The January transfer window has slammed shut as clubs all across Europe were extremely active. Numerous clubs across the top-flight were in need for reinforcements going into the second half of the campaign and so decided to splash the cash, whereas there were many clubs that decided to trim their squads by either sending players out on loan or selling players whose contracts were due to expire in summer.
In recent years, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Virgil van Dijk and Bruno Fernandes are among the players to have moved in the winter trading window and made a telling impact for their respective clubs. As things stand, which signings were the best? Here’s a look at the top five transfers from the recently completed transfer window.
Sebastien Haller (West Ham to Ajax)
Ajax signed Sebastien Haller from West Ham in a £20m deal in January, with the Hammers taking a massive hit on the player they signed from Eintracht Frankfurt for a club-record £45m in 2019.
Haller, 26, royally failed to live up to his big price-tag at West Ham and managed just 10 Premier League goals in 48 appearances. Now signed by Ajax, where he has reunited with Erik ten Hag, his former coach at Eredivisie side FC Utrecht, the Ivory Coast international has hit the ground running with two goals and four assists in six league appearances.
Ajax are at the summit in the Eredivisie having won five games on the bounce. Haller has made an immediate impact and he could make a big difference as Ten Hag’s side aim to win the Eredivisie title and go all out for the Europa League prize.
Martin Odegaard (Real Madrid to Arsenal)
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta used the January transfer window extremely well to reshape his squad. The likes of William Saliba, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Joe Willock and Sead Kolasinac left the club on loan, while Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Shkodran Mustafi were released. The Gunners also managed to get rid of Mesut Ozil, with the former Germany international joining Turkish side Fenerbahce on a free transfer.
By trimming the squad, Arsenal also made space for additions and in came Martin Odegaard on loan from Real Madrid until the end of the season. Odegaard, 22, has spent the majority of his time on loan since arriving at Real Madrid as a teenager back in 2015.
Surplus to requirements at Santiago Bernabeu under Zinedine Zidane despite hugely impressing on loan at Real Sociedad last season, the Norway international will look to make a mark in the Premier League and help Arteta’s side achieve a spot in Europe.
Willian Jose (Real Sociedad to Wolves)
Wolves suffered a massive blow in the early stages of the season when striker Raul Jimenez fractured his skull after clashing heads with Arsenal defender David Luiz. In Jimenez’s absence, Nuno Espirito Santo had to rely upon club-record signing Fabio Silva to lead the attack. However, Silva failed to deliver the goods, leaving Nuno in desperate need for an experienced striker.
The Black Country outfit, struggling in the bottom half of the Premier League table, signed Willian Jose on loan from Real Sociedad to solve their goalscoring woes. Jose, 29, scored a total of 62 goals while producing 15 assists in 170 games for Real Sociedad, and he’ll look to add a focal point to the Wolves’ attack. The Brazilian has the qualities that make him well suited to the Premier League.
Moussa Dembele (Lyon to Atletico Madrid)
Atletico Madrid are galloping towards the La Liga title, ten points clear at the top of the table having won 50 points from 19 games. Diego Simeone’s men look an unstoppable force at the moment and the only thing that could stop them from the winning the title after 2013/14 campaign is their unexpected capitulation coupled with Barcelona and Real Madrid gaining momentum.
Luis Suarez is firing all cylinders after moving from Barcelona in the summer, with 14 strikes in 16 games already to his name. With the Los Colchoneros releasing Diego Costa, they replaced him by signing Moussa Dembele on loan from Lyon.
Dembele, 24, is one of the top strikers across Europe and can form a deadly partnership with the in-form Suarez at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium. So, if Atletico Madrid can create chances for Dembele, who has scored 44 goals over the past two seasons at Lyon, the Frenchman can fire Simeone’s side to glory.
Ozan Kabak (Schalke to Liverpool)
Liverpool left it very left to address their injury crisis at central defence but Deadline Day witnessed two additions in Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak. While Ben Davies signed permanently from Preston North End, Ozan Kabak arrived on loan from Schalke with a £26.5m option to buy.
A youth product of Galatasaray, Kabak, 20, may have not enjoyed a great season with FC Schalke but he is a highly-rated defender who can be an answer to Liverpool’s problems at the back. With Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez long-term injuries and Joel Matip ruled out for the rest of the campaign with an ankle ligament injury, the Turkish international will need to quickly adapt to English football and provide a solid base which Jurgen Klopp and the fans have been crying out for the majority of 2020/21 season.