The 2022 January transfer window is barely a week old but some clubs have already flexed their financial might.
The winter window offers clubs the chance to strengthen at the midway point of any given season, with relegation-threatened managers desperately on the hunt for reinforcements, while others will be in recruitment mode to push for European places, and possibly league titles.
As is part and parcel of any transfer window, rumours and gossip will be swirling throughout the month, but below are a smattering of deals that have already been confirmed across the continent, including one or two that may have gone under your radar.
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From: Manchester City
Financial issues? What financial issues? That seemed to be the thinking of Joan Laporta when he sanctioned the seismic transfer of Ferran Torres. A cash-strapped Barca haven’t allowed themselves to be hamstrung by money issues, instead paying just south of £50m on a shiny new attacking toy for Xavi.
Of course, the burning question is: how exactly have a club over £1 billion in debt afforded Torres? Well, like any major transfer, most of that £46.3m won’t be paid up front, instead spread across the five years of his contract at the Camp Nou. It’s a strategic move for a 21-year-old who is largely seen by many as the future of Spain, given his ridiculous 12 goals in 22 caps for La Roja, including a hat-trick against Germany.
Certainly an upgrade on Martin Braithwaite and Luuk de Jong.
From: Dynamo Kyiv
Rafa Benitez’s much-publicised fall out with Lucas Digne over tactics has prompted the Toffees to recruit swiftly for a new left-back in case the Frenchman waves goodbye this month. They wasted little time in bringing Vitaliy Mykolenko to Goodison Park for a reasonably sound £17.7m fee.
The 22-year-old Ukrainian comes to Merseyside with a burgeoning reputation as an attack-minded full-back, who can also play at centre-half. With 21 caps to his name already and an impressive showing at Euro 2020 as Ukraine reached the quarter-finals, Mykolenko looks an exciting prospect.
— Everton (@Everton) January 4, 2022
Having spent just £1.7m in the summer, Farhad Moshiri has loosened the purse strings this month already, allowing Benitez to bring another full-back to Goodison Park for an eight-figure sum. Nathan Patterson is young, versatile and fearless, moving to a club where a strong challenge will be met with as much glee as a goal.
Some may question why Everton have splurged on a defender who has started just two Scottish Premiership games this season, which owes largely if not entirely to James Tavernier’s excellence at right-back, but the potential is certainly there, with former Rangers defender Craig Moore telling Sky Sports that Patterson is the type of player who could one day be worth “£40m-50m”.
Welcome to the Albion, Kacper! 🇵🇱 pic.twitter.com/YOHfpvwsBf
— Brighton & Hove Albion (@OfficialBHAFC) January 5, 2022
From: Pogon Szczecin
The Seagulls tend to scour the globe for unheralded talent, unpolished gems with bags of potential, and that transfer policy has proven fruitful up until now. The latest in that trend comes in the form of a record-breaking Pole. Kacper Kozlowski became the youngest player to appear in a European Championship when he came on as a 17-year-old for Poland against Spain in the summer. He’s immediately been loaned out by Brighton to surprise table-toppers in Belgium Royale Union St-Gilloise, looking to help a sleeping giant end 87 years of hurt for title glory.
Nice 👍 pic.twitter.com/z2eSubgMmD
— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) January 4, 2022
Are the crisis klaxons sounding at Vicarage Road yet? They could well be. Watford are in dire straits at the minute, peering tentatively over their shoulders at the relegation zone, with Claudio Ranieri’s men currently 17th in the table and just two points above Burnley, who have a game in hand on them.
That’s prompted the Italian to move swiftly in the market, recruiting Ivorian left-back Hassane Kamara for just £4m. The 27-year-old only relocated to the French Riviera in June 2020, starting 34 Ligue 1 games last term, but he’s now sealed a move to the Premier League, looking to help the Hornets secure safety.
— ACF Fiorentina (@acffiorentina) January 4, 2022
Once the centrepiece of Lille’s attacking line, particularly that 2018/19 runners-up season where, combined with Nicolas Pepe on one flank and Ikone on the other, they had a direct hand in 45 Ligue 1 goals, the four-capped France international has now taken his services to Tuscany.
It’s the sort of marquee signing that Fiorentina may feel they have to make in order to convince Dusan Vlahovic to stick around beyond the 2021/22 season. If they show ambition, and Ikone is certainly ambition, then maybe Vlahovic will think twice when the inevitable offers come flooding in.
— Brentford FC (@BrentfordFC) January 4, 2022
Brentford are in the midst of an injury crisis between the sticks, so sister club Midtjylland have lent them a hand. Jonas Lossl joins on loan, returning to the Premier League a little under a year after leaving Everton. The Bees have the option to make that deal a permanent one at the end of the campaign, but for now his task will be to remedy the absence of an injured David Raya.
