Five LOSERS of the January transfer window

Carlo Garganese
Carlo Garganese
  • Updated: 1 Feb 2023 11:06 GMT
  • 5 min read
Enzo Fernandez, Moises Caicedo, Chelsea, 2022/23

The January transfer window is now over!

Chelsea stole the headlines once again with a barely believable spending spree that saw them splash out a world record €364 million on new players.

This included two €100m-plus signings in Enzo Fernandez and Mykhailo Mudryk.

READ MORE: January 2022-23 done deals

The Premier League broke more records of its own by spending €830m, with the rest of Europe’s big five leagues barely surpassing €250m between them.

But who were the big losers of the January window? We pick out five below.

LOSER: Chelsea

They may have won the window in the eyes of their transfer-hungry fans but there's precisely nothing to suggest that any of these blockbuster deals will be any more successful than the last ones forced through of late.

Romelu Lukaku, Marc Cucurella, Kai Havertz, Timo Werner.. that's just a small sample of deals that have spectacularly failed to work out so far for Chelsea. And they've doubled down with the arrivals of Enzo Fernandez, Mykhaylo Mudryk, among other lower key deals taking their January spending up to a transfer window world record of €364m.

Chelsea broke British record for Enzo Fernandez

Chelsea broke British record for Enzo Fernandez

Long contracts in order to circumvent complex financial regulations means that seven and eight year deals have been handed out. Chelsea better hope they prove to be worth it because on the face of it, the transfer valuations, by the standards of our xTV metric, they have ludicrously overpaid.

This is a new era at Chelsea, granted, in terms of the recruitment staff, but sometimes it is the environment, and not the player, that allows them to thrive.

LOSER: Every league, except the Premier League

The most vocal opponents of the short-lived European Super League back in 2021 were fans of the Premier League.

Fast forward less than two years and how do these same fans now feel that the Premier League they fought so hard to defend has become the de-facto Super League itself?

Quite simply, the Premier League has gobbled up every other league in Europe. The EPL has a financial monopoly never seen in the history of the game.

In the January transfer window, the Premier League spent €830m on new players. Compare that to Ligue 1 (€127m), the Bundesliga (€68m), La Liga (€32m) and Serie A (€31m) and you see why every other league doesn’t stand a chance of competing against the EPL anymore.

Serie A and La Liga are in financial crisis

Serie A and La Liga are in financial crisis

Nine of the top 10 spending clubs in January were English, and there is no chance of this ever changing in the future. This is what European football has become now. The Premier League and then a bunch of feeder leagues.

LOSER: Moises Caicedo

Sometimes you only get one chance to make your dream move. Despite Caicedo's best efforts it didn't happen for him in this window, as hard as Arsenal pushed and as much as he pleaded to be released.

And so now he's with Brighton for the remainder of the season and his playing future is in Roberto De Zerbi's hands. Will he feature a player who so openly wanted to leave when his team seemed to play so well against Liverpool at the weekend without him?

So his future is left open. Brighton will want to protect a huge asset and he will likely be brought into the fold again. But these sagas where a player is retained against his will rarely work out. Caicedo will hope the opposite is true.


The big-spending Ligue 1 side aren’t used to being on the wrong end of things in the transfer window, but they were left red faced come the morning of February 1. Christophe Galtier’s side, who have won only one of their last four Ligue 1 matches, have signed precisely no new players this month.

Hampered by FFP, the Parc des Princes side knew that big signings were never likely to be on the agenda, but there was a desire to improve the squad. This never happened.

PSG tried to sign Ziyech on Deadline Day

PSG tried to sign Ziyech on Deadline Day

A deal has been agreed for Milan Skriniar for the summer, but PSG were unable to get Inter to sell in January, when they really wanted him, while they were left embarrassed by Chelsea with regards Hakim Ziyech as the Premier League side sent the wrong paperwork through on three occasions. Incompetence or sabotage, it’s not clear, but it has left PSG in a weak position.

LOSER: Nicolo Zaniolo

Nicolo Zaniolo faces spending the rest of the season sitting in the stands after failing to find himself a Deadline Day transfer. Zaniolo has been frozen out of the setup at Roma, with the club making it clear he will never play for them again.

The attacker put in a transfer request to leave but rejected a move to Bournemouth and then couldn't find a suitable deal elsewhere, despite interest from Milan and Leeds. He is enemy number one with Roma fans and he had to call police after supporters tried to attack him at his own house.

This also isn’t good for his Italy national team prospects, with there little chance of a recall if he isn’t playing for his club.