January Transfer Window: Top 7 English Premier League Deals So Far
We're approximately halfway through the winter transfer window and clubs in need are making moves.
No action from Aston Villa or Southampton yet, but plenty as far as Wigan Athletic, Queens Park Rangers and Newcastle are concerned.
Who joins Mathieu Debuchy on this list of the top English Premier League signings so far?
7. Kader Mangane
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Al-Hilal to Sunderland, loan
Kader Mangane is something of a hated figure in France.
In 2009 he broke Jonathan Lacourt's tibia and fibula—a tackle that ruled him out of football for two entire years. Mangane was booed at every stadium and essentially hounded out of France to Al-Hilal.
That said, he's still a superb player. To pick up a player of his calibre is an astute piece of business by Martin O'Neill.
6. Angelo Henriquez
Manchester United to Wigan Athletic, loan
Roberto Martinez has a history of taking care of good young players, so Sir Alex Ferguson will have had no hesitation in sending Angelo Henriquez on the same path Tom Cleverley took.
The Chilean hotshot has been kept under wraps so far due to the presence of an established quartet of strikers at Old Trafford but will gain some valuable English Premier League experience at the DW Stadium this year.
With Franco Di Santo clearly not the answer, Martinez simply had to bring someone in this month.
5. Daniel Carrico
Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images
Sporting to Reading, £600,000
Reading have been busy this month, but this is the transfer that stands out among the rest.
Daniel Carrico is not the finished product, but it was just last season that he was playing UEFA Europa League semifinal football in a Sporting shirt.
He's a centre-back by trade but able to fill in at midfield—two areas Brian McDermott will have been looking to strengthen.
4. Joe Cole
Stu Forster/Getty Images
Liverpool to West Ham, free
This transfer would not have worked out for any other club.
Joe Cole looked a shell of the player he really is at Anfield, and the only way to inject vigour into his game again was to put him back in his boyhood surroundings.
He's still an incredibly capable technician, and while he's lost a step of pace, the crosses he fired in for James Collins' goals against Manchester United prove he can be an asset for Sam Allardyce.
3. Mathieu Debuchy
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images
Lille to Newcastle, £5 million
Right-back probably wasn't high on the list of needs for Newcastle, but securing Mathieu Debuchy's signature is something Alan Pardew has been hell-bent on for close to a year.
He's landed an international-calibre full-back for a nominal fee, and it's odd to think no other club approached the player after Newcastle failed to close the deal in August.
2. Lewis Holtby
Schalke 04 to Tottenham Hotspur, pre-contract agreement
The deal Spurs struck with Lewis Holtby this winter will see the German playmaker join the White Hart Lane club for free this summer.
It's a superb piece of business by Daniel Levy, who has landed one of the world's rising stars in midfield. Schalke won't be happy to lose him, but it could have been worse—they nearly lost Klaas-Jan Huntelaar in the same fashion, and they've still got Julian Draxler.
1. Demba Ba
Michael Regan/Getty Images
Newcastle to Chelsea, £7 million
Demba Ba is a superb signing, and perhaps the biggest surprise is that Chelsea managed to find a new striker for such a relatively low price.
The Senegalese hit man is exactly what they need. He provides a presence in the box that Fernando Torres lacks and gives his teammates a target to aim for in the air.
Not only will Ba score goals, but he will also ensure the great work done by Cesar Azpilicueta, Eden Hazard and Juan Mata does not go to waste time after time.