The winter World Cup added an extra dimension to the usually monotonous January transfer window.
While teams across Europe are still strapped for cash in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, clubs from the Premier Super League took full advantage of their overseas competitors’ financial woes.
Thus, much of the business that took place in the recently closed transfer window concerned clubs from the English top flight as cash was splashed all over the country, up and down the division.
Here are 90min’s top ten transfers of the 2023 January transfer window.
10. Yann Sommer – Borussia Monchengladbach to Bayern Munich
Yann Sommer was signed to deputise for the injured Manuel Neuer / Fantasista/GettyImages
Manuel Neuer’s injury could’ve derailed Bayern’s stuttering campaign with the unreliable Sven Ulreich poised to deputise in the great goalkeeper’s absence.However, the German giants were never going to let that scenario play out, and they instead moved quickly to bring in an emergency replacement. As contingency plans go, the signing of Sommer may well be the best solution Bayern could’ve hoped for. The Swiss stalwart has long been considered as one of the Bundesliga finest shot-stoppers and his proficiency between the sticks means FC Hollywood will not miss their skipper toomuch.
9. Leandro Trossard – Brighton to Arsenal
Leandro Trossard switched Brighton for Arsenal / Michael Regan/GettyImages
For so long, Arsenal seemed destined to secure the signing of a player that may or may not be on this list a little later on, but they were pipped to the post by their London rivals. That forced Edu Gaspar into action, and an alternative was quickly sounded out. A deal for the disgruntled Trossard was easy enough to pull off, and the Belgian is certainly not the worst Plan B in the world. He provides much-needed attacking depth in forward areas as Arsenal go in search of their first Premier League title since 2004. The winger’s versatility will be appreciated by Mikel Arteta, as will his directness in possession and ability to finish with both feet.
8. Malo Gusto – Lyon to Chelsea
“Who cares if we’ve got one of the world’s very best right-backs knocking about, let’s go and sign a leading teenage talent anyway,” Todd Boehly said, probably.Gusto joined Chelsea just a couple of days before the deadline and has since been loaned back to Lyon for the remainder of the season. Thus, Blues supporters will have to wait a while until they see one of their many shiny new toys in action. This is a signing that will eventually garner plenty of excitement at Stamford Bridge. The young Frenchman has the potential to blossom into one of the world’s very best right-backs. Gusto’s as dynamic as they come; a player that gets supporters on their feet once he advances into the final third.
7. Harry Souttar – Stoke to Leicester
Harry Souttar joined the Foxes on deadline day / Gareth Copley/GettyImages
When was the last time Leicester had a competent defence? God, it feels like forever. Where have Robert and big Wes been?Anyway, Leicester went a long way to fixing their defensive issues by signing World Cup hero Souttar from Stoke on deadline day. It’s not a glamorous move, but one that could prove to be mightily astute.Souttar is a proper no-nonsense defender, but he also boasts the attributes of your archetypal modern-day centre-half. A move to the Premier League seemed inevitable following his impressive campaign in Qatar, and it’s Leicester who snapped him up.
6. Ilya Zabarnyi – Dynamo Kyiv to Bournemouth
Ilya Zabarnyi was one of several signings Bournemouth made towards the end of the window / Visionhaus/GettyImages
What happened to Bournemouth at the end of the January transfer window? Matias Vina, Hamed Traore and Ilya Zabarnyi! That’s some conclusion. How the Cherries have been able to snag a player of Zabarnyi’s talent is remarkable. This is a guy that has excelled in major tournaments for his country and looked at home in the Champions League. This is a stellar bit of business and the club’s work in January could go a long way to staving off the threat of relegation during the second half of the season.
5. Benoit Badiashile – AS Monaco to Chelsea
Benoit Badiashile joined Chelsea at the start of the window / Robin Jones/GettyImages
The addition of talented young centre-back Badiashile has got lost in the wilderness in west London given Chelsea’s transfer activity in the wake of the Frenchman’s arrival. Nevertheless, Badiashile emerged as one of Europe’s most exciting defensive talents at Monaco and the Blues will think they’ve snagged the 21-year-old at a bargain price (£35m) given his potential.Badiashile has the potential to be a cornerstone of Graham Potter’s Chelsea project.
4. Azzedine Ounahi – Angers to Marseille
Azzedine Ounahi (L) was one of Morocco’s heroes at the 2022 World Cup / JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER/GettyImages
Finally, a break from the Premier League. Although, there were several English clubs interested in signing Angers midfielder Ounahi.The young Moroccan rose to prominence at the end of 2022 as he enjoyed a stellar World Cup campaign with the Atlas Lions. The elegant Ounahi starred in Morocco’s journey to the semi-finals. A January move beckoned for the 22-year-old, and he had multiple options at his disposal. However, he opted to remain in Ligue 1 and join Igor Tudor’s Marseille, who had just sold Gerson to Flamengo. It’s another stepping stone for the midfielder, who may well be on the move once more should his World Cup form perpetuate in the French top flight.
3. Pedro Porro – Sporting CP to Tottenham
A protracted saga eventually ended in Pedro Porro joining Spurs / Quality Sport Images/GettyImages
It was on, off, and then back on again. For a while, it seemed like Tottenham wouldn’t appease Antonio Conte by bringing in Pedro Porro, but the Lilywhites finally secured their man following arduous and complex negotiations with Sporting CP.It’s a move that has garnered plenty of excitement in N17, with Porro shining against Spurs in Sporting’s two Champions League group stage clashes back in the autumn. The wing-back is an excellent technician; one that could transform Conte’s build-up while adding some much-needed quality from wide areas in the final third. Overall, this move resembles Inter’s deal for Achraf Hakimi in 2020 which catapulted Conte’s project in Milan. The Italian will be hoping that Porro has a similar impact.
2. Mykhaylo Mudryk – Shakhtar Donetsk to Chelsea
Chelsea snatched Mykhaylo Mudryk from under Arsenal’s nose / Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages
Chelsea moved with the utmost ruthlessness to snatch Mudryk from under Arsenal’s nose. The Blues were forced to pay a mammoth fee, one that could reach £100m if certain bonuses are paid, but this kid looks like a superstar in the making.His brief cameo at Anfield filled supporters with hope moving forward, and there’s genuine belief that 22-year-old Mudryk could salvage Chelsea’s bleak 2022/23 campaign.The winger showed off his destructive talent in the Champions League earlier this season, and he’s poised to take the Premier League by storm once the Blues return to action.
1. Joao Cancelo – Man City to Bayern Munich
While there had been murmurs of discontent from Joao Cancelo’s camp, this was a move that surprised absolutely everybody. The Portuguese full-back had become a bit-part player for Pep Guardiola after the World Cupand his frustrations over a lack of game time reportedly culminated in a ‘training ground bust-up’ between player and coach before the FA Cup clash with Arsenal. So here we are.While some have questioned City’s decision to let a talent like Cancelo, who played such a key role in their title success last season, depart, nobody is second-guessing Bayern’s willingness to secure the player on an initial loan deal until the summer. Cancelo can only be described as a unicorn. He can perform a variety of functions and do almost everything with the ball at his feet.The 28-year-old may well be the spark Bayern need following an indifferent run of form.