A bit later than I thought I’d write this but by some reports, I read the Belgian transfer window ends on the 1st rather than the 31st, but Twitter showed my error so… But anyway, there was enough activity to write a post about it and clubs were either freeing up the wage bill or scrambling for the one signing to keep them up.
Just quickly, I’m not a massive fan of the January window. I never pay attention as it gets in the way of the football for me. I understand emergency loans or even lower league clubs needing help, but I’m not a fan otherwise. It’s mainly for relegation battlers to possibly save their skins rather than anything else in my opinion.
I originally thought, should I do a club by club signing breakdown or just go with the flow and mention certain deals. I’ve decided the latter as A) you could look anywhere without my padding out before and after, and B) I could at least give my perspective for why I feel certain things went through at the clubs.
January 31st on transfer deadline day can sometimes flatter to deceive, but in the top flight, no less than 22 deals occured, with Standard Liege being the busiest being involved in 7 transfer, incoming and outgoing.
Transfers, however, began back in December, so it was very busy in the Pro League but in January, 43 loan deals were completed, some of them where the parent club bought a player to immediately loan back out, but it goes to show that buying at maybe an overpriced rate may just be left for the summer.
But going by what I said earlier, the top 3 listed their business, with Club Brugge being the busiest in their office, but mainly with departures. Anderlecht dealt in a way where they signed 2 players to then loan them back out, and Zulte-Waregem signed 5. The positive for Zulte-Waregem though is that Babacar Gueye has already registered a goal so that is helpful already and will prove them right in a January window.
At the other end of the table, business was key and it goes to show they can’t gamble on getting rid of players unless their loans ended because anyone can be a match winner. For example, Westerlo sold Silvère Ganvoula to Anderlecht, only for him to return immediately on loan. Next season will hopefully be better for him, but right now, as a striker, his aim is to be that match winner for the team 1 point off bottom.
But already in the 1st full week back (three match day fixtures) players brought in this January have already aided their new clubs with goals at least. Nine players on the scoresheet already who have come in in the window, and some players have stood out more than others!
Teddy Chevalier, Hamdi Harbaoui and Igor Vetokele have been outstanding in January with match winning performances that should not go unnoticed, and other players have scored, and sured up defences, with Brandon Mechele at St Truiden. It can work the other way with loan signing Filip Mladenovic being sent off in 65 seconds vs Anderlecht, but after his suspension, I’m sure he’ll be key in Standard Liege climbing the table.
But it does show, like in some of my previous posts, that there is some talent in the Pro League, with players leaving to go to the Premier League, La Liga, Series A, Ligue 1, Bundesliga, Eredivisie and south America, which in a selfish way is bad for quality in the league, but good to show and prove why I’m a fan of Belgian football. If it was one player every 2 seasons then yes, you think it’s average, but in this window alone, thirteen players left Belgium for those leagues.
I’ll end by saying, as you’ve read, it was mainly a look at my perspective regarding the window, deals that have been successful, the reason behind some of those deals, and with a picture of Mathew Ryan returning to Belgium with Genk, on loan from Valencia. Much like me, when you come to Belgium, you love the place.