Biggest January 2022 Transfers
After a roller coaster of speculations and exciting transfers last month, the January transfer window of 2022 was finally closed. So, join us as we try to examine the biggest January 2022 transfers:
With football slowly but surely leaving the financial effects of the pandemic behind, transfer windows are going back to what they used to be, both for European giants as well as the smaller clubs who had a tough time of it these past two years. This means that a lot of big deals happened during this January transfer window of 2022 and we have decided to take a look at them in order to examine which ones have the potential to be the best.
Of course, it is always tricky to deal with these sort of topics since some transfers take longer to bear fruit as players need to adjust and the fact that not much time has passed since January doesn’t help either. But there are always some transfers that seem to be special and no matter if they end up as hits or misses, they generate conversation. So, let’s take a brief look at all these transfers to figure out who were the
biggest January 2022 transfers
January Transfer Window of 2022
This list is bound to be full of transfers from the Premier League with the Premier League clubs spending almost 75% as much as all the other 5 top leagues in Europe combined (£295m EPL expenditure against €380m from the other top leagues) in the January transfer window of 2022. Now without further ado, let’s take a look at the biggest transfers that happened:
Julian Alvarez (River Plate to Manchester City)
Let us kick off this list of the most significant
January transfers of 2022
with someone who actually won’t be playing for his newly signed team until the summer and that someone is the Argentinian Julian Alvarez who just joinedManchester City
. In an effort to sign someone to replace the brilliant Sergio Aguero and after their efforts for signing Harry Kane in the summer being rebuffed, City has gone a more traditional route of finding new young talent and Julian Alvarez is an answer to that.
However, the move for Alvarez may just be a back-up plan for them to sign a proved striker in the summer but the young Argentinian has shown immense talent and it wouldn’t be the first time in recent seasons that an Argentine striker joined a European side and immediately became a huge hit (Lautaro Martinez). Alvarez though seems to be a late bloomer compared to players his age (22), making his breakthrough atRiver Plate
only last season after he impressed for them in the Copa Libertadores.
Julian Alvarez followed that with an incredible year in 2021 where he scored 22 goals. And his 2022 has been excellent too since he bagged a hat-trick not a few days ago, once again showing why Manchester City opted to sign him for €17m, although the Cityzens have loaned him back to River Plate until the end of the season. Capable of playing as both a striker and a winger, Julian Alvarez will be an important asset for Manchester City going forward which is why he is one of biggest January 2022 transfers.
Adama Traore (Wolverhampton Wanderers to Barcelona)
One of the key players that helped Wolverhampton have a resurgence in the Premier League in recent seasons has undoubtedly been Adama Traore. The pacey winger has been at times unstoppable and unplayable in the Premier League and one of competition’s best wingers due to his blistering pace, hulking physique and extremely potent dribbling ability. This of course, led to a lot of speculations about him leaving Wolves, and after months of rumors about him wanting to join Tottenham, Adama decided to join his old club, Barcelona, in one of the most significant January transfers of 2022.
Born and raised in Spain to parents of Malian heritage, Adama Traore is a product of Barcelona’s infamous La Masia academy. However, unlike the generation that came before them (Messi, Pedro and Pique), La Masia’s 2010 generation never really got a chance to play for Barcelona and Traore was no different. Having featured heavily for Barcelona’s reserve sides and a solitary appearance for Barcelona itself, Traore opted to move to England where his pace and physique more suited the style of football being played there.
After a season at Aston Villa and two at Middlesborough, Traore finally joinedWolves
in 2018, quickly becoming a fan favorite. Although his appearances were limited to mostly coming off the bench. However, in his second season Traore really came onto his own, becoming one of EPL’s best players by recording 4 goals and 9 assists during the 2019-20 season, something that Barcelona wishes he could repeat at Nou Camp.
Joining his former club on a loan deal with an option for Barcelona to buy him for €30m in the summer, Traore has already shown what an asset he could be forBlaugrana
, having assisted twice in 3 appearances he’s had for the club. The threats he creates on the flanks as well as his rapport with Barcelona’ fullbacks, will lead Barcelona to many goals which makes his transfer one of the biggest January 2022 transfers.
