With the latch down on the January transfer window, theScore ranks the top 10 signings made over a hectic month.
10. Saido Berahino
Finally, after a year-and-a-half of kicking up a stink, allegedly piling on some pounds, and training with the reserves, Saido Berahino got his wish to leave West Bromwich Albion.
Related – Berahino: ‘I’m not a troublemaker’
Stoke City manager Mark Hughes has taken a chance on the 23-year-old and, as a show of trust in his new recruit, sacrificed Bojan Krkic in a loan deal to FSV Mainz shortly afterwards.
The Potters’ attack did need sorting out – Peter Crouch and Jonathan Walters, seasoned yet not exactly mobile frontmen, had been given a generous amount of minutes recently – and Berahino was one of the most exciting talents in the country before he fell out with the Baggies’ brass and boss Tony Pulis.
And with his lack of game time at the Hawthorns over the past few years, it could be argued that pacey Berahino will be initially deployed as an unknown quantity to a legion of opposition coaches.
9. Tom Carroll
A player who was never given a fair crack at Tottenham Hotspur has been given a chance to prove his worth on the south coast for a reported snip of £4.5 million.
His arrival at Swansea City helps take some of the creative burden from Gylfi Sigurdsson, and will be able to lay on through balls to a speedy attacker following the deadline day arrival of Jordan Ayew.
At 24, Carroll should also be some way short of his peak and, from the early evidence of Paul Clement’s reign, his development could be continuing in the Premier League.
8. Wilfred Ndidi
Leicester City was tracking Wilfred Ndidi for some time, and was delighted to get the deal wrapped up merely minutes after the transfer window swung open.
To expect the 20-year-old to belatedly fill the boots of N’Golo Kante is fanciful, but the Foxes are now better equipped in the middle of the park following some abject performances from Danny Drinkwater, and wholly average outings from Daniel Amartey and Andy King.
Claudio Ranieri’s side is in trouble, though – just two points above the bottom three – so signing players with an eye to the future shouldn’t have been a requisite.
Ndidi and Molla Wague cannot inspire Leicester to better times, and Ranieri would’ve been wise to seek experience.
7. Evandro Goebel
Evoking memories of Geovanni’s entertaining stay on Humberside before the turn of the last decade is fellow Brazilian Evandro Goebel, who has shown guile and intelligence in his four appearances for Hull City so far.
New manager Marco Silva has utilised contracts from his previous jobs in Portugal and Greece to sign Lazar Markovic (a Liverpool winger who was on loan at Sporting Lisbon), Omar Elabdellaoui, and Evandro.
Despite such a thin squad and questionable personnel, there is a legitimate (yet slight) hope that Silva has done decent enough business to keep Hull afloat – even without Robert Snodgrass.
6. Martin Olsson
Martin Olsson is a considerable upgrade on Neil Taylor, and offers plenty of Premier League know-how through stints at Blackburn Rovers and Norwich City – albeit at the wrong end of the division.
His debut was fantastic, and he showed some great interplay with fellow newcomer Carroll on the left before Fernando Llorente scored his second in a shock 3-2 win at Liverpool.
The 28-year-old Sweden international left-back will help bring organisation to a back four that is the most accommodating in the division.
5. Joey Barton
You either love him or – most likely – hate him, but you can’t deny that Joey Barton’s good for a freebie.
While the midfielder’s Twitter tirades and abrasive nature may irritate most areas of the United Kingdom, the 34-year-old can revel in hero status in the claret corner of Lancashire.
The Scouser capped off his Premier League return with a fortuitous free-kick to beat Southampton 1-0, quickly reviving memories of his inspirational performances in the previous term which helped Burnley back into the top flight.
In the wake of Dean Marney’s long-term injury, Barton’s experience and bite could be more invaluable than initially anticipated.
4. Jose Fonte
Picking up a 33-year-old for £8 million doesn’t immediately appear to be good business, but there wasn’t a better defensive quick-fix than Jose Fonte available in the league.
Quite why the Portuguese wanted to shift to a club which was lower in the table and relinquish legendary status at Southampton, where he plied his trade for seven years from League One and into the Premier League, is unknown, but Slaven Bilic is the beneficiary.
It was timely too, with Angelo Ogbonna being ruled out for the rest of the season in the following day’s match at Middlesbrough. With Fonte alongside Winston Reid, there should be suitable protection for goalkeeper Darren Randolph.
3. Robert Snodgrass
Snodgrass only cost Leeds United a £35,000 fee from Livingston in 2008, and has continued to improve into one of the craftiest players in the Premier League, even after falling to a knee injury which sidelined him for 16 months.
His left foot is a skeleton key for even the most locked-up defences, and his prowess at set-pieces is arguably on par with the departed Dimitri Payet.
At 29, Snodgrass is unlikely to develop further, but, with Michail Antonio potentially manning the other flank, West Ham has the service to find the bovine ponytail, Andy Carroll, and drag the Irons higher up the table.
2. Morgan Schneiderlin
Idrissa Gueye was a superb summer signing from Ronald Koeman, but the Senegalese was often partnered by the ageing Gareth Barry or James McCarthy, who’s been hampered by a series of niggling injuries lately.
The purchase of Morgan Schneiderlin slotted into that void perfectly.
Before shifting to Manchester United in the summer of 2015, the Frenchman was one of the standout midfielders in the Premier League for Southampton. He was a lynchpin for the Saints, dictating play in the middle of the park in a similar vain to what Michael Carrick was (and still is) doing at United.
Unfortunately, Schneiderlin, 27, was never able to regurgitate that form in Stretford, but he’s poised to correct that following his £20-million drive down the M62 to Everton.
1. Gabriel Jesus
Although the deal was struck in the summer, the fine print for Gabriel Jesus’ £27-million move to Manchester City was scribbled off in January.
The Palmeiras product is one of the most exciting teenagers on the planet, combining a toughness honed on the rough pitches in the Sao Paulo neighbourhood of Jardim Peri with a phenomenal work rate and samba feet.
He’s even shown that he can hack it in the wild weather of England – an aspect which saw the likes of Robinho and Elano cower during their stints in Manchester. Jesus was pelted with wind, rain, and hailstones the size of golf balls at Crystal Palace last Saturday, but still shone.
City’s inadequacies may lie in defence, but what Jesus has brought is an additional element of unpredictability up top which takes the pressure off Sergio Aguero to provide a significant portion of the goals.
Related – Analysis: How Gabriel Jesus will fit in at Manchester City
The signing was also an example of Pep Guardiola’s pulling power, with Jesus choosing Manchester City ahead of cross-town rival United, Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Paris Saint-Germain.