The January transfer window is the time of the campaign, when sides can make all important signings to help them push for the title, qualify for Europe, retain a mid-table position survive relegation.
In the Premier League last month, 16 out of 20 clubs dipped into the transfer market, with Fulham being the busiest, capturing seven players, including five on deadline day.
But it was Chelsea who spent the most in the Premier League, paying out £44.5 million on three players last month.
In the biggest individual of the window, Juan Mata swapped Chelsea for Manchester United, with the Red Devils paid the Blues £37.1 million for the Spaniard.
But enough of the facts, read below to find out my top five arrivals at Premier League clubs last month.
Note: These are not based on money, the top five counts down how good a deal is for both clubs and the player himself.
5. Wilfried Zaha – Manchester United to Cardiff City
It was almost inevitable that Wilfried Zaha would leave Manchester United on loan last month, but it surprised many that it was not until deadline day that the deal happened.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Cardiff got him, fighting off competition from Crystal Palace and Fulham.
The winger had a medical at St George’s Park ahead of the move in the week, whilst Brazilian full-back Fabio joined in him Wales on a permanent transfer from Old Trafford.
The Bluebirds reportedly had to pay a loan fee of between £1million and £1.5m for Zaha, whilst they will pay the midfielder’s £35,000-a-week wages.
This move will not only Cardiff in their relegation battle, but will give Zaha vital playing time before he looks to break into the United team next season.
After he made his debut at the weekend, Zaha said: “I’m happy. I hope to be one of the fans’ favourites and every game I come on, I will give it my all.”
4. Lewis Holtby – Tottenham Hotspur to Fulham
Another deadline day loan signing, Lewis Holtby was one of five players Fulham signed in the last 24 hours of the window.
The midfielder only arrived at Tottenham last January, but has struggled for opportunities at White Hart Lane since, only featuring 13 times in the league this season. Strangely enough, his only Premier League goal for Spurs came against Fulham in December.
He will remain at Craven Cottage until the end of the season, meaning he is likely to play a key part in Fulham’s relegation battle.
I think this is a real coup for Fulham, as Holtby was once regarded as one of Europe’s hottest young talents and gives them an added edge in what will be an extremely close fight for survival.
After confirmation of the signing, Holtby’s agent Markus Noack said: “[Fulham] is a very well-run club with an excellent coach in Rene Meulensteen.
“The system and philosophy, how Fulham play fits well with Lewis.”
3. Luuk de Jong – Borussia Monchengladbach to Newcastle United
There were plenty of strikers that could have been on this list, especially Hull’s double striker signing of Shane Long and Nikica Jelavic from West Brom and Everton respectively.
In the end, rather controversially, I thought Luuk de Jong to Newcastle was the better deal, purely because of the impact he could have.
Signed on the 28th January, the Dutchman will be at St. James’ Park on loan for the season, but then could complete a £9 million permanent switch in the summer.
With Newcastle slowly losing their place in the top ten, I feel they could even slip into a relegation battle, especially after selling Yohan Cabaye and not finding a replacement.
If de Jong can form a partnership with Loic Remy upfront, they could be unstoppable and steer Newcastle away from danger. Potentially I think the Dutchman could have a similar impact to Papisse Cisse when he first arrived on Tyneside and scored thirteen goals in 14 games upon his arrival.
Upon signing De Jong said: “Newcastle is a great club and I have a good feeling about it.
“I am very impressed with the stadium and training ground and have been made to feel very welcome by everyone I have met.
“It has been a tough season for me so far but I am here to play games and want to be important for the team, and successful with goals and assists.
“I am really looking forward to playing for Newcastle.”
2. Nemanja Matic – Benfica to Chelsea
One of three players that Chelsea snapped up last month (Mohamed Salah and Kurt Zouma were the others), not only was Nemanja Matic the most expensive, but in my mind, the one who will have the biggest impact, until the end of the season at least.
The Serbian was actually sold by Chelsea in 2011 as part of the deal that saw David Luiz arrive at Stamford Bridge, but after maturing into, Jose Mourinho was forced to buy him back for £21 million.
He has invested in one of the best young prospects in Europe and the 25 year old is already being tipped as a future Blues captain.
Upon signing he said: “I am very happy for this opportunity to be back at this club. I feel very good because of that and just want to say I will give my best to help the team and make the Chelsea fans happy.”
1. Juan Mata – Chelsea to Manchester United
Winner of Chelsea’s player of the award for the past two seasons, Juan Mata found his playing time limited this season under Jose Mourinho, so a move in January was almost inevitable.
It was Manchester United who immediately became the favourites, and after days of is he or isn’t he a Red Devils player, the deal was confirmed at £37.1 million after personal terms had been agreed and a medical passed.
Given the number eight shirt number, Mata made his debut against Cardiff City last Tuesday and is expected to be the key to United’s battle for the top four.
The player himself expressed his excitement at the prospect of linking up with Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie, making this deal right for all parties.
Upon signing he said: “I know it is a big price but I’m confident that everything is going to be OK,’ said Mata.
“I will try my best as I always have done. The squad and the manager are very good and the fans are unbelievable – we have everything to be successful.
“When I heard of United’s interest I thought: ‘Wow’.
“This is a team that has won a lot of leagues in the history of the Premier League and English league. It’s amazing knowing that a club like Manchester United is interested in you. It’s a good feeling.”
So not only was this transfer the most expensive in the Premier League last month, but it was my personal favourite transfer of the month – I do love a big move!
Disagree with my top five? Let me know in the comments below!