20 Most Enormous January Transfers of All Time

Jack Alexandros RathbornContributor IIIDecember 25, 2012

20 Most Enormous January Transfers of All Time

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    The January transfer window is upon us, and it is guaranteed to make football fans giddy at even the most quiet of whispers that their club is about to make a splash in the market.

    Over the years it has been a playground for some of the most inspired moves and some of the most desperate deals due to clubs overreacting to their predicament midway through the season.

    Here I divulge the 20 biggest deals to have taken place in the January, or as it was previously known when it was not solely restricted to that month, the winter transfer window.

    Let me know your thoughts on these moves and whether you expect there to be any moves in 2013 that smash these deals to make history.

    Also I would like to hear about your favourite deals to have taken place in the winter window, even if they were not equal to these deals in terms of the fee.

20. Ever Banega, Boca Juniors to Valencia for £16 Million in 2008

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    Ever Banega joined Valencia from Boca Juniors after winning the 2007 Copa Libertadores.

    The Argentine, who had only just begun his journey with Los Xeneizes after a player of a similar ilk in Fernando Gago had departed for Europe the year before, signed for Los Che for £16 million.

    Banega, who was just 20 years old at the time, has failed to live up to his huge price tag at Valencia due to a combination of injuries and a lack of consistency.

19. Nigel De Jong, Hamburg to Manchester City for £16 Million in 2009

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    Nigel De Jong's contract was about to expire that summer, which would have sparked the interest of a host of big clubs, so Manchester City, who had yet to arrive as Premier League winners, stumped up an absurd £16 million for the Dutchman.

    De Jong ultimately proved to be a key player for City with his tenacious style in the middle of the park and appears to already be missed since moving to Milan last summer.

18. Giampaolo Pazzini, Sampdoria to Inter Milan for £16 Million in 2011

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    Giampaolo Pazzini's wonderful partnership with Antonio Cassano was sadly brought to an end in 2011 as Inter snapped up the former Fiorentina striker for £16 million.

    The presence of Diego Milito prevented Pazzini from ever reaching his potential with the Nerazzurri and he soon joined Milan after a frustrating 18 months.

17. Andrea Ranocchia, Genoa to Inter Milan for £16.5 Million in 2010

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    Andrea Ranocchia, along with Leonardo Bonucci, formed a sensational defensive partnership for Serie A minnows Bari.

    The pair both landed big moves in 2010 when Ranocchia was considered the more talented defender with exceptional technical ability on the ball.

    Inter swooped in a move worth £16.5 million, and although he has yet to reach his potential, Andrea Stramaccioni sees the 24-year-old as an integral part of his plans.

16. Nicolas Anelka, Bolton to Chelsea for £17.5 Million in 2008

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    Nicolas Anelka was enjoying the most sustained success of his career with Bolton when Chelsea swooped for the Frenchman, making the Blues his ninth club in his career.

    Chelsea forked out £17.5 million for the Premier League veteran and he managed to justify that price tag with four solid years for Chelsea, the most time he had spent at any club in his career.

    Anelka even earned the golden boot in the Premier League in 2009 with a haul of 19 goals.

15. Lassana Diarra, Portsmouth to Real Madrid for £17.5 Million in 2009

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    Lassana Diarra was one of a host of stars that Portsmouth used to have on their books and when their financial problems became too much, Pompey were forced to sell up.

    The former Chelsea and Arsenal star cost Los Merengues £17.5 million in 2009, but the Frenchman never really held down a first team spot and was later sold to Anzhi.

14. Fernando Gago, Boca Juniors to Real Madrid for £18 Million in 2007

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    Fernando Gago was hotly tipped to become Real Madrid's lynchpin in the middle of the park, spraying balls all over and pulling the strings for Los Merengues.

    Unfortunately the Argentine failed to live up to the £18 million price tag that Real Madrid stumped up.

    Gago also flattered to deceive at Roma and the Giallorossi neglected the opportunity to make the loan move permanent and is in the midst of revitalising his career with Valencia. 

13. Geovanni, Cruzeiro to Barcelona for £18.5 Million in 2002

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    Geovanni was one of the hottest properties in world football once upon a time, then he ended up in Hull.

    Before then though, Barcelona paid his former club Cruzeiro £18.5 million in a move that never got off the ground.

    A fallout with manager Carles Rexach meant that the Brazilian was soon moved to Portuguese giants Benfica.

12. Pablo Aimar, River Plate to Valencia for £18.5 Million in 2001

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    Pablo Aimar is known as Lionel Messi's inspiration growing up, so he must be a pretty special player.

    A typical enganche, Aimar dazzled in La Liga and won many fans for his wonderful balance on the ball and amazing vision.

    River Plate would inevitably have to sell their prized asset and Valencia were able to meet the asking price of £18.5 million, which would be deemed a success by the majority of Los Che fans.

11. Darren Bent, Sunderland to Aston Villa for £19 Million in 2011

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    Darren Bent was another of the 2011 January transfer window's mad purchases, costing Aston Villa an enormous £19 million.