Dejan Kulusevski (Juventus to Tottenham Hotspur)
Following the disastrous appointment of Nuno Spirito Santo as their manager and after a few weeks of searching for a new manager, the North London side finally decided to go for a manager they were eying even in the summer, Antonio Conte. And like always the Italian tactician has brought a lot of changes to his new clubs, one of them being a lot of new players that Spurs signed in the January transfer window of 2022.
And one of those players that certainly has Spurs’ fans excited is Dejan Kulusevski. the Swedish international was once heralded to be one of the future stars of Juventus but with the transfer of Vlahovic to Juventus and the financial strain that put on the club, the Old Lady had to offload some of its players. Namely Kulusevski and Bentancur to Tottenham who has Juventus’ former sporting director, Fabio Paratici, running the transfers now.
Kulusevski is capable of playing several different roles in midfield as well as in attack and is sometimes called a mezzala in Italy or a half-winger. Basically, an attacking midfielder that likes to play behind the strikers with regular runs into the opposition’s box. Which seems to be the perfect player to replace the now-departed to Everton, Dele Alli, with.
Despite being technically on loan fromJuventus
, Kulusevski came with a hefty price as his loan fee is around €10 million as well as an obligation to buy him permanently for €35 million. The 21 year old however seems to be settling in well as he scored and assisted in the recent Tottenham win over the league leaders Manchester City which definitely makes his transfer one of the
biggest January 2022 transfers
Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur to Everton)
Once deemed as one of the best players of his generation, Dele Alli was so talented that someone like Sir Alex Ferguson talked about how much he wanted to be able to coach him. At Tottenham his partnership with Harry Kane, Son and Christian Eriksen took Tottenham to new heights and despite not winning any trophies, they did manage to reach a Champions League final, thanks to Dele Ali’s influence. But throughout all that, there were always talk of how disruptive his attitude is and how he is not a good trainer.
And both those things finally caught up to him when there was a change of leadership in Tottenham. While Mourinho didn’t exclude him from his plans, his playing time became more and more limited as time went on and under Nuno Espirito Santo, Dele Alli became completely neglected and when he did show up on the pitch he only showed glimpses of his former self. Which prompted him and Tottenham to look for a new club for Alli in the January transfer window of 2022.
Dele Alli is sometimes referred to as being a Raumdeuter, a term often attributed to Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller. He is similar to Muller in the sense that he often finds the empty space left behind attackers or on the wings and exploits it, creating a chance for himself or his teammates which could come in handy for Frank Lampard’s Everton since they seem to be lacking creativity and threat going forward.
If Dele Alli returns to his best, the ₤40 million Everton paid for him to make him one ofbiggest January 2022
transfers could be an afterthought, but that is a big if. As of writing this article, the 25-year-old hasn’t yet started a game for Everton but if anyone can get him back to his best, it would be Frank Lampard.
Bruno Guimaraes (Lyon to Newcastle United)
With Newcastle being on the verge of collapse in the Premier League and with their new owners willing to spend a lot of money to prevent that, the club seemed to be dominating the January transfers of 2022. But perhaps the most important they finally decided to bring in is the Brazilian Bruno Guimaraes whose transfer from Lyon to Newcastle seem like a steal based on his incredible performances in Ligue 1. Linked with the likes ofArsenal
and Juventus, Guimaraes was dead set on moving away and he finally got his wish after an incredible transfer coup by Newcastle.
Having made his professional debut in a small Sao Paulo club, Audax, Guimaraes went on to excel at Athletico Paranaense when he joined them in 2017. He then caught the eye of Lyon who agreed to bring him to Ligue 1 for the price of €20 million and a hefty 20% sell-on clause for Athletico Paranaense. As we mentioned his outstanding performances in Ligue 1 was enough to make him one of the most wanted midfielders in Europe.
