Top 10 best January transfer window signings of all-time
The players mentioned in this list have had the desired impact in their respective clubs.
As the 2022 January transfer window is already open, most clubs will be looking to bolster their squad for the remaining campaign. Traditionally, clubs have used the January transfer window to strengthen their side for the title push or avoid relegation. Many signings in this period have come good for their new teams and it might be a good idea to take a second and fawn over some of the best signings ever made in this month over the years. Considering all of it, Khel Now brings in the top 10 best January transfer window signings of all-time.
10. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (SC Heerenveen to Ajax – 2006)
We start off things with an iconic Dutch player. Huntelaar became an Ajax player after his 2006 January transfer window move from Eredivisie club SC Heerenveen. This move saw the striker become a household name for the all Ajax supporters. The forward, in his first stint with the Dutch outfit, netted 102 times between 2006-2008. In this spell, he was successful in winning the domestic cup.
After making a name for himself in the Bundesliga with Schalke, he came back to the Netherlands with the aim of winning a league title. Lucky for him, he won the top honours with Ajax twice in his second stint. He retired at the end of the 2020-21 season.
9. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borrusia Dortmund to Arsenal – 2018)
The Gabonese striker was one of Arsene Wenger’s final signings at Arsenal. The former Borussia Dortmund star made his way to the London-based club in the January of 2018, for a massive fee of £55 million, a then club-record fee.
Since his arrival, Aubameyang has continually proved to be a lethal goal-scorer on multiple occasions. He was declared joint-top scorer in the league after the 2018-19 season with 22 goals. Despite the current Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta not seeing eye to eye with the 32-year old, it cannot be denied that the forward has been a source of goals for the club in the past few seasons.
8. Clint Dempsey (New England Revolution to Fulham – 2007)
The American footballer and his move to Fulham deserve a place as one of the most impactful January transfer window signings in football. Dempsey’s arrival meant that the club could see eye to eye to the big-wigs of English football. The best example would be the striker’s first goal which was enough to beat the mighty Liverpool. This win in May, saved the side from relegation.
One of the highlights of his Fulham career would be his winner against Juventus in 2010, which sealed their berth in that year’s Europa League quarter-finals. Over the course of his six seasons at Craven Cottage, he played 225 times in all competitions.
7. Gonzalo Higuain (River Plate to Real Madrid – 2007)
The Argentine striker had been a part of numerous top clubs and scored in the biggest leagues. Out of all the moves in Gonzalo Higuain’s career, the one that brought him out into the spotlight was his arrival in Madrid. A merely 19-year-old, Higuain had made the move from River Plate to Real Madrid back in the January transfer window of 2007.
He went on to score 121 goals in his six seasons at the club, amassing a mammoth 264 appearances.
6. Jesse Lingard (Manchester United to West Ham United – 2021)
Although a loan deal, Jesse Lingard’s move to West Ham last season could be used as the perfect example for instant impact. In his first game for the Hammers, he scored a brace against Aston Villa. There were many occasions when the midfielder would orchestrate moves, open the scoring, or simply provide the winner.
His 16 Premier League appearances resulted in 14 goal involvements (nine goals and five assists). It is safe to say that he was pivotal in guiding West Ham to a sixth-place finish last season, which allowed them a shot at the Europa League.
5. Luis Suarez (Ajax to Liverpool – 2011)
It was the famous no. 7, Kenny Dalglish himself, who had brought in the Uruguayan striker to the Premier League, who would later prove to be a livewire for the Merseysiders.
It was the 2013-14 season that brought out the best in Luis Suarez. With an inspiring 31 goals in 33 appearances, he had almost won Liverpool the league, only to be denied by Steven Gerrard’s infamous slip. He ended his three years at Liverpool with 82 goals in 133 matches, numbers often unmatched by many.
4. Nemanja Vidic (Spartak Moscow to Manchester United – 2006)
Sir Alex Ferguson signed a lot of talented players during his 26-year-long career as Manchester United manager. When it came to the transfers made in the January transfer window, Serbian defender Nemanja Vidic’s name tops the list.
After Arsenal’s Invincibles and Mourinho’s rampant Chelsea, the red side of Manchester was desperate to win some silverware. It is no coincidence that after the arrival of this no-nonsense centre-back, the club went on to win three back-to-back league titles (2006-07; 2007-08; 2008-09). This period also included the 2008 UEFA Champions League title.
The Serb had formed an imperious partnership with Rio Ferdinand at the back, which intimidated strikers for a long time.
3. Marcelo (Fluminense to Real Madrid – 2007)
An 18-year old Marcelo made the move of his life when he put pen to paper on the contract offered by Real Madrid. After his exit from Fluminense, the Brazilian defender became one of the most decorated and loyal players the club has ever seen. During his long stint as a Real Madrid player, Marcelo has won 22 major trophies, which include four Champions League titles.
The left-back has reportedly told Real Madrid that he would be leaving them in 2022, with a rumoured return to Brazilian club Fluminense, to finish his illustrious career.
2. Bruno Fernandes (Sporting Club de Portugal to Manchester United – 2020)
Perched at the zenith of this esteemed list of players is Bruno Fernandes. It was former Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer, who was successful in bringing in the much-needed attacking midfielder to the club.
After an abysmal first-half of the 2019-20 season, it was Fernandes’ arrival that inspired them to a third-place finish. In the span of just a year, the former Sporting Portugal player was involved in 45 goals and assists . In his first full season, he came third in the race for the league’s golden boot with 18 goals. This was only behind the likes of Kane and Salah. It was his contributions and presence on the field that helped Manchester United to climb to a second-place finish in the 2020-21 season.
1. Virgil Van Dijk (Southampton to Liverpool – 2018)
There has always been a running joke that Southampton is a feeder club for Liverpool. All jokes apart, the proof is in the pudding with the likes of Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, or Sadio Mane. One of the names from this pool of players, who was brought in the January transfer window, was Virgil Van Dijk.
The towering centre-back had an instant impact at the club, after arriving for the then world record fee for a defender (£75 million). In his first full season, he helped the team concede only 22 goals in the season. He was part of the squad that won the league for the first time after 30 years. The Dutchman also helped the English giants reach consecutive UEFA Champions League finals, winning the title in 2019.
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