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ANDREW BENNETT DISCUSSES The Relegation Window & How the January Transfer Window Has Changed Teams in the Relegation Fight. 

This has been a very unusual January transfer window; Cristiano Ronaldo leaving the Premier League for the Saudi League, Chelsea smashing the Premier League record transfer fee on World Cup winner Enzo Fernandez within the last hours of deadline day and almost every team bolstering their squad as we enter the final 18 games of the season. 

Looking from Nottingham Forest in 13th place and 21 points down to Southampton rock bottom of the table on 15 points this article will analyse each teams business and how this should set them up going into the final part of the season. 

*All transfers considered will be first team transfers and are recorded in euros.


Wolverhampton Wanderers: 20 Games Played, 17 points 


Noticeable outs from Wolves squad are summer signing Goncalo Guedes, Connor Ronan and Matjia Sarkic to Benfica (loan), Colorado Rapids (transfer) and Stoke City (loan). For the first time since promotion Wolves have players covering every position which is for sure a brilliant thing for Julien Lopetegui, the introduction of Matt Hobbs over Scott Sellars who was fired earlier in the year as Sporting Director seems to have brought in many interesting players not from the Jorge Mendes line. Many fans, myself included, still question where the goals are going to come from with only 12 goals in 20 games a quite shocking return and if this doesn’t pick up with the majority of the other sides making many adjustments we are going to be in trouble. We are only in February and welcoming Liverpool to Molineux this coming Saturday where we hopefully can see some of these new players for the first time. So let’s hold some optimism with new manager Lopetegui who is not afraid to make changes nor admit when he is wrong. Improving our squad depth and no doubt looking to the future with Joao Gomes (yes he was freed) and Mario Lemina we have more legs in the middle hopefully allowing the likes of Neves and Nunes to be free in their roles. With our lack of goals we will be hoping these midfield adjustments allow more players to get forward and assist the front line; Cunha who we have seen a few times already looks like an exciting player and is begging for the right service which Pablo Sarabia can hopefully provide alongside chipping in with some goals, the former Sporting man scored 15 in 29 last season in Portugal. 

The astute signing of Craig Dawson offers perfect competition for young central defenders Max Kilman and Nathan Collins also providing mentoring for the young professionals. Finally a signing I think could be more important than some might recognise is that of Daniel Bentley, Bristol City’s captain and experienced keeper who can push Jose Sa while providing another much needed dressing room voice of experience. 

Here’s to the rest of the season and Come on Wolves!      


Nottingham Forest: 20 Games Played, 21 points


The busiest side in the summer window bringing in over twenty new faces did not stop there with another 6 first team additions this January. Steve Cooper looks to have brought in a good range of players adding both league experience and top level footballing experience with Navas and Felipe. Only scoring 16 goals in 20 games, Nottingham Forest will be hoping the experienced Chris Wood will have enough goals in the tank to keep them up. Their most interesting transfer comes via Gustavo Scarpa who has played a couple of games throughout January including against Manchester United in the Carabao cup semi finals and he looked a dangerous outlet in the side alongside Brennan Johnson and Morgan Gibbs-White. The first opponent for Forest’s new squad is Leeds at the City ground on Sunday 5th February in a crunch game against a fellow struggler.   

Leicester City: 20 Games Played, 18 points 


The noticeable outs from Leicester’s squad are Marc Albrighton and Ayoze Perez departing on loan to West Brom and Real Betis respectively. Leicester, unlike the other teams at the bottom, do not have an issue scoring goals, scoring more than Chelsea in 10th position. Leicester need some fresh legs and energy in their team to hold onto leads and a bit more bite when going behind. With two new additions to their defensive line including the imperious Aussie Harry Souttar who was very impressive with his national side in Qatar they can keep the ball out of their net. Alongside the addition of Shakhtar and Brazilian winger Tete who has been spoken about for a move to the Premier League for a few years now and should offer some more flair to assist Harvey Barnes getting the ball to their strikers. Next up for Leicester they are away at Villa Park against an improving Villa side under new coach Unai Emery. 

