Premier League hits and misses during the January transfer window after $3 billion invested over 20 years

Premier League hits and misses in the January transfer window after $3 billion spent over 20 years

The January transfer window has now played a significant role in the football calendar for 20 years, love it or hate it.

The window, which English football instituted for the 2002–03 season after Fifa decided to only allow one month for permanent transfers during the season, has never been short on drama.

The 2003 winter transfer period got off to a slow start, but it picked up steam on the deadline day when Jonathan Woodgate moved from Leeds United to Newcastle United for £9 million.

Premier League teams spent close to £3 billion on transfers during the winter transfer window.

Looking back over the past 20 years, BBC Sport examines some of the most notable hits and misses.


Patrice Evra - (Manchester United to Monaco).

Signature date: 2006.

Fee paid:. £5.5m.

Year still to go: Juventus in 2014.

David Gill, the chief executive of Manchester United at the time, flew to Monaco to finalize the deal, and he'll be happy he did because the French defender went on to help the Reds win five Premier League titles.

In addition to helping the team win the Premier League and the Champions League in 2008, three League Cups, and the Club World Cup, Patrice Evra made 379 appearances.

From Leicester City to Le Havre, Riyad Mahrez.

Yr of signature: 2014.

Fee received:. Around £450,000 is said to have been the undisclosed fee.

Year still remaining: (To Manchester City) 2018.

After winning the Championship and making their first Premier League appearance in ten years, Leicester finished the first season under the Algerian coach.

Riyad Mahrez scored a total of 48 goals in 179 appearances for the team before being named the PFA Players' Player of the Year two seasons later, during Leicester's unexpected Premier League victory in 2015–16.

Manchester City broke their club record to acquire the winger from Leicester for £60 million in the summer of 2018 — a respectable profit.

Luis Suarez (from Liverpool to Ajax).

Signature date: 2011.

Fee received:. £22.7m.

Years left: Towards Barcelona in 2014.

As the top scorer in the Premier League and the recipient of the PFA and Football Writers' Player of the Year awards, Luis Suarez contributed to 43 goals during the 2013–14 season—31 goals and 12 assists—more than any other player in the top five leagues. This was to be Suarez's final season with Liverpool.

The striker left Anfield in the summer of 2014 for Barcelona in a £75 million deal after a contentious time there during which he received two suspensions. In 133 games for the club, he made 82 total goals.

Clint Dempsey - (Fulham to New England Revolution).

signed in:. 2007.

Payment received: stated to be £2m.

Years left: Tottenham Hotspur in 2012.

In 184 league games for the club, Clint Dempsey scored 50 goals for Fulham. He also played a key role in the Cottagers' Europa League runner-up campaign in 2009–10, scoring a chip against Juventus in a memorable game that advanced them to the quarterfinals. The fact that he was the first American to play in a significant European final led to him going on to make history.

Dempsey was purchased by Tottenham for £6 million in 2012, but the midfielder did return to Fulham in 2014 while on loan from the Seattle Sounders.

Nemanja Matic, from Chelsea to Benfica.

Year of signature: 2014.

Fee received: reported to be £21 million.

Years left: In 2017 (for Manchester United).

Nemanja Matic won two Premier League championships with Chelsea before leaving for Benfica in 2009 and coming back in 2014.

The midfielder represented the PFA on the Premier League team of the year in 2015. Over the course of the 2014–15 season, he won eight duels, which are 50–50 fights, on average per 90 minutes, according to Opta. He also made more than two interceptions on average.

(Everton to Sligo Rovers) Seamus Coleman.

signed in:. 2009.

Fee received: reported to be £60,000.

Year still to go: At the club still.

There aren't many "value for money" acquisitions that can compare to Seamus Coleman, who has remained a pillar of Everton's defense for more than a decade. The now-34-year-old Irishman extended his contract with Everton by one year, keeping him with the club through 2023, last year.

