Think the January transfer window is useless? Think again. This week, Goal Singapore looks at five January signings in recent years that has taken the Premier League by stormIt has been a strangely quiet January transfer window (so far) with more rumours than tangible signings as we patiently await the mad rush of players moving about to different clubs towards the closing days of the month.
There have been the usual complaints by managers on how the transfer window midway through the season can be disruptive to a team, but history has shown there has been the occasional gems and revelations brought in at this time of year.
In this week’s top 5, Goal Singapore looks at the best January signings that were made in recent years in the Premier League.
|5. Clint Dempsey
|United States international captain Clint Dempsey joined Fulham in January 2007 for £2 million, the most expensive American to play in the Premier League then. And boy, has he repaid his price tag.
The 30-year-old scored his first goal for the club in May that year in a 1-0 win over Liverpool, a victory that kept Fulham in the top-flight. That was the first of many as he scored 60 goals in 225 appearances and became the club’s all-time leading goal scorer in the Premier League in the process.
Amongst his most memorable goals scored was an amazing chip against Juventus in the Europa League in 2010 en route to the final, where his goal sealed a sensational win over the 29-time Italian champions.
Dempsey was also voted as Fulham Player of the Season for two consecutive years in 2011 and 2012, and guess what? He has just agreed a loan deal (this January, coincidentally) to go back to Craven Cottage, the club where he has achieved legendary status.
|4. Mikel Arteta
|Now plying his trade in Arsenal, Mikel Arteta was initially loaned to Everton from Real Sociedad in January 2005.
The 31-year-old Spaniard immediately became an integral member of the team as he helped Everton to a revered fourth-placed finish in the Premier League. Then-manager David Moyes made his deal permanent at the end of the season, paying only £2 million - a steal for a player of such quality.
For the next six years, Arteta became a key member of the Everton squad, pulling the strings as the creative lynchpin of the team. He won both the Everton Fans’ Player of the Season and the Players’ Player of the Season awards in his first full season with the club in 2006.
Having been a loyal servant to the club, Arsenal snapped the midfielder up in August 2011 in a fee worth £10 million.
|3. Christophe Dugarry
|Back in 2003, French striker Chrisophe Dugarry joined Birmingham City on loan in their debut Premier League season in January that year.
The Blues were struggling in the top-flight prior to Dugarry’s arrival. But the former AC Milan, Barcelona and Marseille star, who was also part of the French national team that won the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European Cup, proved to be an instant hit with the club.
The Frenchman became a cult hero as he scored five goals in Birmingham's final six games of the season to help the club not only avoid relegation, but finish the season in a respectable 13th position.
He completed a permanent move at the end of the season on a free transfer, but any hope of him building on his heroics fell flat as he scored only once the following season before he left to Qatar.
Despite a premature end to his career with the English club, Dugarry’s inspirational performances the previous season were enough for him to be placed in the Birmingham City’s Hall of Fame.
|2. Nemanja Vidic
|In January 2006, Manchester United beat Liverpool and Fiorentina to sign Serbian Nemanja Vidic for around £7 million. United apparently had scouted the central defender for over two years before finally putting pen to paper.
Vidic came into the team alongside Patrice Evra, who was also bought during the January transfer window. He won his first-ever trophy with United that very season as they beat Wigan in the League Cup final.
The Serbian went on to form a formidable defensive partnership with Rio Ferdinand, becoming the bedrock of the team as they established themselves as one the most prominent defensive partnerships in European football.
Now entering his eighth year with the reigning English champions, Vidic has won a host of trophies and individual accolades with the club, including five Premier League titles, a Champions League trophy and three League Cup medals. He was awarded the Barclays Player of the season in 2009 and has been included in the PFA Team of the Year four times.
Having been made club captain since 2010, the Serbian has been one of Ferguson’s best signings in his 26-year-reign.
|1. Luis Suarez
|For a variety of reasons, the name Luis Suarez has been on everyone’s lips since he first stepped into English football in 2011.
Signed by Liverpool for £22.5 million as a replacement for Fernando Torres in the January transfer window, the Uruguayan has taken the Premier League by storm since.
The 26-year-old helped his club to a sixth-placed finish that very season and has gone on to become a revelation since, scoring 11 goals in the 2011/2012 season and becoming the second-top goal scorer in the 2012/2013 season after scoring 23 goals. Needless to say, he has been in phenomenal form this season, leading the goal-scoring charts with 22 goals after only 16 matches.
Goal scoring prowess aside, the former Ajax striker has also made headlines for the wrong reasons. His well-publicised racial abuse incident with Patrice Evra in October 2011 got him a fine and an eight-game suspension. Controversy seemed to follow Suarez wherever he went, and he was slapped with another 10-game ban after appearing to bite Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic in a 2-2 draw at Anfield in April 2013.
Suarez then declared his desire to leave Liverpool prior to the start of this season, but has since made a U-turn on his decision, and looks set to continue his sensational goal scoring form for his club.