Five of Most Surprising January Transfers Ever
The January transfer market has brought with it, some of the Premier League’s greatest ever exports.
The likes of Nemanja Vidic, Luis Suarez, Branislav Ivanovic are examples of some of the very best January signings in Premier League history – players who either went on to win titles or individual honours.
There have also been a few domestic switches, including the Gary Cahill (Bolton to Chelsea), Javier Mascherano (West Ham to Liverpool) and Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea to Liverpool) who also went on to play a big part for their clubs.
However, some January switches have been more surprising than others – and some due to the unexpected transfer fees.
Here are five of the most surprising transfers in Premier League history:
Fernando Torres (Liverpool to Chelsea, £50M, 2011)
At the time, Liverpool’s Fernando Torres became English football’s most expensive signing ever when he joined Premier League rivals Chelsea for £50M in 2011.
The mid-season transfer market isn’t usually one for high profile market movers, so the signing of the Spaniard was certainly one of the most surprising.
Torres’ first season at Stamford Bridge was unfulfilling to say the least, scoring once in 18 appearances for the club.
Torres most prolific season for Chelsea came in their Champions League winning campaign, where he scored a goal every three games.
He also scored the crucial goal at the Nou Camp in their tight Champions League semi-final second leg against Barcelona to send Chelsea en route to their very first Champions League trophy.
Torres left the club permanently in January 2015, having scored 20 goals in 110 games.
Football betting odds suggest that Torres could be on the move this January after falling down the pecking order at his boyhood club, Atletico Madrid.
Andy Carroll (Newcastle to Liverpool, £35M, 2011)
The move of Torres to Chelsea put the wheels in motion for another surprise transfer.
Newcastle’s Andy Carroll was chosen as the man to replace the prolific Spaniard at Anfield, with his
£35M transfer fee raising plenty of eyebrows.
Carroll took Torres’ number nine shirt, but was unable to replicate his predecessor’s form on Merseyside.
After numerous injury spells, the Geordie forward left Liverpool on loan in 2012, scoring just six goals in 44 appearances for the club. His move to the Hammers was made permanent the following summer.
Online bookmakers believe he could be heading to Chelsea this January as a back-up to the club’s record signing, Alvaro Morata.
Steven Caulker (QPR to Liverpool, Loan, 2016)
After Steven Caulker had a deeply unfulfilling loan spell in the first half of the 2015/16 with Southampton, it caused major shockwaves when his parent club QPR decided to loan him out for the second half of the season to Liverpool.
A defender by trade, in the three appearances he played for the club, he appeared as a makeshift striker against Arsenal, Manchester United and Norwich City.
Caulker returned to QPR after his loan spell, where issues with depression and alcohol abuse led to the Hoops releasing him in December 2017.
Still only 26 years old, the former England international is reportedly on trial with West Ham United in the hope of resurrecting his career. He is also linked with Scottish champions, Celtic.
Alexandre Pato (Corinthians to Chelsea, Loan, 2016)
Once dubbed the golden boy of Brazil. Alexandre Pato did suffer more than his fair share of injuries and poor form.
But after returning to Brazilian football with Corinthians and Sao Paulo, Pato began to show glimpses of his undoubted talent which saw him move to AC Milan for €24M.
In 2016, Chelsea decided to take a risk on the player, securing his services on a loan deal.
Sadly, for the Brazilian, he was unable to make his move a permanent one after he only made two appearances for the club, scoring one goal.
Juan Mata (Chelsea to Man Utd, £37M, 2014)
Another high-profile inclusion in our selection of surprising January transfers is that of former Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata who moved to Manchester United back in 2014.
In 2011/12, the Spanish playmaker won Chelsea’s player of the year and is still a well-respected figure at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea’s appointment of Jose Mourinho in 2013 was the beginning of the end for Mata, as the Portuguese boss deemed him unsuited to his system.
Despite the disappointment from Chelsea fans regarding the sale, Mourinho’s side went on to the win the title the following season.
Now Mourinho and Mata are working together at Old Trafford, where the Spaniard is recapturing his best form and is proving a vital figure in a United side who are currently second in the Premier League.
With free bets being offered across many UK bookmakers, there is still time for another surprising signing in this January window. Check some of the UK’s best online bookmakers to find the best odds on the latest movements in the market.