Transfer window power rankings: The 10 best signings of January

Cameron Smith
Timo Werner, Jadon Sancho, Radu Dragusin
© ProShots

The January transfer window is in full swing, and while many clubs are yet to kick-start their business, there have been numerous high-profile moves.

The first two weeks of the window have passed, meaning teams are running out of time to bring in the necessary signings to help improve their fortunes for the rest of the 2023-24 season.

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However, some clubs have strengthened already and look in good shape ahead of the second-half of this campaign.

Below, FootballTransfers runs through our top 10 transfers of the January window so far, assessing each transfer by the quality of the player, value for money, whether he was needed by the buying club and how likely they are to change that club’s fortunes.

10. Mohamed-Ali Cho – Real Sociedad to Nice (€10m)

When Mohamed-Ali Cho left Angers to join Real Sociedad in 2022, he was seen as one of France’s most promising young centre-forward talents.

Identified as Alexander Isak’s replacement, Cho failed to live up to expectations during his 18 months at La Real. He mustered just seven starts in all competitions in his first season (scoring two goals and providing three assists) and was once again out of favour in the first six months of this campaign.

A €10m move to Nice gives him the opportunity to finally deliver on the excellent promise he showed during his time at Angers. At 19, Cho is still capable of becoming one of Europe’s very best.

9. Timo Werner – RB Leipzig to Tottenham (Loan)

Timo Werner struggled during his two-year stint at Chelsea and there is little reason to suggest his time at Tottenham will go any better given he was a bit-part player at RB Leipzig in the first-half of the 2023-24 season.

— Football Transfers (@Transfersdotcom) January 14, 2024

However, Spurs are notably light in forward areas and adding a player with Werner’s speed is by no means a bad idea.

His end product will need to improve if the German is to be deemed a success in north London, but considering this move is only an initial loan, it’s good business by Ange Postecoglou’s side.

8. Ben Brereton Diaz – Villarreal to Sheffield United (Loan)

Ben Brereton Diaz scored 16 goals in all competitions for Blackburn Rovers last season, but he was unable to replicate that form upon moving to Villarreal in 2023.

The Chile international, 24, failed to score for the Spanish side during the first six months of the current season, so Sheffield United haven’t signed a player full of confidence.

However, he is a proven commodity in England and if Brereton Diaz can rediscover his shooting boots, then the Blades may have a chance of Premier League survival.

7. Donny van de Beek – Man Utd to Eintracht Frankfurt (Loan)

Donny van de Beek hasn’t fully escaped the Manchester United shackles, but he has sealed a six-month loan move to Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt.

Donny van de Beek has left Man Utd on loan
© ProShots – Donny van de Beek has left Man Utd on loan

It’s hard to know what level Van de Beek will be at during the second-half of the campaign due to his complete lack of game time at Old Trafford, but Eintracht will be hoping he can roll back the years to his time at Ajax.

Van de Beek is not a sure-fire hit by any means, but he has the potential to help Eintracht Frankfurt in their bid for European football.

6. Tajon Buchanan – Club Brugge to Inter (€7m)

Tajon Buchanan is a versatile player capable of playing at full-back or as a winger, which means he is perfect for Inter Milan’s 3-5-2 system.

The Canadian, who has four goals in 35 senior caps for his country, scored three goals and provided four assists for Club Brugge during the first-half of the season, mostly playing as a right-back.

As a result, he will provide excellent cover for Denzel Dumfries, who has been linked with an Inter exit over the past year. At just €7m, this could prove to be a bargain transfer.

5. Eljif Elmas – Napoli to RB Leipzig (€24m)

With club legend Emil Forsberg departing for the MLS, RB Leipzig needed a quality replacement and they have signed one in the form of Eljif Elmas.

Eljif Elmas at Napoli
© ProShots – Eljif Elmas at Napoli

The Bundesliga side paid a very respectable transfer fee for the North Macedonian (€24m), given his Estimated Transfer Value (ETV) at the time of the move was €21m, and have added a brilliant player to their ranks.

Elmas is excellent on the ball and arguably deserved more recognition during his time at Napoli. He may not be the most productive attacking midfielder, but Elmas will be an excellent addition for Leipzig.

4. Ian Maatsen – Chelsea to Borussia Dortmund (Loan)

Mauricio Pochettino never really fancied Ian Maatsen, despite the fact he was used fairly heavily in pre-season. The Chelsea manager evidently believed Maatsen wasn’t good enough defensively to play at left-back, and hence used him sporadically in a more advanced role.

However, in the Bundesliga, Maatsen’s attacking quality will be extremely useful at full-back and he will be such a useful asset for Edin Terzic.

The Dutchman was superb on loan at Burnley last season and he will be similarly impressive at Borussia Dortmund.

3. Radu Dragusin – Genoa to Tottenham (€25m)

Radu Dragusin was one of Serie A’s most impressive defenders in the opening few months of the 2023-24 campaign and his form attracted interest from both Tottenham Hotspur and Bayern Munich.

Radu Dragusin has joined Tottenham
© ProShots – Radu Dragusin has joined Tottenham

The former won the race for his signature and he made his debut against Man Utd at Old Trafford.

The Romanian is a vast upgrade on the now-departed Eric Dier and will be an excellent option for Postecoglou alongside first-choice centre-back pairing Micky van de Ven and Christian Romero.

2. Lucas Beraldo – São Paulo to PSG (€20m)

Paris Saint-Germain have spent a lot of money in recent years, but they have somewhat neglected the centre-back position in regards to investment.

However, they have fixed that by signing one of Brazil’s most talented defenders – Lucas Beraldo.

He may not become an immediate starter at the Parc des Princes, but Beraldo is highly-regarded in his homeland and at just 20 years old, could become a fixture at PSG for years to come.

1. Jadon Sancho – Man Utd to Borussia Dortmund (Loan)

Two-and-a-half years after leaving Borussia Dortmund to join Man Utd, Jadon Sancho has returned to the Bundesliga outfit on a six-month loan deal and he marked his second debut with an assist for Marco Reus.

Jadon Sancho sealed a temporary Man Utd departure in January
© ProShots – Jadon Sancho sealed a temporary Man Utd departure in January

His time at Old Trafford was fraught with reports of disciplinary issues and Sancho was frozen out after a public bust-up with Erik ten Hag in September.

If Man Utd Sancho features for the second-half of the season then this move could be disastrous. If Dortmund Sancho turns up then it will be a fantastic transfer.

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