He was included in the 2014 PFA Team of the Year after consistently producing well for the Toffees and winning over the supporter base. Additionally, he received votes for Everton's Player of the Year and Supporter of the Year awards.

(Lokomotiv Moscow to Chelsea) Branislav Ivanovic.

signed in:. 2008.

Fee received: unspecified cost.

Year still to go: (To Zenit St. Petersburg) 2017.

Over the course of a nine-year period, Branislav Ivanovic played 377 times for Chelsea. He also scored the winning goal in the 2013 Europa League final. He also won the Champions League, Premier League twice, FA Cup three times, and League Cup.

Former Chelsea captain John Terry paid tribute to Ivanovic when the defender joined Zenit St. Petersburg in the Russian Premier League in 2017, calling him a "legend" in an Instagram post.

Nemanja Vidic, who transferred from Manchester United to Spartak Moscow.

Year of signature: 2006.

Amount paid: £7m.

Years left: (Joined Inter Milan for free in 2014).

The deal's announcement was made by Sir Alex Ferguson, manager of Manchester United, to MUTV. He was correct.

In 2013, Nemanja Vidic led United to their historic 20th top-flight title, his fifth with the organization. The Serb, who appeared in 300 games, also assisted United in winning three League Cups and the Champions League in 2008. In the 2008–09 Premier League season, he was also constantly present during a streak of 14 straight clean sheets, which set a record.

Bruno Fernandes – Manchester United to Sporting Lisbon.

signed in:. 2020.

Amount paid: £47 million with add-ons.

Years left: Still present at the club.

Bruno Fernandes outperformed all other Premier League players in his first season at Manchester United, scoring 28 goals across all competitions, 17 assists, and 45 total goals, more than any other player during that time.

Fernandes became the first player to win Premier League Player of the Month four times in a single calendar year in 2020 thanks to this quality. The Portuguese continues to be a key member of Erik ten Hag's squad even though his goal production has since decreased.

Virgil van Dijk (from Southampton to Liverpool).

Signature date:  2018.

Payment received: £75m.

Year left: Still present at the club.

The world record £75 million Liverpool paid Southampton for Virgil van Dijk in 2018 raised eyebrows, but the Dutch center-back has proven to be well worth the money thanks to his assured defensive displays.

The Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup, Uefa Super Cup, and Fifa Club World Cup are just a few of the titles he has won since joining the Reds. Additionally, he was selected as the 2018–19 PFA Players' Player of the Year.

doesn't succeed.

Fernando Torres (from Chelsea to Liverpool).

Year of signature: 2011.

Fee received:. £50m.

Years left: Atletico Madrid in 2014.

Fernando Torres scored Chelsea's lone goal for the remainder of the season in April 2011 after joining for a then-British transfer record sum. .

The striker was a part of the Blues' 2012 Champions League-winning squad despite a rocky start. 2013's Europa League final saw them defeat Benfica 2-1, and he also helped them win the FA Cup.

The striker scored 45 goals in 172 games at Chelsea, a far cry from his 81 goals in 142 games at Liverpool.

(From Newcastle to Liverpool) Andy Carroll.

Year of signature: 2011.

Fee received: £35m.

Years left: (To West Ham United in 2013).

Andy Carroll was brought in to replace Torres, and although he won the League Cup in his first full season with Liverpool, his stay at Anfield was ultimately brief.

Carroll was loaned out to West Ham after Brendan Rodgers took over as manager and introduced a new style of play. Carroll had scored just six goals in 44 league games for Liverpool. Carroll was subsequently signed on a permanent basis for £15 million, a club record at the time.

(From Arsenal to Manchester United) Alexis Sanchez.

Yr of signature:  2018.

Fee received:. swap with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, a midfielder.

Time left: Toward Inter Milan in 2020.

The famous announcement of Alexis Sanchez receiving the number seven jersey, which featured him playing "Glory, Glory Man Utd" on the piano, was made on the team's Twitter account.

Despite scoring on his home debut, the Chilean forward was unable to regain the form he frequently displayed while playing for the Gunners. He participated in 45 games for United, scoring just five goals and going without any awards.

