The first day of February represents the point of no return, as the January transfer window slams shut. For a team battling relegation, it is an especially harrowing time of year. However, no team is without regrets, regardless of league position.
There are ten rumours and stories which we think could have altered each team’s fortunes for better or worse, had the moves gone through. See the gallery to view them.
Man City – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
BULLET DODGED City have plenty of pace already, and the focus should presently be on defence for the tougher away games, with the recent 4-0 defeat to Everton a case in hand. Picture Source: Wikipedia
Spurs – Bruma
OPPORTUNITY MISSED With Bruma’s pace alongside Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli, Tottenham would have an attacking-midfield trio with a serious chance of overturning the deficit to Chelsea. Picture Source: Wikipedia
Chelsea – Alvaro Morata
JURY’S OUT Chelsea boast a major lead at the top of the league, on merit. While it is good to have backup in attack, Hazard and Willian have proven lethal from set pieces and Costa is now staying put. Picture Source: Sportal NZ
C. Palace – Chancel Mbemba
BULLET DODGED Allardyce’s influence was demonstrated in the defensively-resolute 2-0 win at Bournemouth. Mbemba has not faced EPL opposition for a while now. Picture Source: NUFCBlog. com
Sunderland – Leonardo Ulloa
OPPORTUNITY MISSED With no cover for Defoe and Borini, Sunderland desperately needed a new attacking option in January. Picture Source: Flickr
Bournemouth – Nathan Ake
OPPORTUNITY MISSED Bournemouth are on the fringes of the relegation dogfight. Signing a familiar face permanently could do no harm to the Cherries’ chances of survival. Picture Source: Sportsdictator. com
Everton – Michael Keane
BULLET DODGED Keane is one of Burnley’s most valuable assets. While Everton do need a long-term replacement for Jagielka, the fans demand a bigger name to push for elusive silverware. Picture Source: Newsflash NG
WBA – Branislav Ivanovic
BULLET DODGED Not a Pulis type player, and now advancing in years. WBA have enjoyed a good season to date, but Europe is out of reach. No major changes needed. Picture Source: Wikipedia
Arsenal – Steven N’zonzi
JURY’S OUT With Granit Xhaka’s form still in question, a player with previous EPL experience may be the solution to Arsenal’s shortcomings. Picture Source: Người nổi tiếng. TV
Hull – Luis Nani
OPPORTUNITY MISSED Though more befitting of Championship Manager, this understandably stirred interest. This move would have given Hull a real shot at avoiding relegation. Picture Source: FansShare
Of the ten stories, Hull’s failed attempt to lure Nani resonates most deeply. This was, in fact, more than a mere rumour. A bid was confirmed mere hours before the end of the January transfer window.
Had Hull moved sooner, the likelihood of the Euro 2016 winner’s arrival on Humberside would have increased significantly.
The departure of dead-ball specialist Robert Snodgrass is one setback for Hull. A failure to adequately replace him is surely the final nail in the coffin, and utterly inexplicable in the context of this season.
With teams such as Leicester, Crystal Palace, Sunderland and Swansea struggling for consistency, there is hardly a better chance for Hull to get a second consecutive year in the top flight, as they fight to shake off the mantle of ‘yo-yo’ team once and for all.