Football News

Ronaldo signs Ben Arfa: January deals you may have missed this week

By Harry Edwards

Published: 18:21, 28 January 2020

As we enter the final week of the January transfer window, clubs around Europe are looking to bolster their squads with just days left.

Some teams are doing so by chasing big names and making statement signings to put their opponents on edge, while others are simply hoping to get replacements for injured players.

But, with so much going on it can be easy to miss out on some of the transfer deals that have happened over the past week.

That’s where we come in. Below are eight deals you may have missed across the last seven days.

1. Hatem Ben Arfa

From: Unattached

To: Real Valladolid

Hatem Ben Arfa had been without a club since the summer, after leaving Rennes. The former Newcastle United midfielder has not had the best of times since leaving the Premier League for Paris Saint-Germain, never really settling in at a single club. But he is now back in action, joining La Liga side Real Valladolid – owned by Brazilian legend Ronaldo – until the end of the current campaign.

2. Claudio Yacob

From: Nottingham Forest

To: Club Nacional

Since joining West Bromwich Albion in 2012, Claudio Yacob has become a big part of English football. A feisty player at the heart of midfield, Yacob made himself an enemy of many oppositions fans, and continued that trend when he left West Brom for Nottingham Forest. But, after a season and a half at the City Ground, Yacob has returned to South America to play for Uruguayan side Club Nacional.

3. Lucas Tousart

From: Lyon

To: Hertha Berlin

Perhaps an unsung hero in Lyon’s young team, Lucas Tousart has been key to the club’s growth at the heart of their midfield. As a result, he has been snapped up by Bundesliga side Hertha Berlin for £20.3m. However, the 22-year-old has returned to Lyon on loan for the remainder of the season, and will eventually link up with his new teammates in the summer.

4. Roger Ibanez

From: Atalanta

To: Roma

Roger Ibanez was full of promise when he joined Atalanta from Fluminense in January 2019 but things just haven’t worked out for the defender. One year and two appearances later, the Brazilian has joined Roma on loan until the end of the 2020/21 season, a deal which also includes an option to buy.

5. David Stockdale

From: Birmingham City

To: Wycombe Wanderers

There was a time when David Stockdale was being mentioned as a potential England goalkeeper, even being called up twice under Fabio Capello in 2011 after impressing with Fulham. However, things haven’t exactly lived up to those heights since then, with Stockdale being sent on loan from Birmingham to Wycombe Wanderers having made just one appearance for the Blues this season.

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6. Lukas Podolski

From: Vissel Kobe

To: Antalyaspor

Lukas Podolski is a legend of football and it will be a sad moment when he eventually retires, a time that is getting closer, with the former Germany international now 34. But he has not called time on his career just yet, joining Turkish club Antalyaspor on an 18-month deal after leaving Japanese side Vissel Kobe.

7. Johan Djourou

From: Unattached

To: FC Sion

Another former Arsenal man making moves in the past week is centre-back Johan Djourou. The 33-year-old had been without a club for over a year after leaving Italian side SPAL in January 2019. But now he has returned to play in his native Switzerland with FC Sion and was an unused substitute in their recent 2-1 defeat to FC Thun.

So, plenty of movement from former Arsenal players but could Mikel Arteta pull off some business of his own over the next few days? According to William Hill Arsenal are favourites to sign Dries Mertens from Napoli. The 32-year-old sees his present contract expire in the summer but he could be tempted away this month, and has odds of 3/1* to move to the Emirates before February 1.

*Odds provided by William Hill, Squawka’s partner for the 2020 January transfer window. You have to be 18+ to gamble. For more information, go to BeGambleAware.org

8. Thiago Maia

From: Lille

To: Flamengo

Thiago Maia was excellent in midfield for Lille last season, being a key member of the squad that finished second in Ligue 1 and qualified for the Champions League. But the Brazilian has been suffering with injury problems, restricting him to just five appearances across all competitions this season. As a result, Maia has been loaned to Brazilian side Flamengo until the end of the season with an option to buy.

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