(Heerenveen to Middlesbrough) Afonso Alves.

Signature date: 2008.

Fee received: Over £10 million.

Year still to go: Al Sadd in 2009.

Afonso Alves was acquired by Middlesbrough by shattering the club's then-record transfer fee, and the Brazilian immediately made an impression, scoring twice against Manchester United in a 2-2 draw and a hat-trick against Manchester City on the final day of the 2008–09 campaign, respectively.

The striker, however, struggled in his final campaign on Teesside, managing just seven goals in 33 appearances. He also suffered an injury against Newcastle, which prevented him from playing in the club's final two games of the season, which saw them lose their Premier League status.

Guido Carrillo (from Monaco to Southampton).

signed in:.  2018.

Amount paid: £19m.

Year left: (Joined Elche for free in 2020).

Guido Carrillo only made 10 appearances for Southampton after the Saints paid a then-club record £19 million for him, and he failed to score for the team.

In the summer of 2018, he was quickly loaned out to the Spanish team Leganes, where he also spent the following season. After a deal to end his contract with the Saints was reached in 2020, Carrillo joined Elche CF on a free transfer.

Christopher Samba - (QPR versus Anzhi Makhachkala).

signed in:. 2013.

Payment received: £19m.

Years left: (To Anzhi Makhachkala) 2013.

With the R's, defender Christopher Samba committed to a four and a half-year contract. He was reportedly paid about £100,000 per week.

Some fans had complaints about the Congo-Brazzaville player's high wages, and Samba told them to "get over it" after their defeat by Fulham in April. Dimitar Berbatov scored the game's first goal after he was awarded a penalty, and he lost the ball to the Bulgarian striker before he could make it 2-0.

Samba made 10 appearances during that season but was back with Anzhi by the summer of 2013 after failing to prevent Rangers from being relegated from the Premier League.

Jean-Alain Boumsong - Newcastle United vs. Rangers.

Yr of signature:  2005.

Amount paid: £8m.

The remaining year is:. Juventus in 2006.

Despite being a French international when he moved, Jean-Alain Boumsong lost the support of many Magpies fans after a few inconsistent seasons. And as a result of a string of subpar performances, he fell behind Titus Bramble, Craig Moore, and Steven Taylor in the center-back pecking order.

In the summer of 2006, the Frenchman joined Juventus.

Philippe Coutinho (from Liverpool to Barcelona).

Yr of signature:  2018.

Amount paid: £142m.

Year left: (2022 for Aston Villa).

A player who, following his successful tenure at Liverpool after being acquired for £8.4 million from Inter Milan in January 2013, could be both a hit and a miss.

Although it was one of the most expensive transfers ever, the Brazilian's move to Barcelona five years later is remembered as a failure.

Although Coutinho had won two league championships, by the time of his departure from Barcelona, he had been plagued by injuries and fan backlash.

While on loan at Bayern Munich in 2020, he won the Champions League, but the German club did not decide to sign him permanently. During his time with the Spanish team, he ended up tallying a total of 26 goals in 106 appearances.

Brescia to West Ham; Savio Nsereko.

signed in:. 2009.

Fee received:. £9m.

The remaining year is:. Fiorentina in 2009.

Savio Nsereko, who reportedly joined for a then-club-record £9 million fee, fell short of expectations while playing for Upton Park and failed to score a goal in 11 appearances.

The German attacker with Ugandan ancestry didn't last long and transferred to Serie A in the summer.

Oumar Niasse (Lokomotiv Moscow to Everton).

signed in:. 2016.

Fee received: £13.5m.

Year still to go: 2020 (who later signed on for free with Huddersfield Town).

With Everton, Oumar Niasse signed a four-and-a-half-year contract that he would eventually fulfill, but in 65 league games for the Toffees, he only managed to score 12 goals.

The forward left Everton on a free transfer in the summer of 2020 after going on loans to Hull and Cardiff.

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