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Ranked: The top 10 best value January deals from around Europe

10:33 GMT 03/02/2023
January transfers around Europe
The Premier League may have outspent the rest of Europe, but clubs outside of England's top flight still conducted some fine January business.

It was baffling how much money English clubs shelled out in January. Whether it was Todd Boehly and his extravagant spending or Nottingham Forest adding yet more new players to their collection, clubs at both ends of the Premier League table spent big ready for the second half of the season.

The rest of Europe didn't exactly sit back, and although La Liga clubs mostly kept their powder dry due to financial restrictions or lofty goals for the summer, other sides quietly went about their business to bring in some big names or potential future stars.

Manchester City full-back Joao Cancelo, who Bayern Munich brought in on loan with a buy option of €70 million (£62m/$76m), was one to make headlines, but there were plenty of other interesting moves made away from the glitz and glamour of England's top-flight league.

GOAL takes a look at 10 of the best deals done by European clubs in the January market.

  • Daley Blind Bayern 2022-23

    #10 Daley Blind - Ajax to Bayern Munich (Free)

    He's not a marquee signing, but Blind could prove a very smart piece of business for the Bundesliga leaders.

    The Dutch international is the epitome of versatility, capable of playing at full-back, centre-back, or even in central midfield. Furthermore, he has the kind of experience required to settle an unsteady squad that has suddenly looked vulnerable in the title race.

    It also appears to be good news for the inconsistent Matthijs de Ligt. The former Juventus and Ajax centre-back had a terrific understanding with Blind when the duo played at the back together in Ajax's famous run to the Champions League semi-final in 2019.

    Blind has only penned a six-month deal but his contributions might be vital as Bayern fight on three fronts.

  • Terem Moffi Lorient 2022-23

    #9 Terem Moffi - Lorient to Nice (€25m)

    Moffi isn't necessarily the biggest name, but he is an immensely efficient goalscorer who developed quite a bit of buzz in January. Quick, strong and direct, the Nigeria international has 12 goals to his name in Ligue 1 this season, accounting for a third of Lorient's total output.

    There was reportedly interest in acquiring him from around Europe, and he notably turned down West Ham, who offered €20m (£18m/$22m) to sign him. Nice paid more, though, agreeing a fee of an initial €25m(£23m/$27m) for the forward.

    It's odd that seventh-placed Lorient sold to a league rival in eighth-placed Nice, but the offer was too good to refuse, with Regis Le Bris' side making a tidy profit having bought him for just €8m two years ago.

  • 20230201 Juranovic

    #8 Josip Juranovic - Celtic to Union Berlin (€8m)

    Juranovic wasn't necessarily supposed to go to Union Berlin. The Croatian right-back was coveted by Manchester United for some time, but the Red Devils opted against signing him when Aaron Wan-Bissaka started to find form under Erik ten Hag.

    The player was reportedly keen to make a move to the Premier League but eventually opted to head to Union Berlin - a coup for the unlikely Bundesliga title challengers. Juranovic is an experienced full-back, and title winner with Celtic in the Scottish Premiership. He also started every game for Croatia at the World Cup, and provided one assist for the semi-finalists.

    Juranovic, while not a particularly ground-breaking signing, will offer solidity in the defensive third and that could be vital as Union berlin look to secure European football for 2023-24.

  • Memphis Depay Atletico Madrid 2022-23

    #7 Memphis Depay - Barcelona to Atletico Madrid (€3m)

    The Depay deal is one that seemed to work for both parties. Barcelona head coach Xavi had made it clear to Memphis that he didn't have a future at the club, while Atleti badly needed additional attacking support following the departure of Joao Felix to Chelsea.

    And although Memphis had fallen out of favour under Xavi, he can still be a real threat in the final third for the Rojiblancos. The Netherlands international scored 12 La Liga goals last season, despite only making 20 full appearances.

    Whether he fits into Diego Simeone's side remains to be seen. Memphis isn't known for his high work-rate or glowing defensive skills, but his goalscoring alone should give Atleti enough as they look to push for a Champions League spot.

    Meanwhile, for the financially-crippled Barca, any fee received is something to be happy about.

  • Vitinha Marseille 2022-23

    #6 Vitinha - Braga to Marseille (€30m)

    The signing of Vitinha is important for what he represents for Marseille. The club has been financially constricted for a long time, and prefer to do their transfer business with minimal fuss at a low cost.

    Bringing in a highly-rated young striker for a club-record fee, then, is a change of pace. And more than that, it could be a statement of intent. The French club reportedly outbid Aston Villa, Southampton and Brighton for the player's services as they look to stay in the Champions League qualifying spots for next season.

