Top 10 January Premier League signings

Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra for Manchester United in 2006
© PA Photos
Sports Mole picks the 10 transfers that we believe to have been the best since the January window was introduced to the Premier League.

The majority of Premier League managers will have you believe that there is never much value in the January transfer window.

It's the time in the football calendar where transfer fees are more often than not inflated, with clubs fully aware that it will be difficult for them to find replacements for any departing players.

However, some managers have pulled off some real coups since the window was introduced back in 2002.

Below, Sports Mole has picked out 10 Premier League deals that we believe to be the best January signings of recent times.


Nikica Jelavic celebrates his winning goal on December 9, 2012© PA Photos

10. Nikica Jelavic (2011: Rangers to Everton, £5m)
The likes of West Ham United and Liverpool were said to be interested in the Croatian when he became available last January, but it was Everton who gambled on Jelavic being able to take his goalscoring form in Scotland for Rangers to the Premier League. The 27-year-old repaid David Moyes's faith by scoring 11 goals in all competitions as the Toffees reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup.


Emmanuel Adebayor for Arsenal in 2009© PA Photos

9. Emmanuel Adebayor (2006: Monaco to Arsenal, £3m)
Having recently joined Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal supporters may not welcome Adebayor's inclusion in this list. However, the fact of the matter is that he was by and large successful at the Emirates Stadium. He scored on his debut against Birmingham City and went on to hit 62 goals in total for the Gunners. His departure to Manchester City in 2009 also saw Arsenal collect a cool £25m.


Christopher Samba© PA Photos

8. Christopher Samba (2007: Hertha Berlin to Blackburn Rovers, £450,000)
In terms of value for money, there have been very few January additions that were as consistent as Samba. The Congolese defender cost Rovers a mere £450,000 and went on to be a virtual ever-present for the club, despite numerous changes in managers. His signature was hotly contested last January, with Anzhi Makhachkala eventually winning the race for a fee believed to be £12m.


Christophe Dugarry for Birmingham City in 2003© PA Photos

7. Christophe Dugarry (2003: Bordeaux to Birmingham City, loan)
A lot of people, with the exception of Birmingham fans, have probably forgotten that French World Cup winner Dugarry turned out for the Blues. However, the now-retired striker played a big role in keeping Steve Bruce's team in the Premier League with five important goals. While he was gone just six months later in the following January, his contribution that season resulted in him being inducted into the club's Hall of Fame.


Pedro Mendes for Portsmouth in 2006© PA Photos

6. Pedro Mendes (2006: Tottenham Hotspur to Portsmouth, £7.5m)
The pint-sized Portuguese midfielder is considered a hero by many Portsmouth supporters, thanks largely to the fact that he played a key role in their Premier League survival in the months that followed his arrival. Two of his three goals were scored in the same match - an unforgettable 25-yard brace that left David James in the Manchester City goal with no chance. The fee mentioned above is also a little misleading because that included Sean Davis and Noe Pamarot signing on at Fratton Park from Spurs at the same time.


Tottenham's Clint Dempsey celebrates scoring his team's second goal on December 6, 2012© PA Photos

5. Clint Dempsey (2007: New England to Fulham, £2m)
While there have been many Americans that have had successful stints in the Premier League, there are few that can claim that they have had as big an impact as Dempsey. Having signed in the January of 2007, Dempsey went on to score the only goal of the game during May's encounter with Liverpool - a goal that effectively secured Fulham's Premier League status. The 29-year-old joined Tottenham Hotspur last summer for a reported £6m, giving Fulham a profit of £4m.


Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic celebrates scoring his team's second goal on December 19, 2012© PA Photos

4. Branislav Ivanovic (2008: Lokomotiv Moscow to Chelsea, £10m)
There was a time when Ivanovic's Chelsea career looked to be over before it had even started. The Serbian international joined in the winter of 2008, but failed to make a single appearance before the end of the season. As a result, the likes of AC Milan and Inter Milan were said to be interested in his services. However, the centre-back stayed put and his loyalty has been rewarded with a regular spot in the team, as well medals from winning the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup.


Gary Cahill celebrates scoring Chelsea's second© PA Photos

3. Gary Cahill (2012: Bolton Wanderers to Chelsea, £7m)
England international Cahill is the only player on this list that can claim that they have made two successful January moves. He joined Bolton from Aston Villa in 2008 and the centre-back went on to become a key member of the Wanderers squad. His form at the Reebok Stadium earned him a £7m switch to Chelsea last winter and despite initially having the likes of John Terry, David Luiz and Branislav Ivanovic ahead of him in the pecking order, the 27-year-old still featured regularly as the Blues won the Champions League and FA Cup.


Liverpool striker Luis Suarez celebrates scoring his first goal against Sunderland on January 2, 2013© AP Photos

2. Luis Suarez (2011: Ajax to Liverpool, £22m)
There has not been a bigger January transfer window than the one in 2011. Liverpool lost Fernando Torres to Chelsea for £50m and opted to replace the Spaniard with two strikers. The first signing, Andy Carroll, unsurprisingly is not included here! However, Suarez most certainly is. While he only managed four goals during his first five months on Merseyside, the Uruguayan has gone on to be Liverpool's talisman. Some may consider £22m to be a hefty price tag, but the 25-year-old has arguably already paid that back.


Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra for Manchester United in 2006© PA Photos

1. Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic (2006: Monaco/Spartak Moscow to Manchester United, £5.5m/£7m)
When the defensive duo made one of their first Man United outings in the Manchester derby, many doubted Sir Alex Ferguson's judgment. Quite frankly, both looked well out of their depth as City ran out 3-1 winners. Since then though, the pair have proved to be key figures in the Manchester United defence that has won four Premier League titles and one Champions League. For just £12.5m, that is undoubtedly money well spent.


Rickie Lambert celebrates his goal with Jack Cork against Chelsea on January 16, 2013
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