Football News

16 done deals you might have missed this week

By CJ Smith

16 done deals you might have missed this week

Published: 12:00, 20 January 2024

Jordan Henderson has returned to Europe, signing for Dutch giants Ajax following a failed spell in Saudi Arabia with Al-Ettifaq. 

That’s undoubtedly the move that has dominated the headlines this week, with the 81-time England international looking to help continue Ajax’s climb back up the Eredivisie table and extend his own time at the top of the game.

However, the current January window has been surprisingly busy and this week, in particular, has seen many comings and goings across Europe and beyond.

Here are 16 more deals you might have missed…

1. Renan Lodi

From: Marseille

To: Al Hilal

Renan Lodi has become the latest player to trade Europe for Saudi Arabia, leaving French giants Marseille to join Al Hilal for just shy of £20m. The 19-time Brazil international will slot right in at left-back for the side currently sitting seven points clear at the top of the Pro League, who reportedly had to remove compatriot Neymar — who is injured long-term — from their squad to make way for the deal.

2. Ulisses Garcia

From: Young Boys

To: Marseille

Lodi has already been replaced at Marseille, who have signed Switzerland international Ulisses Garcia from Young Boys. While Lodi cost Al Hilal a pretty penny, Garcia’s move only cost just over £2.5m, so that’s some excellent financial dealing from Marseille.

3. Cyril Ngonge

From: Hellas Verona

To: Napoli

Napoli have been in real need of reinforcements with their title defence quite simply turning into a disaster. The latest attacking name through the door is former Belgium youth international Cyril Ngonge. The 23-year-old winger enjoyed a real upturn in form after joining Hellas Verona from Dutch side Groningen, hitting 11 goals and three assists in 36 appearances across all competitions.

He’ll now be charged with helping Napoli climb up from their miserable current eighth-place standing and, hopefully, push himself into the senior Belgian national team in the process. The Partenopei have paid over £15m for his services, so the pressure is on.

4. Gift Orban

From: Gent

To: Lyon

Gift Orban has turned a number of heads in recent months, so it is perhaps a slight surprise that Lyon won the race to land his signature, paying just over £10m to do so.

Orban’s league form has slowed this season, with just three goals in 17 Belgian top-flight appearances compared to nine in 10 following his arrival from Stabæk midway through 2022/23. However, in Europe, he hasn’t missed a beat, hitting the net nine times in 10 Europa Conference League outings.

Lyon are 16th in Ligue 1 at present and still very much in the thick of the relegation battle.

5. Cade Cowell

From: San Jose Earthquakes

To: Chivas

With a monster physique and bucket loads of speed and skill, Cade Cowell is firmly among the latest rising stars of US soccer and has long been linked with a move to Europe. That makes it at the very least eyebrow-raising that Mexico should be his next destination.

That said, he is joining one of the Liga MX giants in Chivas, who have paid over £3m for his services. Chivas are famed for their ‘cantera’ policy, but were able to make Cowell the first-ever USMNT star to sign for them thanks to his Mexican passport.

6. Sergio Reguilon

From: Tottenham

To: Brentford

As one loan ends another begins as Sergio Reguilon’s failed spell at Manchester United was cut prematurely. Just a couple of weeks later, the Spanish left-back again finds himself loaned out from Tottenham, this time to fellow London side Brentford for the rest of the season.

Plenty of left-backs on the move this January…

7. Nicolas Kühn

From: Rapid Wien

To: Celtic

Celtic have hardly been convincing, so maybe some extra attacking firepower could help. Former Germany youth international Nicolas Kühn arrives from Rapid Wien with three goals and seven assists under his belt across all competitions already this season. What’s more, he has plenty of pedigree with youth spells at the likes of Bayern Munich and Ajax.

8. Hannibal

From: Manchester United

To: Sevilla

Hannibal has been on the fringes of the action at Manchester United this season but given his remarkable talent, regular games are the priority right now. After a brief push from Everton, it’s Sevilla where the Tunisia international will now continue his development, on loan until the end of the season.

9. Sheraldo Becker

From: Union Berlin

To: Real Sociedad

With his blistering pace and eye for a goal, Sheraldo Becker played a huge part in firing Union Berlin to the top of German football and into the Champions League.

Now, the Suriname international will transfer those qualities to the Spanish top flight after Real Sociedad paid a bargain £2.5m to bring him to the Basque region.

10. Hamed Junior Traore

From: Bournemouth

To: Napoli

Joining Ngonge in the Napoli attack is Hamed Junior Traore, who joins on loan from Bournemouth until the end of the season. Traore only joined the Cherries from Sassuolo last summer for a hefty fee of over £20m but managed just one goal and no assists in 13 appearances across all competitions.

Traore’s loan is understood to have a buy option and the young Ivory Coast international will be keen to return to form back in Italy.

11. Goncalo Guedes

From: Wolves

To: Villarreal

There’s no doubting Goncalo Guedes’ best form in recent times came during his five-year spell with Valencia, where he hit 36 goals and 30 assists in 176 appearances across all competitions. It never quite worked for the Portugal international at Wolves despite some early promising performances and after a loan back at Benfica in his homeland, he now returns to Spain in another temporary move, this time with Villarreal.

12. Ivan Perisic

From: Tottenham

To: Hajduk Split

Ivan Perisic’s time at Spurs was effectively ruined by an ACL injury suffered in September and it always looked likely that we wouldn’t see him again in their jersey. The 34-year-old has returned to Croatia with boyhood club Hajduk Split on loan until the end of the season. He’s not expected to play during that time due to his ACL recovery, but is understood to be signing a one-year contract with Hajduk at the end of the loan.

13. Andres Guardado

From: Real Betis

To: Club Leon

Andres Guardado enjoyed a long and fruitful career in Europe, turning out for Deportivo La Coruna, Valencia, Bayer Leverkusen, PSV and Real Betis between 2007 and 2023. However, the 179-time Mexico international has finally returned home with Club Leon after parting ways with Betis via mutual agreement this month.

Even at 37 years old, Guardado’s return to Mexico is sure to steal the headlines back home.

14. Japhet Tanganga

From: Tottenham

To: Millwall

There was a time when Japhet Tanganga looked like he could become a regular for England but now, he’s in danger of becoming a little bogged down. His loan spell with Bundesliga side Augsburg was a disaster, only making the matchday squad once despite the German club having an obligation to buy.

That loan was swiftly terminated, with Millwall now the place where the 24-year-old Tanganga hopes to get back on track.

15. Alfie Devine

From: Tottenham

To: Plymouth

The youngest-ever player to feature in a senior game for Tottenham, Alfie Devine will be hoping to succeed where Tanganga could not at White Hart Lane. For now, however, he must content himself with a loan in the Championship with Plymouth, who needed midfield reinforcements after Lewis Warrington was recalled by Everton.

16. Rhys Williams

From: Liverpool

To: Port Vale

After a miserable spell in Scotland with Aberdeen where he didn’t play a single game, Rhys Williams has returned to England for another loan, this time with League One Port Vale. It’s been a long time since the centre-back was thrust into first-team action during Liverpool’s 2020/21 defensive injury crisis and at 22 years old, he’ll soon be looking to find somewhere to lay down roots and call home.

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