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Deadline Day: The Best and Worst January Transfers

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It’s set to be another exciting transfer window, and January is always an interesting period as players are often overpriced and have varying impacts on their new clubs. Here at Playfinder we take a look at the best and worst Premier League January transfers.


Nemanja Vidic: Spartak Moscow to Manchester United – £7.2m – 2006

The Serbian initially took time to adapt to English football, but once settled developed a formidable defensive partnership with Rio Ferdinand. His leadership skills and ability on the pitch led him to the captaincy at Old Trafford and helped to secure United’s dominance at the summit of English football.

During his time working under Sir Alex Ferguson, Vidic won 5 Premier League titles and was part of a Champions League winning side in 2008.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: Molde to Manchester United – £1.5m 1996 

Once a hero at Old Trafford for his super-sub exploits, Solskjaer is now very much becoming a saviour this season at his old home Old Trafford in a completely different role now as the United manager.

Nicknamed as “The Baby-face Assasian” Solskjaer played 366 times for United scoring 126 goals. Most Man Utd fans will remember him best for his injury time winning goal in the 1999 UEFA Champions league final against Bayern Munich and winning the The Treble for them.

Luis Suarez: Ajax to Liverpool – £22.5m – 2011

Suarez arrived at Liverpool a relatively unknown quantity but quickly justified his price tag with some stunning goals. His continued good form was rewarded as he collected the PFA player of the year in the 2013-2014 season. Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard offered the greatest compliment describing the Uruguayan as the best player he had ever played with.

His status as one of the best players in the world, attracted interest from other clubs and he eventually joined European giants Barcelona.

N’Golo Kanté: Caen to Leicester City – £5.6m – 2015

With a stature of only 5’6″ N’Golo Kanté may not have been the biggest aerial threat for Leicester, but he quickly became a force to be reckoned with. Costing only £5.6m, who knew Kanté would make the Leicester miracle possible?

After his first Premier League winning season, Kanté then went on to sign for Chelsea costing £32m. His form certainly had not dipped after helping Chelsea secure the Premier League title the following season.

Two Premier League seasons and two Premier League titles. Not a bad record, eh?


Honourable Mentions: Nemanja Matić – Chelsea, Patrice Evra – Manchester United


Fernando Torres: Liverpool to Chelsea – £50m – 2011

Torres arrived from Premier League rivals Liverpool for 50 million pounds in January 2011. Despite an excellent record at his previous club Torres struggled to recreate his good form. On his return to Anfield he was the victim of some harsh treatment from centre back Daniel Agger. His form did not improve and it took him 25 games to eventually get on the score sheet for the blues.

He ended his unsuccessful spell at Stamford Bridge with just 20 goals in 110 underwhelming appearances. His highlight was scoring against Barcelona in the 2012 Champion’s League, which the Blues went on the win that year.

Andy Carroll: Newcastle to Liverpool – £35m – 2011

Following the departure of Torres, Carroll joined Liverpool for a British transfer record of £35 million. It quickly became evident that Carroll didn’t fit the style of football played on Merseyside, and he admitted later that his career at Liverpool had never really happened. This was reflected by his 11 goals in 58 games across an 18 month period at Anfield.


Ali Dia: Blyth Spartans to Southampton – fee undisclosed

You may never have heard of Ali Dia, but this transfer story is definitely one to laugh about.

The Southampton manager at the time, Graeme Souness, was believed to have been called by a man pretending to be the famous George Weah with a tip-off for so-called Senegal superstar, Ali Dia. Souness took the gamble and gave Dia a chance coming on as a substitute. After a few minutes of showing he had no football acumen, he was then substituted by Souness and that was the end of Ali Dia’s football career. He was released 14 days after being given his contract.
Honourable Mentions: : Savio Nsereko – West Ham United, Jean Alain Boumsong – Newcastle United

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Image credit: Willk – https://pixabay.com/photos/fernando-torres-chelsea-football-3540628/