Manchester United landed Nigerian striker Odion Igalo just before the January transfer window slammed shut on Friday. Juventus loaned veteran midfielder Emre Can to Borussia Dortmund, while West Ham beat the clock to ink Hull City striker Jarrod Bowen.
Not for the first time, though, the biggest deals on Deadline Day were the ones that didn’t happen.
Gareth Bale didn’t leave Real Madrid and make a triumphant return to Tottenham Hotspur to help push Jose Mourinho’s team up the standings and toward Champions League qualification.
Olivier Giroud, Chelsea’s little-used World Cup-winning striker, didn’t escape his purgatory at Stamford Bridge, potentially jeopardizing the 33-year-old’s place in the French squad for this summer’s European Championship.
Edinson Cavani stayed at Paris Saint-Germain, and American defender Antonee Robinson remained with second-tier English side Wigan after a dream move to seven-time European champ AC Milan, which both clubs and the player had agreed to, collapsed because of bureaucratic red tape.
Still, it’s not like Dortmund and the Red Devils, who acquired the 30-year-old Ighalo from Chinese outfit Shanghai Greenland Shenhua for an as-yet undisclosed fee, were the only teams to get a deal across the line before time ran out. In fact, the move for Igalo wasn’t the only one United completed on Friday.
Hours earlier, the club lured young goalkeeper prospect Nathan Bishop from lower division Southend. Those moves come on the heels of Wednesday’s pre-deadline coup: the arrival of $90 million midfielder Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon.
Other notable Deadline Day deals
Arsenal made its first signing under new manager Mikel Arteta, who brought in 28-year-old Portuguese right back Cedric Soares from Southampton.
Chelsea may have opted to hold on to Giroud with starting striker Tammy Abraham out injured, but the Blues did send England U-20 national teamer Tariq Lamptey to fellow Premier League side Brighton.
Manchester City sent surplus left back Angelino on loan to German Bundesliga leader RB Leipzig.
Wolverhampton Wanderers inked promising 17-year-old defender Luke Matheson from Rochdale for $1.3 million then immediately loaned him back to the third-tier club.
Sheffield United, one of the stories of the season in the Prem, bolstered its attack with the addition of Dutch forward Richairo Zivkovic, 23, on loan from Changchun Yatai, while MLS expansion team Inter Miami acquired Scottish winger Lewis Morgan from Glasgow giants Celtic.
Other notable January transfers
Now that the clock has expired, let’s take stock of the month. The biggest names went early, with 19-year-old Norwegian striker Erling Haaland picking Dortmund over Man United. Smart choice: Haaland scored five goals in his first two Bundesliga appearances, both of them off the bench.
Tottenham had an active January in spite of not getting Bale. Mourinho, in his first chance to improve Spurs’ fortunes since taking over from Mauricio Pochettino in November, recruited winger Steven Bergwijn from PSV Eindhoven and made the loan of playmaker Giovani Lo Celso permanent, each for $35 million. He also got Gedson Fernandes on loan from Benfica, while jettisoning Danny Rose (on loan to Newcastle) and Christian Eriksen (to Inter Milan for $22.5 million).
Zlatan Ibrahimovic re-joined AC Milan after two seasons with the LA Galaxy. He wasn’t the only legend to leave the U.S. and return to Europe this month; former D.C. United headliner Wayne Rooney made his debut as a player/coach for Derby County after an agreement was reached last summer.
And the Galaxy replaced Ibrahimovic with Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, Mexico’s all-time top scorer who had most recently been with La Liga side Sevilla.
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