From departures to Atlanta and Amsterdam and a returning star, the transfer window was a busy one for some outstanding Argentineans
5 – Nicolás Tagliafico: Independiente to Ajax
Ajax are already reaping the rewards of picking up one of the best defenders in Argentina for the bargain price of $5 million as Nicolás Tagliafico picked up a man of the match award on his debut in the Klassieker against Feyenoord.
Independiente are feeling the loss of their inspirational captain after helping the side lift the Copa Sudamericana as a parting gift but the same commitment, energy and drive can be seen immediately in Amsterdam.
Jorge Sampaoli went to visit Tagliafico on his European tour and the 25-year-old hopes to be part of Argentina’s plans in Russia. There are few better options at left-back and if indeed Tagliafico does impress, don’t be surprised to see Ajax making a swift profit.
4 – Maxi Romero: Vélez Sarsfield to PSV
While this was completed before the end of the year, Vélez cashed in on one of their highly talented youngsters to make way for new manager Gabriel Heinze’s makeover of the squad. The powerful 18-year-old had scored four goals this season but had looked destined for Europe since almost closing a switch to Arsenal in 2015.
A knee injury put pay to that move but after proving himself in the Vélez first team with his strong, hold-up play and finishing, the club couldn’t turn down PSV’s $13 million offer.
3 – Lucas Pratto: Sao Paulo to River Plate
It isn’t often that a transfer to Argentina makes this type of list but River Plate smashed their own record to bring Argentina striker Lucas Pratto to the Monumental. After a disappointing 2017 – not even a Copa Argentina was enough – prompted a summer of investment. Not willing to gamble on young potential, River went and got a centre forward who should guarantee goals.
The former Boca and Vélez striker might turn 30 this year but brings a wealth of experience, a goal rate that has only improved as he has got older, the strength to lead an attack and link-up – Everything that River wanted but at a cost of in excess of $11 million.
2 – Ezequiel Barco: Independiente to Atlanta United
Teenage sensation moves away from Argentina in multi-million dollar deal is hardly extraordinary for Argentinian football but when that transfer is to Major League Soccer it is groundbreaking. Ezequiel Barco had shone brightly as Independiente lifted the Copa Sudamericana and it was clear he wouldn’t be in Avellaneda for long but after lengthy negotiations Atlanta United sealed the deal.
$15 million plus some potential add-ons saw Barco make the unexpected switch. The 18-year-old’s dribbling skills and creativity could be the final piece in the jigsaw for Tata Martino’s side as they look for MLS glory this season.
1 – Guido Carrillo: Monaco to Southampton
Embroiled in a relegation battle, Southampton need goals and when the Saints went shopping in January, manager Mauricio Pellegrino looked to a player he knew well. Guido Carrillo eventually came in from Monaco for around $28 million and while many will be questioning whether the 26-year-old is the right man for the job, Pellegrino appears confident.
The pair worked together at Estudiantes when Carrillo was just breaking through and although never really setting the world alight at Monaco, the centre-forward has proved a more than useful option for goals off the bench. Now as a team’s leading number nine, Southampton need to hope Carrillo has more in the locker.