February 1st 2016. The most exciting day in January for football fans across the UK. More commonly known as Transfer Deadline Day. For Premier League teams it is the last chance to strengthen their teams in the hopes of achieving their goals. For Football League teams it’s the last chance to sign players permanently but there is still the loan window which will re-open in one week.
The 2016 January Transfer window was relatively quiet in the Premier League with no superstar or blockbuster signings by any teams. The biggest news of Transfer Deadline Day was not even a transfer. It was an announcement about the appointment of Pep Guardiola as Manchester City Manager from the start of next season with Manuel Pellegrini stepping aside when his contract expires in June.
We saw reporters camped out at grounds/training grounds to report on news as it happened but there was nothing unexpected or out of the ordinary. Every signing was one that had been reported on the day before and mostly consisted of clubs and players signing the paperwork and announcing. There was no Robinho to Man City this year. No real shocks or surprise. The best deal of the day was in The Championship, with promotion chasing Middlesbrough signing the most lethal striker in the division, Jordan Rhodes, for an initial £9m fee in the hopes of returning to the Premier League.
The biggest fee in this Transfer Window was in Stoke who signed Giannelli Imbula for a club record £18.3m. A few teams (Newcastle and Stoke in particular) outspent La Liga and The Bundesliga in their quest for survival. Teams get itchy trigger fingers and fans hope for something to happen but this year, it seems, that most teams were smart enough to get their business done earlier in the window.