A look at some of the top talents acquired during the winter transfer window.

By 90Min
December 25, 2017

The winter transfer window is a challenging time for clubs, with the pressure intensified during only a short space of time and often a lack of good deals waiting to be had.

But sometimes top players are on the move and, whether it be for short-term or long-term impact, bringing them in can make all the difference to a club's fortunes.

Here's a look at 10 of the best players bought in the winter window...


Ivan Rakitic - Sevilla (2011)

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Now an integral part of the Barcelona midfield and a La Liga and Champions League winner, Ivan Rakitic was bought by former club Sevilla for a bargain price of just €2.5m in January 2011.

After starting out at Basel in Switzerland, the country of his birth, the Croatian international had established himself as a rising star at Schalke and subsequently hit the ground running upon moving to Spain, later winning the Europa League in 2013/14 and prompting Barça to sign him.


Nemanja Matic - Chelsea (2014)

Chelsea both sold and bought defensive midfield shield Nemanja Matic in a January transfer window, originally letting the Serbian go in 2011 as part of the deal that took David Luiz to Stamford Bridge from Benfica.

Chelsea re-signed Matic for around £21m in January 2014 and he was a crucial part of the team that won the Premier League the following season in 2014/15, and then again in 2016/17.


Sebastian Giovinco - Toronto FC (2015)

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Arguably the best player ever to grace Major League Soccer, Toronto FC pulled off a coup when they agreed a deal with Juventus to sign Italy international Sebastian Giovinco in January 2015.

Rather than being an ageing star, the electric winger was at a peak age of 28 when he arrived in North America and led the league in both goals and assists in his debut season. A previously underachieving Toronto have reached the MLS playoffs every year he's been there.


Gonzalo Higuain - Real Madrid (2007)

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Real Madrid picked up a teenage Gonzalo Higuain for around €12.5m, with the striker arriving from River Plate in his native Argentina in January 2007.

Understandably, he took a little while to get going, scoring just 11 times in his first 18 months in Madrid, but proceeded to score 24 and 29 in all competitions in the two seasons that followed. By the time he left in 2013, Higuain had scored over 120 goals for Real in six-and-a-half years.


David Beckham - Paris Saint-Germain (2013)

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After his exit from LA Galaxy at the end of the 2012 MLS season, David Beckham was able to sign for Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent in January 2013 and offered the French giants a short-term boost in the final stretch as they fought for a first Ligue 1 title in 19 years.

Beckham played 10 times in the league as PSG laid their hands on the trophy, 14 times overall, and even donated all his wages to a local children's charity the entire time he was in Paris.


Philippe Coutinho - Liverpool (2013)

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Liverpool bought Philippe Coutinho for just £8.5m from Inter Milan in January 2013 and could have sold him for up to £138m had they been willing to negotiate with Barcelona in summer.

Deemed surplus to requirement at the San Siro, the Brazilian magician has been a revelation at Anfield, scoring incredible goals and making the rest of the team tick. He is also now the Premier League's all-time leading scorer from Brazil.


Patrice Evra - Manchester United (2006)

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A Champions League finalist with Monaco in 2004, Patrice Evra was infamously substituted at half-time on his Manchester United debut after joining the club in January 2006 for just £5.5m.

Fortunately for Evra, it was just a short-term blip and he had established himself as the best left-back in the Premier League by the end of the next season when he was named in the PFA Team of the Year. He eventually left United in 2014 after 10 major trophies and nearly 400 games.


Nemanja Vidic - Manchester United (2006)

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Serbian centre-back Nemanja Vidic joined Manchester United at the same time as Evra, costing just £7m from Russian club Spartak Moscow. Like Evra, he too was named in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year at the end of his first full season.

10 major trophies came Vidic's way over the years, while in 2011 he was named United's only second ever non-British or Irish club captain, following Old Trafford legend Eric Cantona.


Marcelo - Real Madrid (2007)

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Marcelo is currently in his 11th full season at Real Madrid after originally signing for the club from Fluminense in January 2007, rivalling fellow countryman and esteemed predecessor Roberto Carlos for Bernabeu legendary status in the left-back position.

Still only 18 years old at the time of his arrival after a whirlwind and rather sudden transfer, Marcelo took six months to settle and was playing regularly by 2007/08. He has since become the best left-back in the world and has won four La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues.


Luis Suarez - Liverpool (2011)

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Liverpool's transfer business in the 2011 winter window is infamously remembered for the club record capture of £35m flop Andy Carroll. But the Reds also landed a certain Luis Suarez from Ajax for a shade under £23m a few hours earlier that same day.

Despite several controversies, Suarez remains one of the very best foreign imports to have graced the Premier League and came agonisingly close to firing Liverpool to the title in 2013/14 after scoring 31 goals in only 33 appearances.

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