Described as the perfect number 6, Guimaraes excels at getting the ball in defensive areas and transitioning the team into attack with his excellent vision and great passing ability. At Lyon, his pinpoint accurate through balls would often see him create chances for his teammates in dangerous areas. Bruno also has a great defensive work rate as well and is quite aggressive when it comes to defending.
All of his incredible abilities, make him the perfect player for Newcastle to sign. He has already been adapting well atNewcastle
and their new signing seem to have gotten them out of the rut they were in. the fact that they paid £40m to sign him may have sounded earth-shattering for Newcastle fans a couple of years ago but with their new owners in charge, the fee seems trivial. Nonetheless, Guimaraes’ sheer quality as a player, definitely makes this one of biggest January 2022 transfers.
Luis Diaz (Porto to Liverpool)
Liverpool doesn’t just idly go into the market to buy any player, since Klopp’s philosophy is to always have quality over quantity, having constructed the perfect team containing of 17 or 18 great players who could all be selected to start a game. Which is why the transfer of Luis Diaz from Porto to Liverpool exactly aligns with that strategy as the Colombian winger is definitely a player that oozes quality, having proven himself time and time again at Porto.
Diaz started his career in the second tier of Colombian football and then after moving to Europe gained prominence inPorto
. Alongside Taremi, Diaz have been brilliant this season for Porto and has dominated the Primeira Liga. So, it was only a matter of time that the bigger clubs in Europe came after him in January. As the contract situation for Salah, Mane and Firmino is venturing more into uncertainty, it is a smart move for Liverpool to move for players like Diaz who are still quite young and can become starters at the club if any of those three decides to leave.
Diaz managed to score 14 goals and record 4 assists in the first half of the season for Porto, improving his own record from the last two seasons and showing he is a winger that has a lot of goals in him. In fact, he has already scored forLiverpool
in 2 appearances he has made for the club but he has a long way to go to justify his £37.5 million price tag that could very well go as high as £50 million with add-ons. Whether he succeeds at Liverpool or not, there is no doubt that this deal was one of biggest January 2022 transfers.
Pierre Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal to Barcelona)
Perhaps one of the
confirmed football transfers of 2021/22
that caught a lot of us by surprise was that of Pierre Emerick Aubameyang from Arsenal to Barcelona, on a free transfer no less. Coming on the deadline day, or rather a several hours after it, Aubameyang’s transfer was certainly the weirdest amongst the January transfers we have seen in the past couple of years since the striker had still 2.5 years on his hefty contract at Arsenal but as Arteta has repeatedly demonstrated, he takes no prisoners and Auba was the latest player to be kicked out by the Spanish tactician.
After failing to perform to the high standards Aubameyang has set for himself following his contract extension, faith in the Gabonese superstar was beginning fade, both from the fans and also Arteta as Arsenal’s manager. So, when there were reports of his insubordination and lack of discipline Arteta didn’t hesitate to punish his team captain, leaving him out of his squad for several matches as well as making him train alone. AFCON followed, where Auba was away from Arsenal for a couple of his weeks but everyone knew what awaited on his return.
The striker was then strangely allowed to leave Arsenal on a free transfer to join Barcelona, although Arsenal will still be paying some of his wages until the summer. Although some claimed that this transfer was too good for Aubameyang, strangely forgetting the striker’s extremely good record as a goal scorer, some would argue that transfer could benefit Barcelona a lot, at least in the short term.
has already proved many doubters wrong by scoring a hat-trick for Barca last week. With players like Ferran Torres and Adama Traore around him as well as a potential reunion with his former BVB teammate, Ousmane Dembele, Aubameyang is set to score loads of goals at Nou Camp and prove why his transfer was one of the biggest January 2022 transfers.
Philip Coutinho (Barcelona to Aston Villa)
What Philip Coutinho has been through ever since he left Liverpool to join Barcelona in 2018 for a reported fee of €160 million, has been insane. The Brazilian playmaker dreamt of winning the Champions League with Barcelona but after his departure it was his old team, Liverpool, who won it in 2019 and then after a lackluster season and being loaned out to Bayern Munich, he finally won the Champions League but with Bayern Munich instead of Barcelona and by decimating 8-2 in the knockout stages.
