The best, worst and surprisingly successful January transfers featuring Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Virgil van Dijk

Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcot, Daniel Sturridge, Virgil van Dijk and Patrice Evra were among the players on the move in January (Picture: Getty; PA)It’s been nearly two months since the close of the January transfer window and with the cheques having cleared we can assess which moves really warranted all the hype.

It was arguably the most exciting mid-season window ever, with huge stars switching between some of the biggest clubs and vast sums of money changing hands.

But which new arrivals have had fans out of their seats and which have had them pulling their hair out?

Biggest flop – Alexis Sanchez

Alexis Sanchez couldn’t stop Manchester United being dumped out of the Champions League by Sevilla (Getty)Alexis Sanchez’s move to Manchester United was the biggest deal of the lot, with the Chilean dramatically snubbing Manchester City in favour of Old Trafford (and the £350,000-a-week that came with it). The Red Devils revelled in his capture with the release of a cringey video to make the announcement, but things haven’t gone so well since.

In 10 appearances he’s scored just one goal and has looked well short of the levels he once showed at Arsenal. His arrival has also caused Jose Mourinho a selection dilemma in attack, with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial pushed to the margins. Paul Pogba’s bad season has also deteriorated since January, with some pointing to Sanchez’s role in the team.

And now it’s even being reported that Sanchez is cutting an isolated figure and is eating alone in the Manchester United canteen. Is the former Arsenal man the new Angel Di Maria?

The perfect fit – Virgil van Dijk

Virgil van Dijk’s arrival was announced before the window even opened (Getty)For what felt like years Liverpool were persistently told ‘buy a top quality defender and you could be genuine contenders’. In January they finally heeded that advice with the £75m signing of Virgil van Dijk and the upturn in defensive displays from Jurgen Klopp’s side has been dramatic.

They’ve kept clean sheets in half the 10 games the Dutchman has played and some are beginning to believe Liverpool could be Man City’s biggest title challengers next season.

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Inevitably disappointing – Ross Barkley

Ross Barkley upon his arrival at Chelsea (Getty)Chelsea’s signing of Ross Barkley always felt more likely to fall into the category of a Scott Parker or Steve Sidwell arrival than the next Frank Lampard. And so far there’s been little evidence to the contrary.

Following his switch from Everton he’s made just three appearances and has since suffered a recurrence of the hamstring injury that scuppered a move last summer. His one showing in the Premier League was the 3-0 home defeat to Bournemouth.

Surprising success – Theo Walcott

Theo Walcott has been Everton’s best player since his arrival (Getty)There was so much focus on a certain Alexis Sanchez and the possibility of some big-name arrivals at Arsenal that the departure of Theo Walcott went relatively unnoticed. But he’s arguably been the most successful transfer of the January window. In his eight appearances for Everton he’s scored twice, created another two and overall been the Toffees’ standout player.

Potential life saver – Kenedy

Kenedy celebrates one of his two goals against Southampton (Getty)In Newcastle’s final match before the international break young Chelsea loanee Kenedy scored a brace in a 3-0 win over relegation rivals Southampton. A couple more performances like that will be enough to save the Magpies from the drop.

Depressingly predictable – Daniel Sturridge

Sturridge moved to West Brom on loan (Getty)Switching to West Brom on loan looked the perfect move for Daniel Sturridge. Away from Liverpool he would get the regular football he needed and with the motivation of a place in the England World Cup squad there would be no stopping him.

But just three games into his loan spell at the Hawthorns the inevitable injury happened and, without a goal to his name, he hasn’t played since.

Smart buy – Alex Pritchard

Alex Pritchard celebrates (Getty)Huddersfield looked to be on an inevitable slide back to the Championship with the club suffering five straight Premier League defeats in January. But since then, they’ve picked up seven points from 15 and moved away from the relegation zone.

The busy displays of Alex Pritchard in midfield, signed for around £12million from Norwich, have been key to that. The former Tottenham academy product has weighed in with a goal and an assist and could just keep David Wagner’s team up.

Least missed – Philippe Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho switched to Barcelona (Getty)Philippe Coutinho’s move to Barcelona saw him become the second most expensive player in history. But rather than feeling the void of one of the world’s best players having just left, Liverpool have thrived in his absence with the club third in the Premier League and through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

Still to convince – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has three in six (Reuters)The most expensive arrival in the Premier League during the January window has bagged three goals in six appearances for Arsenal which is a healthy return. But having essentially ousted Alexandre Lacazette from the side and been unable to play in the Europa League (the only competition that actually matters to Arsenal) it’s too early to say if he was worth the £56m Arsenal paid.

