Catenaccio Conquered has compiled a complete list of the top ten most influential European January transfers of 2013. We’ve decided to go with ‘most influential,’ because discussing the ‘biggest,’ transfers seems vague, and ordinary, and unoriginal.
The criteria for the players in the top ten is based largely on how they will help and influence their new teams first and foremost, over the next five months. Secondly, further into the future, and beyond the summer, and in a minor sense, the price tag. In other words, how much of a bargain the transfer will prove to be. Whether their influence helps their team to avoid relegation, secure a Champions league spot, or win their respective title is irrelevant.
Beckham? Ba? Balotelli? Find out for yourself. Enjoy, and prepare to be surprised, impressed, dumbfounded, and captivated by our opinions.
10. Loic Remy (Marseille to QPR)
Harry Redknapp made his ambition in the transfer window no secret after he stated that the QPR players he inherited from Mark Hughes were incredibly overpaid. One of his more high profile signings was Frenchman Loic Remy from Marseille, who for eight million pounds, was neither overpriced, nor an incredible steal.
While Samba may seem like the more logical of Redknapp’s signings to break into our top ten, QPR have had an awful time scoring goals this season, and that’s the reason that Remy makes it in. Rangers have a better defensive record than Wigan, Villa, Reading, Southhampton, Newcastle, Fulham and Norwich – all teams above them in the table – however they have scored only eighteen goals; five fewer than Aston Villa’s twenty three, who lie nineteenth in that category.
Take QPR’s recent 0-0 draw with Norwich as an example. They didn’t concede, but failed to create many genuine chances. Sure Adel Taraabt missed a penalty, but that’s further proof of their struggle to find the netting. It was a game that Remy missed through injury. When he’s back fit, QPR will need him to score goals if they are to have any chance of survival come May.
9. Giuseppe Rossi (Villarreal to Fiorentina)
When Villarreal were relegated at the end of the 2011-12 season, there was a general consensus that Giuseppe Rossi would be out the door right away. Instead, he lingered for a few months, before making a ten million euro move to Fiorentina.
The American-born Italian is capable of playing essentially anywhere in an attacking capacity. His ability to play as an attacking midfielder, or as a striker give Fiorentina options. A team on the brink of regaining a Champions league spot after three mediocre, mid table finishes in Serie A will be glad to have the services of the Italian national player.
At the moment, Rossi is still out with a knee injury. His anticipated return however, isn’t meant to take much longer. His addition to Fiorentina should create a potent mix alongside Stefan Jovetic, and the already aged Luca Toni. If he regains the form he was in prior to the injury, he could propel Fiorentina towards becoming a genuine threat in Italy, and Europe once again.
8. Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea to Liverpool)
There was a feeling when he left that Sturridge was never really given a proper chance at Chelsea. He was brilliant at times while on loan at Fulham, but he usually struggled to find that same form while wearing blue and when not being given the unspoken title of the main man in the team.
His move to Liverpool came as little surprise, as Rodgers had tried to sign him in the previous window after lending Andy Carroll’s services to West Ham. So far he has impressed at Liverpool, most recently in their 2-2 draw with Arsenal. He seems effective both as a starter, and coming off the bench and he’s begun to develop a partnership with Luis Suarez that could represent a nightmare for any defense in England.
It’s unreasonable to expect Sturridge to drag Liverpool back into a position where they are challenging for a Champions league spot on his own, but we can expect his contributions to be substantial. Liverpool are indeed closing in on Arsenal and those other clubs challenging for a top four finish.
7. Moussa Sissoko (Toulouse to Newcastle United)
One of the many new additions to Pardew’s ever-expanding French army, Sissoko has taken no time to impress. Likened to Patrick Vieira and Mahamad Diarra, he is an all round, box to box midfielder. He recently scored two in the win against Chelsea on a day that was meant to be Demba Ba’s.
His signing from Toulouse was largely for the purpose of replacing Cheik Tiote, who is off at the African Cup of Nations. Tiote was an important cog in Newcastle’s fine league form last year, but this year, he’s failed to recapture that same form.
“The Cheik of last year would have been a massive miss. But this year he’s struggled a bit.” – Alan Pardew
With that in mind, Sissoko looks so far to be a fine replacement for the out of form Tiote. Since his arrival, Newcastle have jumped from eighteenth to fifteenth in the table. He’s also capable of playing higher up the field – an attribute that may allow Pardew to combine Cabaye, Tiote and Sissoko in the same team.
6. Lucas Moura (Sao Paulo to PSG)
The Brazilian youngster’s anticipated arrival from Sao Paulo has not dissapointed. PSG bought Lucas for thirty five million pounds in the summer and agreed to bring him to France in January.
Lucas has already made four appearances for the Parisian outfit, and he has impressed more and more with each one. With PSG seemingly facing off against Lyon for the title, Lucas could be the spark that the team needs to kickstart Pastore, Lavezzi, Menez, and the rest into their best form. He has shown that he possesses tremendous skill as well as superb vision and a high work-rate With Valencia in the waiting, Ancelotti will know that Lucas Moura could provide that little bit of magic that may be needed. PSG will be happy he has finally arrived.