    Bent has scored 20 goals in 48 matches, but new manager Paul Lambert has frozen out the striker and he looks set to move on and force Villa to take a huge loss on the fee originally paid to the Mackems.

10. Hidetoshi Nakata, Perugia to Roma for £19 Million in 2000

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    Hidetoshi Nakata was one of the stars of Serie A in its heyday and after a brief spell with Perugia, the Japanese star was on his way to Roma in a mega £19 million move.

    His time with the Giallorossi only lasted one season and he soon moved onto Parma where he enjoyed his most successful spell in European football.

    Nakata will always be known for playing his part in Roma's scudetto triumph, especially his inspired performance in Roma's comeback to draw 2-2 against Juventus after trailing 2-0.

9. Jose Antonio Reyes, Sevilla to Arsenal for £20 Million in 2004

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    Jose Antonio Reyes arrived with a bang in England, inspiring Arsenal to a sensation cup victory over London rivals Chelsea.

    Unfortunately the Spaniard could not justify the £20 million that Arsene Wenger forked out and was eventually shipped back to La Liga where he has starred for Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Benfica and now his first club again, Sevilla. 

8. Clarence Seedorf, Real Madrid to Inter Milan for £21.5 Million in 2000

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    Clarence Seedorf is one of the most decorated footballers in European football history.

    The Dutchman made a huge move to Inter Milan in 2000 with a £21.5 million move that sent shock waves around Europe.

    A fruitless couple of seasons with the Nerazzurri prompted Seedorf to move across the city in 2002 to rivals Milan, which proved to be the greatest decision of his career.

7. Luis Suarez, Ajax to Liverpool for £23.5 Million in 2011

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    Luis Suarez left Ajax in 2011 after four spectacular years with the Dutch club, scoring 81 goals in 110 games.

    An amazing record raised hopes that the Uruguayan could instantly replace the departing Fernando Torres, but nobody could have foresaw the sparkling form that he has produced thus far.

    A front runner for player of the season this year and finally over the racism scandal, Suarez is showing that he is a world class player and that the £23.5 million the Reds paid is something of a bargain.

6. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Ajax to Real Madrid for £24 Million in 2009

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    Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is one of the most natural finishers in European football and Real Madrid won his signature in 2009 for £24 million.

    The Dutchman scored plenty when he was afforded the opportunity, eights times in 20 games, but his lack of opportunities forced him to leave after just one season.

5. Edin Dzeko, Wolfsburg to Manchester City for £27 Million in 2011

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    Edin Dzeko was ripping up the Bundesliga when Manchester City swooped for the Bosnian in a £27 million move.

    The 26-year-old struggled to adjust at first but has since scored goals whenever called upon by Roberto Mancini, yet he is still unable to command a regular spot in the team.

    Ultimately Dzeko is far too good to warm the City bench for too much longer as he would surely star for the majority of sides that participate in the Champions League.

4. Andy Carroll, Newcastle United to Liverpool for £35 Million in 2011

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    Andy Carroll was the result of Liverpool panicking after letting Fernando Torres join Chelsea so late in the 2011 January transfer window.

    Instead of reinvesting wisely the following summer, the Reds splurged £35 million, the majority of the Torres fee, on the Newcastle forward, who had enjoyed a terrific half-season with the Toon.

    Regardless of his potential, only 22 years old at the time, the fee seemed absurd and has only gone on to be proved so as Brendan Rodgers allowed the England international to join West Ham on loan this season.

3. Lucas Moura, São Paulo to PSG for £36.8 Million in 2013

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    This one has yet to actually materialise yet, but the deal is official and will be completed in the next January transfer window.

    Lucas Moura is touted as one of the hottest talents coming out of Brazil and has already emerged at international level with Brazil at the Olympics.

    PSG beat a host of competition with a monster £36.8 million move last summer that will almost surely secure the Ligue 1 title for Les Parisiens.

2. Christian Vieri, Lazio to Inter Milan for £39.6 Million in 2000

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    Christian Vieri was the pinnacle of the transfer splurge that Massimo Moratti underwent during the nineties and the noughties at Inter Milan.

    Vieri, who had only just joined Lazio from Atletico Madrid the year before, signed for an enormous £39.6 million to break the world transfer record.

    His time with Inter will be regarded as a huge success personally, netting 103 goals in 143 matches in Serie A, but the Nerazzurri could only muster one Coppa Italia during his time, despite numerous other blockbuster deals.

1. Fernando Torres, Liverpool to Chelsea for £50 Million in 2011

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    Fernando Torres is the most enormous transfer to ever take place in January after he jumped at the chance of winning trophies with the Blues during a turbulent time for the Reds.

    Kenny Dalglish was overseeing a retched period for Liverpool, who had been brought to their knees by the hostile ownership of Americans George Gillet and Tom Hicks, but Torres, who had just won the World Cup with Spain, had a craving for silverware.

    While Torres has ultimately achieved what he came to Chelsea for, winning The FA Cup and the Champions League last season, his contribution has been very disappointing.

    £50 million for the Spaniard has clearly proved to be wildly overpriced, but Rafael Benitez is currently in the midst of turning Torres' fortunes around with the Blues and he might be able to make this move respectable further down the line.

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