Unhappy return – Patrice Evra

Patrice Evra in action for West Ham (Getty)Patrice Evra is something of a Premier League legend having won a shedload of titles with Manchester United. So when it was announced he was returning to England in the colours of West Ham it was widely welcomed. But since the veteran’s free transfer, he’s played twice and been on the wrong end of two 4-1 scorelines. Meanwhile West Ham fans have suffered a total meltdown and recently came close to a full-on riot at the London Stadium (although to be fair to Evra, that wasn’t really his fault).

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The one that got away – Michy Batshuayi

Michy Batshuayi celebrates one of his eight goals for Borussia Dortmund (Getty)During the January window Chelsea manager Antonio Conte wanted a striker who could provide competition for Alvaro Morata and bang in a few crucial goals. So in came Olivier Giroud from Arsenal who’s managed to score one goal in eight appearances. At the same time Michy Batshuayi went out on loan to Borussia Dortmund where the Belgian has since scored eight goals for his new club. It’s impossible not to conclude that somewhere Chelsea made a mistake.

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Daniel Sturridge trolled by fans after coming off injured THREE minutes into Chelsea game

Sturridge has an infamous record of being persistently injured (Picture: Getty)Daniel Sturridge hobbled off injured yet again just three minutes after kick-off in West Brom‘s Premier League match against Chelsea on Monday night.

Sturridge, who joined the Baggies on loan from Liverpool in January, looked to have pulled his hamstring as he headed straight down the tunnel.

He was replaced by Jay Rodriguez, who had a glorious chance to put the Baggies ahead just after coming on. However, he couldn’t make the most of Victor Moses’ poor backpass and sent his shot miles wide.

But despite his miss, fans watching the game preferred to discuss Sturridge’s early exit, with Newcastle supporters particularly vocal,  claiming their failure to sign the striker themselves in January was a ‘lucky escape’.

Does anyone feel sorry for Sturridge anymore? I don’t.
— Hersini (@HersiniJunior) February 12, 2018

Sturridge seems a boss lad but his body is made of cheese
— Euphoric Mess (@EuphoricMess) February 12, 2018

Lol Daniel Sturridge injured……… some things never change, no matter who the team. 😂
— J Ellacott (@jon_ellacott) February 12, 2018

Sturridge gone off injured, in other news water is wet
— Robert Tyrrell (@SquizzBFC) February 12, 2018

Daniel Sturridge…. what a joke!
That’s another 6 weeks sat on his arse earning a bastard fortune then
— Thomas Liversage (@TomLiversage) February 12, 2018

A shame for Daniel Sturridge, injured before Alan Pardew got the chance to try him out at left back.
— Jonny Sharples (@JonnyGabriel) February 12, 2018

Dodged a bullet with Sturridge glad he went to West Brom injured again by the looks of it 😂 #NUFC
— Rhys Jordan Tullin (@RhysTullin) February 12, 2018

However, there was the odd fan who had sympathy for him…

You’d have to feel sorry for Daniel sturridge a good player struck down by injuries couldn’t be good for him mentally ! As a football fan it’s not nice to see ☹️
— Jason Harkin (@JasonHarkin) February 12, 2018

Don’t think it’s necessary for any banter on Sturridge. And regarding his wages, he didn’t chose to have a career like that.
Feel sorry for him. Was a shrewd scorer when he was fit.
— Ranajit Gopinath (@RanajitG) February 12, 2018

The striker is known for suffering repeat injuries in the past, having not played more than 30 games for Liverpool in a single season since their 2013-14 campaign.

West Brom’s next game is against Huddersfield in the Premier League on February 24.

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Daniel Sturridge explains Newcastle snub as details of loan deal to West Brom emerge

Daniel Sturridge has joined West Brom on loan until the end of the season (Getty)Daniel Sturridge has said his decision to snub Newcastle was because West Brom were the ‘right fit’.

The Liverpool striker has moved to the Hawthorns on a loan deal until the end of the season.

It was thought he was going to join Newcastle, with the England international even speaking with manager Rafael Benitez.

But instead the Birmingham-born player opted for a move to the Baggies.

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‘I just felt this was the right fit for me. I’ve got friends here I’ve played with before, the manager spoke very well and there’s the challenge with the team and the style of play,’ said the 28-year-old.

Details of the loan move have emerged, with West Brom understood to be paying all of Sturridge’s £120,000-a-week wages.

They also agreed to pay Liverpool a £2million loan fee, according to the Daily Mail.

Daniel Sturridge has struggled for game time this season, with just five Premier League starts (Getty)

Sturridge’s season so far…

Premier League starts: 5

Substitute appearances: 4

Goals: 2

Assists: 1

Champions League starts: 0

Substitute appearances: 5

Goals: 1

Assists: 2

More: Liverpool FC

West Brom manager Alan Pardew couldn’t hide his delight with the deal, which came just 48 hours after his side beat Liverpool at Anfield in the FA Cup.

‘This is a big coup for us,’ he said. ‘I hope our fans can understand that we are fighting to stay in the Premier League, not just on the pitch but in the market place.

