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Higuain, Piatek and the best XI of the January transfer window

12:05 GMT+3 01/02/2019
Gonzalo Higuain Cesc Fabregas Piatek
Chelsea and AC Milan's newcomers were among the biggest moves seen in a frantic winter transfer period

  • Kiko Casilla Real Madrid Champions League

    #1 Kiko Casilla | Real Madrid to Leeds

    Going from the Champions League to the Championship may look like a step down in class. But for Kiko Casilla a January move to Leeds meant jumping onto Marcelo Bielsa's wild ride and gunning for a place in the Premier League.

    The Argentine may be one of the principal attractions, but for Real Madrid's third-choice keeper a chance for regular football was also impossible to pass up. Casilla will be entrusted with taking Leeds through the rest of the season, bringing experience and class to the table at 32 after completing a free transfer.

  • Nathaniel Clyne Bournemouth 01052019

    #2 Nathaniel Clyne | Liverpool to Bournemouth

    Clyne has wasted no time in making his presence felt on the south coast. After a rather shaky debut following his loan move from Liverpool, the right-back has helped his new side to back-to-back victories and clean sheets, including an outstanding 4-0 humiliation of Chelsea.

    The England international found himself muscled out by Trent Alexander-Arnold at Anfield, but he remains a fine talent and, after the Reds acquiesced to his request for more first-team football, has the chance to re-establish himself among the Premier League's elite.

  • Jeison Murillo Barcelona

    #3 Jeison Murillo | Valencia to Barcelona

    The Colombia centre-back was one of the surprises of the transfer window, as Barcelona swooped to complete a loan deal from Valencia to cover their injury-ravaged backline.

    At 26 Murillo has a wealth of experience, having starred at Inter for several seasons prior to his move to Mestalla. With the likes of Samuel Umtiti and Thomas Vermaelen still suffering physical niggles he will add key depth as the Catalans continue to fight on three fronts in 2019.

  • Benatia Milan Juventus Serie A

    #4 Medhi Benatia | Juventus to Al-Duhail

    After two-and-a-half seasons in Turin, Benatia is moving on. The Morocco international has been a valuable rotation player at the back for Juventus, but the return of Leonardo Bonucci saw little room for him and he will now pursue his career in Qatar.

    It is a mark of Benatia's talent, however, that even at 31 Al-Duhail had to spend heavily on their target. The defender leaves in a deal worth an initial €8 million, which could rise to €10m (£8.7m/$11.4m) with add-ons and bonuses.

  • Jonny Castro Otto Wolves 2018-19

    #5 Jonny | Atletico Madrid to Wolves

    Wolves' left-back has been a near ever-present for the side since moving from Atletico Madrid on loan, missing just four Premier League games to date.

    A series of strong performances prompted the West Midlands team to make the deal permanent, exercising their purchase option. Jonny has set Wolves back a club-record £18 million ($23.6m), a fee that could yet prove a bargain given the promise shown by the versatile 24-year-old.

  • Leandro Paredes Zenit 2018-19

    #6 Leandro Paredes | Zenit to PSG

    Having been coveted by Chelsea to replace Cesc Fabregas, Paredes instead chose PSG, who moved to sign the Zenit man in a €45 million deal (£39m/$51m).

    The Argentine gives PSG further cover in the middle following the injury of Marco Verratti and continuing stand-off with Adrien Rabiot. Proficient in a deeper role or more advanced, Paredes is a top talent and at 24 has everything it takes to go far.

  • Miguel Almiron MLS Atlanta United 08192018 ATL

    #7 Miguel Almiron | Atlanta United to Newcastle United

    Newcastle had to wait patiently to land their man. A move that was mooted as early as December was finally completed in the final hours of the transfer window, as Atlanta United pushed the Magpies into breaking the MLS transfer record in a $27 million (£20.5m) switch.

    A league winner with Cerro Porteno, Lanus and Atlanta, the Paraguay international can play either in midfield or as a second striker and was key to the US side winning the title in 2018.

  • Cesc Fabregas Marseille Monaco Ligue 1 13012019

    #8 Cesc Fabregas | Chelsea to Monaco

    Even at the ripe old age of 31, the capture of Cesc on a free transfer represents a cracking piece of business for crisis-ridden Monaco.

    After a four-and-a-half-year spell at Stamford Bridge that included two Premier League titles, the Spain international lost favour with the arrival of Maurizio Sarri. Now he is charged with saving his new club from relegation, with Leonardo Jardim drafted back into coaching service in extraordinary circumstances having been sacked just months earlier.

  • Lucas Paqueta AC Milan 2018-19

    #9 Lucas Paqueta | Flamengo to AC Milan

    AC Milan finally sealed the signing of young Brazil international Paqueta from Flamengo in January. And while he has played just a handful of matches so far, he is making all the right noises at San Siro.

    Paqueta laid on a goal for Krzysztof Piatek in Tuesday's stunning 2-0 defeat of Napoli in the Coppa Italia. The pair seem to be the breath of fresh air Milan needed to get their season going after such toils in the first half of the campaign.

  • Gonzalo Higuain Chelsea 2019

    #10 Gonzalo Higuain | AC Milan to Chelsea

    The centre-forward spot at Chelsea has proven a poisoned chalice in recent seasons. But experienced goal-getter Higuain has as much chance as anyone of making waves at Stamford Bridge.

    Higuain boasts an enviable scoring record, hitting more than 150 goals in Italy since joining Napoli in 2013. And while he failed to find his best form for AC Milan in the first half of 2018-19, the Argentine is still a fearsome striker who can deliver the goals Chelsea so desperately need.

  • Piatek Milan Napoli Coppa Italia

    #11 Krzysztof Piatek | Genoa to AC Milan

    The Rossoneri moved in lightning fashion to replace Higuain, signing up the Poland international from Genoa while Pipita was still taking his Chelsea medical. On first impressions it may well prove that the Italians received the best end of that bargain.

    Piatek picked up right where he left off with Genoa, netting twice against Napoli in the Coppa Italia to make himself an instant fans' favourite. Along with Duvan Zapata he has been the revelation of the Serie A season and has drawn obvious comparisons with compatriot Robert Lewandowski.