BPL Grades & Predictions: 8th-20th

This is part two of this series, predicting how the rest of the league’s transfer business in the January window might affect them by the end of the season.

Newcastle United

Major Signing: Luuk de Jong (Borussia Monchengladbach, loan)

Major Sales: Jonas Gutierrez (Norwich City, loan), Yohan Cabaye (PSG, 14m)

Adding an out-of-form striker in de Jong to a frontline that already includes one out-of-form forward in Papiss Cisse, Magpies fans can only hope Loic Remy continues to do the business upfront. The sale of influential playmaker Cabaye will hurt Newcastle, and only add more responsibility onto Cheikh Tiote’s shoulders, and we all know what such pressure can do to a player like Tiote. Alan Pardew’s men will still see the top-half come the end of the season.

Grade: C+

Predicted Position: 9th

 

Southampton

Major Signing: None

Major Sales: Daniel Fox (Nottingham Forest, undisclosed), Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace, undisclosed), Pablo Osvaldo (Juventus, loan)

Mauricio Pochettino will have to reply on his current squad to maintain their position in the top-half of the table. With bad boy Osvaldo out on loan, this could mean more first-team chances for teenage striker Sam Gallagher, but more responsibility falling on the shoulders of Rickie Lambert.

Grade: B-

Predicted Position: 8th

 

Aston Villa

Major Signings: Ryan Bertrand (Chelsea, loan), Grant Holt (Wigan Athletic, loan)

Major Sales: Stephen Ireland (Stoke City, undisclosed), Nathan Delfouneso (Coventry City, loan)

The addition of a solid, Champions League-winning left-back in Ryan Bertrand will only do wonders to strengthen Villa’s defence. The experienced Grant Holt may be simply a back-up option for Christian Benteke. In all fairness, Paul Lambert’s main task is to work Benteke back to his best, and recent performances has suggested the Belgian international is regaining some form. Villa should be comfortably avoid relegation.

Grade: B

Predicted Position: 11th

 

Swansea City

Major Signing: David N’Gog (Bolton, undisclosed)

Major Sale: None

The sole addition of former Liverpool striker David N’Gog should provide Michael Laudrup with sufficient firepower for the second-half of the season, and further cope with the loss of Michu until he returns from injury. An unspectacular end to the season awaits.

Grade: B

Predicted Position: 10th

 

Norwich City

Major Signings: Jonas Gutierrez (Newcastle United, loan), Joseph Yobo (Fenerbache, loan)

Major Sale: None

The two loan deals sees players with Premier League experience added to Chris Hughton’s squad. Yobo’s proven pedigree with Everton will shore up Norwich’s defence, while Gutierrez will provide solid, if unspectacular, midfield work in the Canaries’ engine room. Much will still depend on Gary Hooper and Ricky van Wolfsvinkel’s forms, but Norwich should be able to survive.

Grade: B

Predicted Position: 16th

 

Hull City

Major Signings: Nikica Jelavic (Everton, 7m), Shane Long (West Bromwich Albion, 6m)

Major Sale: Tom Cairney (Blackburn Rovers, undisclosed)

Steve Bruce will hope forward duo Jelavic and Long will be able to add goals to his disciplined Hull side. Yannick Sagbo has been leading the line to the best of his abilities, but even then he does not look like a proven scorer. If Jelavic can find the form he showed when he arrived at Everton, Hull will be safe.

Grade: A-

Predicted Position: 12th

 

Crystal Palace

Major Signings: Wayne Hennessey (Wolves, 3m), Jason Puncheon (Southampton, undisclosed), Scott Dann (Blackburn Rovers, undisclosed), Tom Ince (Blackpool, loan), Joe Ledley (Celtic, undisclosed)

Major Sale: None

A very good deadline day for Tony Pulis, but the main issue here is whether the new signings can bed in soon enough. Scott Dann’s Premier League experience will be vital to Palace’s defence, while Tom Ince will want to prove himself at the highest level. Joe Ledley is a very good addition for Palace in midfield, bringing with him Champions League experience. These signings, along with Marouane Chamakh’s improving form, will help Palace stay up.

Grade: A

Predicted Position: 14th

 

West Bromwich Albion

Major Signing: Thievy Bifoum (Espanyol, loan)

Major Sale: Shane Long (Hull City, 6m)

Pepe Mel allowed a striker with Premier League experience, only to be replaced by an unknown quantity, albeit with a lot of pace. West Brom has a solid enough squad, but can’t seem to be picking up enough points. The lack of arrivals in defence could prove their downfall come the end of the season.

