Best Premier League signings in January: Five New Year gems
Best Premier League signings in January
The transfer window opens in the New Year when there could be a flurry of activity in the Premier League as clubs look to strengthen their squads either for a title push, a place in the top four or a bid to stave off the threat of relegation.
Struggling Newcastle are expected to be active in the transfer market having been taken over by a Saudi Arabian-led consortium in October and other clubs could be in the running to boost their numbers.
With that in mind, we’ve taken a look at some of the best Premier League signings in January over the years.
Virgil van Dijk (2018)
Liverpool finally got their hands on Southampton defender Van Dijk who had handed in a transfer request in the summer of 2017, but a move fell through after the Reds admitted making an illegal approach.
The Holland international eventually joined the Reds in a £75million deal – a world record for a defender – but it proved to be a shrewd piece of business as his assured performances at the back helped Liverpool win the Champions League in 2019 and the Premier League a year later.
Luis Suarez (2011)
Fernando Torres left Anfield to join Chelsea for a then British record transfer fee of £50m in January 2011, but his replacement turned out to be one of the best signings the club ever made.
Ajax initially rejected the Reds’ initial £12.7m bid for Suarez, who eventually joined Liverpool for £22.7m on a five-and-a-half-year deal.
Suarez won the Golden Boot with 31 goals in 33 games during the 2013-14 season in a thrilling three-way title battle with eventual winners Manchester City and Chelsea.
Liverpool made a big profit in the summer of 2014 when they sold the Uruguayan striker to Barcelona for around £75m.
Philippe Coutinho (2013)
The third member of our best Premier League signings in January also joined Liverpool for a bargain £8.5m from Inter Milan.
The Reds had signed Daniel Sturridge at the start of the month and although he made a blistering start to his career, it was 20-year-old midfielder Coutinho who made the bigger impact at Anfield where he was a two-time player of the year.
Coutinho scored 42 goals in 152 Premier League appearances, playing alongside the likes of Steven Gerrard, Suarez and Raheem Sterling.
The Brazilian eventually left Liverpool to join Barcelona in a £140m deal five years later, but never quite hit the heights as he did in his spell on Merseyside, joining Bayern Munich on loan a year in the summer of 2019 before returning to Camp Nou in the following year.
Nemanja Vidic (2006)
A deal to sign Vidic for £7m from Spartak Moscow was agreed on Christmas Day in 2005, but the Serbian defender did not sign for United until the early part of January.
Vidic proved to be one of Alex Ferguson’s most astute signings and his partnership with Rio Ferdinand laid the foundations for five Premier League titles and the Champions League during his eight and a half years at Old Trafford.
The rugged defender, twice in the FIFA World XI team of the season, replaced Gary Neville as club captain in 2010, but left the club four years later to join Inter Milan where he played until his retirement in 2018.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (2018)
Aubameyang may not be flavour of the month at the moment but his club-record £56m signing from Borussia Dortmund on transfer deadline day was another example of Arsenal’s willingness to spend after many lean years under Arsene Wenger.
The Gabon striker shared the Premier League Golden Boot with Mo Salah and Sadio Mane in his first full season with 22 goals which he matched in the following campaign.
Aubameyang scored both goals as the Gunners beat Chelsea 2-1 in the 2020 FA Cup final having bagged a double against Manchester City in the last four, but his time at the Emirates took a sour turn in December 2021 when he was stripped of the captaincy for a breach of protocol.
That transgression does not deflect from his signing and he deserves his place in our list of best Premier League signings in January.