The January transfer window marks the midpoint in the European football season, and as far as big moves go, it’s usually a quiet period reserved just for smaller signings. This January has seen some monumental shuffles though, and has some massive ones still rumoured to take place. We’re going to count down the top five moves that have already been signed for on the dotted line!
- Ross Barkley – Everton -> Chelsea (£12m)
Ross Barkley lost his place in the Everton line-up due to falling out of favour with former manager Ronald Koeman. Koeman has since been sacked, but Barkley still exchanged the blue of Everton for the blue of Chelsea. How much game-time he manages to get will have to be seen, as Chelsea’s midfield possesses a lot of quality.
- Theo Walcott – Arsenal – Everton (£20m)
Theo Walcott never really hit the heights people expected him to at Arsenal, and over this past season, he’s seen his game-time drop to a bare minimum. Although Everton aren’t doing exceptionally well at the moment, he’s guaranteed to start more games, and their squad actually has a decent amount of talent so they may improve their performances with his addition.
- Diego Costa – Chelsea -> Atletico Madrid (£55m)
After a fallout with current Chelsea manager, Antonio Conte Diego Costa was kept out of the Chelsea first team, with few teams capable of paying his allegedly high transfer fee. Atletico Madrid, his former club before joining Chelsea, were enthusiastic about a potential return for the striker, though, which was completed earlier this month. He had a prolific scoring rate in La Liga, and could help Atletico pip their city rivals Madrid to a higher finish in the league.
- Virgil van Dijk – Southampton – Liverpool (£75m)
Liverpool’s defensive woes have been well documented this season which has caused their fans on social media to plead for defensive reinforcements to be brought in. The club has delivered, and they haven’t messed around either – making Virgil van Dijk not only their club record signing but also the most expensive defender ever. His presence will no doubt be a massive boost for Liverpool’s shaky back, so expect them to climb the league table if he settles in quickly.
- Philippe Coutinho – Liverpool -> Barcelona (£146m)
One of the summer transfer window’s biggest sagas was the will-he-won’t-he story of Philippe Coutinho’s rumored move to Barcelona. While Barca failed to negotiate a deal successfully then they finally managed it now, with Liverpool managing to extract a little bit extra from the Spanish club than the alleged price in the summer. It ends up being good business for both clubs, as Liverpool’s attack isn’t as dependent on Coutinho as it used to be, while Barcelona have acquired a worthy successor to Andres Iniesta’s position in midfield.
Considering Coutinho’s massive price-tag, which makes him the third most expensive player in the world, we’re unlikely to see any deals eclipse his moves. There are still a lot of transfers that clubs are reported to be chasing – so there’s a good chance we’ve still got an exciting conclusion to this window ahead of us!