The January transfer window regularly offers European clubs the opportunity to bolster their squads for the gruelling second half of the campaign. Some desperate clubs see the window to try to save their season with panic buys, while some hope to push their title aspirations with astute signings.
With Enzo Fernandez joining Chelsea in a British club-record £106m deal on deadline day, Cody Gakpo snubbing Manchester United to join Liverpool and Daley Blind moving to Bayern Munich on a free transfer from Ajax, some huge deals were done in the winter transfer window.
That said, here are the top 5 transfers that happened across Europe last month.
Nobody apart from Ligue 1 followers and World Soccer enthusiasts knew about Azzedine Ounahi before the 2022 World Cup, but the central midfielder became one of the breakout stars of the competition during Morocco's historic run to the last four.
After his World Cup exploits, many clubs across Europe came calling for his signature but Marseille won the race and signed him from Angers for around £7 million. And Ounahi has hit the ground running at his new club Marseille, coming off the bench and scoring a brilliant goal on his debut in the 2-0 win over Nantes in a Ligue 1 fixture.
Manuel Neuer's leg injury following a bizarre skiing accident came as a big blow for Bayern Munich, and as manager Julian Nagelsmann had the error-prone Sven Ulreich to deputise in the German international's absence, the reigning Bundesliga champions acted quickly to bring in an emergency replacement.
As a contingency plan, Bayern Munich signed Yann Sommer from Borussia Monchengladbach in an €8 million deal, with up to €1.5m in add-ons. Sommer, 34, has plenty of experience at the highest level having made 272 Bundesliga appearances for Gladbach and represented Switzerland in the 2020 Euro and 2022 World Cup.
Until Neuer fully recovers from the leg break and returns to the squad, Sommer is a reliable goalkeeper to start regularly for Nagelsmann's Bayern.
Memphis Depay left Barcelona to join Atletico Madrid in the January transfer window in a deal worth €3 million plus €1 million in add-ons. He had fallen out of favour under Xavi Hernandez at Barcelona and decided to team up with Diego Simeone's side, with Atletico Madrid signing him as a replacement for Joao Felix, who joined Chelsea on loan.
Memphis will likely prove useful in Atletico's hunt for a top-four spot. The Netherlands international's versatility should see him get plenty of minutes under Simeone and offer a goal threat—whether it's from the start or off the bench. And he made a telling impact off the bench on Sunday, scoring his first goal and the winner for Atletico in the 89th minute in the 1-0 win over Celta Vigo.
Marseille snatched Vitinha from the noses of Southampton and Brighton, opting to give more than the €30million in his buyout clause at Braga.
Vitinha has been one of Braga's brightest young talents in the last two seasons. His 13 goals and five assists for the Portuguese outfit this campaign prompted Marseille to fork millions for his signature, and if the striker goes on to fulfil his big potential, the deal would represent a shrewd acquisition.
Joao Cancelo was considered as one of the best full-backs in the world not very while ago. But his form fell off the cliff at Manchester City after the World Cup, as he failed to nail down a regular role in the starting XI.
The Portugal international ultimately fell out with Pep Guardiola at City, which led to him joining Bayern Munich on loan for the rest of the season with an option to buy. Indeed, Cancelo's move to Bayern came out of the blues for absolutely everybody. The full-back has enjoyed a positive start to life in Germany, bagging an assist in his opening two league games.