“HE'S a keeper with a lot of Championship experience and someone who I wanted to bring into the group, to help us achieve our goals this season.”

The words of boss Kevin Keen, after Colchester United announced their latest signing in the January transfer window of 2016.

Four weeks later and Jake Kean had made a surprise return to his parent club Norwich City, following a 'joint decision by the two parties'.

The goalkeeper's brief spell at the U's was perhaps a stark example of the highs and lows that the January transfer window can bring.

There will, of course, be plenty of speculation and rumours between now and 11pm on February 1 - and there has of course, already been some transfer activity, at the U's.

Luke Norris has departed for Stevenage this week, sparking speculation about who might be coming to replace him.

Theo Robinson, a loan capture for the U's this time, last year, has been mentioned as a possible target as Colchester actively look to bring in a new face or two.

But was all know, the January transfer window can work in often surprising ways, though this year's ins and outs will undoubtedly be influenced by the position EFL clubs currently find themselves in, given the situation with the current Covid-19 pandemic.

This is the fifth January window that has included the lower divisions. Previously, the EFL had remained outside UEFA’s remit and been allowed to carry on trading loan-wise up until March.

Keen, still new to the U's job after succeeding Tony Humes in the role a few weeks earlier, attempted to take advantage of that in 2016 by bringing in Kean and Elliot Lee on loan along with veteran Nicky Shorey in a bid to keep Colchester in League One.

Like the majority of clubs, January windows since have brought mixed success, for Colchester.

There were high hopes for Huddersfield striker Rekeil Pyke and Cardiff City youngsters Tommy O'Sullivan and Eli Phipps when they arrived, in the opening weeks of 2017.

Sadly, they were not fulfilled at the JobServe Community Stadium; the arrival of Sean Murray that month though proved somewhat more productive.

The following year, a host of new names arrived to try and boost John McGreal's League Two challengers.

Ben Stevenson was a surprise addition on loan from Premier League outfit Wolves, for whom he had joined earlier in the day from Coventry City.

That signing will go down as a success, as will the capture of Brandon Comley on a permanent basis from QPR the same month, following a successful loan.

But the likes of Liam Mandeville, Olamide Shodipo and Aaron Barnes failed to have the same impact, during their time at the U's.

Stevenson made his move to Colchester permanent in the January window, 12 months later.

Abo Eisa and Callum Roberts also arrived on loan, with a varied degree of success.

The last January transfer window also brought mixed fortunes, for Colchester.

A deal to re-sign Robinson on loan proved a productive one, as the striker returned to the U's for the remainder of the season which was cut short by the Covid-19 pandemic.

"I'm glad it's all sorted out and I can get on with playing football," said Robinson, after sealing the move.

Sadly, the capture of defender Tafari Moore was less successful; the Plymouth loanee managed only 64 minutes of action during his time with the U's.

It was another example of the contrasting success clubs can have when doing business in the January window.