As we creep towards the halfway stage of the January transfer window, there seems no better time to look back and recollect some of the bigger deals 2013 has offered us thus far.
This mid-season opportunity for world transactions is undoubtedly the slower time for business in football, but that hasn’t stopped the odd gem from lighting the frosty spirits of fans on a global scale.
All continents considered, here are the seven biggest transfers to have taken place so far this month, taking cost, player ability and squad impact into account to determine the “magnitude of the move.”
After a much-publicised transfer saga dragged out across the space of two years, it was ultimately Chelsea that triggered the £7 million release clause in Demba Ba’s Newcastle contract to solve their striker crisis (via BBC Sport).
It was thought that any club looking to sign the Senegalese scoring sensation would have to offer Ba substantially improved terms compared to his contract at St. James’, something Roman Abramovich’s outfit are certainly in place to put up.
Since moving to Stamford Bridge on January 4, the cut-price forward has scored two goals in three starts for his new club, providing Fernando Torres with some firm competition for further striking duties in west London.
Having finally called it a day on what was looking to be an ailing career with AC Milan, Alexandre Pato apparently jumped at the chance of career revitalization back in his native Brazil.
The Guardian reported on January 4 that the injury-plagued 23-year-old would be completing a €15 million move to Corinthians, calling an end to his six-year stint at the San Siro.
The last two seasons have been unkind to Pato, who has had to compete with numerous knee injuries as well as a shaky relationship with manager, Massimiliano Allegri.
That being said, in the three seasons between 2008 and 2011, the young Brazilian score over a dozen goals in each, showing the potential that Corinthians will be hoping to once again unlock with their new acquisition.
Seeing his second spell at Flamengo go not quite according to plan, Vagner Love is making his way back to the Russian capital (via Goal.com) despite moving away just 12 months ago.
In his previous stint with CSKA Moscow, the former Brazilian international scored 117 goals in almost 250 appearances, averaging just under a goal every other game.
Currently at the top of the Russian Premier League, CSKA will certainly be in a better position to reclaim their domestic title with their former striking talisman back amongst their ranks.
While not strictly a part of the January transfer window, Juninho Pernambucano’s winter move to New York Red Bulls is a big enough deal for both club and player to be included amongst our list as a default entry.
The former Brazilian international spent the last two years in a second stint with Brasileiro Serie A side, Vasco da Gama, but opted for the undoubtedly more lucrative opportunities in the MLS in December.
The Red Bulls’ official website announced the deal on December 17, with Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh saying:
“Juninho is a world class player who our Global Sporting Director, Gerard Houllier, and I have known and admired for many years. Aside from being a top dead ball specialist and a tremendous talent, Juninho is a fantastic professional both on and off the field. He is in great physical shape and we think he can make a positive impact for us in 2013.”
Juninho is but the latest addition in a long line of veteran MLS inductees and despite now being 37 years old, the fact that he hasn’t failed to score 10 goals or more in all but one of his last 11 seasons speaks volumes about his long-standing value at the elite level.
With his five-month loan spell at Anfield having less of an impact on the player’s development than many would have hoped, Brendan Rodgers allegedly called an end to Nuri Sahin’s stint with Liverpool before Real Madrid sent the young playmaker back to his former stomping grounds.
The official Borussia Dortmund website reported on January 11 that the 2010-11 Bundesliga Player of the Year would be returning to the Westfalenstadion until the end of the 2013-14 campaign, saying:
"We already emphasised during our 2011 title celebrations that Nuri Sahin will always be a special player for Borussia Dortmund and that the door would always be open to him if he ever felt the desire to play for us again. Nuri approached us with this wish in the last few days and we have made it become reality. We are very happy to be able to welcome another player of his quality and character to our squad.”
Although their domestic season may not be going how they may have hoped, the Yellow and Blacks’ Champions League progress is a sign of their progress as a worldly talent and the comeback of their former starlet could ultimately revitalize one of Europe’s emerging maestros.
One of the most talked about transfers of 2013, Liverpool were quick to complete their move for Daniel Sturridge, sealing a £12 million move just two days into the winter transfer window (via Telegraph).
The 23-year-old’s form was flailing at Stamford Bridge and the wealth of talent at Chelsea made it difficult for Sturridge to tie down a starting spot in west London.
However, having scored two goals in two appearances for the Reds, things would appear to be going swimmingly for Brendan Rodgers’ newest acquisition and may finally live up to the huge expectations placed upon him years ago.
Although the transfer was agreed last summer, New Years Day marked the official beginning of Lucas Moura’s tenure with Paris Saint-Germain, with the youngster joining from Sao Paulo for an estimated €40 million (via ESPN).
Prior to his signing with Carlo Ancelotti's PSG, Lucas was rated as one of the most prodigious talents in world football and recently confessed to rejecting Manchester United in favour of a move to the French capital (via Goal.com).
Although his impact might be felt more at a team with less star-studded talent amongst their ranks, the 20-year-old is undoubtedly set for a long and prosperous future on a global scale, beginning in Paris.