The fact that he scored 2 and assisted another in that 8-2 thrashing never went down well with the Barcelona faithful and the hierarchy of the club so upon his return he was essentially cast away and isolated. It is safe to say that Coutinho’s time at Barcelona has been less than ideal. Which is where Aston Villa come in, where after months of speculation, this past January Barca finally allowed Coutinho to leave and perhaps for good this time, reuniting with his old teammate, Steven Gerrard who is now Aston Villa’s head coach.
is a club that has invested heavily in transfer this season, having some of the most shrewd confirmed football transfers of 2021/22, and in hindsight, there couldn’t be a smarter signing than getting Philip Coutinho on loan.
Villa agreed to partially pay Coutinho’s wages as well as having an option to buy him in the summer for £33m, with the key word being ‘option’ here. And so far, there doesn’t seem to be any reason for Villa not to take that option, since the Brazilian has already scored two and assisted two more in the 4 games he has started for Villa this season, making him one of the biggest January 2022 transfers.
Ferran Torres (Manchester City to Barcelona)
Manchester City and Guardiola have a problem and that problem is the fact that they have too many good players. Every position at the club, except for the striker role, is overrun with incredible players who all could be starters as well as stars of any team in Europe, which leads City to make decisions like leaving one of the most talented young strikers around Europe (Ferran Torres), leave the club to join Barcelona in the
January transfer window of 2022
Granted, the Cityzens heavily benefited from the deal as it was one of the most expensive deals in January transfers of 2022, ensuring that Manchester City get £45.9m for selling theSpanish
winger/striker, getting almost double what they paidValencia
for acquiring Torres’ services a season prior. In fact, City had nothing to lose here as they profited heavily and will certainly use the money from this transfer to sign a world-class striker in the summer.
Although technically a winger, Ferran Torres has been utilized as a striker at Manchester City, mainly dute to lack of strikers at the club. The 21 year old scored 7 and assisted 2 in his first season at Manchester City winning the Premier League and the League Cup but he was mostly neglected during this season, since he made his intentions of wanting to leave clear to Guardiola.
His hefty price tag as well as the growing pressure he feels in Spanish football, may make Ferran Torres’ job of adapting to life at Nou Camp a bit harder but he has already made a good start with him already scoring twice in several appearances he has had for the club. Whether his transfer, which was one of the biggest January 2022 transfers, turns out as what Barcelona fans expected it to, remains to be seen but Torres needs to perform soon to make his life a lot easier in Nou Camp.
Dusan Vlahovic (Fiorentina to Juventus)
During the January transfer window of 2022 there was no player more talked about thatDusan Vlahovic
. The Serbian striker has dominated the transfer rumor wheel ever since his outstanding performances from the last season. And yet Vlahovic outdid himself this season, prompting clubs like Arsenal and Juventus, who were seriously looking for a world class striker to act in January to sign him and unfortunately for Arsenal, Juventus seems to have beaten them in the transfer window for the second time this season!
Dusan Vlahovic who was awarded Serie A’s Best Young Player of the Year last season, started his career at Partizan, moving to Serie A in 2018. After a breakthrough season in 2019-20, Vlahovic surprised everyone as he scored 21 goals during last season. Throughout 2021, big clubs in Europe were eying the young striker, with many deeming him as the next big thing after Dortmund’s Erling Haaland, but the performances Vlahovic has had this season, proves that he is a world-class striker all on his own and that last season was no anomaly.
After scoring 20 goals in 24 matches for Fiorentina in all competitions this season, there became a bidding war between Arsenal and Juventus for Dusan Vlahovic’s signature but the Turin club was able to sign the 21-year-old for a hefty sum of €70 million which could very well go up to €80 million, with add-ons included. Vlahovic didn’t waste anytime upon his arrival at Turin though, scoring on both his Serie A and Champions League debuts for Juventus.
There is no doubt that his transfer was on top of the list in the
biggest January 2022 transfers
, and yet Vlahovic seemingly feels no pressure at all, scoring goals for fun, which is just another sign of the great player the Serbian already is!
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