Time is running out for clubs across Europe to get deals across the line before the January transfer window closes. While the Premier League more often than not are the continent’s biggest spenders around this time of year, it has not been the case in 2024.
New signings to England’s top flight have only tallied £55 million in total as of the time of writing. While there has been a number of loan signings made by Premier League clubs, the vast majority of permanent moves this winter have come from all corners of Europe with England’s clubs opting to part company with high-profile players instead of bringing them in this January.
Bar a truly mind-boggling increase in expenditure from Premier League clubs in the final hours of the window, it seems likely that most of the league’s business has concluded with Europe’s biggest names already landing at their new destinations.
As such now seems like the perfect time to reflect on who made the best signings in the early stages of 2024. Here’s our look at the best moves of the January transfer window so far.
Jadon Sancho – Manchester United to Borussia Dortmund
The Red Devils are in a state of turmoil. Dutch boss Erik ten Hag has continued to struggle getting the best out of his players and the unease in the dressing room is plain for everyone to see. Nowhere is this more evident than in the 53-year-old’s dealings with England international Jadon Sancho.
The 23-year-old winger has spent a lengthy spell out on the sidelines after a very public disagreement with Ten Hag regarding his effort in training. The dispute did not reach much of an amicable solution either with Sancho practically ostracised from the playing squad with rumours spreading that he wasn’t even allowed to eat with his teammates at United’s training facility.
Granted Sancho’s failure to live up to his billing since arriving from Dortmund back in 2021 must have been frustrating, but the response from Ten Hag has felt excessive at best and entirely unwarranted at worst and has now spilled over into speculation that he has lost elements of the dressing room entirely. Regardless of the effect the developing situation has had on United’s form on the pitch, the solution in the interim has been to loan the winger back to his former club.
Dortmund have benefitted from his return almost immediately with the winger already registering two assists from his two starts in the Bundesliga since his comeback. An easy solution doesn’t seem to be on the cards for Sancho at United, but in the meantime this appears to be an excellent bit of business for Dortmund.
Timo Werner – RB Leipzig to Tottenham Hotspur
While the German international’s return to the Premier League would’ve surprised many this January given his association with former club Chelsea, it could yet prove to be an inspired bit of business from Ange Postecoglou and Spurs.
The 27-year-old forward struggled to reach his full potential while in London last time with the Blues but still managed to register double figures for goals for both his seasons spent at Stamford Bridge. However, the lack of significant return had many questioning his credentials at the top level but Big Ange knows the player he’s got in his ranks.
With over 150 goals in his club career and 80 assists, Werner clearly poses an attacking threat in and around the box. Furthermore the Australian has seen the style of player Werner is when facing off against him in a Champions League game with his former club Celtic. What Postecoglou will be hoping for is that his free flowing attacking style of play can see the German slot into his side seamlessly and help alleviate some of the strain put on Son Heung-min to be the main source of goals.
Time will tell if it pays off but should the loan move prove a success and Ange keeps him on the books in North London on a permanent deal worth only £15.5 million, it could turn out to be the value buy of the year. For anyone betting on football transfers offers at Sky Bet allow you to place bets on players next club.
Hugo Lloris – Tottenham Hotspur to LAFC
Sticking with Spurs for the time being, while the French shot-stopper has played a huge role in Spurs’ development in the last decade, it has been clear for quite some time now that the 37-year-old is not part of Postecoglou’s plans going forward.
Guglielmo Vicario has taken up his role in between the sticks putting in some stellar performances throughout the season. It would’ve taken a lot for Lloris at his age to push the Italian out the side and reclaim his place in the starting XI, even as club captain last campaign.
It’s a disappointing end to his 11-year tenure in North London, but likely the best outcome for both parties rather than having a disgruntled voice sitting on the bench until his contract runs out this summer. But Spurs’ loss is LAFC’s gain and with a wealth of international and club experience behind him, Lloris still has plenty to offer the Californian club before hanging up his boots for good.