- A review of the January Transfer window for the region's clubs by ITV News Anglia's Andy Ward
It was another busy January for our clubs, with plenty of comings and goings.
There were high-profile departures, with the likes of Alex Pritchard and Ryan Leonard seeking pastures new, but lots of exciting new faces arrived too.
Here’s our take on the business done over the course of the last month…
- Ipswich Town
Ins: Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur, loan), Stephen Gleeson (Birmingham City, free), Barry Cotter (Limerick, undisclosed), Mustapha Carayol (Nottingham Forest, free), Aaron Drinan (Waterford, undisclosed fee)
Selected outs: Flynn Downes (Luton Town, loan), Tommy Smith (Colorado Rapids, undisclosed fee), Kieffer Moore (Barnsley, undisclosed fee), Adam McDonnell (Aldershot Town, free), Monty Patterson (Wellington Phoenix, loan)
Verdict: A solid, if unspectacular transfer window for Ipswich who once again had to work under a restricted budget. Free transfers Stephen Gleeson and Mustapha Carayol may not get the pulse racing, but both players know The Championship inside out, and both will be hoping to impress manager Mick McCarthy in the hope of earning longer deals in the summer.
Tottenham loanee Cameron Carter-Vickers has slotted straight into the heart of Town’s defence, while Irish youngsters Aaron Drinan and Barry Cotter could represent value for money in the future.
Ipswich’s best business however was keeping goalkeeper Bartosz Białkowski and striker David McGoldrick, who both attracted interest from other clubs, although there’s still work to be done to persuade McGoldrick to sign a new deal before his contract expires in six months time.
- Norwich City
Ins: Marcus Edwards (Tottenham Hotspur, loan), Kenny McLean (Aberdeen, undisclosed fee), Onel Hernández (Eintracht Braunschweig, undisclosed fee), Dennis Srbeny (SC Paderborn, undisclosed fee), Moritz Leitner (FC Augsburg, loan)
Selected outs: Russell Martin (Rangers, loan), Steven Naismith (Hearts, loan), Alex Pritchard (Huddersfield Town, £11m), Cameron Jerome, (Derby County, £1.5m), Kenny McLean (Aberdeen, loan), Marcel Franke (Dynamo Dresden, loan), Harry Toffolo (Millwall, free), Yanic Wildschut (Cardiff City, loan), Adam Phillips (Cambridge United, loan), Todd Cantwell (Fortuna Sittard, loan)
Verdict: Before the transfer window opened, Norwich Sporting Director Stuart Webber implied that there would be little business at Carrow Road in January but the reality couldn’t have been further from the truth. As they did in the summer, Norwich managed to ship out several ageing players on big wages, with Russell Martin and Steven Naismith sent out on loan to Scotland and striker Cameron Jerome sold to fellow Championship side Derby County.
They managed to replace them with much younger players, the majority coming from Germany, who are on far lower wages but have a big point to prove in a new country. Loanees Moritz Leitner and Marcus Edwards both have talent in abundance, but have lost their way, so if Head Coach Daniel Farke can get them firing on all cylinders, they should help strengthen an attack that has failed to ignite this season.
Losing midfielder Alex Pritchard to the Premier League was undoubtedly a blow, but his exit ensured James Maddison will be staying in Norfolk until the summer at least and most Norwich fans would have bitten your hand off if you’d offered them that on January 1st!
- Peterborough United
Ins: George Cooper (Crewe Alexandra, undisclosed fee), Omar Bogle (Cardiff City, loan), Joe Ward (Woking, undisclosed fee)
Selected outs: Ricky Miller (Mansfield Town, loan with option to buy), Jordan Nicholson (Barnet, undisclosed fee)
Verdict: Peterborough chairman Darragh MacAnthony should emerge from this window with enormous credit. Keeping key duo Jack Marriott and Marcus Maddison was imperative for their hopes of reaching the League One play-offs this season, and the fact that both are staying at the club despite intense interest from teams in The Championship and Premier League, will give them a great chance of doing exactly that.
The last minute arrival of Cardiff striker Omar Bogle on loan will only strengthen that ambition and you would back him to form a formidable partnership with Marriott for the remainder of the campaign.
The capture of highly-rated Crewe midfielder George Cooper also looks like being a shrewd piece of business and it wouldn’t surprise you if he was sold for a big profit in the future.