Grade: C

Predicted Position: 19th

 

Stoke City

Major Signings: Stephen Ireland (Aston Villa, undisclosed), John Guidetti (Manchester City, loan), Juan Agudelo (New England Revolution, undisclosed), Peter Odemwingie (Cardiff City, swap)

Major Sales: Juan Agudelo (FC Utrecht, loan), Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union, loan), Kenwyne Jones (Cardiff City, swap)

Something you don’t see in the Premier League often, a straight swap deal where Odemwingie arrives at the Britannia with Jones moving to Wales. With fellow striker Guidetti, a Manchester City youth team product, joining on loan and looking to prove himself, Mark Hughes will hope his side can improve on their paltry goal tally. However, it is unlikely either will add enough goals to steer clear of the relegation dogfight.

Grade: C

Predicted Position: 15th

 

Sunderland

Major Signings: Marcos Alonso (Fiorentina, loan), Santiago Vergini (Estudiantes, loan), Oscar Ustari (Almeria, free), Ignacio Scocco (Internacional, undisclosed), Liam Bridcutt (Brighton, 3m)

Major Sales: Cabral (Genoa, loan), Ji Dong-Won (FC Augsburg, loan), Alfred N’Diaye (Real Betis, loan), Modibo Diakite (Fiorentina, loan)

Another busy transfer window for Sunderland, this time under Gus Poyet. The addition of three Argentinians, a player from the Championship and a left-back whose only Premier League experience was with Bolton, is slightly worrying for Sunderland fans. Bridcutt should prove a useful addition, so too Ustari, while Alonso has so far shown he is an upgrade over Andrea Dossena at left-back. However, Poyet will still rely heavily upon Adam Johnson’s improving form as well as Fabio Borini and Jozy Altidore for more goals.

Grade: B-

Predicted Position: 13th

 

West Ham United

Major Signings: Roger Johnson (Wolves, loan), Antonio Nocerino (AC Milan, loan), Marco Borriello (Roma, loan), Abdul Razak (Anzhi Makhachkala, undisclosed), Pablo Armero (Napoli, loan)

Major Sale: None

The addition of Italian duo Nocerino and Borriello will be significant in West Ham’s fight for survival. Pablo Armero will provide quality down the left hand side, but doubts will surface over Johnson’s abilities to cover for James Tomkins or James Collins should either fall to injury again. With Andy Carroll return to fitness, Allardyce will have to bank on Carroll and Carlton Cole, along with Borriello, to fire the goals required for survival.

Grade: B+

Predicted Position: 17th

 

Fulham

Major Signings: Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders, loan), William Kvist (VfB Stuttgart, loan), Lewis Holtby (Tottenham Hotspur, loan), Konstantinos Mitroglou (Fulham, 14m), Johnny Heitinga (Everton, free)

Major Sales: Bryan Ruiz (PSV, loan), Abel Taarabt (AC Milan, loan), Aaron Hughes (QPR, loan), Dimitar Berbatov (AS Monaco, loan), Philippe Senderos (Valencia, undisclosed)

A busy, busy transfer window for new boss Rene Meulensteen. A very good one by the looks of it as well. The lazy Berbatov has been replaced by explosive, though inconsistent, striker Mitroglou, who scored a Champions League hat trick already this season. Heitinga’s experience will help shore up Fulham’s leaky defence, while the return of Fulham hero Dempsey, effectively as a replacement for the underwhelming Ruiz, will give Fulham fans some hope of survival. Probably the key signing for Fulham will be Holtby, whose quality is undeniable and will hope to pull the strings in midfield in the Cottager’s bid for survival.

Grade: A

Predicted Position: 18th

 

Cardiff City

Major Signings: Mats Daehli (Molde, 1m), Magnus Eikrem (Heerenveen, 2m), Jo Inge Berget (Molde, undisclosed), Kenwyne Jones (Stoke City, swap), Wilfried Zaha (Manchester United, loan), Fabio (Manchester United, undisclosed)

Major Sales: Rudy Gestede (Blackburn Rovers, undisclosed), Peter Odemwingie (Stoke City, swap), Andreas Cornelius (FC Copenhagen, 3m)

It might be too little too late for Cardiff City, but with regards to late, late miracles, new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knows a thing or two. The signings do not add to such optimism though. Jones will provide the hard graft upfront, but lacks enough goals in him. Zaha will provide the threat down the wings, but is still relatively unproven at the top level. Fabio’s inconsistent displays may only add energy to Cardiff’s play. The Norwegian trio lack the Premier League pedigree needed for the hard fight of relegation.

Grade: B

Predicted Position: 20th

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