The January transfer window is upon us, and with it comes the opportunity for clubs around the world to splash out on the best players. With that in mind, here are the ten most expensive January deadline-day transfers in football history:
1. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Dortmund to Arsenal, £56.4m)
Arsenal signed Aubameyang for £56.4m in January 2018, before scoring 92 goals in 163 appearances for the Gunners and winning an FA Cup. The 33-year-old now plays for London rivals Chelsea who are struggling under Graham Potter, boasting slim football odds today of just 9/2 to secure a top-four finish in 2022-23.
2. Fernando Torres (Liverpool to Chelsea, £51.8m)
Torres made the trip south to Chelsea in January 2011 for a then-record fee of £51.8m. Torres recorded 45 goals in 172 matches in West London, winning a Champions League, a Europa league and an FA Cup. This preceded spells at Milan and boyhood club Atletico Madrid before retiring in August 2019.
5. Fernando Torres is the only player ever to score in seven different competitions in a season at Chelsea. 🧮 pic.twitter.com/K36CBZeexu
— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 23, 2022
3. Andy Carroll (Newcastle to Liverpool, £36.3m)
Despite now playing in the Championship with Reading, Carroll was once on Liverpool’s books. The 33-year-old moved to Anfield from Newcastle for £36.3m at the same time Torres signed for Chelsea. He left in August 2012 having won a League Cup and with 11 goals in 58 matches to his name.
4. Willian Borges (Shakhtar Donetsk to Anzhi, £31m)
Before gracing the Premier League, Willian played for Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk. They sold him to Russian side Anzhi for £31m in January 2013, who themselves were trying to take over world football. The dream soon collapsed, though, with Willian joining Chelsea just half a year later.
2012: Anzhi Makhachkala splurge €67.90m on player transfers in one summer, adding Willian, Lacina Traoré and Lassana Diarra after signing Samuel Eto’o a year prior.
2022: Anzhi Makhachkala cease to exist after failing to receive a license for the Russian third tier. pic.twitter.com/4JQ0bPdxtj
— Breaking The Lines (@BTLvid) June 4, 2022
5. Andre Schurrle (Chelsea to Wolfsburg, £28.3m)
Chelsea acquired Schurrle at the same time as Willian, before being shipped off to Wolfbsurg for £28.3m just a year and a half later. The German won a Premier League and League Cup double with the Blues, before spells in Germany, Russia, and England, with his eventual retirement coming in July 2020.
6. Juan Cuadrado (Fiorentina to Chelsea, £27.5m)
Cuadrado signed for Chelsea from Fiorentina in January 2015 for a fee of £27.5m, but only made 15 appearances for the club. He spent much of his time on loan to Juventus and has been there on a permanent deal since 2017, boasting five Scudettos and four Coppa Italias to his name.
7. Lucas Moura (PSG to Tottenham, £25.1m)
Tottenham secured the services of Moura from PSG back in January 2018 for £25.1m. The Brazilian helped take his side to the 2018-19 Champions League final after a memorable hat-trick in the semis against Ajax.
8. Luis Suarez (Ajax to Liverpool, £23.5m)
Liverpool landed Suarez from Ajax on the same day they parted ways with Torres. The Uruguayan rose to legendary status at the club, scoring 82 goals in 133 Reds appearances, before joining Barcelona in 2014. The 35-year-old recently signed a deal with Brazilian side Gremio.
9. David Luiz (Benfica to Chelsea, £22.1m)
Luiz actually signed for Chelsea twice, the first of which came from Benfica for a fee of £22.1m back in January 2011. Across his two stints with the Blues, Luiz made 248 appearances and won a Champions League, Premier League and two FA Cups.
10. Giannelli Imbula (Porto to Stoke, £21.5m)
Imbula signed for Stoke City from Porto in January 2016 but only made 28 appearances for the first team, scoring two goals. This was followed by spells in France, Spain, Italy, Russia and most recently Portugal, with the 30-year-old currently a free agent.
Buying at the last minute can result in clubs paying an exorbitant sum to the selling club in question. With football becoming an increasingly lucrative business, it remains to be seen who splashes out on the deadline day of January 2023.