The 10 Best January Transfer Window Deals of 2012
After a slow start to the January transfer window, things picked up slightly just before the deadline closed on Tuesday afternoon.
Some teams were looking for fresh faces to help them stave off relegation. Other teams were looking for that key man to help them push for a spot in Europe next season.
But which signings will have the biggest impact?
Here is a list of the 10 best January transfer window deals.
10. Tim Ream Moves to Bolton
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The 24-year-old center-half leaves New York amid a cloud of doubt after a lackluster 2011 MLS campaign. While nobody can doubt his size, athleticism and overall potential, it is tough to put a lot of confidence in the guy after watching him steadily decline after his impressive rookie year in 2010.
But this is exactly the type of move American fans should hope to see. A young, unproven, talented defender moving to a team in his prime. Bolton should give him plenty of chances.
If this deal works out, both Bolton and Team USA will reap the benefits for many years to come.
9. Darron Gibson Brings a New Look to the Toffee Midfield
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Darron Gibson moves to Goodison Park after several years of being the odd man out in Fergie's midfield rotation.
This signing is certainly the least "sexy" of the 10, but the Irish international should bring a new flair and a few goals to the Everton midfield.
Moyes displayed a knack for finding spare parts from Old Trafford and turning them into Goodison Park gold. Look at players like Tim Howard, Phi Neville and Louis Saha. So don't be surprised if Gibson finds a permanent home in Mersey side.
8. Gary Cahill Joins Chelsea's Depleted Defensive Ranks
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Cahill joins Chelsea at a time when his personal stock couldn't be much lower.
In August, Owen Coyle called Arsenal's £8 million bid for Cahill "derisory." But after an awful start to the 2011/2012 campaign, where Cahill captained a Bolton side that gave up a league-leading 47 goals, Coyle seems happy to take anything for the England international.
While this move represents some risk for Villas-Boas, it is exactly the type of move he needs to make to shore up his shaky back line.
At the end of the day, Chelsea fans should feel good knowing that he can't be any worse than David Luiz.
7. Emmanual Frimpong Brings His Metal Face Routine to Wolves
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Emmanuel Frimpong’s lone move to the Molineaux represents good business for both Arsene Wenger and Mick McCarthy.
The Ghana-born defensive midfielder has a tendency to tackle a little too hard and a little too late. However, he should provide a real boost to Wolverhampton’s relegation battle.
Wenger is happy to watch Frimpong develop under the watchful eye of Mick McCarthy. Ultimately the hope is that with a solid spell in the West Midlands, Frimpong can return to his status as a can’t-miss prospect in the Arsenal system.
6. Landon Donovan Returns to His English Home
This move would be up there with the very best of this January window if it wasn't such a short term deal.
Landon is signed through the end of February. But if he continues to play the way he's been playing, don't be surprised if David Moyes hides his plane ticket back to LA.
Landon has impressed everyone from Louis Saha to David Beckham with his performances at Goodison Park in recent weeks. The new No. 9 should help Moyes regain control of an up-and-down season and could even set the Toffees on course for Europe if all goes to plan. This is a real impact signing.
5. Djibril Cisse Brings His Fantastic Hair Back to England
Djibril Cisse moves to QPR for a reasonable £4 million sum.
The French international has skill level and pace that would fit in with almost any side in the EPL. While Cisse failed to impress with Lazio, Hughes is confident he can unlock the scoring touch that saw the stylish striker get called up for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
4. Rangers Star Man Nikica Jelavic Moves to England
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The 26-year-old Croatian international striker has a preposterous scoring record in his last two stops with Rapid Vienna and Rangers (55 goals in 115 games).
Jelavic should bring goals aplenty to Goodison Park. He has shown the ability to score at will over the past few years, but this next move to England will be his biggest challenge yet. If Jelavic can continue his torrid goal-scoring pace, Everton may have just found the missing piece that will ensure consistent European consideration.
3. Taye Taiwo Brings His Bad Self to Loftus Road
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The big Nigerian with an infectious smile will fit right in with the new size revolution at Loftus Road.
Mark Hughes is clearly trying to make his team big and strong enough to compete in the EPL and Taiwo will be an asset in this regard. Taiwo's galloping runs from the left back position made him a fan favorite during his short stint in Milan. If he can help QPR stay up, he's sure to be one in West London as well.
2. Bobby Zamora Reunites with Mark Hughes
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The one time English international has been out of favor in Martin Jol's Fulham squad, but he represents everything QPR needs to keep out of the relegation zone. Zamora is a big, strong striker with a proven premiership scoring record. He is hoping his former manager, Mark Hughes, can help him regain the touch that had him scoring important goals in the Europa League just last year. At £4 million, Zamora's upside is worth the price of admission.
1. Papiss Cisse with a Picture Perfect Move to Tyneside
Cisse will arrive in Newcastle after a disappointing showing from his Senegalese side at the 2012 AFCON in Gabon.
Don't expect those negative feelings to last for too long. Cisse is set to make the city of Newcastle his personal playground after Alan Pardew sealed his signature and gave him the iconic black and white No. 9 shirt. Cisse will partner with his national team teammate and best friend, Demba Ba, to form arguably the best striking partnership in the EPL.