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Winners and losers of the January transfer window

Cameron Smith
Jadon Sancho, Jordan Henderson, 2023/24
© IMAGO

The 2024 January transfer window is over, with the majority of clubs across world football no longer able to make any new signings until the end of the 2023-24 season.

The implications of Financial Fair Play ensured that most teams in Europe were unable to match last year’s spending as Premier League clubs felt this effect more than most.

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In 2023, English top flight clubs spent more than double the rest of Europe’s top five leagues combined, but less than €150 million was spent by Premier League teams in January 2024.

Vitor Roque was the most expensive signing of the window, courtesy of his €40m transfer to Barcelona, while Sacha Boey was second after he joined Bayern Munich for €30m.

Below, FootballTransfers runs through the winners and losers of the 2024 January transfer window.

Winner – Tottenham

Ange Postecoglou has been buoyed by Tottenham's January business
© IMAGO – Ange Postecoglou has been buoyed by Tottenham’s January business

Tottenham Hotspur were the only Premier League club to spend €25m on a new player during the January transfer window as they purchased Romanian defender Radu Dragusin from Genoa.

Given Micky van de Ven’s injury troubles and Christian Romero’s suspension risk, adding a new centre-back was crucial and Daniel Levy completed this deal early in January, beating Bayern Munich in the process.

Timo Werner also joined on loan to bolster a fairly thin attack, while Spurs have also beaten Barcelona to the signing of Swedish wonderkid Lucas Bergvall in a major coup for the club.

They also finally offloaded Hugo Lloris, while Eric Dier and Djed Spence were both sent out on loan. A fantastic January window for Tottenham.

Loser – Agents/Fans

Agents were one of the biggest losers in the January transfer window. The lack of money spent ensured their pockets weren’t lined as usual usual, with clubs across the globe reluctant to spend big mid-season.

Fans can also be considered losers in this regard as the lack of real transfer action was slightly disappointing to see and led to one of the most boring transfer windows in recent memory.

The Kylian Mbappe to Real Madrid saga never really kicked off, Todd Boehly didn’t spend ANY money at Chelsea, while Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United all kept their powder dry too.

Winner – Borussia Dortmund

Borussia Dortmund only conducted three pieces of business during the January window, but they were all impressive.

Firstly, Jadon Sancho re-joined the club on loan from Manchester United and the Englishman already looks like a man reborn in the Bundesliga. He was soon joined by fellow loanee Ian Maatsen, who arrived from Chelsea.

The Dutchman was deemed surplus to requirements by Mauricio Pochettino, but he has enjoyed a great start to life at Dortmund and his style of play perfectly suits the German top flight.

The final piece of business was conducted on 31 January as Giovanni Reyna was loaned out to Nottingham Forest. The USMNT star has barely featured this season and a loan move away was a sensible transfer.

Loser – Saudi Pro League

Last summer saw the Saudi Pro League begin dismantling European football by pinching some of the game’s biggest stars.

However, the project already looks to be failing six months later.

Jordan Henderson has jumped ship and joined Ajax, while Karim Benzema and Roberto Firmino were both linked with departures throughout the entire January window.

Aymeric Laporte has expressed his dissatisfaction in Saudi Arabia, and Ivan Rakitic was the only notable player to join the Saudi Pro League in January. A big summer is needed otherwise the richest league in football could suffer a similar fate to the top flight in China.

Winner – Atletico Madrid

This may seem like a fairly strange shout as Atletico Madrid only made three permanent signings in January, including Arsenal flop Gabriel Paulista (free) and Romanian goalkeeper Horatiu Moldovan (€800k).

However, the other signing is the important one – Arthur Vermeeren.

Diego Simeone’s side picked up the Belgian midfielder for a fee of just €18m, despite the fact his current Estimated Transfer Value (ETV) stands at €38.6m.

Barcelona, Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool were all linked with a move, but Atleti swooped and sealed a deal to sign one of the best midfield talents in world football.

Vermeeren could well become a club legend at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Loser – Hellas Verona

Hellas Verona have been the biggest loser in all of Europe during the January transfer window.

The Serie A side face huge economic problems, leading to owner Maurizio Setti having his shares seized by the Italian financial police.

As a result, Verona have gone on a firesale. They have sold most of their first-team, including star men Cyril Ngonge to Napoli, Isak Hien to Atalanta, Josh Doig to Sassuolo, Filippo Terracciano to Milan, Martin Hongla to Granada and Milan Djuric to Monza.

They’ve also loaned out Davide Faraoni, Koray Gunter, Yayah Kallon and Jayden Braaf.

Relegation seems a certainty for Verona now, but even staying in business is a concern.

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