Revealed! The 10 best January transfers of all time, featuring Man United and Liverpool icons

first_img 10 10 10. Javier Mascherano (West Ham to Liverpool on loan – January 2007, signed permanently in summer 2007 for £15m) – After his bizarre and ultimately fruitless spell with West Ham, Mascherano became a key part of an indomitable Liverpool midfield trio alongside Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso. Initially on loan, his combative style helped the Reds reach a second Champions League final in three years in 2007 and a second-placed Premier League finish in 2009. 3. Patrice Evra (Monaco to Manchester United – £6m in 2006) – Evra was initially identified as one who might struggle with the demands of the Premier League, but those doubts were immediately extinguished as he quickly established himself as a reliable member of United’s dominant back four. Five league titles, three League Cups and a Champions League success later and he can be truly regarded as one of the great left-backs of the Premier League era. 10 10 7. Philippe Coutinho (Inter Milan to Liverpool – £8m in 2013) – Now a key cog in Jurgen Klopp’s transitional Liverpool team, Coutinho has emerged from the shadow of Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling to become the Reds’ talisman. His penchant for stylish goals makes him one of the most eye-catching players in the league when in form and, given the size of the fee Liverpool paid for him, his arrival has proved a real bargain. 10 8. Gary Cahill (Bolton to Chelsea – £6m in 2012) – Gary Cahill’s astute, stylish performances at Bolton saw his dream move to Chelsea materialise and he was an instant success, helping the Blues to Champions League glory just four months after signing. He established an imposing partnership with John Terry and nailed down a regular England place. 10 4. Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea to Liverpool – £12m in 2013) – Injuries aside, Sturridge has been one of the finest Liverpool signings in the Premier League era. His goals/game ratio trumps that of Anfield legends like Robbie Fowler, Fernando Torres and Luis Suarez and his goals so nearly took the Reds to that elusive top-flight crown in 2014. If only he could stay fit… 10 9. Ashley Young (Watford to Aston Villa – £9m in 2007) – There was once a time when Young was being compared with Lionel Messi by Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill, with the winger turning in some sensational performances after announcing himself at Watford. His displays helped Villa to three consecutive sixth-placed finishes in the league before an £18m move to Manchester United in 2011. 10 When it comes to the January transfer window, the general consensus is that deals tend to be either desperate or overpriced.Last year, in particular, it was a case of much ado about nothing as the majority of clubs sized each other up without really splashing the cash.But we’ve seen on numerous occasions in the past that some real bargains are often out there, especially when players might not be seeing as much first-team action as they had hoped.These ten players are evidence of that – will anyone follow suit over the next month?Notable exceptions include Papiss Cisse and Christophe Dugarry as, while their initial impact was stunning, their value faded in following seasons.Click the yellow arrow above, right, to see which ten players from January’s gone by made our shortlist… 6. Mikel Arteta (Real Sociedad to Everton – £2m in 2005) – Over 200 competitive games for Everton in a six-year spell suggest Arteta really was one of the first names on the teamsheet under David Moyes. After learning the ropes in Scotland with Rangers in his earlier career, Arteta’s range of passing made him a Toffees favourite. 5. Nemanja Matic (Benfica to Chelsea – £17m in 2014) – Matic’s impact on the Chelsea team after his return to the club in 2014 cannot be underestimated. He quickly established himself as the finest defensive midfielder in the country and became the combative rock that allowed the likes of Eden Hazard and Cesc Fabregas to thrive on their way to title glory in 2015. His performance levels have dropped since, but there’s no denying his talent when fully fit. 10 2. Nemanja Vidic (Spartak Moscow to Manchester United – £7m in 2006) – Unless you’re Fernando Torres, very few players ever had a sniff when Vidic was around. His insatiable resilience and incredible strength saw him forge a defensive partnership with Rio Ferdinand that became the platform for all of United’s success in Sir Alex Ferguson’s last years. Considering Evra was recruited in the same month, January 2006 could go down as the best January splurge in Premier League history. 10 1. Luis Suarez (Ajax to Liverpool – £22m in 2011) – Vidic ran him close, but Suarez just edges the Serbian. From the downright obscene to the ludicrously sublime, the Uruguayan ensured there was never a dull moment when he was around. Liverpool’s decline since his departure to Barcelona has reinforced his impact on that team that so nearly won the title in 2014, and he wasn’t just a goalscorer too. He is sorely missed, not just on Merseyside, but throughout England.last_img

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