    Vitinha is a serious talent, too. The striker has scored 11 times and added three assists across 22 appearances in all competitions this year. He's also a relentless runner, and can press from the front. And at 22-years-old, he could contribute for the next few seasons and also potentially be sold on for a chunk of cash.

    Marseille need some attacking help, and Vitinha fits the bill perfectly.

  • 20230201 Duranville

    #5 Julien Duranville - Anderlecht to Dortmund (€8.5m)

    Burnley manager Vincent Kompany recently predicted that teenage winger Julien Duranville would be a Ballon d'Or contender one day: "Here's one for you. Duranville. No pressure."

    The former Anderlecht player is just 16 and has only 11 senior appearances to his name but the traits, albeit at a very young age, appear to be there. Nicknamed 'blitz' for his electric pace and dribbling ability, Duranville has showed promise early, becoming the second youngest Anderlecht player ever to score in the Belgian first division.

    In truth, it might be too soon to make the leap to Dortmund but the Bundesliga side have never been shy about integrating young talent, with Jude Bellingham, Youssoufa Moukoko and Karim Adeyemi all getting chances to impress despite their relative lack of experience.

    Duranville will get his chance at a top team, while Dortmund are signing of Europe's most exciting young wingers, who they will likely sell for a handsome profit within a few years. It all fits together nicely.

  • Andreas Schjelderup Nordsjaelland 2022

    #4 Andreas Schjelderup - Nordsjaelland to Benfica (€9m)

    What do you do when you've sold your young, World Cup-winning central midfielder for a club-record fee?

    You find a replacement who could fetch a similarly handsome fee in the future.

    At least that appears to be the strategy for Benfica. The club sent Enzo Fernandez to Chelsea for an eye-watering £106.8 million ($131m), with the London club breaking the British transfer record for the Argentine.

    And Benfica reinvested a tiny portion of that, bringing in promising midfielder Andreas Schjelderup from Danosh club Nordsjaelland. The 18-year-old has scored 10 goals and added an assist in 17 appearances in Denmark's top-flight league so far this season.

    Schjelderup can play as an attacking midfielder or on the wing, but will likely be eased into the side as a direct replacement for Fernandez. The Danish talent had interest from across Europe as a teenager, visiting Ajax, PSV, Tottenham, Liverpool and Juventus, but none of them offered him first-team football.

    Nordsjaelland did, and he's developed rapidly for the Danish club. Benfica will likely take some time to integrate Schjelderup into the side but if they get it right, Schjelderup could be a star, and make them a tidy profit in the future.

  • Yann Sommer FC Bayern 20012023

    #3 Yann Sommer - Borussia Monchengladbach to Bayern Munich (€8m)

    With Manuel Neuer out for the season after breaking his leg in a skiing accident, Bayern Munich needed a goalkeeper. And they got the best short-term option on the market, paying Monchengladbach €8m for Yann Sommer's services. The Switzerland international signed a two-year deal, sufficient time for him to cover for Neuer and then presumably spend a season as his backup.

    Sommer has quietly had an excellent start to the season for Monchengladbach, posting his best save percentage in eight years and also improving his distribution.

  • Azzedine Ounahi Marseille 2022-23

    #2 Azzedine Ounahi - Angers to Marseille (€10m)

    Ounahi made waves at the World Cup with a series of standout showings as Morocco made an unlikely run to the semi-finals. The midfielder started six of the seven games for the Atlas Lions in Qatar, becoming a crucial part of Walid Regragui's side. It was inevitable transfer interest would follow and, with numerous big clubs interested, Marseille swooped in and got their man.

    The Ligue 1 side secured him for a decent price, too, with just €10m spent on one of the stars of the World Cup. He's started on a positive note too, scoring a terrific goal as Marseille beat Nantes 2-0 to put pressure on PSG in the title race.

    At just 22, Ounahi should continue to develop as part of an exciting young core for an ever-improving Marseille side.

  • Joao Cancelo Bayern Munich 2022-23

    #1 Joao Cancelo - Manchester City to Bayern Munich (€70m)

    It came out of the blue and what a signing it should prove to be for Bayern.

    Cancelo ended up joining the Bundesliga leaders after he fell out with Man City manager Pep Guardiola, but that's hardly an issue for Julian Nagelsmann and his side. The Portuguese is one of the best full-backs in the world and will be a massive boost for Bayern, who are struggling with injuries at right-back.

    The fact that they got the player on loan with a buy option makes the deal even better as, if Cancelo doesn't work out, he can always be sent back to City. If he proves to be a good fit, as expected, Bayern have already agreed a price. At €70m (£62m/$76m) it is certainly a steep one but with Benjamin Pavard, and others, likely to be moved on, the funds should be available.

    It seems like the Bavarians really can't lose.