Leeds United: 19 Games Played, 18 points 


Noticeable outs from Leed’s squad are Diego Llorente, Mateusz Klich and Joe Gelhardt to Roma (loan), D.C United (free) and Sunderland (loan) respectively. Leeds have done a great job bringing in players either familiar to Jessie Marsch or other members of their squad bringing in former Salzburg player Max Wober and USA international Weston McKennie. It will be interesting to see how these players adjust to life in the Premier League, especially new forward Rutter with only two goals and two assists in 15 matches this season for Hoffenheim the young French international will be looking to assist Leeds goal tally which is the second best among the struggling sides. Next up for the Yorkshire side is away to Nottingham Forest. 

West Ham United: 20 Games Played, 18 points 


Noticeable outs from West Ham’s squad is just Craig Dawson to Wolves for just under 4.0m. With a win against their last opponents Everton, David Moyes’ team will be looking to build upon this away to Newcastle this coming weekend. One of the quieter teams in this window bringing only two players in last season’s European Conference league squad will be hoping that with the addition of experienced striker Danny Ings his goals should provide enough in the crucial matches for safety. Most importantly for West Ham they did not lose any major first team players from their squad, however with a couple of injuries their defensive line does look a bit thin. 

AFC Bournemouth: 20 Games Played, 17 points


Shipping the most goals in the league Bournemouth with a goals against of 42 will be hoping to stop the rut of goals conceded. Adding a promising young Ukrainian defender in Ilya Zabarnyi to their team, they will hope he can adjust to life in the Premier League quickly. Bournemouth scouts have definitely been hard at work as they have signed no big name players with Burkina Faso’s Ouattara looking like an astute pick up; Outtara has 6 goals and 5 assists in 18 matches so far this season with Lorient in the French first division. Gary O’Neils men will travel along the south coast to the Amex Stadium for a match up with Brighton for the first look of their new signings. 

Everton: 20 Games Played, 15 points 

Everton are the only team in the bottom seven who did not make an incoming signing, they however sold Anthony Gordan to Newcastle for 45.0m. Everton did have a change in manager bringing in Sean Dyche a few days before the end of January. Dyche is of course familiar with James Tarkowski and Dwight McNeil from his Burnley days. They will be hoping that Gordans loss won’t cost them too many goals and Dyche’s brand of football provides enough points in crucial match ups to stay up. The first outing for Everton under Dyche will be at home to league leaders Arsenal at lunch time on Saturday, if there has ever been time for a Goodison Park upset it is now… 

Southampton: 20 Games Played, 15 points 


Finally the Saints under new boss Nathan Jones, a side who has really been struggling at both ends of the pitch this January look to primarily have attempted to address their lack of goals with the young Ghanaian Sulemana from Rennes (only with one goal and zero assists in 14 games this season), European experience in Mislav Orsic who has been a mainstay in the Croatian national side for the past three championships. Their main hopes will be on Paul Onuachu who has a quite incredible record in the Belgium Pro League this year with 16 goals in 19 games making him the current top scorer in that league followed by Janssen of Antwerp on 14, it is worth noting Wolves Loanee Fabio Silva only found the net 7 times in 20 appearances in the same league. With all of these signings will they be able to keep the ball out of the net shipping 35 goals the joint second most in the division, Jan Bednarek has returned from his loan spell with Aston Villa adding some experience to the back line. Southampton’s first test in February is away to Brentford.    

Andrew Bennett, Always Wolves Fan TV


From my first Wolves match against Chelsea in 2003 I fell in love with the team and matchday experience. I work in digital marketing and have lived in Germany and Estonia over the past few years, this doesn’t stop me following Wolves and ensuring all my international friends become invested to the Wolf pack. I enjoy football, board games, a pint and travelling always excited to try new things. You will find me in the north bank on a matchday. 

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