In a quiet transfer window, it's a still a shock that a few players were unable to get a move they wanted or needed.
A handful were nominated– or four players in this case – as Eurosport and The Beautiful Game podcast teamed up again to talk through the ins and outs of the January window.
The entire Beautiful Game team of Justin Cole, Deji Odedina and Dotun Abijoh were joined by Pete Sharland from Eurosport to talk through the most frustrating misses, with each guest nominating a player.
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Let's begin...

Dele Alli (Tottenham)

Many had expected that Dele Alli would find himself a way out at Tottenham Hotspur to end up back with Mauricio Pochettino at Tottenham Hotspur, but ultimately it was decided he would remain in North London.
Spurs claimed that injuries meant that they needed cover, but Sharland was unconvinced.
"This move was the one that was dominating the window. I just thought that by the end of the window they would relent and say, 'it's unfair to keep him here against his will.' Spurs have let him down so badly.

'Spurs have let him down so badly!' - Why Dele Alli deserved opportunity to move to PSG

"If they were worried about injuries and suspension, Alli would have played more already this season. You're not getting anything out of Gareth Bale, so why not play Alli, even in the wide positions?
"Going to PSG would be perfect, there would be little to no pressure. You can have the time to bed yourself in, and above all else, you'll be playing with Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria."
Odedina agreed, and pointed out just what the failure to move cost him, saying: "Football waits for no man. You've got Jack Grealish, James Maddison. These players are above him in the pecking order. When and where is he going to rekindle his career?"

Reiss Nelson (Arsenal)

Reiss Nelson is another Arsenal youngster, like Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who needs regular first team minutes after failing to break through into the first team often enough.
Mikel Arteta prefers more experienced players and a loan elsewhere could have seen him get more experience, especially after a successful loan spell with Hoffenheim in the 2018/19 season.
Abijoh explained that he thought it was time for another move, saying, "He's a player who needs a move to play consistently. With Nelson it's a confidence issue, we all know his ability. When he went to Germany he hit the ground running.

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"He needs that belief from the manager. In the summer there was interest in him from Southampton and West Ham, and in the final few weeks there was interest from Spain - Valencia, and Unai Emery."
Odedina saw little hope for him at Arsenal. "Where does he fit in?" He asked.
"It's going to have to be the under-23s. He needs to be playing men's football, not youth football. He showed against Liverpool that he's got ability, and he needs to flee the nest and start playing football."

Patrick Van Aanholt (Crystal Palace)

Odedina suggested that a real missed opportunity was for Patrick Van Aanholt to switch from Crystal Palace to Arsenal this January.
"There was a point where it got to fever pitch with his contract running out, and I think that's a signing that makes sense," he said.

Running a risk? - Should Arsenal have moved to secure Patrick van Aanholt?

"Kieran Tierney is 23 but right now he's injured and Arsenal need some cover. A move to Arsenal makes sense, and I thought it was going to happen, but it didn't."
Abijoh, however, didn't see the urgency from the player's point of view, saying, "This doesn't need to be rushed. This is something that can be revisited in the summer, because he's open to a move to another English club or he can sign a pre-contract now."
That was key for Odedina, who thinks Mikel Arteta blew a chance to steal in ahead of any rivals. "Arsenal could have pre-empted it and signed him earlier to make an impact now."

Diego Costa (Released from Atletico Madrid)

Cole introduced the idea that former Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa could have been the chance for a bargain until the end of the season.
"It makes no sense to me that a striker, available for free, was wanted by nobody. He is a free agent, people will remember him in the Premier League with Chelsea. He was an absolute nuisance and thorn in the side of defenders.
"He's had two goalscoring seasons, and although his capacity for goalscoring dwindled in Spain, he's still a threat.

Something is going on - Why didn't Diego Costa move in January?

"In the case of Mourinho and Spurs, they're relying on Harry Kane's goals and assist, and looking around the squad in that position... signing Costa seemed like a no-brainer. He's an archetypal Mourinho striker."
Sharland however was more sceptical, suggesting that, "I think there's a much bigger story there that's not being told, and in the next two or three months there will be a bit more clarity.
"He's not the player he was but he's shown glimpses of the player he could be. I don't believe the only deterrent was his wages. Either there's a clause with Ateltico or there's something going on with him."


Why not listen to the full podcast, then have your say on which player you think really needed to escape their current club.
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