North West transfer round up – Crouch, Grigg and more

Peter Crouch battles for the ball with Andrew Johnson (Credit: Matt Boulton, Wikimedia Commons; from Flickr)

108 goals. Seven clubs. Peter Crouch is somewhat of a Premier League veteran, and maybe in another era could be described as one of the best strikers the league has seen.

Now 38, Crouch joined Burnley on transfer deadline day for what looks like one final spell in the top flight on a six month deal.

He arrived at the club in a part-exchange deal for Sam Vokes, who left the club after almost seven years in the claret and blue colours.

Sam Vokes in action for Wales (Credit: Steindy, Wikimedia Commons)

The Welshman had a mixed start for the Potters on Saturday, missing a penalty in an eventual 2-0 defeat at Hull.

But Crouch had a more promising start to his Burnley career, winning a crucial penalty for the Clarets when his header hit the arm of Southampton defender Jack Stephens inside the box.

Ashley Barnes converted the penalty deep in injury time to earn Sean Dyche’s side a vital 1-1 draw.

Burnley fan Chris Wilson said he expects more of the same from the ex-Liverpool man, who came off the bench on Saturday:

“I think Crouch will mainly be used in that role (off the bench), similar to how Vokes was utilised.

“He’s a good player to bring off the bench late on if we need a goal in a game.

“Even if he scores a few goals then he’ll be worth the money we pay him between now and the end of the season.”

Burnley signing someone like Crouch – not a prolific striker nowadays – could be seen as a gamble, but the striker will no doubt offer more than just footballing ability, with him bound to be a popular member of the dressing room.

Everyone is so friendly in burnley. Very thoughtful— Peter Crouch (@petercrouch) February 2, 2019

Crouch thanks Burnley fans for their warm welcome after a ‘mind your head’ sign was placed on a bridge in reference to the tall striker

The club had a reported bid of around £12m rejected for Birmingham’s Che Adams on deadline day, but managed to secure the Crouch deal.

But Wilson believes that Dyche and Burnley will have no trouble staying in the league.

He said: “I think the good form can continue for us.

“We’ve got a winnable game to come against Brighton which if we can pick up points in should pull us further away from danger.

“(Staying up) is a target I think we will achieve.”

Elsewhere in the North West, Blackburn Rovers made January transfer surges of their own.

Perhaps the standout move was a deal for former loanee Harry Chapman to return to the club, the ex-Middlesbrough man having played a part in their promotion from League One last season.

Blackburn home and away supporter & creator of fan group Rovers Chat, Daniel Ainsworth, said:

“Signing Harry Chapman on a permanent deal is a top deal for the club.

“Once he builds himself back to the right level of fitness, he’ll prove to be a good signing.

“It’s all about building this club for the future and Chapman fits that philosophy.”

Blackburn manager Tony Mowbray made some important January signings (Credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Rovers went 2-0 up against Brentford at Griffin Park before losing 5-2 to Thomas Frank’s side, but Ainsworth does not regret his side not adding more depth.

“I probably would’ve liked a striker but a good striker costs millions and it was too much of a risk for us.

“It’s time to keep faith in this squad despite Saturday’s loss and build the squad further in the summer to push on.”

Wigan were dealt a heavy blow on deadline day with the sale of striker Will Grigg to Sunderland.

Despite only scoring one goal from open play this season, the Northern Irish forward was well thought of at the DW Stadium.

Will Grigg joined Sunderland for £4m on Deadline Day (Credit: footballfacts61, Wikimedia Commons)

Sunderland paid £4m for his services, Grigg joining the club on a three-and-a-half-year deal.

The Latics signed free agent Jonas Olsson and Everton midfielder Beni Baningime on loan before the deadline shut.