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Is there anybody out there?

Whilst it is still possible that the Giorgos Samaras transfer may still happen and despite Stuart Pearce stating he hopes to bring a further three or four players in over the next week, it is possible that the transfer window may come and go without any further additions to the squad, although it is apparant that areas of the team and squad need strengthening.

One thing worth thinking about though amidst the clamour for the likes of a Steed Malbranque being brought in is (since the transfer window was introduced) how many big name and big money deals have been made in January over the past couple of seasons? The majority of moves that are made during this transfer window are generally for sides either in relegation trouble seeking to avoid dropping out of the Premier League, or by an ambitious Championship (or other league) side gunning for promotion or the playoffs.

The big name and big money moves are saved for the summer, where clubs are more likely to sell in the off-season as they look to rebuild and where a number of players are beginning to enter the last year of their contracts.

Looking at the list of players who have moved so far, who could you honestly say would is an improvement on the current side?
As the list is quite extensive, I've listed below some of the more prominent moves so far:

Dean Ashton [Norwich - West Ham] £7.25m
Theo Walcott [Southampton - Arsenal] £5m
Alan Stubbs [Sunderland - Everton] Free
Marcus Bent [Everton - Charlton] £2m
Vasiriki Abou Diaby [Auxerre - Arsenal] Undisclosed
Emmanuel Adebayor [Monaco - Arsenal] Undisclosed
Benjani Mwaruwari [Auxerre - Portsmouth] £4.1m
Pedro Mendes [Tottenham - Portsmouth] Undisclosed
Noe Pamarot [Tottenham - Portsmouth] Undisclosed
Sean Davis [Tottenham - Portsmouth] Undisclosed
Dan Agger [Brondby - Liverpool] Undisclosed
Chris Sutton [Celtic - Birmingham] Free

Whilst I think Ashton would be a useful addition to our forward line, a cost of £7.2 million is clearly not good business and I wouldn't consider paying more than half that amount for him.
Marcus Bent? Over-priced even at £2 million and wouldn't add anything to the side.
Walcott is a complete non-starter, as are Diaby and Adebayor if Arsenal have made a move to sign them.
Sutton may have been a useful pick-up, but he is only signed through to the end of the season and rumoured to be on £40,000 per week so again, not good business.
I don't know anything about Mwaruwari, apart from making an inauspicious debut before departing to the African Nations and seems to be a case of Harry Redknapp splashing out an inflated fee for an unproven striker (although the same could be said of Pearce's attempt to sign Samaras).
Pamarot, Mendes, Flitcroft, Stubbs? I don't think so.

From the list, the only other player that I think would be a good signing was Sean Davis, but assuming Barton has one of the central midfield roles I wonder if he would offer much more than Reyna or Sinclair, but agree he would add depth to an area we are light in.

Whilst Pearce has undoubtedly been working to bring reinforcements into the club, perhaps the only realistic signings are likely to be short-term loans or younger, more long term signings such as Southampton's Matthew Mills (who we have been linked to) and that in reality, the big name, impact players simply aren't available.