The January transfer window doesn’t get the credit it deserves. Yes, very rarely are the truly incredible players willing to transfer during the window. Yes, big clubs mostly opt for keeping their squads stable in anticipation for the summer transfer window, and yet over the years, we’ve been witness to a number of transfers during this much-ignored window, some of which went on to be stunning pieces of business for the buying clubs.
After the window came to a close on Tuesday, we take a quick look at five of the Premier League’s most exciting winter transfers of recent years. These five signings proved to be right bets for their respective clubs. If you also want to try your hand at betting then you can claim £50 bonus at Matchbook.
On the 3rd of February, 2009, Andrey Arshavin signed for Arsenal FC. The transfer saga itself was one of a kind, with various complications in negotiations ensuring that the FA had to delay the transfer deadline to accommodate the North London club’s excesses.
While Arshavin’s time at Arsenal was, on the grand scale, not as impressive as one would think, the effect his arrival had on the side is undeniable—in the short term, at least. Arshavin scored his debut goal for the club in a 4-nil win against Blackburn Rovers and a month later, went on to score all four goals in a thrilling 4-4 draw against Liverpool—a feat the Russian will always be remembered for.
He went back to his former club, Zenit St Petersburg, in 2013, after scoring 31 goals in 97 starts for Arsenal.
From his days at Manchester City’s youth academy, Sturridge was billed to be one of the best forwards in the country. Quick, with incredible movement, and an erratic penchant for finishing, Sturridge made the switch from Chelsea to Liverpool in January 2013 to devastating effect. The following season, he developed an incredible partnership with Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez, one that culminated with the duo earning the top two spots in the Premier League Golden Boot race, with Sturridge scoring an incredible 21 goals.
Under manager Jurgen Klopp, Sturridge has found life at Anfield hard, but his league scoring record tells an enthralling tale of his effect at the club—an incredible 45 goals in 81 appearances placing him among the most lethal strikers in Premier League history.
One of two players bearing similar names on this list, the Serbian midfielder transferred to Chelsea from MFK Košice during the summer months of 2015 at the age of 21 but failed to work his way into the first team. It took only a year for him to be shipped off on loan to Dutch side Vitesse. Six months later, he found himself a part of the deal that would bring David Luiz from Benfica to Stamford Bridge, with him moving the other way.
After an impressive three-year spell at Benfica, Matic rejoined Chelsea during the winter months of 2014 and was arguably the most important member of the Jose Mourinho team that strolled all the way to the title in 2015. Under new manager Antonio Conte, he has cemented his place in the starting line-up and is set for another easy title win.
The first Nemanja. The Serbian central defender moved to Old Trafford in January 2006 and was one-half of the central defence partnership with Rio Ferdinand, one hailed as one of the greatest in recent Premier League history.
The defender spent over eight years at Manchester United, during the last four of which he captained the side. Vidic, notorious for his hard defending style, won all available trophies—bar the FA Cup—at United during his time there and is regarded as a cult hero by the United faithful around the world.
Although with a record marred by various incidents, Suarez earned a seat in the gathering of the greatest strikers in the Premier League pantheon during his time at Liverpool. The Uruguayan striker signed for the club in January 2011 from Dutch side Ajax and proceeded to deliver some of the most entertaining football Liverpool fans have seen in recent history.
His second season at the club was mediocre by his standards, as he scored just eleven goals in the league, but it was during the third he truly made his mark. With a mind-blowing 31 goals in 33 games, Suarez, perhaps singlehandedly, lifted a mediocre Liverpool team to a position of title contenders, winning the Golden Boot in the process.