he is no longer the mercurial number ten who first bust onto the scene, nor the tricky winger moulded my Mourinho, he certainly still has some talent. His face never fit at Liverpool, but his loan move to Lille highlighted his ability to still find the back of the net, as well as taking on the seniority of being an older player. For all the things levelled at Sam Allardyce, he has a proven ability to take players with great natural talent, who are reaching the latter stages of their career, and reinvigorating them. Fingers crossed he can do the same for the affable Cole.
It’s been a good window for West Ham. Wellington Paulista is an interesting player and can add something different to West Ham’s forward line. His ability to play either as an out and out forward or slightly deeper highlights his versatility, whilst his scoring exploits in both the Copa Libertadores and Brazilian Serie A highlight his ability to take chances. Best of all, West Ham have secured him on a loan deal, shielding them from the danger that he simply wont settle, like numerous other South American talent
Best possible deal
Yann M’Vila (Rennes to QPR)
Relegation battles are often won when a manager takes a risk that pays off. QPR have an abundance of midfielders, but M’Vila is something different entirely. Physically strong, aggressive but with a great range of passing, he could add the metal that QPR so desperately lack. However, he is certainly a risk. His stock has plummeted recently due to discipline problems and struggles on the pitch, which has seen rumoured interest from Man United and Arsenal evaporate. Helping QPRs great escape could see his career get back on track.