- Northampton Town
Ins: Hildeberto Pereira (Legia Warsaw, loan), Shay Facey (Manchester City, undisclosed fee), Jack Bridge (Southend United, undisclosed fee), Richard O’Donnell (Rotherham United, undisclosed fee), Jordan Turnbull (Coventry City, free), Joe Bunney (Rochdale, undisclosed fee), Gboly Ariyibi (Nottingham Forest, loan), Boris Mathis (Everton, loan), Kevin van Veen (Scunthorpe United, undisclosed fee)
Selected outs: Marc Richards (Swindon Town, free), Alex Revell (Stevenage, free), Dean Bowditch (Stevenage, loan), Billy Waters (Cambridge United, loan), George Smith (Chesterfield, undisclosed fee), Lewis McGugan (released), Ryan McGivern (released)
Verdict: Northampton boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink promised fans that his squad would look completely different at the end of January and he was spot on! No less than nine new players arrived, and the new faces have already been having an impact on the pitch with the Cobblers currently in the midst of a four-match unbeaten run in League One.
Goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell and defenders Shay Facey and Jordan Turnbull have really helped to shore up the Cobblers’ defence since they came through the door, while Dutch striker Kevin van Veen has a good goalscoring record in the third tier and will add a different dimension to their strike force.
Cobblers supporters will have been sad to see captain Marc Richards leave Sixfields, but the club are clearly moving into a new era now. If Northampton can secure their League One status this season, don’t rule them out competing at the other end of the division in a year’s time.
- MK Dons
Ins: Ike Ugbo (Chelsea, loan), Marcus Tavernier (Middlesbrough, loan), Josh Tymon (Stoke City, loan), Elliott Ward (Blackburn Rovers, loan)
Selected outs: Ryan Seager (Recalled by Southampton), Gboly Ariyibi (Recalled by Nottingham Forest), Paul Downing (Blackburn Rovers, undisclosed fee)
Verdict: Most of the change at Stadium MK in January occurred off the pitch, as manager Robbie Neilson was shown the door and replaced by former youth team coach Dan Micciche.
In terms of signings, the Dons did manage to attract some highly-rated young players on loan with Marcus Tavernier and Josh Tymon joining from Middlesbrough and Stoke City respectively.
Elliott Ward’s experience could also be vital as the Dons look to avoid relegation to League Two and Micciche will be looking to him to become a leader in defence.
- Southend United
Ins: Shayon Harrison (Tottenham Hotspur, loan), Freddie Ladapo (Crystal Palace, free), Sam Mantom (Scunthorpe United, loan)
Selected outs: Ryan Leonard (Sheffield United, undisclosed fee), Jack Bridge (Northampton Town, undisclosed fee), Nile Ranger (released), Stephen Hendrie (Motherwell, loan)
Verdict: As was the case at MK Dons, there was plenty of upheaval at Southend in January with Chris Powell taking over from Phil Brown who was sacked following a dreadful run of eight defeats in nine games.
Key midfielder Ryan Leonard also departed the club, sealing a move to long-term admirers Sheffield United, and it will be a tough ask to replace his quality in the centre of the park.
Scunthorpe United loanee Sam Mantom should provide a short-term fix at least, while striker Freddie Ladapo is no stranger to Roots Hall having spent time at the club as a youngster. Powell will just be trying to keep the Shrimpers up this season, before looking to build again in the summer when he’s had more time to assess the squad at his disposal.
- League Two
It would take a brave man to bet against Luton Town sealing promotion to League One this season, and their January business should ensure they get over the line.
The Hatters added yet another weapon to their attacking arsenal, with Plymouth striker Jake Jervis joining before the deadline, while Ipswich Town midfielder Flynn Downes is a superb loan signing at League Two level.
Managing to agree a permanent deal for Liverpool defender Lloyd Jones also looks like being a solid investment. Elsewhere, Stevenage will have been disappointed to lose influential winger Tom Pett to Lincoln City but they did bring in some real experience will Alex Revell and Dean Bowditch both making the move from Northampton Town.
Furthermore, chairman Phil Wallace should be commended for resisting the temptation to cash in on talented youngsters Ben Wilmot, Mark McGee and Ali Omar.
Colchester United also had a productive month with four new players arriving on deadline day – including Wolves midfielder Ben Stevenson who was loaned to Essex immediately after being snapped up by The Championship leaders from Coventry City earlier in the day.
Finally, Cambridge United relied mostly on loan signings, with Norwich City’s Adam Phillips and Northampton Town’s Billy Waters among those to make temporary switches to the Abbey Stadium, while striker Barry Corr could still earn a longer contract if he can prove his fitness.