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Dublin: 5°C Friday 27 November 2020

Rear window: The best January signings in the Premier League

From Vidic to Suarez, we take a look at the best value to come out of the January sales.

THE JANUARY TRANSFER window can be a hit and miss affair for Premier League clubs.

Fernando Torres, Andy Carroll and Aflonso Alves are all proof that throwing money at players in the January sales doesn’t always net great results.

However, there have been some late Christmas crackers so, in no particular order, here are’s top ten.

Matthew Etherington
€2.5 million, West Ham to Stoke, 2009
Image: Steve Drew/EMPICS Sport

He may be struggling to feature regularly on the team sheet of late, but Etherington was exactly the type of player Tony Pulis’ men needed to help them steer clear of relegation in their first season back in the Premier League. With such a small price tag, it represented excellent value for money too.

Emmanuel Adebayor
€8.6 million, AS Monaco to Arsenal, 2006

He may have left Arsenal fans with a bitter taste in their mouths but 46 goals in 104 starts for the club meant Arsene Wenger was able to turn a profit of more than €22 million on a player who no longer wanted to stay at the club. It would be foolish not to consider that a success.

Nemanja Vidic
€8.6 million, Spartak Moscow to Manchester United , 2006
Image: Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

Four Premier League titles, three League Cup wins and a Champions League trophy show, when fit, how important Vidic has been to Manchester United. His partnership with Rio Ferdinand may be coming to an end but it has been a wonderful pairing to watch for the United faithful.

Demba Ba
Undisclosed, 1899 Hoffenheim to West Ham, 2011

While seven goals in 12 appearances wasn’t enough to save the Hammers from relegation, it did ease concerns over Ba’s long term future in football after an earlier failed medical. His strike rate of a goal every two games is good enough for Newcastle to desperately try to remove the €9 million release clause from his current contract.

Mikel Arteta
Loan, Real Sociedad to Everton, 2005
John Walton/EMPICS Sport

There were a lot of people who asked ‘who?’ when Everton swooped in to sign Mikel Arteta in January 2005. However, after six years steady service for the club, the Toffees made a tidy profit of nearly €10 million when selling the Spaniard to Arsenal.

Nikica Jelavic
€6.2 million, Rangers to Everton, 2011

Signed on the very last day of last year’s January transfer window, Jelavic has been an instant success for Everton scoring 15 goals in 32 games. He picked up the Premier League’s player of the month award in April following two goals in a 4-4 draw with Manchester United that effectively derailed the Reds’ title challenge.

Luis Suarez
€28.2 million, Ajax to Liverpool, 2011
Peter Byrne/PA Wire/Press Association Images

His signing was somewhat overshadowed by the €43 million Liverpool forked out for Andy Carroll in the same window but Suarez has replaced Steven Gerrard as Liverpool’s talisman. He made divide opinion among football supporters but few can question the Uruguayan’s value to his club.

Christophe Dugarry
Loan, Bordeaux to Birmingham City, 2003

Steve Bruce hasn’t done much in his managerial career but the signing of Dugarry on loan must go down as one of the shrewdest transfer moves of all time. Five goals in five games from the former World Cup winner was enough to save Birmingham from relegation and, for a fleeting few months, give the Premier League a new messiah.

Brede Hangeland
Undisclosed, FC Copenhagen to Fulham, 2008
Jonathan Brady/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Fulham finished the 2007/08 season with three away wins to avoid relegation on goal difference thanks in no small part to the signing of Hangeland to shore up a leaky defence. The Norwegian has gone on to make 177 appearances for the club despite constant rumours liking him with a move away from the Cottage.

Patrice Evra
€6.8 million, AS Monaco to Manchester United, 2006

Monaco were obviously set to self-destruct mode in January 2006 when they agreed to let Evra leave alongside Adebayor. Despite a dodgy debut where he was taken off at half-time, Evra has become a key figure in both defence and attack for Manchester United and has captained the club on numerous occasions.

Are we missing anyone? Darren Bent to Villa perhaps, or even Andrey Arshavin? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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