European Football January Transfer: Ighalo & Moses Hit it Big

The January transfer window ended last night in Europe and as usual, it was a stressful period from beginning to the end for all those involved – players, managers, agents, football associations staff, betting companies and others.

England, Spain, Germany, Italy, France and the Netherlands have 31 January deadlines and all these leagues closed on fever pitch last night. Portuguese clubs can still buy players until February 2.

The Nigerian interest during this transfer window was highlighted by the movement of two of her ‘retired’ internationals, Odion Ighalo and Victor Moses.

Moses, who is still a Chelsea player but has been playing on loan in Turkey for Fenerbahce this season moved last week to Inter Milan on loan to join his former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte. He has even made his debut for Inter in their 2-1 victory over Fiorentina in last Wednesday’s Coppa Italia game.

Ighalo’s loan move was more dramatic and it was a last-gap affair. All the talk on deadline day involved him moving to Tottenham Hotspur a six-month loan deal from Shanghai Shenhua in China.
Odion Jude Ighalo
Later, the news was that Inter Milan had knocked Spurs out of the deal and the Italians who have bought so many players in this window but could not get Olivier Giroud from Chelsea, were now interested in Ighalo. It was then the Nigerian’s call to make the decision and he obviously preferred a move back to the Premier League where he had earlier played for Watford. So he chose to go to Manchester United on loan in the final deadline minutes to cover for their top striker Marcus Rashford who is injured. Even if a loan move, it was a big call for Ighalo and it makes him the first Nigerian in ManU’s first team.
Speculated moves by Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale and other top names in the big leagues did not materialise and there was no last minute big signing to crown the window in those other leagues. Edinson Cavani is also staying put at PSG in Paris.
Gareth Bale
The only other deals involving players from the big clubs on deadline day included the move by former Liverpool man Emre Can from Serie A’s Juventus to Borussia Dortmund of the German Bundesliga on loan.
Former Blackburn and Stoke midfielder Steven Nzonzi joined Rennes of French Ligue 1 on loan from Roma of Italy for the rest of the season. As earlier stated, Olivier Giroud remains with Chelsea despite transfer interest from Tottenham and clubs in Italy but Bruno Fernandes who signed for Manchester United and may debut against Wolves this weekend. ManU agreed the deal worth up to £68m with Sporting Lisbon for midfielder Fernandes.
RB Leipzig of Germany signed Angelino on loan from Manchester City until the end of the season, with an option to buy the full-back for £25m in the summer.
Arsenal also completed the signing of Southampton right-back Cedric Soares on loan until the end of the season.
Sheffield United was probably the busiest of all the premier league teams, having signed five players in the transfer window, including a club record £22m fee for Norwegian midfielder Sander Berge. They also gave a loan deal to Greek international defender Panos Retsos.
Other selected January window deals:
1. Danish Midfielder Christian Eriksen from Tottenham to Inter Milan for £16.9m.
2. Ashley Young from Manchester United to Inter Milan for £1.28m.
3. Former Liverpool and Spain goalkeeper Pepe Reina from AC Milan to Aston Villa on loan.
4. Goalkeeper Asmir Begovic from
Bournemouth to AC Milan on loan.
5. Former Liverpool and Dutch World Cup striker Ryan Babel from Galatasaray to Ajax on loan.
6. Former England captain Wayne Rooney signed for championship side Derby County from DC United of Major League Soccer.
7. Turkish striker Cenk Tosun from Everton to Crystal Palace on loan.
8. Former Leicester man Danny Drinkwater from Chelsea to Aston Villa on loan.
9. Youngster Rhian Brewster from Liverpool to Swansea on loan.
10. Belgian World Cup player Yannick Carrasco from Dalian Yifang to Atletico Madrid on loan.
11. England left back Danny Rose from
Tottenham to Newcastle on loan.
12. Steven Bergwijn from PSV Eindhoven to Tottenham for £27m.
13. Brazilian Pablo Mari from Flamengo to  Arsenal on loan.oan.
14. Tomas Soucek from Slavia Prague to West Ham on loan.
15. Kyle Walker-Peters from Tottenham to Southampton on loan.
16. Giovani Lo Celso from Real Betis to Tottenham for £27.2m.
17. Hatem Ben Arfa moved to Real Valladolid in the Spanish La Liga.
During this transfer window, Manchester United completed the biggest deal in signing Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon for £47m, while Sheffield United brought in Norwegian midfielder Sander Berge from Belgian side Genk for a club record fee of £22m.

Spurs made the loan signing of Real Betis midfielder Giovani lo Celso permanent for a fee of £27.2m and added forward Steven Bergwijn for £27m from PSV Eindhoven, after selling Christian Eriksen to Inter Milan for £16.9m.

Wolves spent a reported £16.9m on Portuguese winger Daniel Podence from Olympiakos and Aston Villa spent £10m on Genk striker Mbwana Samatta, while Real Madrid spent £26m on Flamengo youngster Reinier Jesus and Borussia Dortmund bought Red Bull Salzburg wonderkid Erling Braut Haaland for £17m.

Top EPL teams Liverpool, Manchester City and Chelsea did not bring in a single player. Is that a sign of confidence or the last two have given up on Liverpool winning the league this season? Chelsea fought for and had its transfer ban cut by the court so it was expected to sign players this window, having missed out the last term due to the ban. Added to this is the injury to its top striker Tammy Abraham. But nothing happened.

The winter winter transfer window usually opens on the first day of the New Year and closes at 23:00 GMT on the last day of January. Clubs across Europe, including in England and Scotland, cannot sign players after Friday, 31 January.

The transfer deadline was also yesterday in all of Europe’s major leagues. German Bundesliga clubs had until 17:00 GMT, with Italy’s deadline at 19:00 GMT and France and Spain’s windows closing at 23:00 GMT.

Clubs can sign free agents after the deadline – at any stage of the season – so long as they left their previous club before the transfer deadline.

No loan signings can be made by Premier League clubs after the deadline, except in extreme circumstances – such as when all of a club’s senior goalkeepers are unavailable.

Ogie Eboigbe



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