Because less players equal more space to pass and move

Transfer Deadline Day Losers

Now that the metaphorical dust has settled after the recent January transfer window slammed shut on the 1st of February, now is an ideal opportunity to reflect on the dealings – or lack of - in certain cases for Premier League clubs.

£175m was spent by England’s elite sides in the recent buying period, a figure that was repeated back in 2008. The winter transfer window of 2011 saw £225m outlaid by the Premier League – and that remains the highest total thus far.

Over £1bn has been spent over the 2015-16 season, and those figures are likely to be gazumped with the impending television deal, to offer Premier League clubs even greater bargaining power across Europe and beyond.

The lions’ share of the recent spending was made by clubs around the lower echelons of the league standings. Newcastle owner, Mike Ashley – once maligned by supporters for his lack of spending, handed manager Steve McLaren around £30m to bring further resources in a bid to stave off relegation.

Norwich and Watford were also major players in attempts to bolster their squads, but who should have been more active to chase title aspirations, Champions League qualification, or to avoid the dreaded drop?

In what looks to be one of the most open title races in recent history, bookmakers are changing odds with every kick of the ball it seems, so here we will look at three clubs who could regret their lack of transfer activity at the end of the season.

Aston Villa
From the outside looking in, it does look as though the Midlands’ outfit have almost given up hope on survival – at least if transfers are a measure.

Villa owner, Randy Lerner has added more new faces to the boardroom than the playing squad in January, and while those moves could bring long-term improvements, Villa needed serious squad surgery.

Last weekend’s win over Norwich has offered slim hopes to the Holte End faithful, but manager Remi Garde and his modest playing roster are in desperate trouble.

With just 20 league goals from their opening 25 contests, Villa are badly lacking firepower upfront. As an example, Emmanuel Adebayor is a nomadic character, but his physicality and eye for goal could have provided extra impetus to Villa’s relegation fight.

Manchester United
It is stating the obvious, but Manchester United are a club in serious transition. Things were going fairly well for Louis van Gaal’s side earlier in the current campaign, but a disastrous December saw United exit the Champions League and suffer three successive Premier League defeats to Bournemouth, Norwich and Stoke.

This has left United playing catch-up, not just for the title race, but just to make the top four – and some new faces in January could have helped their quest.

The Red Devils have suffered several injury problems – notably in defensive areas – but United have decided not to open their chequebook in the recent window and that decision could have a detrimental effect on their final league position.

The Gunners have arguably the strongest squad depth in the Premier League, so why should they need to strengthen in January? To help push for their first title since 2004 would be a damn good reason.

Ok, Arsenal boss, Arsene Wenger did splash around £5m on Egyptian midfielder, Mohamed Elneny from Basel, but that deal will have done little to set the pulses racing of Arsenal fans.

This season looks to be the Gunners best opportunity to claim Premier League glory since Patrick Vieira lifted the trophy at Highbury almost twelve years ago, and while it is often difficult to prise good players away from their current employers, if Wenger doesn’t provide the league title in May, the lack of January transfer dealings may be a contributing factor in another missed chance.