January Transfer Madness

By Will Caraccio 

Across Europe’s top five football (soccer) leagues, unexpected multi-million dollar signings and last minute loan deals have made the January transfer window a thoroughly exciting event. As the month of January comes to a close, let’s take a look back at the biggest deals in world football.

The first major transfer of the month came from the picturesque Lombardy region of Italy, home to Atalanta football club, one of the most impressive teams in italian football this season. Confident after their 3-0 victory over league leaders A.C. Milan, Atalanta were looking to make a move in the european football market by offloading one of their attacking midfielders. Their desires were fulfilled on January 26, when 32-year-old Alejandro “Papu” Gomez signed for the Spanish giant, Sevilla football club. With a transfer fee of $5 million (plus add-ons), this deal provided a win-win for both clubs, allowing Atalanta to clear up their midfield roster and Sevilla to add a world-class player to their own.

Perhaps the largest transfer of the month, however, came on January 27, when the young talent Martin Ødegaard confirmed his move from Real Madrid to Arsenal football club. The Norwegian’s move from La Liga (Spanish football league) to the Premier League (English football league) was not unexpected; having received very few minutes with “Los Blancos” during this year’s campaign, Ødegaard’s search for a new club was understandable. Expected to make his debut in the Gunners’ next game against the Wolverhampton Wanderers, Ødegaard will no doubt enhance Arsenal’s play, adding the element of dynamism and creativity that he is known for. 

This year’s winter transfer window was mostly dominated by Premier League clubs, with a number of big intra-league signings making the headlines. Jesse Lingard, the former Manchester United star turned bench player, confirmed his loan to London club West Ham United Football Club on January 29. For a meager $1.5 million loan fee, Lingard will play for the Hammers until 2022. In Liverpool, England, The Reds finalized their January transfers on the last day of the window, signing two desperately needed center backs in Ozan Kabak and Ben Davies. After suffering an onslaught of unfortunate injuries, Liverpool’s defensive line needed reinforcements; Kabak coming from German club Schalke 04 and Davies coming from second-division English side Preston, Liverpool secured their back-line problems on February 1. For the last transfer of the window, English side Everton football club signed Joshua King from second-division Bournemouth to fulfill their lack of players in the center forward position. For a hefty fee of $5 million, King will likely play with The Blues for a few seasons.