From Arsenal’s busy window to the Riyad Mahrez saga, the Exploding Heads run through all the major storylines from the January transfer window.

As the summer transfer window draws to a close, there are plenty of potentially huge deals still in the offing.

Most of the Premier League’s big clubs still have business to do, despite the division as a whole already spending a record-breaking amount on transfer fees this summer.

Click on each club’s name for their full briefing as ESPN FC correspondents tee up deadline day with a rundown of done deals, potential signings and assessment of how good a window it’s been for their team.


Zinedine Zidane always insisted he was happy with his squad. Will he be proven right for not buying?
Zidane didn’t want new players, an unusual position for a big club always used to spending.

Every club in La Liga spent money in January… except Real Madrid. Amid a surprisingly busy window, Zinedine Zidane opted to stick with his embattled squad. Will he come to regret that decision?

Read Sid Lowe’s analysis here.


Dortmund did loan Batshuayi from Chelsea but losing so much top talent will be exhausting to replace.
Dortmund will hopefully get quality from Batshuayi but perceptions of a selling club are problematic.

The Bundesliga once again saw Bayern Munich strengthen at the expense of their rivals and while Borussia Dortmund did make some smart acquisitions, like Manuel Akanji and loanee Michy Batshuayi, they will struggle to overcome the loss of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Read Raphael Honigstein’s analysis here.


Roma manager Eusebio Di Francesco will be happy to have kept Edin Dzeko, but the January window was a tough one.
Roma, and manager Eusebio Di Francesco, must once again do more with less having failed to strengthen.

The January window in Italy was notable for the deals that didn’t happen and while Bologna won big for keeping Simone Verdi from joining Napoli, the likes of Roma lost for failing to upgrade even after resisting Premier League clubs’ inquiries around Edin Dzeko.

Read James Horncastle’s analysis here.


Monaco's biggest coup of the January window was keeping hold of Thomas Lemar.
Monaco were able to retain Lemar for another six months, a coup considering previous interest.

In most transfer windows, Ligue 1 becomes the selling league that loses its top talent to bigger clubs around Europe but this time, the likes of AS Monaco (keeping Thomas Lemar, signing Pietro Pellegri) can feel like winners. However, Paris Saint-Germain failed to sell a lot of its unwanted assets as Financial Fair Play looms in the background.

Read Julien Laurens’ analysis here.

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