Who did the best business?

Over the past few years, the January transfer window has seen some record signings and frantic deadline day deals. Although, this transfer window hasn’t seen any bank breaking record transfers due to the financial restrictions of the pandemic, clubs were still looking to bolster their squads for the remainder of the season with plenty of loan deals as we saw the lowest spending transfer window of the last ten years.

Early on in the month Manchester United completed the purchases of Ivory Coast Winger Amad Diallo from Atalanta for £19m. The deal sees him join the Red Devils until 2025 where a possible £18.2m could be earned by Atalanta if the criteria for add one are met. Diallo is yet to make an appearance for United after joining on the 7th January, so we will have to wait and see how he competes in a squad filled with talented young forwards of Rashford, Greenwood and James.

Netherlands defender Timothy Fosu-Mensah departed Manchester United for Bayer Leverkusen. The 23 year old had made 30 appearances for the Manchester Club but after loan spells at Crystal Palace and Fulham, the defender made the move to the German club for an undisclosed fee.

West Ham decided to cut their losses on club record signing Sebastien Haller. Haller joined the Hammers for £45m in 2019 and was only able to convert 14 chances in 54 games in all competitions. The 26 year old forward has joined Eredivise champions Ajax for £20.25m. The London club made their loan deal for Said Benrahma permanent for a fee of £20m. The move was originally going to be made permanent in the summer, however the Hammers opted to finalise the deal early to free up loan space in the squad to sign Jesse Lingard from Manchester United on loan until the end of the season.

West Ham also let go of midfielder Robert Snodgrass for an undisclosed fee to fellow Premier League side West Brom. The Scot has signed an 18 month deal with the Baggies who are looking to add to their squad in an attempt to avoid relegation as they currently sit in 19th with only 2 wins from 21 games. The Baggies had also agreed a deal for unattached goalkeeper Andy Lonergan as back up for first choice keeper Sam Johnstone.

Striker Charlie Austin returned to the Championship as he joined QPR on loan. Austin had previously played for QPR between 2013 and 2016 and has returned to the former club in an attempt to earn more game time after only making five appearances as a substitute so far this season.

Leicester City were another club to say goodbye to their record signing as Islam Slimani joined Lyon for free. The 32 year old joined the Foxes in 2016 for £29m and was due to be out of contract in the summer. Slimani was signed by the French club to fill the gap created by Moussa Dembele’s loan move to Spanish side Atletico Madrid. The Foxes also let go of Demarai Gray who completed a move to Bayer Leverkusen for an undisclosed fee. The 24 year old had only made two appearances this season before completing the move.

Former England international Jack Wilshere is attempting to reignite his career after completing a move to Bournemouth. The midfielder had been released from West Ham in October and had been training with the Cherries to maintain fitness levels. Wilshere had previously made 27 appearances for Bournemouth during a loan spell from Arsenal.

Croatian forward Mario Mandzukic has returned to the Italian top flight after securing a move to AC Milan. The former Juventus striker had been unattached to a club since leaving Qatari club Al Duhail in the summer. Mandzukic had previously won the Champions League with Bayern and will be looking to take the Milan side to their first Serie A title in 10 years.

AC Milan bolstered their squad further with the signing of Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori on loan for the rest of the season. It is believed that the deal also included an option to make the deal permanent of £25m plus add ons. 

Mesut Ozil finally made his long awaited departure from Arsenal after signing for Turkish side Fenerbache for free. The German had fallen out of favour at the Emirates having not played for the first team since March and had been left out of the named squad for the current season. Ozil joins Fenerbache on a three and a half year deal.

The Gunners looked to improve their squad by signing Real Madrid wonderkid Martin Odegaard on loan until the end of the season. The Norwegian was highly sought after when he joined Real Madrid on 2015. Arsenal are Odegaard’s fourth loan destination since signing for the Spanish club after previous spells at Heerenveen, Vitesse and Real Sociedad. 

World Cup winner Sami Khedira has returned to his home country of Germany after completing a move to Hertha Berlin from Juventus for an undisclosed fee. The German had helped Juventus to five Serie A titles, however he had fallen out of favour at the Italian club, not making an appearance this season.

Current Premier League champions Liverpool were in a desperate race to sign a centre back on the final day of the transfer window after an injury crisis left them without a senior centre back. The Merseyside club completed the £2m deal of Ben Davies from Preston with young Dutch defender Sepp van den Berg moving in the opposite direction on loan. Liverpool also completed a loan deal for Ozan Kabak from Schalke on the final day of the transfer window, with the option of a permanent move for £18m.

The reds have also allowed Takumi Minamino to join Southampton on loan for the remainder of the season during the last hours of the transfer window. The Japanese forward had been struggling for game time since his move to Merseyside a year ago for £7.25m.

By Shaun Dunn

Image provided by Sky Sports

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