HLDivisionSport's Top 10 January transfers

Published on 3 February 2024 at 20:00

The January transfer window deadline closed on Thursday at 11pm for Premier League clubs. It was a very underwhelming and quiet window with a myraid of loan deals and only £100m being splashed on new acquisitions. It was a drastic shift from January 2023's record breaking £815m transfer spend and suggested a growing consciousness of FFP restrains with embroiled clubs Chelsea, Newcastle, Manchester City, Nottingham Forest and Everton signing just five players collectively totalling £17.5m. Here we take a look a the biggest signings from across Europe during this winter transfer window.


10. Hugo Ekitike - Frankfurt (loan) 

The French prodigy has been ostracised from Luis Enrique's first team this season at PSG, with new arrivals Randal Kolo Muani and Goncalo Ramos ahead in the pecking order. Ekitike was heavily linked with a permeant switch to West Ham United in the summer, but saw interest dwindle this January until Eintracht Frankfurt swooped in on deadline day. He has joined on loan until the end of the season with a £30m buy clause included with potential add-ons and sell-on clause to be negotiated. Frankfurt did not replace the departure of star talisman Randal Muani in the summer and have been without in form goal scorer Omar Marmoush who has been at AFCON with Egypt during January. It is the ideal move for the 21 year old to re-discover his confidence and find consistency on the pitch and PSG will hope his performances attract a bidding war in the summer.

9. Timo Werner - Tottenham (loan)

Returning to Leipzig healed the dishevelled striker, after becoming a shadow of himself in a torrid two year spell at Chelsea. Ange Postecoglou has demonstrated his ability to get the best out of struggling forwards, with Richarlison scoring seven goals in nine games after a one and a half year barren spell in North London. This loan deal while very surprising actually makes sense and represents smart business by Tottenham. Postecoglou's counter-attacking 4-2-3-1 formation will suit the raw pace and ability to run in behind of Werner and he is likely to shine away from the pressure of being a number nine. It is a six month loan with the option of a £17m buy clause in the summer if the 26 year old impresses at the London Stadium.


8. Tiago Djalo - Juventus

Juventus have been been re-constructing their defense this season, with headline departures Leonardo Bonucci, Matthias De Ligt and Giorgio Chiellini in recent years. The Turin giants are in a title race for the first time in three years under Maximiliano Allegri and a key element of the team's Serie A revival is their solid defensive record, conceding only 13 goals in 22 matches and securing 11 clean sheets. The shrewd acquisition of Lille centre-back Tiago Djalo is a very intelligent signing with the Portuguese international costing just £4.2m. The 23 year old is part of a long-term vision, currently sidelined with an ACL injury but in the latter stages of this season he could become a definitive figure in securing the Scudetto for the first time since 2019-20.

7. Kalvin Phillips - West Ham (loan)

The Manchester City midfielder was an isolated figure under Pep Guardiola, starved of minutes and publicly scrutinised by his manager for a lack of fitness and quality. It was essential if the 28 year old wanted to feature at Euro 2024 under Gareth Southgate that he secured a loan move this January and he has joined the club who were intent on signing him in the summer. David Moyes' direct counter-attacking system which utilises long-balls suits Phillips attributes and he can provide the central anchor in the middle that West Ham have craved since losing Declan Rice in the summer. It is such an exciting transfer, because it gives the former Leeds player an opportunity to showcase to the Premier League why he was worth £50m just one year again and get back to his best as a deep-lying number six.

6. Carlos Alcaraz - Juventus (loan)

Skilful playmaker, Alcaraz, was destined to join a top European club when Southampton suffered relegation last season. The Argentinian possesses stardom and is an exciting influential spark on the pitch, always eager to run at defenders and go forward. It was a huge shock when Juventus sealed a loan deal for the 21 year old, but it makes sense. Juventus have lacked a creative gamechanger since Paul Pogba's doping scandal and the arrival of Alcaraz could be the missing jigsaw piece that creates more goalscoring chances for Dusan Vlahovic and co upfront. Juventus have the option to sign him permeantly in the summer for £42m, but if he reaches his potential then the Italian club could be fighting a number of Premier League clubs for his signature. 


