The true effect of the pandemic has been seen in this year’s January transfer window. With multi-million-pound stadiums still sitting empty, clubs don’t have the same luxury of spending big money on transfers. Premier League teams spent only £80 million on transfers in this window, almost 70% less than the £220 million they spent in the 2019/20 winter window. That being said, teams have still managed to find some smart loan deals to supplement their squads for the remainder of the season. Here are our top 10 transfers in the January transfer market from Europe’s Top 5 Leagues.
10. Moussa Dembele to Atletico Madrid
Atletico Madrid was in desperate need of a striker in this window after terminating Diego Costa’s contract earlier in the season. As his replacement, they were able to secure the signature of Moussa Dembele on loan from Lyon with an option to buy in the summer. Dembele scored 16 goals in the Ligue 1 last season and will provide good backup to Luis Suarez and Joao Felix.
9. William Saliba to Nice
William Saliba struggled for minutes under Mikel Arteta at Arsenal and was shipped to Nice on loan till the end of the summer in search of game-time. Nice were desperate for a defender following an ACL injury to Dante in November, and in Saliba, they have one of the most promising young defenders in Europe. Saliba has already put in a couple of man of the match performances for Nice as they look to improve in the second half of the season.
8. Demarai Gray to Bayer Leverkusen
In terms of value for money, there may not be any better deals than Bayer Leverkusen’s signing of Demarai Gray from Leicester City. Gray only managed 19 minutes of action in the English Premier League this season and didn’t get many opportunities to prove himself under Rodgers. Leverkusen was able to sign him for a measly £2 million, and he would be a valuable squad member for Peter Bosz’s side as they push for a Top 4 spot.
7. Ainsley Maitland-Niles to West Bromwich Albion
West Brom’s deadline-day loan move for Ainsley Maitland-Niles from Arsenal is a move that suits all parties. Maitland-Niles gets some much-needed game time ahead of the European Championships in the summer and West Brom adds some quality to their squad in the fight for survival. Maitland-Niles offers great versatility to Allardyce given that he can do a job in midfield or at full-back.
6. Amad Diallo to Manchester United
While this deal was agreed in principle in October, the transfer of Amad Diallo from Atalanta to Manchester United got finalised in January. The Ivorian was bought for a fee of 19 million pounds with add-ons that could take the final figure to upwards of 37 million pounds. The 18-year-old is blessed with blistering pace and acceleration and has already started his United career in fine fashion, scoring a brace in his first appearance for the U-23 side.
5. Fikayo Tomori to AC Milan
Despite being starved of game time under Frank Lampard at Chelsea, Fikayo Tomori is still one of the most highly-rated centre-backs in England. Tomori has signed for AC Milan on loan with an option to buy in the summer for £25 million. Tomori is blessed with lightning pace and has already impressed his new owners with a fine debut display in the Serie A.
4. Luka Jovic to Eintracht Frankfurt
Luka Jovic has had a terrible time at Real Madrid since his big-money move from Frankfurt in the summer of 2019. In search of minutes and form, Jovic returned to Frankfurt on loan in this window and has already scored more goals in 4 appearances for the German side (3) than he did in the entirety of his 1.5-year spell in the Spanish capital (2). The addition of Jovic alongside the in-form Andre Silva could give Frankfurt the firepower they need to finish in the top 4 in the Bundesliga.
3. Ozan Kabak to Liverpool
To say Liverpool are going through an injury crisis would be an understatement. The Reds have used 12 central defensive partnerships this season and currently have no fit centre-halves at the club with Van Dijk, Gomez, Matip all out for the entire season. On deadline day, Liverpool managed to secure the signing of Schalke defender Ozan Kabak on a loan deal. The Turkish youngster is one of the most promising centre-backs in Europe and his signing is a massive coup for the Premier League champions.
2. Dominik Szoboszlai to RB Leipzig
Dominik Szboszlai is in line to be the next great academy product to come out of Salzburg after Sadio Mane, Dayot Upamecano and Erling Haaland. Szoboszlai had 6 goals and 7 assists in all competitions this season before his £18 million move to RB Leipzig in January. Leipzig fought off competition from many clubs across Europe to sign the Hungarian, who now gives them even more options in attack.
1. Martin Ødegaard to Arsenal
In terms of the potential impact on their new team, no transfer in this window could be as exciting as Martin Ødegaard’s loan move to Arsenal from Real Madrid. The Gunners are pushing for a top 4 spot and the Norwegian’s arrival could be exactly what they need in the race for the Champions League places. Ødegaard is one of the best young playmakers on the planet and adds creativity and flair to Arsenal’s midfield.