Ranked: The top 10 best January signings in Premier League history

With the January transfer window in full flow, here’s a rundown of (arguably) the best January signings in the history of the Premier League.

The January transfer window is well under way, and we’ve already seen Kieran Trippier swap Madrid for Newcastle, Philippe Coutinho return to the Premier League with Aston Villa, and Nathan Patterson move from Rangers to Everton.

With three weeks left of wheeling and dealing left to go, we’ve revisited some classic January transfers and settled upon the top ten.

Sign up to our World of Sport newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Here are the 10 best Premier League transfers to happen in the January transfer window.

10) Jesse Lingard

Lingard moved from Old Trafford to West Ham on loan in January 2021, as he was struggling to get game time at Old Trafford. Lingard was a revelation in east London, scoring nine goals and providing four assists in 16 games, becoming a key contributor to the Hammers securing continental football. Unfortunately, a permanent move never materialised, and Lingard remains on the fringes at United.

Jesse Lingard is expected to leave Manchester United in the summer. Credit: Getty.

9) Seamus Coleman

The chant ‘60 grand, 60 grand Seamus Coleman’ can be heard from the Gladys Street End at Goodison Park most weeks, as that’s all it cost Everton to prise him away from Sligo Rovers in 2009. One of the most reliable full-backs the league has ever seen, Coleman has been a fantastic servant to Everton, continually remaining under the radar.

Everton captain Seamus Coleman dejected during his side’s defeat to Liverpool. Picture: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

8) Patrice Evra

Evra joined a star-studded Red Devils side in January 2006. The French left-back was a bargain at £5.5 million, and was a pivotal figure during his tenure at United. In eight years, he won five Premier Leagues, three League Cups, four Community Shields, a FIFA Club World Cup and a Champions League. Not a bad haul!

7) Philippe Coutinho

Coutinho has just completed the third January move of his career, joining Aston Villa on loan from Barcelona. He’s on this list for his 2013 move to Liverpool from Italian giants Inter Milan. Signed for just £8.5 million, Coutinho turned into a superstar at Liverpool. Known for his dribbling, first touch and wicked long-shots, it’s no surprise he cost Barcelona a whopping £142 million.

6) Branislav Ivanovic

A much loved figure at Chelsea, Ivanovic made a slow start in west London, but developed into a solid right-back, and boasted the versatility to play as a centre-back too.

Joining from Lokomotiv Moscow in 2008, Ivanovic won nine major honours and made 377 appearances for Chelsea.

5) Nemanja Matic

Chelsea sold Matic in 2011 to Benfica after he struggled to break into the first team. After thriving in Portugal, he returned in 2014. During his second spell at Stamford Bridge he won a League Cup and two Premier Leagues before following Jose Mourinho to Manchester United.

Nemanja Matic Credit: Getty

4) Bruno Fernandes

After a seemingly never-ending transfer saga, Fernandes finally got his dream move from Sporting CP to Manchester United. He’s only been there for two years, but it feels as if he’s been in the league for a decade. The Portugal international wasted no time getting settled in the Premier League, and in his first 53 appearances he racked up 28 goals and 17 assists, as well as becoming the first player to win Premier League Player of the Month four times in a calendar year.

Fernandes’ record didn’t go unnoticed, and he was named in the Team of the Year for 2020.

Fernandes has struggled to recreate his form from earlier this season. Credit: Getty.

3) Luis Suarez

Liverpool had a massive hit and miss window in January 2011. They paid £35 million for Andy Carroll, who, unsurprisingly, will not make this list.

With money still to burn from the departure of Fernando Torres to Chelsea (another January disaster), Liverpool brought in another striker - a Uruguayan from Ajax.

Suarez blossomed into one of the world’s best strikers, winning the Golden Boot in 2013/2014 with 31 goals in 33 appearances, bringing Liverpool oh so close to a Premier League title, before they quite literally slipped up at the final hurdle.

Despite leaving Liverpool with a solitary League Cup to his name, Suarez built a series legacy in the Premier League.

2) Virgil Van Dijk

This transfer was sealed before January, with Van Dijk boldly posting a picture of himself holding a Liverpool top before the new year. Liverpool’s pursuit of Van Dijk was no secret - they pushed hard for him in the summer of 2017 but Southampton wouldn’t budge on their asking price.

Liverpool played the long game, and the friction it caused between Southampton and Van Dijk was apparent for all to see. The Dutchman eventually moved to Liverpool for £75 million - a fee initially mocked by rival fans, and a fair few journalists found the fee dubious too.

However, Van Dijk has transformed Liverpool’s defence and in the process, became arguably the best centre-back in the world.

Virgil van Dijk applauds the fans after Liverpool’s 2-2 draw with Chelsea. Picture: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images
Former Sunderland midfielder David Meyler has announced his retirement

1) Nemanja Vidic

Vidic was a relatively unknown defender when he joined United in 2006. He arrived from Spartak Moscow for a fee of around £7 million, and fast became one of the Old Trafford faithful’s favourites.

He soon established himself as a fierce and dominant centre-back, a real old school type, and formed a brick wall of a partnership with Rio Ferdinand.

The Serbian won five Premier Leagues. three League Cups, one Champions League and a FIFA Club World Cup during almost nine years in Manchester - not bad going!