2015’s January transfer window wasn’t exactly a classic. There were a lot of moves that looked like they were going to happen on deadline day but little materialised in the end. Many were touting Manchester United to spend big last month but the red half of Manchester remained very quiet throughout the winter window.
In recent times, clubs have become rather reluctant to invest heavily in their squads in January as signings like Fernando Torres and Andy Carroll simply didn’t work out despite their hefty price tags. There is also the fact that many top quality players simply aren’t available mid-season, so clubs are often forced to stick with what they’ve got or look for a bargain in the window.
Despite this, there were still a number of deals in January that really stood out, adding further quality to Premier League squads and proving that quality is not always so difficult to find in the winter window. Here are the Football FanCast FIVE best transfers of January…
Arsenal really needed a new centre-back in order to provide depth to a back four that has been plagued with injures so far this season. Their new signing from Villarreal, Gabriel Paulista, will provide pace along with an excellent reading of the game. The 24-year-old will want to break into the first-team and his £11.2 million price tag will not seem that expensive if Paulista can break into the starting eleven.
The defender has recorded 68 interceptions this season, the third highest total in La Liga. Wenger will be hoping that Paulista will continue to showcase this defensive ability as it will be vital to Arsenal starting counter attacks. If they have a player that can quickly win the ball back, their midfield has the talent to really punish teams. Paulista may not be the world class name Arsenal fans were looking for but he is certainly an excellent addition to the current squad.
The deadline day signing from Fiorentina will add even further pace and width to a Chelsea team that already have both in abundance. His performances at the World Cup suggest that Chelsea have a talented player on their hands and the 26-year-old will be desperate to force his way into the starting eleven.
Although it might be difficult for Cuadrado to break into the first-team straight away, there is no doubt that the Colombian international will add further strength in depth to a squad that already boasts a lot of quality attacking players. The winger has four goals and four assists to his name this season and will looking to bring improve even further when he plays for Mourinho’s side. With Andre Schurrle joining Wolfsburg for a similar fee, the signing of Juan Cuadrado is one that is well thought out and will help the club adhere to the Financial Fair Play regulations.
Although Bertrand was already at Southampton this January; the Saints have done a tremendous bit of business in signing the left-back on a permanent deal. The England Under-21 international was initially sent out on loan for the season but his impressive form meant that Southampton moved quickly to secure the defender’s future.
The fee is believed to be in the region on £10 million, which isn’t a huge amount considering the player’s age and the form he’s been in this season. The 25-year-old has already scored twice in the Premier League and regularly featured in defence, missing just one league game so far.
Southampton fans will be pleased to keep hold of Bertrand as he provides an extra attacking dimension to the team. Both Bertrand and Clyne have been key to Southampton’s attacking play out wide and securing the former Chelsea man’s services on a permanent basis is a clever bit of business from Ronald Koeman.
Since arriving at Swansea City from Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem in 2013, Wilfried Bony has been a goalscoring machine. His excellent power, movement and finishing made him the perfect fit for the Premier League and he has now earned himself a move to the current Champions. Manchester City paid £27 million for the striker’s services and the Ivorian will be looking to fire City to another Premier League title in 2015.
The prospect of Bony playing alongside Sergio Aguero will excite City fans as they now have two of the most prolific scorers in 2014 in their side. It was a clever signing from Manuel Pellegrini as Bony has scored goals regularly at Premier League level. With the excellent service he is bound to receive from Manchester City’s midfield, it will be no surprise if Bony continues his goalscoring form for the Champions, pushing Chelsea all the way in the race for the title.
Aston Villa desperately needed a creative midfielder in their side and Paul Lambert may have got it spot on by signing Carles Gil for £3.2 million this month. With pace and trickery that allows him to go past players, he certainly looks like a footballer that will excite the crowd at Villa Park. The Spaniard has hit the ground running so far, showcasing exactly what he’s all about in recent matches for the Villains.
Gil has already opened his scoring account for Villa, producing a sensational curling effort that guided his new team to an FA Cup fourth round victory against Bournemouth. Hopefully the winger will provide the service for Paul Lambert’s side to enable them to score more regularly than they have thus far. It may be all doom and gloom at Villa Park right now but the 22-year-old is an excellent addition for the club and could be the key to turning Villa’s season around.