The 2021 January transfer window is officially closed for Premier League clubs.
It wasn’t the busiest period of buying and selling we’ve ever seen as teams think more carefully about their spending in these ongoing difficult times. But a number of important deals were still concluded up and down the league, which could shape the second half of the season.
Here’s a look through 10 of the best signings made by Premier League clubs.
10. Josh Maja (Fulham)From: Bordeaux
Deal: Loan - option to buy for £9m
Fulham have significantly improved defensively in recent weeks, but their survival in the Premier League will depend on more goals and they have addressed a lack of recognised strikers by landing Josh Maja on loan from Bordeaux.
The 22-year-old spent time at Fulham as a youth player and had an impressive goal record for Sunderland as a teenager in League One before he made the switch to France in 2019.
9. Ben Davies (Liverpool)From: Preston
Deal: Permanent - £500,000 plus £1.1m in add-ons
No one saw this one coming and Ben Davies could have been forgiven for thinking he had found his level as a mid-table Championship defender after establishing himself with Preston.
But Liverpool’s desperation for centre-backs following Joel Matip’s season-ending injury adding to the already long-term absences of Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez made getting numbers in at the back an absolute must before the transfer deadline.
He won’t have a long-term career at Anfield, nor is he even guaranteed to play much in the short-term, but if Davies is an upgrade on either Nat Phillips or Rhys Williams, this one is a win given that it will cost the club a maximum of £1.6m in transfer fees.
8. Moises Caicedo (Brighton)From: Independiente del Valle
Deal: Permanent - £4.5m
It wasn’t a straightforward deal to pull off, which perhaps was the reason others pulled out, but Brighton persevered long enough to sign Ecuador international Moises Caicedo, who was wanted by Manchester United and Everton.
The box-to-box midfielder is only 19 and will initially be given time to settle and adapt before he is thrown into action, but he has already achieved plenty back home in his fledgling career.
7. Willian Jose (Wolves)
From: Real Sociedad
Deal: Loan - option to buy for £18m
A striker was a must for Wolves this winter in light of not replacing Diogo Jota last summer and losing Raul Jimenez indefinitely to a serious head injury.
In Willian Jose, they have someone who scored double figures in La Liga four seasons in a row for Real Sociedad between 2016 and 2020. The Brazilian is also a similar physical stature to Jimenez and is known for his aerial ability.
If Wolves can find a way to get Adama Traore firing again, it could be a very profitable relationship.
6. Ozan Kabak (Liverpool)From: Schalke
Deal: Loan - £1.5m plus option to buy for £18m
Liverpool had been watching Ozan Kabak for some time anyway, dating back to last summer, although the worsening centre-back emergency served to accelerate proceedings.
Kabak has different prospects to Ben Davies. He is only 20 and Liverpool will hope to take his development to new levels, having already been identified as one of the best defensive talents in Europe, despite playing for a tragically awful Schalke team.
If made permanent, the deal wouldn’t exceed £20m, which seems like a good price when the going rate for centre-backs can often be far more.
5. Morgan Sanson (Aston Villa)From: Marseille
Deal: Permanent - £14m plus £1.5m in add-ons
Morgan Sanson was a player of growing repute at Marseille and can play in a number of different central midfield roles and tactical systems that should boost Aston Villa’s squad depth no end.
The 26-year-old has played at a high level for Marseille, including the 2018 Europa League final, and is at his peak now. If Villa are to stay on course to finish in the top half of the Premier League, now was the time to strengthen with reinforcements.
4. Jesse Lingard (West Ham)From: Manchester United
Deal: Loan - £1.5m
Never actually a regular starter for Manchester United, even at his best form in 2017/18, it is only natural that Jesse Lingard finally wanted to move on from his boyhood club at the age of 28.
Lingard isn’t world class by any stretch of the imagination, yet he is of proven quality at Premier League and international level and could well be the difference between West Ham qualifying for European competition or not in the remainder of the season.
He adds depth to an improving squad that appears to be enjoying a more refined version of the success David Moyes had with Everton. He also knows and has worked with Moyes already, which is a bonus.
3. Takumi Minamino (Southampton)From: Liverpool
Deal: Loan - £500,000
Takumi Minamino is a good player. That much was obvious from the way he performed for Red Bull Salzburg in the Champions League group stage last season, prompting Liverpool to trigger his release clause in January. But the reality is he probably isn’t quite good enough for Liverpool.
Southampton, on the other hand, will be glad of a proven creative player to add to their attacking ranks and boost their chances of qualifying for Europe for the first time since 2016.
Ralph Hasenhuttl, although he has never worked with Minamino, also spent time under the wider Red Bull umbrella in his former job at RB Leipzig and that could offer at least some common ground and comfort.
2. Amad Diallo (Man Utd)From: Atalanta
Deal: Permanent - £19m plus £18.5m in add-ons
Manchester United will already be confident they have found a gem in 18-year-old winger Amad Diallo. The youngster earned rave reviews from those knew him at Atalanta and scored twice on his debut for the club’s Under-23 squad recently.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has stated that Diallo will be given time to settle and adapt, although he has also said the player’s performances in training so far means it will not be more than a few weeks before he is being selected in first-team matchday squads.
That he has enormous long-term potential makes the overall fee good value in the context.
1. Martin Odegaard (Arsenal)
From: Real Madrid
Deal: Loan - £1.8m
Arsenal pulled off the single best signing of any Premier League club in the January transfer window when they secured Martin Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid.
The former teenage prodigy was frustrated by a lack of chances in the Spanish capital, with Real having recalled him early from a loan at Real Sociedad last summer on the basis of actually playing him.
Arsenal have added great attacking quality to their midfield and Odegaard’s arrival should also serve to boost healthy competition for places in an improving team. He has already shown he has what it takes to make a difference from his Sociedad loan last season.
Source : 90min