Football Features

January transfer window 2020: Rounding up the first week as Aston Villa plot survival

By Ben Green

January transfer window 2020: Rounding up the first week as Aston Villa plot survival

Published: 17:29, 9 January 2020

We’re nearly a third of the way into the January transfer window and deals are already being hammered out left, right and centre across the continent.

There have been eye-catching moves for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who returned to AC Milan after a brief stateside sojourn with LA Galaxy, as well as Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund plundering the ranks of Red Bull Salzburg for Takumi Minamino and Erling Braut Haaland respectively. 

Just over a week has passed in this winter window for Europe’s elite divisions, but the market has already been fraught with activity and we’re now locked in for another three weeks of intense wheeling and dealing, as managers look to swell their ranks and bring in reinforcements. 

Speculation is rife and the rumour mill is habitually working overtime in this precarious month, meaning some deals may have slipped under the radar this past week or so. But fear not. We have you covered. Here are all the key January transfer window done deals that you may have missed over the first week or so.

Dejan Kulusevski

From: Atalanta

To: Juventus

The 19-year-old Swede spent the first half of the season on loan with Parma from Atalanta, but such has been his form at the Stadio Ennio Tardini that Maurizio Sarri has parted with £30m for his signature. Kulusevski has since returned to Parma for the rest of the season, so the former Chelsea boss will have to wait until next season before he can utilised the midfielder. 

Jack Rodwell

From: Free agent

To: Sheffield United

Chris Wilder took a gamble on Ravel Morrison at the start of the season, and he has now taken a gamble on Rodwell, hoping the 28-year-old can rediscover some of the spark that initially prompted Man City to prise him away from Everton eight years ago. Rodwell has already made his first appearance, against non-league Fylde in the FA Cup third round.

Alexander Nubel

From: Schalke 04

To: Bayern Munich

The 23-year-old has agreed to join Bayern in the summer when his Schalke contract runs out, looking to follow in the footsteps of Manuel Neuer, who took an identical career path nine years ago. Nubel’s decision hasn’t gone down too well with head coach David Wagner, who has since stripped the shot-stopper of his captaincy after coming to a mutual decision.

Danny Drinkwater

From: Chelsea

To: Aston Villa (loan)

The 29-year-old spent the first half of the campaign on loan with Burnley but mustered just one appearance in the Premier League. He has now joined strugglers Aston Villa for the remainder of the season with Dean Smith hoping the Chelsea midfielder can help the Villans stave off the threat of relegation.

Aston Villa facing Championship football again? Five key things to know…

  • Current position: 17th
  • Recent league form: WLWLL (GF: 4, GA: 9)
  • Villa were dealt two major blows in the recent win over Burnley when Tom Heaton and Wesley suffered ACL injuries.
  • They are 5/6 second-favourites to be relegated from the Premier League with William Hill*.
  • They will find themselves in the relegation zone if they lose to Manchester City by more than two goals on Sunday.

*You have to be 18+ to gamble. Please gamble responsibly. For more information, go to BeGambleAware.org

Joe Hardy

From: Brentford

To: Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp has already bolstered his ranks this winter window with the acquisition of Takumi Minamino, and Hardy has now followed the Japan international through the Anfield door. The 21-year-old has initially joined the club’s academy in Kirkby, so unless he can seriously impress in the U23s, then he will remain under the tutelage of Alex Inglethorpe for the time being.

Henry Onyekuru

From: Monaco

To: Galatasaray (loan)

The 11-cap Nigeria international enjoyed an exceptionally productive loan spell at Galatasaray last season during his Everton days, and he has now returned to Istanbul on a temporary basis, only this time from Monaco.

Raul de Tomas

From: Benfica

To: Espanyol

The Catalonian side are in desperate trouble this season, currently sitting at the foot of La Liga, but head coach Abelardo will be hoping his new £17m striker can score the necessary goals to keep Periquitos afloat. De Tomas only joined Benfica in the summer from Real Madrid, but after only a handful of appearances in Portugal, he has now returned to his homeland where he will no doubt look to rediscover his goalscoring touch in the Spanish top flight.

Rhian Brewster

From: Liverpool

To: Swansea City (loan)

The highly-regarded Liverpool graduate has completed a six-month loan deal to the Championship with Swansea City, and manager Steve Cooper will be hoping the 19-year-old can live up to his reputation and score goals aplenty as the Welsh club push for promotion back to the Premier League.

Han Kwang-song

From: Juventus

To: Al Duhail

The 21-year-old famously became the first-ever North Korean to play and score in Serie A when he produced the goods for Cagliari in 2017, prompting Juve to secure his services during the summer. But, after failing to make a first-team appearance this season, the Old Lady have now allowed the forward to follow Mario Mandzukic out the door and head to Qatar for only £4.3m.

Ivan Cavaleiro

From: Wolves

To: Fulham

The former Monaco man spent the first half of the season on loan at Craven Cottage, but such has been the impression he’s made in west London that Scott Parker has wasted no time in making the twice-capped Portugal international a permanent fixture in his squad. The Cottagers have secured Cavaleiro’s services for £15m, which will be seen as exceptionally good business from Wolves.

Santiago Ascacibar

From: Stuttgart

To: Hertha Berlin

Jurgen Klinsmann took a long hiatus from management after leaving his position as the United States manager in 2016, but he has now returned to the Bundesliga, joining Hertha Berlin in November on an initial deal until the end of this current campaign. If he impresses, which he has certainly done so far, then his contract will likely be extended. And there to help him in the second half of the term is diminutive midfield enforcer Ascacibar, who has joined for £8.5m from 2. Bundesliga side Stuttgart.

Julian Weigl

From: Borussia Dortmund

To: Benfica

A bizarre transfer given the Germany international has been previously linked with moves to Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain. However, Benfica have sought to spend some of the £113m brought in over the summer following the sale of Joao Felix and have pulled off quite the coup with the acquisition of Weigl for just £17m.

Valon Behrami

From: Free agent

To: Genoa

The former West Ham and Watford midfielder has been a free agent since leaving Sion in October but he has now rejoined Genoa 15 years after leaving the Italian club for Lazio.

Carles Alena

From: Barcelona

To: Real Betis (loan)

The 21-year-old La Masia graduate looked to have fought his way into Ernesto Valverde’s plans last season, but following the arrival of Frenkie de Jong in the summer, Alena has fallen down the central midfield pecking order.

As such, the Spain U21 international has now joined Real Betis on a six-month loan deal, looking to gain some valuable playing time in Andalusia, and perhaps catch the attention of his current employers at the Estadio Benito Villamarin.

Marcelo Saracchi

From: RB Leipzig

To: Galatasaray (loan)

The Turkish outfit have certainly been busy, bringing in two loan players from two of Europe’s high-end clubs. Saracchi joined the Red Bull powerhouse in 2018 from River Plate with high expectations of breaking into the first team and cementing a starting berth for years to come. The Uruguayan hasn’t quite managed that on a consistent basis just yet, but he will be hoping a productive loan move to the Turk Telekom Stadium can help ignite his career in the Bundesliga.

Isaac Christie-Davies

From: Liverpool

To: Cercle Brugge (loan)

Despite being 22, the former Wales U21 international will only now be enjoying his first loan spell away from his parent club, and he has taken the option of moving overseas to get some playing time under his belt. Christie-Davies caught the eye in Liverpool’s League Cup quarter-final defeat to Aston Villa, in which stand-in manager Neil Critchley took the reins, and he will now be hoping to garner some attention from Jurgen Klopp during his forthcoming months in Belgium.