While there was a great deal of anticipation ahead of the January transfer window, it’s fair say that deadline day and the weeks that preceded it were something of a disappointment.
This was borne out by the bare statistics, with Premier League January spending falling for the first time since 2012. In total, deadline day spending equated to less than half of last year’s totals, while just £180 million was spent by clubs in the four weeks overall.
Despite this, a number of deals were completed this month, as clubs looked to improve their squads and achieve their unique objectives. Below, we’ll address some of the deals and ask how they may have impacted on online betting odds in the EPL.
Newcastle Improve their Survival Odds
It’s fair to say that Newcastle United’s relegation odds have fluctuated throughout the season, but they took a definite plunge during the bust festive period.
However, the last week has been enduringly positive for the Magpies, who backed up a surprising 2-1 win at home to champions Manchester City by completing some positive deadline day business.
More specifically, they broke their 13-year old transfer record by signing Paraguay playmaker Miguel Almiron from MLS side Atlanta United for £20 million. This exceeded the £16 million that they paid to Real Madrid for Michael Owen back in 2005, while it also shattered the MLS transfer record.
The club also signed the 23-year old former Italian Under-21 international Antonio Barreca on a season-long loan from Monaco, while they’ve retained an option to make this a permanent deal in the summer.
These deals have enhanced the feel-good factor that has gripped the club in the last few days, while they’ve also helped to lengthen their odds of being relegated.
Across the types of sites featured on www.betting.info, Newcastle are now 15/2 to be relegated from the EPL, while there are now five times considered more likely to face the drop this season.
Palace Secure Some Much Needed Firepower
Palace are another side that have seen their fortunes fluctuate in recent times, and even now they only sit four points above the relegation zone.
So despite winning impressively at Manchester City and Spurs of late, Roy Hodgson’s side remain amongst the favourites to be relegated from the Premier League this season.
However, Palace managed to perform a deadline day masterstroke by signing the talented Belgian striker Michy Batshuayi on-loan from Chelsea until the end of the season. The forward, who has spent the first half of the season plying his trade in Valencia in Spain, has now arrived in London after the Eagles paid £1 million to secure his temporary services.
Palace have struggled manfully to score goals this season, with the club overly-reliant on Wilfried Zaha and Andros Townsend to produce moments of magic in Premier League games.
Batshuayi’s pace, movement and eye for goal will help to correct this imbalance, while his previous experience in the EPL should allow him to hit the ground running.
It’s little wonder that the odds of Palace escaping the drop improved after the signing, as EPL history is littered with tales of how talented strikers helped to save clubs from the threat of relegation.
Take West Ham, for example, who avoided almost certain relegation in the 1996/97 season after adding Paul Kitson and John Hartson to their ranks in January. Similarly, January signing Carlos Tevez helped to rescue the club from a similar fate in 2006/07, by scoring seven goals in his last 10 games.
Arsenal Add Some Depth to Their Squad
The Gunners have endured mixed fortunes of late, having seen their league form falter and suffered a comprehensive home defeat to Manchester United in the fourth round of the FA Cup.
However, a hard-earned 2-1 win over Cardiff saw the Gunners overtake Chelsea in the race for fourth place in the EPL, after the Blues suffered a 4-0 thrashing to Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium.
While Manchester United also remain just two points of the top four following their resurgence under the temporary stewardship of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Arsenal took advantage of deadline day to add the talented Barcelona midfielder Denis Suarez to their ranks on loan.
Not only is Suarez a gifted and technically excellent footballer, but he also brings a wealth of experience that will undoubtedly benefit the Gunner’s squad.
With Mesut Ozil out of form and injuries mounting in Arsenal’s squad, Suarez could have a huge impact on the Gunner’s fortunes over the course of the next four months. As a result, it should come as no surprise that the club have seen their odds of securing a top-four berth improve, and they’ll certainly be there or thereabouts come May.