With the January transfer window ahead of us and multiple leagues across Europe in tight title races, I’d imagine we see some aggressive moves this transfer window. With that, let’s take a look at some of the most recent successful transfers that were done in January. This list is based off of the player’s performance for their new club in relation to their price tag.
10. Bruno Fernandes ($74 million)
January 2020 Sporting Lisbon to Manchester United
The most recent significant January signing, as he was signed on the back end of the 2020 January transfer window, is Bruno Fernandes. The attacking midfielder has been nothing short of revolutionary for Manchester United; a club that desperately needed an creative spark. In 29 appearances for the club, Fernandes has 18 goals and 14 assists. He has had an explosive start with a promising future. His price tag is what prevents him from being higher on this list.
9. Erling Braut Haaland ($27 million)
January 2020 FC Red Bull Salzburg to Borussia Dortmund
Another significant signing from the last January transfer window was Erling Braut Haaland. The then-19-year old made a move after lighting up the Champions League. Halaand brought immediate results to Borussia Dortmund in what they expected out of him: 18 appearances 23 goals. His presence on this list is largely in part to the upside potential he offers.
8. Gary Cahill ($9.5 million)
January 2012 Bolton Wanderers to Chelsea FC
Gary Cahill’s spell at Chelsea was very successful. He played a large part in two Chelsea title wins (2014-15 and 2016-17) and scored six goals in the 2016-17 campaign. Although he is not as flashy as some of the other names on this list, Cahill was a consistent performer during his time at Chelsea. The fact that Chelsea were able to get as much production out of Cahill for his price tag (just under $10 million) was an absolute bargain.
7. Dayot Upamecano ($11 million)
January 2017 FC Red Bull Salzburg to RB Leipzig
After making a move to the Bundesliga, Dayot Upamecano has proven to be one of the top young center backs in Europe. At the age of 22, he is one of the most sought after players, as he has been linked with a big money move away from RB Leipzig. During his time at Leipzig, Upamecano has helped transform them into a consistent Champions League side and they currently hold the best defensive record in the Bundesliga.
6. Aymeric Laporte ($77 million)
January 2018 Athletic Bilbao to Manchester City
Aymeric Laporte has had a relatively short spell with Manchester City and has struggled with injuries, but when he’s on the field, he makes Manchester City better. It is evident to see his effect in the full season he played with Manchester City, as he led them to the title. His talent levels are up there with the best in the world and if he can avoid injuries, there might be more trophies to come.
5. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ($75.6 million)
January 2018 Borussia Dortmund to Arsenal FC
Before making a move to Arsenal, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made his name scoring goals for Borussia Dortmund. His success immediately translated to the Premier League. Since his arrival, he has scored 57 goals in 99 appearances in the league. He has had a sluggish start to this year, but there’s no denying the effect the forward has had on Arsenal.
4. Nemanja Matic ($27.5 million)
January 2014 SL Benfica to Chelsea FC
Nemanja Matic’s stint at Chelsea was short-lived, but he played a pivotal role in two Chelsea Premier League titles during his three seasons. He was one of the best defensive midfielders in the league while at Chelsea and helped provide for one of the strongest defenses in the last decade.
3. Riyad Mahrez ($550,000)
January 2014 AC Le Havre to Leicester City
The biggest bargain on this list is Riyad Mahrez. The Algerian forward made a move to Leicester City for only $550,000; pocket change in today’s market. How can we talk about this man’s impact on the club without talking about the incredible 2015-16 season for Leicester City? Mahrez also won the PFA Player of the Year after scoring 17 goals and 11 assists in that respective campaign.
2. Virgil van Dijk ($93 million)
January 2018 Southampton FC to Liverpool FC
This may be a little high for the biggest transfer fee on this list, but the fee is deserved. Virgil van Dijk has proven himself for Liverpool and then some. He transformed their defense into a formidable competitor and in his next season, he led them to one of the most dominant campaigns we have seen defensively. It earned him the PFA Player of the Year and his success isn’t over at Liverpool FC.
1. Luis Suarez ($29 million)
January 2011 AFC Ajax to Liverpool FC
One of the best strikers of the last decade has been Luis Suarez. He may not have won the league while he was there, but his impact was felt. His goal-scoring capabilities were on full display for the world to see. He won a Golden Boot and PFA Player of the Year while at Liverpool. He totaled over 60 goals in just four seasons, while eclipsing the 30-goal mark in his last season with the reds.
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