January Movers & Shakers
This year’s January transfer window has been unbelievably quiet this year, with just over £34 million spent by English clubs accumulatively with just over a week to go, a fraction of expenditure of recent seasons.
In winter’s past we have watched in delight as clubs have scrambled desperately to salvage something from their season or ease an injury issue in January, often overpaying in the process. This week in Sparta Spotlight we look at some of the best and worst of goalkeeper moves in the mid-season window.
Asmir Begovic - Portsmouth to Stoke City - 2010
The 2009/10 season was something of a fire sale for cash-strapped Portsmouth, who were the first team in Premier League history to be given a points deduction after going into administration.
Begovic had started nine games for Pompey that season, but few batted an eyelid when he moved to Stoke for £3.5 million in January 2010, but it would turn out to be one of Tony Pulis’ most shrewd buys.
Although he only played the Potters’ last four games of that campaign, Begovic was a constant between the sticks and a key player from the 2010/11 season right up until his move to Chelsea in 2015, with Stoke making a healthy profit on the Bosnian.
Aaron Ramsdale - Sheffield United to Bournemouth - 2017
Aaron Ramsdale has gone full circle and is now back at Brammall Lane, but as bright young goalkeeper when Sheffield United were in the Championship he made the move to the Premier League with Bournemouth as an 18-year-old for £950,000.
Although relegated with Bournemouth last season and playing second fiddle to the aforementioned Asmir Begovic for most of his stay at Dean Court, Bournemouth will be happy with the huge profit they made in selling him back to the Blades for £18 million.
Ramsdale has been part of struggling Blades side this season, but at still only 22 he could yet prove to be a quality successor to Dean Henderson, even if it that deal back in 2017 looks poor from a financial standpoint.
Martin Dubravka - Sparta Prague to Newcastle - 2018
Martin Dubravka made his move to St James’ Park permanent in the summer of 2018 but the initial loan agreement was made in January of the same year and the Slovakian has been one of the Magpies’ outstanding performers ever since.
The 2020/21 season like for many, has been a strange one for Dubravka who has not made a single Premier League appearance despite playing all 38 games last season, having suffered a nasty heel injury that kept him out until this month and having to wait for his opportunity given the impressive form of Karl Darlow.
Despite his absence this season, he has been a mainstay in the Newcastle side under both Rafa Benitez and Steve Bruce, proving a fantastic bit of business costing just £3.5 million after his loan spell.
Ben Alnwick - Sunderland to Tottenham - 2007
Ben Alnwick was one of the few bright spots from Sunderland’s disastrous 2005/06 Premier League campaign in a handful of starts at the tender age of 19. Despite an indifferent start to life in the Championship the next season, Spurs moved to bring in the youngster for a decent fee of £1 million and Martin Fulop going the other way in the January of 2007.
The England under-21 international found first team opportunities hard to come by at White Hart Lane and played just three times in six seasons at the club, with his only Premier League appearance coming in a 4-2 to defeat to Burnley on the final day of the 2009/10.
Alnwick spent the majority of his spell out on loan and has enjoyed a decent career in the second and third tier but if Spurs were looking for a future first-teamer, they were way off the mark.