The January transfer window has arrived with clubs given the chance to strengthen their squads yet again. While some players who were signed in January have struggled, there have been plenty of success stories despite some people believing that deals halfway through the season do not work out.
Stay tuned to find out the top ten worst January transfers, but for now, we take a look at the top ten players who were signed in January.
Patrice EvraEmbed from Getty Images
Signed from: Monaco
Signed to: Manchester United
Transfer fee: £7m
Despite reports claiming that Inter Milan had reached an agreement to sign Patrice Evra from Monaco, the French defender confirmed that he had sealed a transfer to Manchester United in January 2006. Evra signed a three-year-deal at Old Trafford and became a mainstay in the United defence under Sir Alex Ferguson.
The French international spent eight years in Manchester making 273 appearances, scoring seven goals. Evra won five Premier League titles and a Champions League crown during his time with the Red Devils before leaving for Juventus on a free transfer. The Daily Mail claimed that United was exploring the option of bringing Evra back on loan, but these reports have since been rubbished.
Mikel ArtetaEmbed from Getty Images
Signed from: Real Sociedad
Signed to: Everton
Transfer fee: £2m
Everton completed a bargain transfer in January 2005 when they signed Mikel Arteta on loan before making the transfer permanent for £2m. The Spaniard became a crucial player for the Toffees and was named their Player of the Year award for his first two seasons at the club and Midfielder of the Year in the Premier League.
His performances at Goodison Park did not go unnoticed, but the Blues could not match the ex-Barcelona midfielder’s ambitions, and he confirmed a deal with Arsenal for around £10m. He went on to became club captain with the Gunners before retiring to take a coaching role in Pep Guardiola’s setup at Manchester City.
Philippe CoutinhoEmbed from Getty Images
Signed from: Inter Milan
Signed for: Liverpool
Transfer fee: £8.5m
In the past, Liverpool have received criticism for some poor transfer deals, especially in January. But for every Andy Carroll, there is a Philippe Coutinho who arrived from Inter Milan in January 2013 for just £8.5m. The Brazilian has developed into a key player at Anfield following his move from Italy.
Coutinho was once considered an inconsistent performer for the Reds, but he has been one of the league’s top performers under Jurgen Klopp. His talent led Liverpool to the Europa League final last season and his form has continued into the new campaign before an injury halted his progress. Signed for just £8.5m, the 24-year-old is arguably the best value for money January transfer in Premier League history.
Gary CahillEmbed from Getty Images
Signed from: Bolton
Signed to: Chelsea
Transfer fee: £7m
Gary Cahill’s impressive performances for Bolton earned him a dream move to Chelsea in January despite interest from many other Premier League clubs. He was a key defender for the Trotters who were relegated following Cahill’s departure. Roberto di Matteo put the English defender into the first-team at Stamford Bridge where he was able to win the Champions League in his first season.
The 31-year-old has made over 140 appearances for the Blues and won the Premier League title in 2015. Cahill remains a key player in the Chelsea defence that has been so impressive under Antonio Conte as Chelsea look to add to their Premier League trophy haul.
Nemanja VidicEmbed from Getty Images
Signed from: Spartak Moscow
Signed to: Manchester United
Transfer fee: £9m
Sir Alex added another defender to his ranks in January 2006 when he completed a £9m deal for Spartak Moscow’s Nemanja Vidic. The Serbian international went on to form one of the best defensive partnerships in Premier League history alongside Rio Ferdinand. He won the Premier League in his first full season at the club and went on to collect another four winners medals.
He also won the Champions League in 2008 and was named Premier League Player of the Season in 2009 and 2011. Towards the end of his career at United, his ability started to decline and he was allowed to leave the club for free to join Inter Milan before retiring in January 2016 but will always be remembered as one of the greatest defenders in Premier League history.
Luis SuarezEmbed from Getty Images
Signed from: Ajax
Signed to: Liverpool
Transfer fee: £22.5m
Few would have expected Luis Suarez to become one of the best players in Premier League history following his £22.5m move from Ajax to Liverpool in January 2011. If Liverpool had decided to keep Fernando Torres instead of selling him to Chelsea, they might have lifted their first Premier League title as Suarez hit the ground running at Anfield.
They almost did in 2014 when the Uruguayan’s performances propelled Liverpool to within inches of the league title before they threw it away in the run in. Suarez was named PFA Player of the Year after scoring 30 goals in the Premier League, becoming only the seventh player to do so. His performances earned him a £75m move to Barcelona in 2014.
Daniel SturridgeEmbed from Getty Images
Signed from: Chelsea
Signed to: Liverpool
Transfer fee: £12m
Another terrific piece of business by Liverpool in January saw them complete a £12m deal for Chelsea’s Daniel Sturridge. The English forward had bagged eight goals for Bolton in a loan spell before the Reds pulled the trigger on a cut-price deal for the striker in January 2013. Sturridge became an instant hit on Merseyside and excelled alongside Suarez in the Liverpool attack.
He finished behind his team-mate in the race for the Premier League Golden Boot in 2014 with 21 goals. Since then, the former Manchester City striker has been plagued by injuries but looks back to full fitness under Klopp. His appearances have been limited under the German which has sparked rumours of a potential exit.
Nemanja MaticEmbed from Getty Images
Signed from: Benfica
Signed to: Chelsea
Transfer fee: £21m
Nemanja Matic arrived at Benfica in 2011 as part of the £21m deal that saw David Luiz join Chelsea where he was converted into a defensive midfielder under Jorge Jesus. Three years later, Chelsea paid £21m to bring the Serbian back to Stamford Bridge on a five-year-deal. He soon became a key player for the Blues
Matic was named in the PFA Team of the Year in his first season as at the club following some top quality displays in the middle of the park in Chelsea’s title-winning campaign. Despite a dip in form last year, he has returned to his best under Conte alongside N’Golo Kante in Chelsea’s 3-4-3 system.
Ashley YoungEmbed from Getty Images
Signed from: Watford
Signed to: Aston Villa
Transfer fee: £8m
Not long ago, Aston Villa were challenging for a top-four finish in the Premier League but now find themselves struggling to reach the promotion places in the SkyBet Championship. Key to their success in the Premier League was Ashley Young, who arrived at Villa Park in 2007 for a club record £8m from Watford.
Young’s performances earned him an England call-up, registering 17 assists in the 2007/08 Premier League season. A move to a centre forward role led to even better performances and attracted the attention of Manchester United who completed a £20m deal for the winger in 2011. He is still with the Red Devils and has made over 100 appearances following the move.
Riyad MahrezEmbed from Getty Images
Signed from: Le Havre
Signed to: Leicester
Transfer fee: £400k
Although Leicester were in the Championship when they completed a £400k deal to bring Riyad Mahrez to England, the Algerian was crucial to their title-winning success last year and therefore earns a place on our list. The 25-year-old helped the Foxes earn promotion in his first season and went on to play a pivotal role in one of the craziest Premier League seasons ever.
Leicester stunned the world and lifted the Premier League title thanks to Mahrez’s 17 goals and 11 assists. The Algerian was named the PFA Player of the Year and African Footballer of the Year for his spectacular displays and rejected the advances of many clubs to stay at the King Power this season. While his form has dipped, no-one will forget the memories he created under Claudio Ranieri.
Who do you think has been the best January transfer in the Premier League? Comment below!
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