5. Valentin Barco - Brighton Hove and Albion

FM wonderkid Valentin Barco, is the latest discovery by Brighton from the depths of South America. The Seagulls activated the winger's £7.9m release clause to bring the Bocca Juniors youngster to the Premier League. He is a versatile option on the left able to be deployed at wing-back, in midfield or in an attacking position further forward and Roberto De Zerbi will be very eager to integrate him into the first team as soon as possible. Brighton have been very inconsistent and defensively exposed this season, where they have imploded at the back on too many occasions. Barco could be the spark that re-aligns Brighton back on course for a strong finish to the season, similar to what Argentinian counter-part Julio Enscio did last season when he arrived in January. The 19 year old is part of a long-term vision and it could take time for him to adjust to the top flight, but everybody is excited to see him blossom.

4. Radu Dragusin - Tottenham

His £26m transfer was a budget record fee in a very mundane January window for Premier League clubs. Tottenham's active intent early in this window to add depth to their blossoming squad under Ange Postecoglou reinforces the club's desire to secure Champions League football and be competitive at the top of the table. Micky Van De Ven's injury blow in November highlighted the fragility of Spurs' squad, so signing Romanian international Radu Dragusin from Genoa was paramount business to ensure Tottenham's promising start to the season did not unravel. The 25 year old is a powerful and strong centre-back epitomising a top professional and he has the capabilities to grow into one of the league's best centre-backs. He adds important competition to the partnership of Van De Ven and Romero and is an upgrade to outcast centre-back Eric Dier who has joined Bayern Munich.

3. Sacha Boey - Bayern Munich

The Bavarian giants played roulette, in their quest for a new right-back this January. Original target Nordi Mukiele broke down in negotiations and then a shift to Kieran Trippier never came to fruition because Newcastle refused to sell their captain. Boey is a very good signing, touted by all the big clubs for his displays in the Champions League for Galatasaray. Bayern signed the Frenchman on an initial loan with a £15m buy clause which could rise with add-ons. After losing Benjamin Pavard in the summer they have struggled to fill the void at right-back with Noussair Mazrouri unavailable at AFCON through-out January. Boey is a versatile option, capable of deputising at centre-back and he is very similar to Pavard, a well-balanced and defensive minded right-back with attacking intent.


2. Jadon Sancho - Borussia Dortmund (loan)

His alienation at Manchester United by Erik Ten Hag, signalled the end of his future at the club and a need to secure a loan move this winter. A return to Borussia Dortmund is the perfect step, to rejuvenate the isolated winger who has been void of confidence. In Germany he made 137 appearances for Dortmund scoring 50 goals, where he became one of the most exciting prospects in the world and convinced Manchester United to splash £80m for his services. Partnered with his best friend Marco Reus once again, it seems he has all the ingredients and environment to shine once again. Its so good to see the 23 year old back with a smile on his face and enthusiasm at training and hopefully this is a much needed intervention to re-focus the winger and get him back on track.

1. Arthur Vermeeren - Atletico Madrid 

The 18 year old starred for Royal Antwerp in the Champions League group stage, attracting interest from Arsenal, Juventus and Manchester United. It was Atletico Madrid who made their interest concrete this January submitting a successful offer of £22m for the Belgian midfielder. He is a traditional number 8 box-to-box midfielder with the ability to score goals and control tempo. It is a huge transition to La Liga giants Atletico, but it appears the right club and system to get the best of the young prospect and it's clear Diego Simeone is intent of integrating him into the first team straight away. It is very intelligent business to secure him this winter, before his pricetag and interest increased in the summer.


Written by Lewis Eadie

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