New Year calls for new hopes, new ambitions etc. etc! But for a footy freak, the New Year means: the January transfer window that provides an escape route to the clubs from the mid-season crisis. Many clubs have used it to address their gameplay problems by strengthening their squads by adding new talent. Mere expenditure is not enough, the player must gel into the system. The failure of Fernando Torres at Chelsea, who was a €50 million January signing illustrates this.
The January 2015 window has just ended and we now analyse the best transfers in the top European flights.
- The English Premier League (EPL)
Premier League is the hub of all major transfers. Any player, before his eventual transfer is inevitably linked to any of the EPL sides before moving elsewhere. January saw a host of transfers into the league, the best ones were:
- Wilfried Bony: Swansea City To Manchester City (€33 million)
The Ivorian has all the necessary attributes to be successful in EPL, be it strength, pace or finesse. He will add to City’s star studded attacking front that already boasts of Kun Aguero, Dzeko and David Silva.
- Juan Cuadrado : Fiorentina to Chelsea (£24 million)
The Fiorentina no.11, Cuadrado earned his move to EPL after his amazing performances at the World Cup for Colombia and the Serie A. Egyptian winger Mohammad Salah moved to Fiorentina on Loan as a part of the deal.
- Victor Valdes: Barcelona To Man United (Free)
Getting a world class, error free (pun intended) shot stopper like Valdes and that too for free is the best piece of business done by Manchester United since the past 2 seasons.
- La Liga: The Spanish League
The Spanish top flight has always seen January as a backup plan as most clubs finish their major signings in the summer window only.
January 2015’s best La Liga signings were:
- Fernando Torres: AC Milan to Atletico Madrid (Loan)
After woeful spells at Chelsea and Milan, it was almost inevitable to see Torres back to his parent club Atletico where he rose to prominence by taming world class defenders.
Torres has already found his long lost shooting boots at Atletico as he scored 2 against Real Madrid and 1 against Barcelona.
El Nino is finally back!!!
- Martin Odegaard: Stromsgodset to Real Madrid (3 million)
The 16 year old Norwegian wonder kid attracted attention throughout the world by his breath-taking performances and jaw dropping skills. His value may increase exponentially if he continues to play so. Well, what were you doing when you were 16? (*sighs*)
- Lucas Silva: Cruzeiro To Real Madrid( 14 millions)
Another youngster in Real Madrid’s ranks, the Brazilian likes to pull the strings from the midfield and act as the team’s anchor. Like Odegaard, he may mature into a world class central midfielder.
- The German Bundesliga
The success of Bayern Munich and German National team has attracted many foreign players to play there and learn their style and tactics.
- Andre Schurrle: Chelsea To Wolfsburg (22 million)
A world cup winner, young, dynamic, agile, can play on either wing; Andre Schurrle is a complete package. According to me, Chelsea hugely underestimated the German’s potential. He will surely prove to be an awesome signing for Wolfsburg. He definitely is, the best signing of January 2015.
- Matija Nastasic: Man City to Schalke 04 (loan)
Another hugely underestimated player who left to prove his sellers wrong, Nastasic, just 20 years old, can and will surely mature into a top defender.
- The Italian Serie A
The brand value of the Italian league has gone down in the recent years but it still remains a top destination for many players.
- Xherdan Shaqiri : Bayern Munich to Inter Milan (loan)
The 2 time Swiss Player of the Year, Shaqiri, has often been called as ‘the Magic Dwarf’. The tiny fellow can tear apart opponents by his pace and quick feet. Great job of Inter Milan to get him!
- Lukas Podolski : Arsenal to Inter (loan)
Inter Milan have done great business by signing Podolski. The player is good with both feet and is a proven goalscorer.
Only time will tell how these signings prove out to be. Well, money doesn’t buy happiness but it does buy you these exciting players who are in turn, the key to a club’s happiness.
By Yash Jain