🗞️ #𝗪𝗲𝗹𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲𝗩𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗼𝗻 | AS Monaco announces the signing of 20-year-old right back Vanderson from Gremio Porto Alegre on a five-year deal. 🇧🇷
Here's all you need to know 👇
— AS Monaco EN (@AS_Monaco_EN) January 1, 2022
Gremio is a talent factory like no other in Brazil, responsible for the emergence of Ronaldinho, Anderson, Lucas Leiva, Arthur Melo, Lucio and Everton among others. Now, Monaco will be hoping they’ve unearthed the latest gem to come off the Porto Alegre production line in Vanderson. The 20-year-old won the Campeonato Gaucho and Recopa Gaucha in 2021 with Gremio and will now be pitting his wits against the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar in Ligue 1.
Welcome back, Brian 🏡
— AFC Ajax (@AFCAjax) December 31, 2021
From: RB Leipzig
A hoarder of young talent, RB Leipzig’s acquisition of Brian Brobbey in the summer from Ajax hasn’t exactly worked out, so the Saxons have sent the teenage Amsterdammer back to the club whom they initially signed him from. He joins Ajax for the remainder of the season, hoping Erik ten Hag can work his magic once again.
— Venezia FC (@VeneziaFC_EN) January 3, 2022
From: Bayern Munich
Having exploded onto the scene at Borussia Monchengladbach, Bayern did what Bayern tend to do and snapped up a prodigiously-gifted player from one of their fellow Bundesliga clubs, signing the Frenchman in 2019. A failed move to Leeds in October 2020 saw him go out on loan to Marseille last season, but he started just 11 Ligue 1 games, certainly not enough to convince Julian Nagelsmann of a starting berth on his return. The 22-year-old will now look to reboot his career in Serie A, joining a struggling Venezia. For Paolo Zanetti’s relegation-threatened Winged Lions it’s exceptionally savvy business.
From: FC Dallas
There is a stateside boom of emerging talent at the minute and Ricardo Pepi is the latest in a growing list of young MLS stars crossing the Atlantic for European football. Teenage Texan Pepi has already been capped seven times by the Stars and Stripes and moves to Augsburg for £14.8m, making him the most expensive American MLS player to sign for a European club and the most expensive transfer by Augsburg.
— Middlesbrough FC (@Boro) January 2, 2022
On his day, Aaron Connolly is an absolute handful, and some may be surprised the 21-year-old has scarcely featured this season under Graham Potter. Still, Brighton’s loss is Middlesbrough’s gain, and Chris Wilder has made his first signing of this window as new Boro boss, looking to add some attacking impetus to his frontline as the club push for the Championship promotion places.
From: Dinamo Tbilisi
Tipped for huge things between the sticks and not just because Mamardashvili stands at 6ft 6in. The 21-year-old has been on loan at Valencia from boyhood club Dinamo Tbilisi since the summer and Los Che have now made his deal a permanent one. Football Manager fans will know all about this guy!
And so it begins. After thrashing Roma 6-1 in the Europa Conference League back in October, the inevitable plunder on Bodo/Glimt’s ranks has started. Lens wasted no time in brining Berg to the club for £4m, with the Norwegian netting the second goal of that five-goal swing in Bodo/Glimt’s favour against Jose Mourinho’s men.
— Real Sociedad Fútbol (@RealSociedad) December 27, 2021
To: Real Sociedad
As tends to be the case at PSG, it’s really hard to get a game if you’re a player like Rafinha, such is the Parisians’ policy od stockpiling world-class talent in every position. The Brazilian returns to La Liga, joining Real Sociedad on loan for the rest of the season. A potential link-up between David Silva, Rafinha, Mikel Oyarzabal and Alexander Isak is actually a very mouthwatering prospect.
From: Sparta Rotterdam
One for the future, Watford signed 22-year-old, 6ft 6in ‘keeper Okoye from Sparta Rotterdam in November, joining the Hornets this month. He has been immediately loaned back out to the Castle Lords so won’t have a part to play in the club’s relegation battle in the second half of this season.
— West Bromwich Albion (@WBA) January 4, 2022
From: Orlando City
To: West Brom
Fee: Undisclosed fee
Daryl Dike has linked back up with Valerien Ismael whom he worked under during a surprise loan spell at Barnsley last season, in which the duo combined to help the Tykes reach the Championship play-offs. They will now be going for the jugular at the Hawthorns and hoping to secure automatic promotion for West Brom.