January window transfers... the good, bad and ugly
They say there are no bargains to be had in the January transfer window, but history confirms there have been more than a few game-changing deals secured at this mid-way point of the season.
Ahead of Monday’s transfer deadline, here is your Indepdendent.ie guide to the best (and a few of the worst) moves that have been confirmed in the January window down the years.
THE TOP FIVE HITS
Juan Mata (£37.1m from Chelsea to Man Utd, 2014)
Man Utd boss David Moyes believed his club had pulled off a major coup as they snared Mata and the Spaniard had shown flashes of real quality in United red over the last couple of years.
He has not collected a trophy since moving to Old Trafford, but Mata should be hailed among the more impressive signings made by the club under the guidance of their less than convincing transfer guru Ed Woodward.
Luis Suarez (£22.7m from Ajax to Liverpool, 2011)
Liverpool signed a sensational replacement for the departing Fernando Torres, with Suarez proving to be a world class performer before he sealed a £75m move to Barcelona in the summer of 2014.
Anfield goal scoring great John Aldridge is among those who has suggested this majestic marksman is the most talented footballer to ever pull on a red Liverpool jersey. Putting the controversy he brings to the table to one side, few would disagree with that assessment.
Daniel Sturridge (£12m from Chelsea to Liverpool, 2013)
When this prolific marksman is fit and firing, he is one of the best goal scorers in the Premier League, with his record since he joined Liverpool making him the most prolific marksman in the club’s history in the games-per-goal statistics.
The problem for Liverpool has been his addiction to spending too much time in the treatment room, with his misery continuing right now as boss Jurgen Klopp cannot put a timescale on his return. Don’t be surprised if his injury woes contribute to Liverpool making a decision to try and sell Sturridge next summer.
Robbie Keane (£12m from Liverpool to Tottenham, 2009)
Premier League rules stated that Keane was not allowed to return to Tottenham in the same season that he left the north London club, but special dispensation was given as the Irishman ended his brief and miserable stint at Anfield.
He did well at Spurs second time around, as he added to his scoring record that cemented his position as the most prolific Irish scorer of the Premier League era with 126 goals.
Nemanja Vidic (£7m Spartak Moscow to Manchester United, 2006)
Arguably one of the best January window signings for Man Utd, Serbian powerhouse Vidic proved to be a rock at the heart of their defence for many a long year and ended up winning five Premier League titles.
The outpouring of affection towards him from United fans as he announced his retirement from the game last Friday confirmed that Vidic will always been remembered as an Old Trafford great. United manager Alex Ferguson struck gold in the 2006 January transfer scramble as also signed Patrice Evra in the same window.
NOW FOR THE FLOPS
Juan Cuadrado (£23m from Fiorentina to Chelsea, 2015)
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho seemed less than convinced by Cuadrado’s abilities from the off and his curious stint at Stamford Bridge ended when he was moved on a few months later in a loan deal.
This Colombian was a big hit at the 2014 World Cup finals, but he was destined to enter the list of players who came and went from Chelsea without making any impact. What a waste of the club’s transfer kitty.
Aiden McGeady (£5m from Spartak Moscow to Everton, 2014)
This appeared to be a dream move for Republic of Ireland winger McGeady, but the truth is he has not been up to scratch in the Premier League.
Lacking quality and seemingly running out of a little desire to get the best out of his abilities, this talented footballer may never realise his ambition of shining in England’s top division after a poor stint at Goodison Park.
Fernando Torres (£50m from Liverpool to Chelsea, 2011)
No list of this nature is complete without the most expensive of the January transfer window mistakes.
This Spanish striker looked below par for some time prior to his mega money move to Chelsea and he was a big flop at Stamford Bridge, scoring just 20 Premier League goals in four seasons at the club. However, he did leave with plenty of medals, including a Champions League gold from 2012.
Andy Carroll (£35m from Newcastle to Liverpool, 2011)
Liverpool also spent some of the Torres money to pay a whopping sum for Carroll and while they got some of it back when they sold the striker to West Ham, he struggle to prove his worth at Anfield.
At his best, this powerhouse forward is a real handful for any defender, but his best was not on display too often at Liverpool and he was quickly ushered out of the club when Brendan Rodgers arrived as manager.
Andrey Arshavin (£16m from Zenit St Petersburg to Arsenal, 2009)
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has puthis name to a few odd deals in the January transfer window and even though Arshavin had talent in abundance, he went missing too often in Premier League matches.
The Gunners ended up getting nothing back on their investment in this player who was said to have lost his appetite for the game by the time he left the club.