While although the biggest transfer business in the Premier League is saved for the summer, there is always scope for new signings in the New Year and even though this part of the season is known for its panic buying, there have also been some astute purchases at the same time.
Purchases that have transformed a club’s fortunes almost overnight and by landing a new arrival, it has sometimes proved the difference between capturing success or having to deal with the ignominy of failure.
Thankfully there is no failure on our list and now we are going to look back at the top five January signings in Premier League history. With them being placed in no particular order, here are our magical quintet. Do you agree with our suggestions? Let us know via our Twitter account.
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The most recent in our list and arguably the biggest transformation of a player that has been signed in the January transfer window. The man in question is Jesse Lingard and his move saw a loan switch from Manchester United to West Ham.
One that took place in the second half of the 2020/21 season and with the England international floundering on the Old Trafford sidelines, West Ham manager David Moyes handed Lingard something of a lifeline.
With Lingard being part of the 2018 England World Cup squad, he had quickly become one of football’s forgotten men and with his career fading away with some speed, both pundits and punters questioned if he could still cut in the top flight.
However, a change of environment was all that Lingard needed and with the attacking midfielder adding new life into a previously defensive West Ham side, the East London outfit subsequently qualified for this season’s Europa League.
Perhaps better known for his bite in the end, there is no doubt that Luis Suarez not only made his mark on Merseyside but also the Premier League as a whole and although he arrived from Ajax as a relative unknown, he would soon light up Anfield in no time at all.
The Uruguyan’s arrival from Amsterdam, came back in 2012 as part of a transfer deadline day double and although Andy Carroll’s time at Liverpool was largely forgettable, Suarez’s stint by comparison was certainly not.
While it was the 2013/14 season where Suarez truly came of age and with 31 Premier League goals in 33 appearances, he almost helped Liverpool to a first English league crown in nearly a quarter of a century.
As we all know by now, a Steven Gerrard slip and a Selhurst Park collapse saw to that and although league honours would pass him by, he would at least be given that season’s Golden Boot for his scoring efforts
As far as January signings have gone, there is no doubt that Bruno Fernandes has been a revelation and on each occasion that he turns it on for Manchester United, Tottenham supporters think what could have been.
Given the choice of Fernandes or Giovani Lo Celso, the Tottenham board plumped for the latter and with the former hitting the ground running at Old Trafford, he has been worth every penny of the transfer fee that Sporting Lisbon acquired.
Because not only can Fernandes score goals he can create them as well and with no less than 45 goal involvements in his first calendar year in Manchester, he has managed to transform the fortunes of the Red Devils.
Upon his arrival in January 2020, United were beleaguered and a return to the Champions League was far from a given. However, Fernandes quickly saw to turn things around and after helping his new teammates to a third-place finish that season, they then finished second the following year.
Virgil van Dijk
It is not often that big money is spent on a defender, and it is with even less regularity that it takes place within the January transfer window. However, just because it rarely happens does not mean it never happens at all.
While this big money scenario played out as recently as January 2018 and with Virgil van Dijk swapping Southampton for Liverpool, it needed an eye-watering sum of money to facilitate the Dutch international’s switch.
Not just eye-watering but record-breaking at the same time and with the Merseyside outfit forking out £75m for the former Celtic man, many wondered if van Dijk could ever live up to such a hefty transfer fee.
However, van Dijk was soon to silence any critics that may have previously voiced their concerns and with him being nothing short of imperious in Liverpool’s defence, he would play a major part in their Premier League success of 2020.
Perhaps the man on the list who made his move with the least fanfare but at the same time arguably had the biggest impact of all and after moving to Manchester United on the same day as Patrice Evra in 2008, Nemanja Vidic would eventually play himself into Old Trafford folklore.
Admittedly it took time for Vidic to adjust to the cut and thrust of the Premier League and at times many wondered if the Serbian defender was truly up to speed. However, it only needed one man to place his faith in the man mountain and that was none other than Sir Alex Ferguson.
Once given the necessary time to adjust to the confines of the English game, Vidic never looked back and after creating a rock-solid defensive partnership with Rio Ferdinand, opposition attackers would find the duo impenetrable.
At just £7m, it is a mere fraction of the fee of what Liverpool paid for Virgil van Dijk. Then again, when you look at what at Vidic won during his time at Old Trafford – five Premier League titles, three League Cups, the Champions League and the FIFA Club World Cup, there can be no doubt that Fergie got excellent value for money from this signing.
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