by Tim Simon

It’s been an eventful January transfer window with nearly £130million being spent in the Premier League alone, twice what was spent last January. Here are my top ten transfers that took place:

10. Nacho Monreal – Malaga to Arsenal

Much to Arsenal fans surprise, they swooped for Monreal on deadline day for a fee of £8.3million. An experienced player at both club and international level, he is sure to bolster Arsenal’s options at full back. The acquisition of a left back was vital to Arsenal’s season as they were left with just Andre Santos as their only recognised one after they found out Kieran Gibbs would be out for up to two months. The unfortunate thing is for them is that Monreal will be cup-tied for the Champions League, leaving them with the prospect of seeingSantos play against Bayern Munich in the first knockout round. Either way, it is a good purchase for the club as they push for a top four position in the league.

9. Luciano Becchio – Leeds to Norwich

The signing of Becchio will provide good competition up front to the likes of Grant Holt and Simeon Jackson at Norwich. Acquired for an undisclosed fee plus Steve Morison, Becchio was out of favour at Elland Road and he finally gets his chance in the Premier League after four and a half years in English football. He could be vital to Norwich, who are currently in relegation form. They have been struggling for goals in recent weeks, having gone on a horrendous run in the league and got knocked out of the F.A Cup by non-league Luton. Becchio could well be the man to turn their season around and fire them to safety.

8. Loic Remy – Marseille to QPR

The signing of Remy could be a real coup for the leagues bottom side. He scored on his debut at against West Ham which showed what he can do on the counter attack. He and Adel Taarabt have shown glimpses of what they could do together since Remy joined the club for a club record fee from Marseille in mid-January. When Mark Hughes left Loftus Road, QPR looked dead and buried in terms of Premier League survival but in recent weeks under Harry Redknapp they have looked like a team who have something to fight for. Victories over Fulham and Chelsea and credible draws against Tottenham, West Ham and Manchester City have given them a chance of survival.  Remy’s goals could prove vital in QPR’s race for survival in the coming months.

7. Mathieu Debuchy – Lille to Newcastle

Signed for a bargain of £4million, Debuchy had been on Newcastle’s radar for over a year now. Part of the French connection that Alan Pardew has brought to the club, he could be the coup of the window having been signed for such a bargain price. Debuchy is a former team-mate of Yohan Cabaye at Lille, part of the side that won Ligue 1 in 2010-11 and was France’s right back at Euro 2012. He is a typical modern full back who loves to push on and overlap down the right and could prove to be a brilliant signing.

6. Lewis Holtby – Schalke to Tottenham

Spurs originally agreed to sign Holtby in the summer on a Bosman free transfer but decided to sign him immediately for £1.5million. Since the departure of Rafael van der Vaart, they have lacked a player who can link play between the midfield and strikers. Holtby will fill the gap that van der Vaart left and at such a young age still has time to improve. He is an extremely creative, left footed attacking midfielder and is a bargain at just over a million pounds.

5. Moussa Sissoko – Toulouse to Newcastle

Another part of Newcastle’s new French connection, Sissoko is a box to box midfielder in the mould of Patrick Vieira. Signed for just £1.8million he is another bargain found by Alan Pardew and his scouts in Ligue 1. Having already assisted a goal and looked an extremely talented player on his debut against Aston Villa, Sissoko looks to be a great buy for Newcastle. The signing of Sissoko and the other Frenchmen should be easily enough to keep Newcastle out of a relegation battle.

4. Daniel Sturridge – Chelsea to Liverpool

For the first half of the season, Liverpool looked very one dimensional with no option to bring a striker off the bench and change a game. The signing of Sturridge looks to have changed all that, some of the link up play between him and Luis Suarez has been promising. Having been frozen out at Chelsea, Sturridge looks to have settled quickly at Anfield getting a lot more first team opportunities in the process. We will now see if he can fulfil the talent everyone knows he has  in his favoured striking role.

3. Christopher Samba – Anzhi to QPR

This is probably the biggest risk of the window but it was vital that Harry Redknapp brought in a quality centre back and that is just what Samba is. He showed at Blackburn what a top drawer defender he is and this risk could be one that was worth taking. Not only is Samba a real defender who suits the Premier League down to a tee but he is a danger in the oppositions penalty area too. Redknapp says that he has taken a pay-cut to join the Hoops but the fee of £12.5million, a club record, would be a big risk for most clubs in the league.

2. Wilfried Zaha – Crystal Palace to Manchester United

Zaha does not lack confidence in his ability, having once said that he cannot think of anyone better than him ‘unless it’s Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi.’ The total value of the transfer for the highly rated winger could be up to £15million but it is a long-term investment for Man Utd. Where better for Zaha to be nurtured than Old Trafford, where so many young talents before him have reached their potential. He will be loaned back to Crystal Palace for the remainder of this season but will be back at United next season where he will hope to show why Sir Alex has bought him for such a hefty sum.

1. Demba Ba – Newcastle to Chelsea

Probably the signing of the transfer window has to be Chelsea’s signing of Ba. They were in desperate need of some competition for Fernando Torres, who isn’t in any sort of form and at £7million they were not going to get any better deal than this. Since he joined at the beginning of the window he has shown that he is top class having scored three goals for the club already. It means that Chelsea don’t have to rely on Torres finding his form again now they have such a talented striker to put in their strike force instead.

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