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Rediff.com  » Sports » The 'Best buys' in January's football transfer window

The 'Best buys' in January's football transfer window

February 06, 2014 10:18 IST

Mata broke the Man United transfer record

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Bikash Mohapatra takes a look at the five best winter transfers in 2014.

The January window (read winter transfers) have always been accorded due importance owing to the impact they have on the title race.

In 2011 it was Fernando Torres joining Chelsea from Liverpool in a 50 million pound deal. In 2012 it was a 22.8 million pound move of Luiz Suarez from Ajax to Liverpool.

Last year David Beckham signed a lucrative deal with big-spending Paris-Saint Germain, albeit all earnings were donated as charity. There was no big name involved in 2014. However, there were quite a few big money moves. Check them out:

Juan Mata

Chelsea to Manchester United 

37.1 million pounds (US $61.02)

It was without an iota of a doubt the biggest move this January, breaking the Manchester United transfer record.

In his two-and-a-half-years at Stamford Bridge, Mata was twice voted Chelsea's 'Player of the Year', helping the club win the UEFA Champions League (2012) and the Europa League (2013).

However, coach Jose Mourinho's preference for Oscar this season meant the Spaniard was sidelined, playing the full 90 minutes in just two of the 22 Premier League games this season.

With Manchester United struggling, David Moyes was quick to jump on the opportunity to sign the versatile player.


Image: New signing Juan Mata of Manchester United in action
Photographs: Michael Regan/Getty Images

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Matic made his way back to London

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Nemanja Matic

Benfica to Chelsea

21 million pounds (US $34.54)

If Chelsea let go Mata, they were quick to find a replacement.

That came in the form of Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic.

For the 25-year-old, it is his second stint at Stamford Bridge. In his first he played just twice for the Blues before he was first loaned out to Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem and later sold to Benfica.

Having bolstered his reputation at the Portuguese giants, Matic made his way back to London, on this occasion for a hefty package.


Image: Nemanja Matic of Chelsea waves to the fans
Photographs: Ian Walton/Getty Images

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Pardew has been left to rue the sale of Cabaye

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Yohann Cabaye

Newcastle to Paris-Saint Germain

19 million pounds (US $32.9)

Newcastle shouldn't have let Yohan Cabaye depart.

They had rejected an advance from Arsenal in July. However, the big-spending Paris club offered double the amount.

And the French midfielder, who made his name at Lille and got his name engraved into Newcastle folklore by scoring the winner against Manchester United at Old Trafford last December - the Tyneside club's first win in 41 years over the Red Devils, moved back to France.

How he will fit into the scheme of things in Paris is something coach Laurent Blanc will have to deliberate upon.

As regards Newcastle, they were thrashed by Sunderland in their first match without their talismanic player. Manager Alan Pardew is still ruing the sale.


Image: Yohan Cabaye of Paris Saint-Germain FC in action against FC Girondins de Bordeaux at Parc des Princes
Photographs: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

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De Bruyne's was a smart move

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Kevin de Bruyne

Chelsea to Vfl Wolfsburg

17 million pounds (US $27.96)

This was a smart move, both for the club and the player.

Despite signing for Chelsea on deadline day in the January 2012 transfer window, Kevin de Bruyne played just three times for the London club.

The Belgian was loaned first to Genk and then to Werder Bremen. With him being deemed surplus to the requirement at Stamford Bridge, and the World Club just a few months away, a deal with Wolfsburg not only ensured the 22-year-old will get ample play time but also helped Chelsea recover some money.


Image: Wolfsburg's Kevin de Bruyne
Photographs: REUTERS/Ina Fassbender

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Hernanes had become a fan favorite in Lazio but...

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Hernanes

Lazio to Inter Milan

16.4 million pounds (US $27.13)

This one was a desperate sale.

Even Lazio president Claudio Lotito has gone on record saying he was forced to sale the Brazilian playmaker to a rival club owing to the lack of options.

Since joining Inter from Santos in 2010, Hernanes had become a fan favourite, scoring 33 goals in 117 games. Even the Biancocelesti fans didn't approve of the sale.

However, the 28-year-old's refusal to sign a new deal - his contract runs out in the summer - left the Rome club with no alternative and their Milan counterpart was quick to seize the opportunity.


Image: Hernanes of FC Inter Milan
Photographs: Claudio Villa/Getty Images

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