If conducted correctly, it can fire your club up the table during the second half of the season and provide a vital chance for managers, both old and new, to put their mark on the squad in the Premier League.
But who wants to think about that? Instead, here’s every Premier League club’s greatest every January signing.
Arsenal – Nacho Monreal
We’d have selected Martin Keown for Arsenal, but he arrived mid-season before the January transfer window came in.
Then there’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Theo Walcott and Emmanuel Adebayor, who collectively scored hundreds of goals for the Gunners, but have their downsides in different ways.
And much as we have a soft spot for Andrey Arshavin, we can’t help but look past cult hero Nacho Monreal – a bargain at £8.5million on deadline day 2013. The Span international made over 250 appearances, won three FA Cups and never gave less than his all.
Aston Villa – Darren Bent
Bent cost Villa a then-club record £18million to prise him from Sunderland in January 2011.
The club were battling relegation at the time and found themselves 17th with goals struggling to come freely.
Bent came in to save the club from an unthinkable drop to the second tier but he did more than that.
Bournemouth – Kieffer Moore
Looking to get back into the Premier League at the second attempt, Bournemouth paid up to £5million for Cardiff and Wales striker Moore last January.
Four goals in four appearances, plus another four this season, suggests he was worth the gamble; a cult hero in the making on the Dorset coast.
Brentford – Sergi Canos
Spaniard Canos signed for Brentford in January 2017 but already knew the club well as he had a loan spell there in 2015.
Since then, he has had to battle for his place in the team on more than one occasion but has always come out on top and became a regular in the Premier League, even scoring the club’s first goal in the division.
For only £2.5million, he was some bargain.
Brighton – Glenn Murray
Some of these players are on the list for their longevity or their bargain price but others are on here for a specific achievement
That’s the case for Brighton with Glenn Murray, who fired them into the Premier League for the first time in the 2016-17 season by scoring 23 Championship goals and then kept them up the following year with 12 in the Premier League.
He was loaned to the Seagulls at the start of the 2016-17 campaign from Bournemouth but qualifies for this list as it was made permanent in January of 2017.
Chelsea – Branislav Ivanovic
Most of Chelsea’s January transfer window signings have not gone to plan (*cough* Fernando Torres *cough*) but this is one that most certainly did.
For around £9million in January 2008, Chelsea secured themselves a player that would go down as one of the best right-backs in Premier League history.
Ivanovic went on to win it all during his nine years in West London and would frequently deputise as a club captain when John Terry or Frank Lampard were not available.
Crystal Palace – Wilfried Zaha
Zaha’s transfer history is like a circle between Crystal Palace and Manchester United.
But in January 2015 his return to Selhurst Park from Old Trafford was made permanent and makes him eligible for this list, despite the fact he had been loaned to the club at the start of the 2014-15 campaign.
He has now made over 400 appearances for the Eagles and recently became the first player to score 50 Premier League goals for the club.
Everton – Seamus Coleman
You feel Coleman’s time is coming to an end at Everton, but what a long and successful career he has had there.
The Donegal man has risen to become club captain after signing for just £60,000 from League of Ireland club Sligo Rovers in January 2009.
Over 300 Premier League appearances later, it’s clear that was some bargain.
Fulham – Brede Hangeland
Roy Hodgson went on something of a trolley dash at the start of 2008, but the signing of Hangeland would prove to be a masterstroke.
After helping keep the Cottagers in the Premier League, the Norway international went on to make 200 appearances for the club and become the definition of a Fulham legend.
Leeds United – Adam Forshaw
Leeds fans break out into a cold sweat over the thought of the January transfer window, where they’ve not enjoyed much success during Marcelo Bielsa’s time in charge – the less said about Jean-Kevin Augustin and Kiko Casilla, the better.
But six months before Bielsa arrived in the summer of 2018, Leeds signed Forshaw from relegation-bound Middlesbrough.
The hardworking midfielder has endured a terrible time of it with injuries, missing out for two solid years until his grand return recently, but he’s been a handy player when available and is well-suited to the possession-focused football demanded by their Argentinian coach.
Leicester – Riyad Mahrez
If it wasn’t for N’Golo Kante, there might have never been a bigger bargain in football history than Riyad Mahrez.
The Algeria international joined the club in January 2014 for about £450,000 and helped the side win the 2013-14 Championship title before playing a vital part in keeping them up the following season.
But does anyone remember if he did much in the 2015-16 season?
Liverpool – Virgil van Dijk
Van Dijk’s first two and a half seasons at Liverpool after joining the club in January 2018 may never be topped by anyone, let alone himself.
His defensive stability fired the team to two Champions League finals, winning it in 2019, and then their ever-elusive Premier League in 2019-20.
Much has been made recently about his struggle to recapture the form that made him runner-up in the Ballon d’Or in 2019, but it is easy to forget just how dominant he was after signing for the Merseyside club.
Manchester City – Edin Dzeko
City tend not to make January signings, conducting their business in an eerily calculated fashion throughout the summer but with Dzeko, they made an exception.
The £27million City paid for the striker was the Bundesliga’s record for a departure, and he went on to help City lift the FA Cup in his first season before following it up with the Premier League in 2011-12 and 2013-14.
Manchester United – Nemanja Vidic
One of the greatest centre-backs to grace the Premier League, there are few words to sum up just how good he was.
Newcastle – Papiss Cisse
2022 arrival Bruno Guimaraes may become the obvious Newcastle pick in time but even the majestic midfielder didn’t match the impact Cisse had on Tyneside a decade ago.
You could write about how Cisse maybe didn’t fulfil his potential in his four seasons at Newcastle, but that would be to ignore the fact he was a shining light in an overall not-so-bright period for the club.
It would also ignore his stunning start at Newcastle which took them to fifth in the table and European football. It was the start of a false dawn for the Magpies, but they’ll always have that goal against Chelsea.
Nottingham Forest – Sam Surridge
Forest finally escaped the Championship last season, barrelling through the second half of the campaign and beating Huddersfield in the Wembley play-off final.
A large part of that was down to the signing of Surridge; the £2.2million arrival from Stoke scored seven times in 17 league appearances to help his side over the line.
Southampton – Billy Sharp
Sharp is on here for one brief stint at Southampton.
He joined in January 2012 and did little throughout his time at the Saints… apart from when he scored eight goals in their last eight games to send them to the Premier League.
They have not been relegated since, making Sharp’s run of form one of the most important stints in the club’s modern history.
Tottenham – Michael Dawson
Dawson signed for Tottenham for £8million in January 2005 and went on to spend almost a decade at White Hart Lane.
He helped the side win the 2008 League Cup and was a staple of the side as they transitioned from mid-table fodder into genuine contenders for the European places, becoming club captain in 2012.
West Ham – Jesse Lingard
Easy; without Lingard’s performances in the second half of 2020-21, West Ham probably wouldn’t have made it into the Europa League.
His 13-goal contributions in 16 matches were extraordinary and deserve respect. He probably should have made the move permanent, instead of choosing to warm the Old Trafford bench last season.
Wolves – Sylvan Ebanks-Blake
Sylvan Ebanks-Blake joined Wolves in January 2008, who signed him from Plymouth by activating his release clause.
His 25 goals in the Championship in 2008-09 fired Wolves back to the Premier League and makes him worthy of this list.
Whilst he couldn’t replicate his goal-scoring form in the top flight, he still made over 175 appearances for Wolves and was a much-loved figure at the Molineux.