Clubs around Europe’s biggest leagues have just had a month in which to do any necessary transfer business – in or out – that will see them right for the remainder of the season.
The January window is famously poor when it comes to value and options. Plenty of clubs made use of the market, although there was a clear drop in spending as even elite footbal teams feel the pinch.
Eric Dier’s loan to Bayern Munich made big headlines, as much for the shock value as anything else, while striker Marcos Leonardo was an exciting capture for Benfica and has already made a prolific start in Portugal.
Other likes Eljif Elmas (RB Leipzig), Cyril Ngonge (Napoli), Orel Mangala (Lyon) and Renan Lodi (Al Hilal) moved for the big money. There were also notable loans for Kalvin Phillips (West Ham) and Armando Broja (Fulham), but they don’t make the best possible XI of January signings…
Nottingham Forest wanted a new goalkeeper and, after seeing a £15m bid for Liverpool understudy Caoimhin Kelleher rejected, turned to former Newcastle United stopper Matz Sels.
The 31-year-old Belgian was the number one goalkeeper at Ligue 1 side Strasbourg and will now provide competition for existing Forest goalkeepers Matt Turner and Odysseas Vlachodimas.
Bayern Munich briefly flirted with Kieran Trippier and Nordi Mukiele, before eventually settling on the lesser known Sacha Boey to fill their right-back needs.
The 23-year-old started out at Rennes, a club renowned for developing young talent, but then spent two and a half years in Turkish football with Galatasaray.
Premier League spending fell nearly £700m year on year from January 2023 to January 2024, with clubs in England’s top flight seemingly worried by recent sanctions applied to Everton for breaching the competition’s Profit and Sustainability Rules.
That made Tottenham’s capture of 21-year-old Romanian international Radu Dragusin the most expensive single deal – undisclosed officially but believed to be around £25m – for any Premier League club during the month.
Liverpool were among the clubs taking an interest in 20-year-old Brazilian centre-back Lucas Beraldo, but he wound up heading to French giants Paris Saint-Germain after a breakout 2023 season…