Unlikely spenders lead football's January transfer window

Published 04.02.2020 15:43
Piatek controls the ball during the Bundesliga match against Schalke 04 in Berlin, Jan. 31, 2020. AFP Photo
Piatek controls the ball during the Bundesliga match against Schalke 04 in Berlin, Jan. 31, 2020. (AFP Photo)

A lack of flashy and expensive signings by Europe's larger clubs caused Hertha Berlin and other unlikely teams to emerge as the top spenders of the January transfer window

The January 2020 transfer window did not see any big-money signings in Europe, but German club Hertha Berlin led the pack in terms of overall spending.

Managed by German icon Jurgen Klinsmann, Hertha Berlin spent 78 million euros to acquire four players as they look to avoid relegation from the top-flight Bundesliga.

Polish forward Krzysztof Piatek joined Hertha from the Italian club AC Milan for 27 million euros and became the Berlin club's all-time most expensive transfer.

He will be joined in attack by Brazilian forward Matheus Cunha, who was snatched up from rival RB Leipzig for 15 million euros.

Hertha has also reinforced its midfield by paying 25 million euros to bring over French midfielder Lucas Tousart from Ligue 1 club Olympique Lyon.

Another addition was the 22-year-old Argentinian defensive midfielder Santiago Ascacibar, who was signed from Stuttgart for 11 million euros.

Napoli's spending spree

In Italy, Serie A club Napoli was the largest spender, forking out 65 million euros to bolster a struggling squad that has produced a string of poor results in the first half of the season.

Napoli finished second last year but is currently trailing leader Juventus by at least 20 points.

The management's decision to hire the fiery Gennaro Gattuso to replace veteran manager Carlo Ancelloti has also failed to spark a revival in fortunes.

Gattuso used the January transfer window to bring in 10 new players.

The most prominent among them are Slovakian midfielder Stanislav Lobotka, signed from Spanish club Celta Vigo for 20 million euros, and Italian forward Andrea Petagna who was signed from SPAL for 17 million euros.

Monaco goes for quantity

French top-tier club AS Monaco also gave fans reason for excitement by bringing in 10 new players for a total of 60 million euros.

Cameroonian defensive midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni joined "Les Rouges et Blancs" (The Red and Whites) from Bordeaux for a fee of 18 million euros.

Monaco paid 15 million euros for the transfer of Youssouf Fofana from Ligue 1 rival Strasbourg. Defenders Jean Marcelin and Strahinja Pavlovic and goalkeeper Radoslaw Majecki were the club's other major signings, costing a total of 27 million euros.

Most expensive signings

Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes was the most expensive transfer of the winter period with his move to Manchester United from Sporting Lisbon for 55 million euros.

The Red Devils have big expectations for the 25-year-old attacking midfielder, who scored 63 goals and notched up 52 assists in 137 matches for Sporting Lisbon.

Swedish winger Dejan Kulusevski, 19, was second in terms of a transfer fee as Juventus shelled out 35 million euros for his signature.

However, the teenager who signed from Atalanta has been loaned out to another Serie A rival, Parma, until the end of the 2019-2020 season.

The third-most expensive transfer of January was Brazilian midfielder Reinier after Spanish giant Real Madrid paid 30 million euros to bring him over from Flamengo.

Top transfers

The departure of Christian Eriksen from Tottenham made headlines this transfer window.

The 27-year-old Danish midfielder was linked with several major European clubs as his contract with Tottenham was ending this summer.

He chose not to sign a new deal with Spurs to start a new chapter in his career in a different country. Eriksen moved to Serie A title contender, Inter Milan, in January and signed a contract that would keep him in Italy until 2024.

Another closely followed move this winter was Norwegian wonderkid Erling Haaland's transfer to Germany's Borussia Dortmund from RB Salzburg.

The 19-year-old forward's impressive form – 28 goals in 22 matches for the Austrian side – had drawn the attention of top European clubs. Haaland hit the ground running at Dortmund and has already scored seven goals in three matches with Dortmund.

A big-name move in this window was Swedish veteran forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who returned to AC Milan from the U.S. Los Angeles Galaxy.

The prolific striker has signed a six-month deal with an option for another season with the Italian side that he previously represented from 2010 until 2012.

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