11 transfers that prove you CAN get value in January
1. Christophe Dugarry to Birmingham, loan (2003)
“I’m happy with everything I have seen here. I spoke with Robert Pires, Patrick Vieira, Laurent Blanc and Fabien Barthez and they told me to sign as quickly as possible,” Dugarry said shortly after jotting on the dotted line from Bordeaux in January 2003.
Birmingham manager Steve Bruce labelled the initial loan signing as the biggest in the club’s history – and it paid off, too. The Frenchman scored five goals in 16 games as the Blues pulled away from the drop zone. The 1998 World Cup winner later joined on a permanent basis but scored only one more goal for Birmingham before hanging up his boots in 2005.
2. Mikel Arteta to Everton, loan (2005)
Many loan additions are intended as temporary stop-gaps to alleviate an injury crisis or boost a squad low on confidence, but Arteta’s move to Everton from Real Sociedad in January 2005 always felt like one made with the long-term in mind.
The Spanish schemer, who instantly became integral as the Toffees finished in the top four, put pen to paper on a five-year contract at Goodison Park in the summer; he was then named Player of the Year in his first full campaign at the club, and was generally excellent right up until his departure for Arsenal in 2011.