With the January transfer window set to slam shut at 6 p.m. ET on Monday, here’s a little bit of inspiration from past winter windows for you.
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Below we rank the top 10 last-minute buys for Premier League clubs over the years, as plenty of managers will want to get some business done late on in the window.
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Here’s a look at which players made the most of being bought during the January window.
10. David Bentley ($2.5 million – Arsenal to Blackburn, 2006) Remember him? Retiring before his 30th birthday, things didn’t quite pan out for the mercurial midfielder… but he was very good at Blackburn. Bentley spent time on loan at Rovers and after making the move permanent scored a hat trick against Man United in a memorable 4-3 win. He ended up signing for Spurs for $22 million two years later but the former England international failed to live up to the high expectations.
9. Kevin Campbell (Free – Everton to West Brom, 2005) – Not so much for his goals but for his influence. Veteran Campbell took over as captain with the Baggies bottom of the PL on Christmas Day. No club had ever survived having been bottom at Christmas. 3 goals in 16 games from Campbell meant West Brom pulled off the “great escape” on the final day of the season.
8. Asmir Begovic ($5 million – Portsmouth to Stoke City, 2010) – The Bosnian goalkeeper arrived at Stoke from Portsmouth and never looked back. After spending five wonderful years at the Britannia Stadium building his reputation Begovic, 28, signed for Chelsea last summer and is now Thibaut Courtois‘ backup.
7. Alvaro Arbeloa ($3 million – Deportivo La Coruna to Liverpool, 2007) – He only stayed at Anfield for two years but Arbeloa’s versatility and comfort on the ball caught the eye. He signed for Real Madrid in a $7.5 million deal and has played over 200 times for Los Blancos. Steady and a supreme pro.
6. Pedro Mendes ($2 million – Tottenham to Portsmouth, 2006) – One of the main reasons Pompey stayed up in 2006 was Pedro Mendes. Bending in ridiculous goals and spraying around passes to dictate play, the pony-tailed Portuguese international midfielder was an inspired signing by Harry Redknapp.
5. Mikel Arteta (Loan – Real Sociedad to Everton, 2005) – Initially a loan signing, at the age of 22 it was a gamble but Arteta went on to be a mainstay under David Moyes after completing a permanent move to Goodison. Now club captain at Arsenal, it’s safe to say the Spaniard has done well for himself in England after arriving on a wing and a prayer.
4. John Stones ($2.2 million – Barnsley to Everton, 2013) – Take note Roberto Martinez, the Toffees do quite well on Deadline Day. John Stones was David Moyes’ final signing as Everton boss and he’s turned out to be a gem. The Everton and England defender, 21, has excelled and Chelsea had $45 million and $50 million bids turned down for him last summer. Tremendous business.
3. Daniel Sturridge (Loan – Chelsea to Bolton Wanderers, 2011) – Bolton were struggling. Big time. They needed help and Sturridge’s arrival on loan saw the future Liverpool and England star score eight times in 12 appearances to lift them out of trouble as the Trotters staved off relegation. A star — albeit it an oft injured one — was born.
2. Jermain Defoe ($12 million – West Ham to Tottenham, 2004) – Wherever he goes, he scores goals. After staying loyal to West Ham United following their relegation on 2004, Defoe left the Hammers in January and turned into a hero at White Hart Lane. Across two spells at Spurs he scored 137 goals in 352 appearances. The ultimate poacher.
1. Luis Suarez ($32.6 million – Ajax to Liverpool, 2011) – Probably the greatest signing in Liverpool’s history, let alone in January. Suarez arrived from Ajax as a largely unknown and temperamental Uruguayan forward. He left for Barcelona in a $120 million deal in 2014 as a hero and one of the greatest players on the planet. Sure, he had plenty of problems on the pitch at Anfield (the Branislav Ivanovic biting incident and Patrice Evra racism incident) but scored 82 times in 133 appearances.