The Ten Most Exciting January Transfers of the 2020/21 Season
The latest transfer window was a relatively quiet one for the Premier League’s standards. Clubs have been limited financially by the ramifications of COVID-19, resulting in a lack of big-money transfers.
Nevertheless, several notable transfers have been made which have the potential to alter the landscape of the Premier League. Many clubs have turned to loan signings in an attempt to boost their squad and improve their fortunes. Deadline day still delivered its share of late transfer drama, as it does every year.
So which names should we look out for? Which clubs have made the best moves? Find out here as we look at the 10 most exciting transfers of the 2021 January transfer window.
Martin Odegaard – Arsenal
Martin Odegaard was one of the hottest properties in world football in 2015. He rejected several top European clubs to sign for Real Madrid when he was just 16 years old. The Norwegian attacker became the club’s youngest ever player in the same year, coming on as a substitute for Cristiano Ronaldo in a win against Getafe.
He could hardly have imagined a more promising start to his career, yet his potential was never fully realised. His opportunities at Real Madrid dwindled. After suffering from limited game time he was sent out on several loan spells with varying degrees of success. His career has never really hit the heights that his early potential promised.
He now joins Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal on loan for the remainder of the season. Arsenal also retain the option to make the deal permanent in summer. This gives the youngster ample opportunity to impress his new boss, as well as his new fans.
Arsenal fans will hoping that Odegaard re-finds his best form and showcases the talent that convinced Real Madrid to sign him when he was just a teenager. If this is the case then Arsenal will have an extremely gifted player on their hands. He could yet prove to be the most exciting transfer of the January window.
Ozan Kabak – Liverpool
Liverpool’s problems at centre back have been well documented this season. Defensive talisman Virgil Van Dijk was ruled out for the season, with their other two recognised centre backs, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip, soon following suit. This made the January window a vital and necessary opportunity to buy some replacements. They eventually took advantage of this with the deadline day signings of Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak.
Kabak, who is just 20 years old, joins on loan from Schalke with high hopes for a bright future. Already a full Turkey international with 7 caps under his belt, Kabak has two and a half years of senior experience in the Bundesliga. He is known for his strength, good positioning, and aggressive tackling.
Liverpool will be hoping the youngster can handle the pressure of taking the place of Virgil Van Dijk. The weight of their defensive stability may well rest on his shoulders for the remainder of the season. If he manages, it may even be enough to convince them to fork out an extra £18 million to make the transfer permanent.
Both the potential of the player himself and the important role he will play at one of the world’s biggest clubs makes Kabak one of the most exciting January transfers.
Liverpool announce the signing of Ozan Kabak from Schalke on a loan until the end of the season.
Liverpool have their defenders 🔒 pic.twitter.com/14P4WOdUxA
— B/R Football (@brfootball) February 1, 2021
Amad Diallo – Manchester United
Described by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as ‘one of the most exciting young prospects in the game’, teenage winger Amad Diallo has finally completed his move from Serie A side Atalanta to Manchester United. A deal had initially been reached in the summer subject to a medical, work permit, and personal terms.
Diallo joins the Red Devils with a glowing reputation and high levels of expectation, with United having reportedly spent £18.9 million on the 18-year-old, with another potential £18 million more in add-ons. Such a large fee in times of financial restraint comes with huge pressure and expectation.
Diallo rose through the youth ranks at Atalanta and scored on his Serie A debut for the senior team. A right-sided attacker, Diallo is described as having a blend of speed and technique, with good close control and an eye for goal. He will need these skills in abundance if he wants to break into a United team who are currently the top scorers in the Premier League with 49 goals.
However, Diallo is sure to relish the challenge and fight for a chance to play alongside top attacking talents. Those who have made the jump from the youth team, such as Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood, will surely inspire him to work hard and break into the first team. This makes him one of the most exciting January transfers and a player to look out for in future.
🔴 We have reached an agreement with Atalanta for the future transfer of Amad Diallo, subject to a medical, personal terms and work permit. 👋#MUFC
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) October 5, 2020
Willian Jose – Wolves
Wolves’ need for a striker has been obvious this season. The loss of main striker Raul Jimenez to a horrific skull fracture in November left Nuno’s side lacking in firepower. They sit in the bottom half of the league, in desperate need of a centre forward to lead the line.
It is therefore hardly a surprise that they have brought in Willian Jose, who joins on loan from Real Sociedad until the end of the season. Jose boasts a good goalscoring record, with 62 goals in 170 appearances since he joined the La Liga side in 2016.
Wolves will be hoping he can add a punch to an attack that has struggled for form in the 2020/21 season. Pedro Neto is the club’s current top scorer with just 5 goals each in all competitions.
Jose has already been thrown into the thick of the action, playing against Chelsea just hours after being granted a work permit. This instant start demonstrates the importance of his signing and the trust afforded to him by the manager.
Nuno will be hoping the Brazilian striker will fill the gap left by Jimenez by scoring the goals that can propel them back up the Premier League table. Jose will therefore play an big role in this Wolves side and is definitely a player to keep an eye on. Wolves fans will definitely consider him one of the most exciting transfers of the January window.
Takumi Minamino – Southampton
Takumi Minamino must be feeling pretty hard done by. The Japanese forward started for Liverpool in their 7-0 trouncing of Crystal Palace on the 12th of December. He even opened the scoring for the Reds with a tidy finish in the third minute. His reward? An extended spell on the bench, having played just six minutes of Premier League football for Liverpool since.
He joins Southampton on loan for the rest of the season with a point to prove. Southampton fans will be desperate for him to succeed given their current poor run of form, which involved a humbling 9-0 defeat against Manchester United.
