Hits and Misses: Football League highlights of the end of the transfer window

by Mike Moore

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012
Alan Smith

Signing of the season?

So one of the most exciting days of the season is over, and Jim White’s excitable gossip-hungry clone can go back into suspended animation until next year. Yet spending is down nearly 70% versus last year’s January deadline, where Torres and Carroll dominated the headlines. The Premiership clubs may have stayed away from the chequebook, but the Football League has been buzzing, with these deals some of the highlights.

Top buys


  • Ricardo Vaz Te (Barnsley), Ravel Morrison (Man Utd) and Nicky Maynard (Bristol City) – all to West Ham, combined around £4m.

A trio of fantastic attacking signings for Big Sam. Despite his bigheaded lunacy at Old Trafford, Morrison could well prove to be a big one for the future, and will be hungry to play. Both Vaz Te and Maynard are quick, skilful attackers who give West Ham a much more potent striking threat.

  • Matt Tubbs, Crawley to Bournemouth, £800,000

If he can maintain his current form, one of the deal of the window. Tubbs has been sensational over the last couple of seasons, guiding Crawley into the Football League, and Bournemouth have been very canny in re-signing their former trainee at the peak of his career.

  • Stephen Dawson, Leyton Orient to Barnsley (Undisclosed)

An unpopular one in East London, but Dawson has been a diamond in the rough (sorry Orient fans) for a while, and will surely prosper in the hardworking Barnsley team Keith Hill is building

  • Andy Keogh, Wolves to Millwall

Not much of a surprise given the form of Steven Fletcher and Kevin Doyle, Keogh has been shipped around on loan to a few Championship clubs, including Leeds and Bristol City, and is a genuine goal threat who should link up well with Darius Henderson in the Lions attack

  • Jon Parkin, Cardiff to Scunthorpe

Despite weighing as much as every other player on the team (ha ha), Jon Parkin knows how to dig in and pull his weight (not intended) An ideal signing for a team scrapping to avoid relegation

  • Billy Sharp, Doncaster to Southampton

Another big fish in a small pond, Sharp has been the bane of many Football League sides, and it was only a matter of time before a big-money offer tempted Rovers. Definitely deserves the chance to play at a higher level (if only so he doesn’t score against my team!)

  • Sanchez Watt, Arsenal to Crawley Town, Loan

An absolute stroke of genius by Steve Evans to replace Matt Tubbs. Watt is dynamite, and impressed at Leeds earlier this season when on loan there. Should definitely help spur on Town’s promotion chase.

Odd ones

  • Fabien Robert, FC Lorient to Doncaster, Loan

Former Newcastle man Laurent’s younger brother joins the unique-looking lineup at Doncaster, lining up alongside former Premiership greats El-Hadji Diouf and Pascal Chimbonda

  • Neal Kitson, Rochester Rhinos to Northampton Town

Northampton were in terrific form during this transfer window (as befits a team in transition at the bottom of the league) but this one was an eye-catcher, as keeper Kitson flies in from the states

  • Kwesi Appiah, Margate to Crystal Palace

Having scored 23 goals in 25 games for Ryman Premier outfit Margate so far this season, it was a pretty surefire bet that Appiah would get snapped up by someone, and Palace may have hit on another dynamite youngster

Blasts from the past.

  • Alan Smith, Newcastle to MK Dons

One from right out of left field, (admit it, you thought he’d retired), former Champions League semi-finalist and Premier league winner Smith has joined the Dons in order to improve his match fitness since his horrific leg injury back in 2006 before his contract with the Magpies expires in the summer

  • Danny Higginbotham, Stoke to Nottingham Forest

34 year old defensive stalwart and boon to the shirt-printers industry Higginbotham flies into Forest to replace Leicester-bound Wes Morgan, hopefully adding his many years of top-flight experience to the struggling Reds

  • Clarke Carlisle, Burnley to Northampton

Another one to join the Cobblers rapidly-changing lineup, former Burnley man, Countdown champion and ‘cleverest man in football’ Carlisle will hope to shore up a very leaky defence.

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