The winter transfer window is not the one that causes the most excitement. Transfers during it are most often a reaction to the team’s failures in the first part of the season and a desperate search for a hero who will change her fate overnight. They are usually performed in a hurry, in the last days of the window, which does not mean that some of the best players in the world are not involved in them.
The first two weeks of this year’s winter window are behind us. In the Premier League, clubs are very careful about him. None of those Champions League fighters have announced the purchase of a new star yet, and fans have to settle for transfers from Chris Wood to Newcastle or Lucas Digne to Aston Villa. This does not mean, however, that in the history of winter windows in the Premier League there was a shortage of transfers at the top for fat millions. Who went crazy the most and decided to spend the most in January? Here are the five most expensive players in the history of Premier League winter transfer windows.
5. Bruno Fernandes
Sourcing club: Manchester United
Returning club: Sporting Lisbon
Transfer date: January 30, 2020
Transfer amount: 55 million euros (increased to 63 million)
On the day of the transfer, an amount of EUR 55 million was announced, with the indication that it could go up to EUR 80 million if specific targets are achieved. One of the bonuses, worth 5 million, was to be a promotion The Red Devils to the Champions League, which was finally achieved. Today, the transfer amount of the Portuguese is expected to be EUR 63 million.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was definitely looking to strengthen his team as an attacking midfielder. For the first part of the season, he had many wingers in his squad, but lacked the typical ten to direct offensive actions. Even Andreas Pereira was tried on this position, Juan Mata was vacuumed. At the end of the winter window, the authorities from Old Trafford managed to secure Fernandes’ transfer, which fit perfectly into the team, scoring eight goals in the league alone and noting seven assists in fourteen matches.
Negotiations with the Portuguese club were not easy and a week before the official confirmation of the transfer it could have seemed to come to nothing. The English, however, were so determined that until the last days they fought for Fernandes, who perfectly matched the criteria of the player they were looking for. The transactions were completed the day before the end of the window, so in this case we had a typical tug of war under time pressure. Solskjaer did not hide the joy of acquiring the Portuguese at the time.
– We have been watching Bruno for many months and we have all been very impressed with his skills and what he can bring to the team. The statistics of his goals and assists speak for themselves. He will be a fantastic addition to our team and will help us later in the season – said the Norwegian manager.
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4. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
Sourcing club: Arsenal
Returning club: Borussia Dortmund
Transfer date: January 31, 2018
Transfer amount: EUR 63.75 million
Another example of transfer from genre last minute. Buy Gunners was closely related to transfers of players leaving the club. First, it was known that Emirates would leave Alexis Sanchez, who was replaced by Henrik Mkhitaryan, who came in exchange for the Chilean. On the last day of the window, the saga of Olivier Giroud and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ended. The French went to Chelsea and it was obvious that Arsenal couldn’t just lose a striker.
The Gabonese left Dortmund in an atmosphere of scandal. He turned away from the club and demanded that it be sold. Sam repeated later that he was frustrated by the lack of a transfer in the summer transfer window, so he did everything to make the employer get rid of it in the winter. Needless to say, this approach was not liked by the fans at Signal Iduna Park. The striker’s fears also make themselves felt in London. After all, he is in conflict with Mikel Arteta and will soon leave the capital of England. Earlier, the captain’s armband was taken from him.
Acquiring a Gabon will remain unique to Arsene Wenger. The legendary manager, who ranked 32nd in our ranking of the best coaches in football history, left Arsenal just a few months later. Aubameyang’s transfer remains the last of his career and the most expensive he has ever made.
3. Christian Pulisic
Sourcing club: Chelsea
Returning club: Borussia Dortmund
Transfer date: January 2, 2019
Transfer amount: EUR 64 million
The example of the transfer of a young American shows that the big winter transfers do not have to be carried out in the last hours of the window, when the club suddenly decides to put out the fire. The acquisition of Puliscio by Chelsea was planned and the deal was finalized at the very beginning of January. The Blues decided to buy a promising 20-year-old with a view to the future. They did not even consult the purchase with the current manager.
