Five pointless signings made by Premier League clubs in January

Newcastle United

Premier League clubs use January to bolster their squads, but teams such as Newcastle United and Everton may as well have kept their money in their pockets.

This year's January transfer window was less dramatic than in previous seasons, but some Premier League clubs still managed to make significant signings during the opening month of 2016.

However, despite their respective incomings supposed to have a positive impact on results and lift optimism in the stands, very few have, so far, worked out and in some cases, supporters have been left bemused why their teams have acquired players midway through the season and barely used them in the games that followed.

There are more than five examples of either players failing to adapt to English football or signings being made to satisfy the demands from fans, but below, we has listed five players who may wish that they have stayed at their previous club.

1) Alexandre Pato

When Alexandre Pato signed for Chelsea on loan for the rest of the season, it was known that it would take him several weeks to regain the sharpness required to feature in the Premier League, but he was expected to play for the Blues from March onwards.

Supporters were delighted to see the Brazilian make the bench for the fixture away at Norwich City on March 1, but that is as good as it has got. The 26-year-old was again named as a substitute for the meetings with Stoke City and West Ham United but he remained on the sidelines and there are reports that Chelsea aren't happy with the progress he has made since joining the club.

It remains to be seen whether Chelsea will part ways with Pato before the end of the campaign or if he will be given the opportunity to showcase his undoubted talent in the top flight, but if there are no plans for the former AC Milan attacker to feature at Stamford Bridge next season, the West Londoners should cut their losses and accept that this has been one of the most pointless signings in the history of the Premier League.

2) Seydou Doumbia

When Newcastle United boss Steve McClaren pulled off the loan signing of Seydou Doumbia, the Toon Army were delighted that they had a striker with the quality they required in the final third, and given Doumbia had scored four goals against both Manchester clubs in the Champions League for CSKA Moscow since October 2014, it seemed a certainty that he would go straight into the starting lineup.

However, Doumbia has played all of 29 minutes, with each of his three appearances coming off the bench. Twenty of those came when Newcastle were already four goals down to Chelsea, with the other nine being cameo appearances when the Magpies were 1-0 adrift at Stoke City and Leicester City respectively.

The Ivorian even suffered the embarrassment of not making the 18-man squad for the North-East derby with Sunderland last weekend and the club are yet to explain his absence or why he has been restricted to little playing time. Regardless of the reason, Newcastle have a proven goalscorer on their books who they have barely used, and fingers will be pointed at both McClaren and Rafael Benitez if the forward does not feature in the club's remaining games this season.

3) Henri Saviet

Doumbia isn't the only Newcastle player to be thrown onto the scrapheap, for now at least. After establishing himself at Bordeaux and impressing against Liverpool in the Europa League earlier this season, Newcastle shelled out a reported fee of £5 to sign Henri Saviet, but he has not played since February 6.

Things looked promising when he came off the bench to play the final 33 minutes of the 2-1 win over West Ham United, but he lasted less than an hour in defeats to both Watford and Everton. His last outing was a token appearance as a substitute in the closing seconds of Newcastle's 1-0 win over West Bromwich Albion.

The 25-year-old has remained part of the squad but that is where he has remained. Even in the absence of Cheik Tiote or Jack Colback being switched to left-back, Vurnon Anita has been preferred to Saviet, despite the lack of improvements in Newcastle's results or performances. Benitez could always use him in the club's final eight games, but so far, he has played just 148 minutes in nine matches.

4) Steven Caulker

You could be forgiven for forgetting that Steven Caulker was still at Liverpool. He was signed hastily by Jurgen Klopp with the Merseyside finding themselves short on centre-backs, but the Queens Park Rangers man has not played a game since the end of January.

That start came in the FA Cup against West Ham United and he helped the team record a clean sheet. However, he faces the prospect of departing Anfield with that representing his only start for the club and half of his appearances being made in attack with Klopp also choosing to use him as an emergency striker towards the end of matches against Arsenal and Manchester United.

At the time, the circumstances of the transfer perhaps suited all parties but Caulker has effectively been involved for a 17-day period and then left on the sidelines. It's hardly the period at Liverpool that he would have envisaged when signing on the dotted line.

5) Oumar Niasse

When Everton signed Oumar Niaase, manager Roberto Martinez probably felt obligated to deliver a big-name signing with the Toffees having failed to win any of their previous five matches in the Premier League, but as it stands, £13m has been spent for less than half-an-hour of playing time.

The Senegalese attacker had minor fitness issues during his first couple of weeks at Goodison Park, but that doesn't explain why he has been restricted to just 16 minutes in the league and even less in the FA Cup. He left Lokomotiv Moscow on a high but for reasons only known to Martinez, he is being held back on Merseyside.

The Spaniard probably sees Niasse as one for next season, but why sign him now for an inflated fee if there is little intention to use him before the middle of May? There's still time and given Everton's display against Arsenal, he might come into the reckoning but if he has played less than 30 minutes in six weeks, Martinez is unlikely start the 25-year-old against Manchester United at Old Trafford after the international break.

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