Top Five January Transfer Bargains

Not every transfer in the January sales needs to be an eye-watering figure to make an impact. Here are some absolute bargains.


The January transfer window is the opportunity for football teams to transform their fortunes.

A new signing or two – or three – can invigorate a club and start turning defeats into victories.

Here we take a look at players who made an impact, despite not coming with enormous price tags.

1 – Seamus Coleman (Sligo Rovers to Everton, 2009)

In terms of long-term value, the £60,000 Everton paid Sligo Rovers for Seamus Coleman arguably has to go down as the greatest January transfer-window bargain in history.

Coleman was competing in the League of Ireland, but Willie McStay tipped off Everton manager David Moyes that the Irish youngster had bundles of potential.

Coleman has gone on to make 337 appearances for Everton, as well as earning 67 caps for his country, establishing himself as the Toffees’ captain.

2 – John Stones (Barnsley to Everton, 2013)

Everton could do with a masterstroke in the forthcoming transfer window – they are flirting with relegation – and traditionally the blue half of Liverpool has been astute at unearthing a bargain.

A few years after the recruitment of Coleman, came another relatively unknown defender.

On the last day of the 2013 January window, John Stones left Barnsley for Everton for just £3m.

The stylish centre-half quickly impressed and three years later was sold to Manchester City for £47.5m.

3 – Danny Drinkwater (Manchester United to Leicester, 2012)

He is easy to forget these days, as his career faltered in its latter stages, but Leicester’s incredible 2016 Premier League victory had much to do with Danny Drinkwater, who was signed for peanuts a few years earlier.

Drinkwater could not find a way from the Manchester United youth set-up to the first team, so happily jumped ship to Leicester for an undisclosed fee rumoured to be around the £1m mark.

He became a Foxes legend, eventually joining Chelsea for £35m.

4 – Yakubu (Maccabi Haifa to Portsmouth, 2003)

Harry Redknapp’s Portsmouth were flying going into 2003 – and well stocked for forwards – but the wily old gaffer could not resist when he got wind of a powerful Nigerian scoring goals for fun in Israel.

Yakubu scored a hat-trick for Maccabi Haifa against Olympiakos in the Champions League and Redknapp wanted him on the south coast.

After an initial loan deal, Yakubu scored within four minutes of his debut, then became a prolific goalscorer and club legend after a £4m move.

5 – Emmanuel Adebayor (Monaco to Arsenal, 2006)

Arsene Wenger needed to part with £3m of Arsenal’s money to secure Emmanuel Adebayor, but that turned into remarkable value when the lanky Togolese scored 21 minutes into his Gunners debut and went on to become an icon.

Adebayor made 104 Arsenal appearances and scored 46 goals, then in 2009 he signed for Manchester City in a £25m deal.

A profit of £22m made Adebayor a bargain for Wenger, although Arsenal fans later loathed the forward when he joined Tottenham in 2015.

Steve has been a Racing Post columnist, golf tipster and punter and is one of the most well-known tipsters in the country. Steve’s columns featuring golf betting tips have been must-read material for years.
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