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Around the Premier League: Fighting for Europa spots

Santon apparently likes wearing black and dull
Santon apparently likes wearing black and dull

We looked at the top of the table earlier, so now we'll take a look at the teams who are nipping at their heels.  After seemingly senselessly allowing Jose Enrique to leave the club for Liverpool earlier in the month, Newcastle United had themselves a whale of a close to the window.  They started by replacing the solid Enrique with a potentially world class Davide Santon.  Santon (profiled here) may not quite be the steady performer Enrique was, but he'll certainly give Newcastle a few mouth watering tastes of what kind of ability he has.  I thought this and Coates were the best moves of the closing days of the window.  They also brought in backup keeper Rob Elliot.

Newcastle lost some players as well, most notably Joey Barton finally leaving the club.  Barton had a lot of talent, but Newcastle became a far more likable team the moment he left town.  Robert Bishop does a nice job summing the Newcastle window up over at SBNation's Newcastle site, which is certainly worth a visit if you haven't yet.

Aston Villa did a little adding of their own near the deadiline.  On Tuesday the club added promising youngster Enda Stevens to the squad.  They poked around at Joe Colebut in the end added two players Spurs needed to clear from the roster.  I don't think anyone would argue that those moves make up for the sales of Stuart Downing or Ashley Young, but it's certainly helpful depth.

Wigan don't have the money to spend that some other clubs do, but they always seem to do a nice job with what they have.  They tried to add our own Josh McEachran on loan, but apparently the plan is to actually use him this season.  They did add our own Patrick van Aanholt if that is any consolation.  They made two other notable moves, adding Albert Crusat and also agreeing with former Celtic youth product Shaun Maloney.

Stoke did some serious buying ahead of their Europa League campaign.  They added a pair of attackers in Cameron Jerome and Peter Crouch, and I don't thin too many people are questioning the fit of either.  They also raided Spurs again for midfielder Wilson Palacios who became surplus to the requirements at White Hart Lane.  Stoke just added an awful lot of quality depth to a team that was a headache to begin with.  Nice day on the whole from Tony Pulis' club.

Rounding out the top ten at the moment is Bolton.  Bolton also had themselves a nice little close to the window.  After the job they've done with young loanees lately, teams seem to be lining up to ship talent up to Bolton.  We sent them another uber-talent in Gael Kakuta, hoping Coyle can do for him what he did for Daniel Sturridge.  City also sent them a promising youngster in Dedryck Boyata.  Having filled two needs without spending a dime, Bolton then reached an agreement with Liverpool over David N'gog.  All in all, Bolton added some very talented depth to their squad to potentially make a run at a Europa spot this season.  

*By the way, if you haven't visited SBNations new Bolton site it's worth a look*

Next up will be the teams currently sitting between 11th and 15th in the table.  All three newly promoted sides were in there, and one of them basically bought an entire new team.

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