– I didn’t know anything about this transfer. The club only asked me a month ago for an opinion on this player, it was positive. Today I found out with all the fans that the club decided to buy Pulisic – said the Italian on the day of confirmation of information about the transfer.
The player was automatically sent on loan until the end of the season to his former club. – I’m looking forward to working with Maurizio Sarri, but only BVB counts for the next six months – said the footballer. In the Bundesliga since his move to Chelsea, he has scored just three goals and made two assists. The second half of the season was marked by various injuries in his case.
Ultimately, both gentlemen did not even have the opportunity to cooperate with each other. Chelsea won the Europa League at the end of May, but Sarri was determined to return to his job back home. After just one season at Stamford Bridge, he landed at Juventus. Pulisic, in turn, made his debut in a jersey The Blues on August 11 of that year, when Frank Lampard was already admitting him to the field. The American has played 95 games for Chelsea so far, scored 20 goals and 17 assists.
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2. Aymeric Laporte
Sourcing club: Manchester City
Returning club: Athletic Bilbao
Transfer date: January 30, 2018
Transfer amount: EUR 65 million
More fortunate was Aymeric Laporte, who has been working with Pep Guardiola since his first day in Manchester. It was the person of the Spanish manager, among others, that was one of the arguments behind the Spaniard’s move to Etihad Stadium. Interestingly, Guardiola had an eye on him during his first transfer window in England, but then the defender decided to extend his contract with the Basque Country club. The topic returned after several months.
Then Citizens they simply decided to activate the € 65 million clause which allowed them to get the player without any problems. Back then it was a transfer record for Etihad. The first half of the season showed Guardiola that he would definitely need a new leader of the defense bloc. Vincent Kompany was plagued with relentless injuries, and a nominal pair of stopwatches were John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi. In addition to his skills, Laporte was also expected to bring some flexibility to the defensive formation. All because it is a left-footed stopwatch.
– He is a young left-footed center-back with experience in La Liga. He is fast, strong in the air, and has a great pass. I am very pleased and grateful to the club for bringing him on Guardiola was saying.
The transfer met expectations as much as possible, and Manchester City could celebrate winning the England championship a few months after the Spaniard’s move. Not only that, Laporte suffered his first league defeat in England only on December 8, 2018. For almost a year, the team was undefeated in the Premier League with him on the pitch.
1. Virgil van Dijk
Sourcing club: Liverpool
Returning club: Southampton
Transfer date: January 1, 2018
Transfer amount: EUR 84.65 million
The transaction was finalized and approved by all possible parties on December 27, 2017. However, the window did not open until the beginning of January, so it was on New Year’s Day that the transfer was formally made. The Dutchman was interested in several other clubs, including Manchester City. Liverpool, however, convinced the player to himself the most, which was a few weeks later Citizens they activated a clause in Laporte’s contract.
The Reds they pressed for a van Dijk transfer already last summer. The player himself then asked for a transfer with his employer, but Liverpool bent a few rules, which meant that both sides had to wait a few months before officially shaking hands. Following the Harry Maguire transfer, the Dutchman remains the second most expensive defender in football history and certainly one of the most important transfers in the history of the winter transfer windows.
Before his arrival at Anfield, Jurgen Klopp had to field stopwatches like Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan. Van Dijk immediately became one of the team leaders that united the entire defense formation. In some games he went onto the pitch as Liverpool captain, and a few months after his transfer he played with him in the Champions League final. A year later, he won the competition, after which he lost the 2019 Golden Ball to Leo Messi by just seven votes.
So history shows that almost every of the biggest clubs in England made groundbreaking moves in the winter transfer window. This year, there are no rumors that could indicate any sensational transfers at the end of January. After all, the last days of January were able to surprise fans a lot. The above ranking remains the best proof of this thesis.