Despite the silly season speculation and relentless rumours, it has been a quiet January transfer window for Premier League clubs thus far with minimal business conducted.
January has often been regarded as a difficult period in which to do business, though the winter window has provided many successes including Liverpool‘s signings of Luis Suarez and Virgil van Dijk and Manchester United‘s captures of Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra.
We’ve decided to look back the most expensive recruits of last season’s January transfer window, and it’s fair to say last year’s window was hardly the most exciting in terms of big-money moves either.
Here’s our rating for each of the five costliest player’s impacts so far…
Chris Mepham – £12m
Cardiff City’s capture of Emiliano Sala was technically the fifth most expensive transfer of the window, though the tragic circumstances surrounding the striker’s death meant the move never happened.
Bournemouth’s Chris Mepham is the next most expensive player, having moved to the Cherries from Championship side Brentford in a deal worth £12m.
The Welsh international would feature regularly during the second half of last season, but has found minutes more difficult to come by in the current campaign making just ten Premier League starts in a Bournemouth side currently in the relegation places.
Still just 22-years-old, Mepham has time to develop and grow into a first-team regular, whilst the injury to and potential departure of Nathan Ake could open up an opportunity, though his impact has been limited thus far.
Jonny Otto – £18m
The Spanish full-back initially joined Wolves amongst a growing foreign contingent on loan in the summer transfer window of 2018, though after impressing in the first half of the campaign was secured on a permanent basis just six months later.
The fee was around £18m for the Atletico Madrid player, who has proven to be a key figure for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side, largely operating at left wing-back.
A regular starter in both the Premier League and Europa League for the club, Jonny will hope to further increase his tally of three senior Spain caps earned since his debut for the national side in October of last year.
Domonic Solanke – £19m
Another expensive recruit for Bournemouth, Eddie Howe decided to part with £19m to sign England U21 international Domonic Solanke from Liverpool last January.
The young forward had struggled to make an impact since arriving on Merseyside from Chelsea 18 months earlier, scoring just one goal, whilst he has again toiled in front of goal on the South Coast despite a prolific goalscoring record for the England youth teams.
The 22-year-old has largely struggled to displace Callum Wilson and Josh King to become an automatic starter, but despite largely appearing as a substitute has just scored just once in all competitions – a poor return from a significant investment.
Eddie Howe’s recruitment has been criticised in recent times with Bournemouth battling against the drop, and the signing of a forward without a Premier League goal over a year after his arrival must surely rank amongst his very worst.
Miguel Almiron – £21m
Newcastle fans have long pleaded with Mike Ashley to invest in their side, so the arrival of exciting Paraguayan midfielder Miguel Almiron in a club-record deal last January was a welcome addition.
Almiron was recognised as the finest player in MLS prior to his move from Atlanta United, but struggled during his first year on Tyneside to replicate the form that saw him score 21 times in just 62 league appearances in the United States.
The 25-year-old’s work-rate has endeared him to supporters and ensured he is a mainstay in the teams of both former manager Rafa Benitez and current boss Steve Bruce, however, and there have been marked signs of improvement in recent weeks after his initial goal drought.
After opening his account at long last against Crystal Palace last month, it is now four goals in his past seven appearances in all competitions, the attacking midfielder’s confidence seemingly increasing with each passing fixture.
His up-turn in form has proved a welcome boost for Magpies boss Bruce, Almiron proving a talismanic figure in recent weeks as Newcastle attempt to cope with a severe injury crisis.
Christian Pulisic – £58m
Comfortably the biggest Premier League signing of last January’s window, Chelsea secured the signing of US international Christian Pulisic from Borussia Dortmund in a deal worth £58m.
The midfielder has been tipped for a huge future and is a source of hope for the US national team, though the deal the Blues struck saw Pulisic remain with the Bundesliga side on loan until the end of last season.
Chelsea fans have got to witness the 21-year-old’s capabilities first hand since he linked up with Frank Lampard’s side during the summer, overcoming a slow start to shine in recent months with a series of impressive performances.
Pulisic has scored five times and provided two assists in 16 league appearances, including netting a superb perfect hat-trick in the win at Burnley in October, though an adductor injury has halted his progress at present.
Part of a Chelsea team brimming with emerging talent, Pulisic has shown his vast potential and could develop into a Premier League star.