The Best, And Worst, January Transfers Of All Time
The January transfer window has finally closed and with it goes the stress, joy and down-right aggravation that every football fan feels throughout the mid-winter window. This time around we had the mighty Payet fall out of favour with West Ham fans as he boarded his private jet back to Marseille, Oscar disappeared into the abyss that is the Chinese Super League and controversial midfielder Joey Barton got a move back to Burnley and the Premier League. That got us thinking, if we were to put a couple of five-aside teams together that represent the best & worst - who'd be playing?
The Best Five
Luis Suarez - The controversial hitman is undeniably one of the Premier League's greatest strikers of recent times. Scoring 69 goals in just over 100 games, the Uruguayan had his fair share of issues having been banned for biting and racial abuse in his short time at the club. Trouble aside, he's phenomenal and has become an integral part of Barcelona's M-S-N strike force.
Javier Mascherano - An undisputed battle-ready player. The Argentine joined Liverpool from West Ham in 2007 and in three years established himself alongside Xabi Alonso and Steven Gerrard as a frightful midfield set-up. Making just shy of 100 appearances for the club, he's been sorely missed since joining Barcelona where he's gone on to win four La Liga titles and two Champions League medals.
Patrice Evra - The marauding left back joined Manchester United in 2006 and went on to make over 200 appearances for the Red Devils. Aside from winning five Premier League titles, the Frenchman went on to win three League Cups and a Champions League before leaving for Juventus in July 2014.
Nemanja Vidic - Another Manchester United man. Joined the side alongside Evra in 2006, the big centre half played was a decorated hero by the time he left for Inter Milan and it really came as no surprise that the United defence fell apart once he left. It's no wonder there were rumours of a return not too long ago.
Ashley Young - This one probably comes as the biggest surprise to most. Ashley Young signed for Aston Villa in January 2007 and went on to drag his team out of the dirt on a number of occasions with 30 goals in 150 appearances - not a bad return for a winger back then.
The Worst Five
Fernando Torres - Quite simply deserves his recognition as a flop. After his scintillating form at Liverpool, Chelsea got their £50million-man in January of 2011. His time at the London club was sub-standard and he only managed to net 20 goals in over 100 appearances. Although he did bag that last-gasp goal in the Champions League to send Chelsea into the final.
Andy Carroll - Andy Carroll was without doubt a waste of £35million for Liverpool, regardless of if they were struggling for a Torres replacement. Making 44 appearances for the Red's, he scored 6 goals, and any hopes of him developing into a world-class striker in the same vein as Zlatan were put to bed. A move to West Ham and a serious lack of international appearances followed.
Chris Samba - After a fantastic spell at Blackburn Rovers and a somewhat turbulent time in Russia, Chris Samba took a massive pay-cut to help Premier League strugglers QPR avoid relegation. Manager Harry Redknapp declared that Samba was exactly what they needed: a monster. What followed was a calamitous display against Fulham, a series of apologetic tweets and a falling out with many supporters. Six months later QPR were back in the Championship, Samba & his massive wages went back to Russia.
Juan Cuardado - This was one of those occasions where it just didn't work out, although the honest assessment says that he was out of his depth. The Colombian joined Chelsea in 2015 and then-manager Jose Mourinho insisted that his time would come and that fans shouldn't worry if he wasn't up to scratch yet - blaming the Italian League. A handful of lack-lustre appearances followed and he eventually got shipped off to Juventus on a three-year loan deal.
Gilberto - Gilberto signed for Spurs in 2008 from Hertha BSC and became the first Brazilian first-team player that had represented the club. After a period of injury, he made his debut for the club against PSV; before being hooked at half-time after an almighty mistake led to the only goal of the game. He was replaced by Jamie O'Hara and that was about that for his Tottenham career.