An established Japanese international with Champions League experience for both Liverpool and RB Salzburg, where he played alongside Erling Haaland, Minamino presents an exciting prospect for Ralph Hasenhuttl to work with.
He has started his Southampton spell well, with a goal on his debut for the South Coast club in their defeat to Newcastle. Chances will likely be more readily available at the Saints than he found at Liverpool. Now all he needs to do is take them. This undoubtedly makes him one of the most exciting signings of the January transfer window.
Jean-Philippe Mateta – Crystal Palace
Jean-Philippe Mateta had been on Crystal Palace’s radar for several years before they finally brought him in during the January transfer window, after the departure of Max Meyer had freed up space for his arrival both in the squad and on the wage bill.
The 23-year-old French striker joins from Mainz on an 18 month loan, with an option to make the move permanent for £13.4 million.
He moves to England with a good reputation, having scored 27 goals from 71 appearances in all competitions since joining from Lille in 2018, including an impressive 10 goals in 17 games in this season’s Bundesliga. If he can maintain this potent goalscoring form he will undoubtedly be a huge boost to Palace. The Eagles will hope his arrival will ease the pressure on talismanic forward Wilfried Zaha for goals.
Mateta is a hugely compelling prospect who Roy Hodgson will be hoping can prove himself as the clubs first choice centre forward. Such a prospect makes him an exciting signing for Crystal Palace.
— Crystal Palace F.C. (@CPFC) January 22, 2021
Moises Caicedo – Brighton
When Brighton announced the signing of midfielder Moisés Caicedo from Independiente de Valle there was an instant buzz around the club. The 19-year-old Ecuadorian is quietly viewed as a big catch for the South Coast side.
Caicedo has been described as a ‘wonderkid’ with a very exciting future, having been linked to a host of European clubs including Manchester United.
Graham Potter will be relishing the prospect of working with the talented teenager and will hope that he can emulate the Premier League success of the player’s ‘hero’, N’Golo Kante.
Priced at just £4.5million, Caicedo represents an exciting raw talent who Brighton fans will hope in time can prove his worth; he may be a star for the future, but the reputation he garnered in South America makes him a very worthwhile investment.
— CONMEBOL Libertadores (@TheLibertadores) March 12, 2020
Josh King – Everton
Another deadline day signing, Norwegian striker Josh King arrives at Everton from Championship side Bournemouth.
He played in the Premier League for five seasons with Bournemouth before their relegation in the 2019/20 season. This Premier League experience, combined with an impressive goalscoring record of 48 goals in 163 Premier League appearances, makes him a valuable asset to the Toffees.
King initially joins Everton on loan until the end of the season, replacing the departed Cenk Tosun. He will be looking to impress Carlo Ancelotti and his staff to improve his future career prospects; His Bournemouth contract expires at the end of the season along with the loan deal and Everton have the option to buy him permanently in the summer.
King has the daunting task of providing competition to Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who is flourishing up front this season with a remarkable 18 goals in 25 appearances in all competitions. However, he should add an exciting new dimension to Everton’s attack. He will at least give them some much-needed squad depth for the months ahead in a gruelling season. This makes him one of the most astute and exciting January transfers.
Jesse Lingard – West Ham
Jesse Lingard’s Premier League career has been somewhat hit-and-miss. He made 133 Premier League appearances for Manchester United after progressing through their youth ranks. However, he failed to establish himself as a key player and has been overlooked for most of the Solskjaer era.
His January transfer to West Ham on loan for the rest of the season could be just the move to get his career back on track. A spell at another Premier League club may give him the chance to finally fulfil his early potential.
He has certainly started brightly for David Moyes’ side, scoring 2 goals on his West Ham debut against Aston Villa. This was a perfect start to a new chapter in his Premier League career.
Lingard will also be hoping to impress England manager Gareth Southgate. This is his final chance to audition for a place in the England squad for the European Championships this summer. He may be an outside bet to make the squad, having not played for his country since 2019, but if he continues his loan spell in the fashion of his first game then he will definitely be one to look out for.
West Ham fans will no doubt be looking forward to following the progress of their exciting new January transfer signing in his quest to revive his Premier League and England career.
Morning! 🕺🕺🕺 pic.twitter.com/ixfn6a6keT
— West Ham United (@WestHam) February 4, 2021
Said Benrahma – West Ham
Technically, Said Benrahma has been at West Ham since the summer transfer window. However, since West Ham have made the move permanent in January and the transfer window has been a quiet one we’re going to include it!
The Algerian international joins on a permanent deal worth up to £30 million following a decent first half of the season for the Hammers. He has made 15 Premier League appearances since his move from Brentford in summer.
Benrahma joined West Ham off the back of an outstanding 2019/20 season in the Championship for Brentford, scoring 17 goals and contributing with a further 9 assists in 43 league games for the Bees. He even took home the Supporters’ Player of the Year award for his efforts.
This season he hasn’t reached the heights of the previous campaign, with no Premier League goals to his name in a West Ham shirt so far. Still, West Ham fans will be delighted to see such a talented player join the club on a permanent basis.
David Moyes will be hoping the winger can repay the faith shown in him by contributing to the high performance levels that have seen the East London club rise up the Premier League table this season. He will, however, be expected to add more goals to his impressive performances. If he manages this, he will prove to be one of the more exciting January transfers.
Said Benrahma has brought some extra sauce to the Premier League 🤤pic.twitter.com/Ac7e74Px1m
— Goal (@goal) December 14, 2020
We hope you enjoyed the article ‘The 10 Most Exciting January Transfers This Season’. Who do you think is the most exciting signing of the January transfer window? Let us know!
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