The winter transfer window is about to end and there haven’t been many big deals or shuffling of squads so far. The big clubs haven’t been quite active, with only Manchester City roping in Gabriel Jesus though, even that deal was finalised in the last transfer window. Everyone is looking forward to the transfer deadline day, which has always been the most interesting day of the transfer window. The winter window has it’s own pros and cons as players who join usually don’t get much time to adjust to the new club and have to perform right away and that is what usually makes or breaks a player. Fernando Torres has been the best example of this. The Spanish striker was arguably the best striker in the Premier League at that time but suddenly was roped in by Chelsea and since then he has never been the same beast as he once used to be. There have been really good signings as well and that’s what we’ll look forward to in this article.
5. Ivan Rakitic from Schalke to Sevilla
One of the best midfielders in the business today, the Croatian maestro, who is the heart of Barcelona’s midfield now was one of the most low profile transfer at one point of time. Sevilla signed him for a $1.3m from the German club and it totally turned out to be a bargain for them. The Croat helped Sevilla to win the Europa league title in 2012/13 season and also became the captain of the club under Unai Emery who won 3 consecutive Europa league titles with the Seville based club. Rakitic even now is one of the favorites at the Sanchez Pizjuan stadium and gets the standing ovation from the crowd unlike Sergio Ramos who is treated with whistles and negative chants. The ability of Rakitic to pick out passes accurately with both feet plus the vision he has, has made him one of the most underrated talents in the league which finally caught Barcelona’s eye when he created around 100 chances in a single season which was amongst top 5 in Europe’s top 5 leagues.
4. Javier Mascarenho on loan from West Ham to Liverpool
Unarguably one of the best signings by Rafa Benitez in his lifetime, totally helping Mascarenho to revive his career. The Argentine was bought by West Ham alongside Carlos Tevez and both the Argentines were hot prospects in the English league by then. Mascarenho, though had a tough time adapting to the league and adjusting to West Ham’s system. Rafa Benitez who always had admired the player struck a 18 month loan deal which totally changed the fortune of the Liverpool side. The defensive midfielder slotted in well alongside Xabi Alonso in midfield and led to the Champions League title with a famous win over AC Milan. A stalwart of Barcelona’s defense, now the Argentine’s transfer to Liverpool has revived his career and made him the player that he is today.
3. Patrice Evra from Monaco to Manchester United
A total masterstroke from Alex Ferguson as he signed this guy for a mere 5.5 million dollars. Evra has been one of the best signings for Manchester United and was a key cog in the wheel of Sir Alex’s 4-4-2 system. The French wing back won numerous trophies and was part of one of the best United squad in years having played with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand, Scholes etc. Evra won 5 Premier League titles, 5 FA cup titles and a UCL title with the Red Devils in his 8 year stint. Evra is now enjoying the final years of his career at Juventus where he had already won the Serie A title. Without a doubt, Evra has been one of the best winter signings of all time.
2. Luis Suarez Ajax to Liverpool
It was the winter of 2011 when Liverpool signed a young Suarez from Ajax for a decent 23m price tag. Liverpool earlier sold their star striker Fernando Torres and arguably the best striker at that time to their rivals Chelsea. Suarez was brought in as a replacement, considering his sublime form with the Netherland’s champions. El Pistolero, as he’s called, was one of the biggest reason that Liverpool went really close to winning the Premier League title in 2014-15 season. Suarez and Daniel Sturridge were the most deadly duo in the Premier League that time and almost had the title in the bag until they lost their title deciding game against Chelsea. Luis Suarez recieved the golden boot for his performances alongside Cristiano Ronaldo for scoring 31 goals in the league. The Uruguayan was later snapped by Barcelona looking at his form and Barcelona needing to match the firepower that Real Madrid’s front three possessed at that time. Suarez was one of the main reasons that the Champions League nights were back at Anfield after a long wait. The striker scored a good 69 goals in his 110 appearances for the Merseyside club.
1. Nemanja Vidic Spartak Moscow to Manchester United
The best signing for Manchester United in the past 10-15 years, yes even better than Cristiano Ronaldo, Rooney, Berbatov. The Serbian stalwart joined from the Russian club for a 7m fee in the year 2006. Manchester United were looking to solidify their defense during that time and without much thought, Vidic and Evra were signed in the same window. Nobody knew how good these signings would prove in the future as the two carried the United defense for more than five years together and Vidic even became the undisputable captain of the side under Sir Alex. The Serb was even nicknamed ‘Captain Fantastic’ by the fans. Vidic and Rio Ferdinand became the best center back pairing in the league and the duo won 5 league titles in their 8 year stint together. Vidic also won the League Cup thrice with a Champions League title to his name as well. Vidic was the captain of the most successful United team in the last decade and even now United fans remember those golden days with tears of joy.