There was some impressive moves in the January transfer window which, at time of writing, has a little under five hours remaining.
Liverpool were involved with two massive transfers with Philippe Coutinho exited Anfield for Barcelona, while Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk made his way to the red half of Merseyside. The astonishingly brilliant French midfielder left Athletic Bilbao for Manchester City after six years at the Basque region – he’s still only 23, too.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang left Borussia Dortmund for Arsenal while Olivier Giroud moved across London from Arsenal to rivals Chelsea (the latter had Andy Carroll and, bizarrely, Peter Crouch linked with them in the press. Another player who left Arsenal was Theo Walcott who, after 270 league appearances in 12 years with the Gunners, has joined Everton. Ross Barkley left Everton having joined the Toffees in 2005 as a youth team player – he now will ply his trade in the familiar blue colours of Chelsea. Another massive signing in this window in the Premier League is the acquisition of Alexis Sanchez for Manchester United in a deal which saw Henrikh Mkhitaryan go the other way to Arsenal.
Outside England’s top tier, Barcelona were busy. Aside from acquiring Coutinho, they brought in Yerry Mina from Palmerias, often regarded as the most exciting defender in South America. Exiting the Camp Nou was Javier Mascherano to Hebei China Fortune, Arda Turan to Basaksehir on a two year loan, Gerard Deulofeu to Watford and Sergio Gomez to Dortmund. Their rivals Real Madrid were very quiet having made no changes whatsoever in this window.
With Laporte to Arsenal, Athletic Bilbao signed the hugely talented defender Iñigo Martínez from Real Sociedad which keeps in line with their famous Basque-only players policy. The rest of La Liga seemed surprisingly quiet for big signings.
In the Bundesliga, Borussia Dortmund singed the highly rated Swiss defender Manuel Akanji from FC Basel. He replaces Spanish international Marc Barta, who’s moved to Real Betis. Dortmund also brought in Michy Batshuayi from Chelsea while Neven Subotic leaves Dortmund after a decade and has made St. Etienne his new home. Rivals Bayern Munich only added one addition in this window in Sandro Wagner from Hoffenheim. The 30-year-old raised some eyebrows in joining Bayern as he’s played for seven clubs in the past decade or so, but his goalscoring is all they need him for. And he scored his first Bayern goal against his former team Hoffenheim.
There’s still a few hours left. Let’s sit back and see if there’s any Andy Carroll-esque panic buys. If so, check back on this blog for updates.
Follow Rob Smith on Twitter (@robsmithireland)