From some mega-money placer-holders for next summer to quick fixes for some big cheeses – here’s the top 5 of best winter transfer window deals
Kevin-Prince Boateng (from Sassuolo to Barcelona)
The craziest transfer of recent times, at least apparently. But in reality, Barcelona secured the signing of a versatile player, who can play in the middle and as a centre-forward, who has experience at top level, who knows La Liga (he played for Las Palmas two years ago), who won’t complain about sitting on the bench and who has the right attitude and winning mentality.
All of this for just 2 million euro for the loan, with the option to make the deal permanent in the summer with another 8 million. In the current market, Boateng is an absolute bargain.
Gonzalo Higuain (from AC Milan to Chelsea)
After being off loaded by Juventus in the summer, Higuain snubbed AC Milan after just four months, and decided to be reunited with the manager that got the most out of him: Maurizio Sarri.
Under Sarri, Higuain set the all time Serie A goal record in a single season, scoring 36 times in 2015/16. Even with a third of those goals between now and June, Chelsea fans could be happy, provided the Argentinian helps the team to the necessary top-four finish. His time with the Rossoneri will be regarded as a failure, having scored just six goals, but he could change his season for the better with Sarri’s help.
Krzysztof Piątek (from Genoa to AC Milan)
“I was born ready, and I want to take AC Milan back to the Champions League.” Ladies and gentlemen, here’s Piatek, ready to entertain the Giuseppe Meazza and do what Higuain was unable to do.
He picked number 19, seeing how badly the recent number 9’s had done, and will cost the Rossoneri 35 million euro. At 23, he scored 13 goals in his first ever 19 Serie A matches, and now faces the step to a much bigger stage with much greater pressure: is he up for the challenge?
Alvaro Morata (from Chelsea to Atletico Madrid)
Morata leaves Stamford Bridge after failing to impress, but is once again being given a great chance to show his value at top level. For a boy who grew up at Real Madrid, joining the Colchoneros is unusual, but working under Diego Simeone is attractive for any footballer. Just like Diego Costa a year ago, Morata has made the trip from London to Madrid, and is hoping to do like his new team mate and immediately win some silverware at his new club.
Frankie De Jong (from Ajax to Barcelona)
Barcelona has Dutch blood running through its veins, and the tradition is renewed with the arrival of De Jong. It isn’t cheap – 75 million euros, plus bonuses – but it feels like the right move to bring back the canonic Barcelona sequel type of football at the Camp Nou. De Jong will join in the summer, becoming Barca’s 20th Dutch player, with the club hoping he can follow the very best, Johan Cruyff, who also came from Ajax and changed the club forever.