‘I speak for my staff and my players and say thank you to Daniel for agreeing to assist us in league and Cup. He has fantastic talent and will strengthen our ambitions on both fronts.’

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Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge close to joining Newcastle United on loan

Daniel Sturridge is on the verge of joining Newcastle United. (Getty Images)Daniel Sturridge is close to joining Newcastle United on loan from Liverpool, according to reports.

The 28-year-old has barely featured under Jurgen Klopp this season and has started only five games in the Premier League so far.

Liverpool are open to allowing Sturridge to leave, although the striker is keen to remain in England.

Sturridge has attracted interest from Inter and Sevilla, but The Times report that Newcastle are closing in on a deal.

Sturridge has started only five Premier League games this season. (Getty Images)The report claims that Rafa Benitez’s side will pay a £1.5 million loan fee to Liverpool and will also cover the striker’s £120,000-a-week salary.

West Ham and West Brom have also expressed an interest in signing Sturridge but Newcastle are hopeful they can secure a deal after missing out on Nicolai Jorgensen.

Newcastle submitted two offers for the Denmark international but Feyenoord are refusing to lower their £20m asking price.

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Feyenoord striker Nicolai Jorgensen is also on Newcastle’s radar. (Getty Images)Sturridge has asked to leave Liverpool after falling down the pecking order at Anfield and was left out of the squad for the 3-2 defeat to West Brom in the FA Cup fourth round on Saturday.

Newcastle, meanwhile, currently sit 15th in the Premier League and just a point above the relegation places.

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Liverpool consider lodging £15million bid for Salomon Rondon

Salomon Rondon is in the final 18 months of his deal (Picture: Getty)Liverpool are considering making a transfer move for West Brom striker Salomon Rondon, reports say.

The Reds will have to replace Daniel Sturridge this month if the Englishman manages to secure a loan move.

Sturridge is desperate for more game time after spending much of Jurgen Klopp‘s tenure as manager on the bench.

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Klopp prefers Roberto Firmino to Sturridge and the 28-year-old is now behind Dominic Solanke in the striking pecking order.

Liverpool are preparing for Sturridge’s exit in January and the Sun claim Rondon is a target.

The Reds will have to battle their Merseyside rival Everton for Rondon’s signature and a £15million offer could tempt the Baggies into a sale.

Rondon has scored three times this season (Picture: Getty)

Liverpool 2017/18 Fixtures

West Brom (H) – Sat Jan 27Huddersfield (A) – Tues Jan 30Tottenham (H) – Sun Feb 4Southampton (A) – Sun Feb 11Porto (A) – Wed Feb 14 (Champions League)West Ham (H) – Sat Feb 24Newcastle United (H) – Sat March 3Porto (H) – Tues March 6Manchester United (A) – Sat March 10Watford (H) – Sat March 17Crystal Palace (A) – Sat March 31

Liverpool have failed in the past to get the best out of target men (Picture: Getty)Rondon has 18 months left on his current contract, but is thought to be happy in the Midlands and is not angling for a transfer.

Liverpool have a dismal recent record with powerful, towering strikers and Reds fans may be alarmed to hear Rondon being linked with Anfield.

At 6’2”, Rondon uses his strength against opponents and a target man for West Brom, much like Christian Benteke and Andy Carroll.

(Picture: Getty)Benteke and Carroll were both booted from Liverpool despite big money moves, because the strikers did not fit the Reds’ style of playing.

Liverpool have plenty of funds in the transfer kitty after banking £140m from the sale of Philippe Coutinho.

Before that deal, the Reds forked out £75m on Virgil van Dijk and supporters are hopeful the spending will continue.

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Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge agrees Inter Milan move

The striker has given his approval to a move to Italy, with Roma also keen (Picture: Getty)Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is closing in on a move to Italy in the January transfer window after agreeing to join Inter Milan, according to reports.

The injury-prone forward has not made a Premier League appearance since the end of November and only has three goals in all competitions this season, but remains eager for first-team action in a World Cup year.

And he is prepared to move to Italy to get it, with Gianluca Di Marzio reporting that Sturridge has agreed to join Inter.

Sturridge has had a number of hamstring issues this season (Picture: Getty)The only remaining stumbling block is whether the Italian side bring Sturridge in on loan or seek a permanent deal, with Liverpool asking for a fee somewhere between £17.5m and £26m.

Inter also have a few reservations about Sturridge’s injury history, though are conscious that they will need to move quickly to wrap up a deal.

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The Nerazzurri are not the only Italian club interested in Sturridge, with Roma putting him top of their wish list to replace Edin Dzeko should the Bosnian move to Chelsea.

Sturridge has fallen down the pecking order at Liverpool during Jurgen Klopp’s tenure in charge of the club, with even summer arrival Dominic Solanke now ahead of him.

Sturridge netted his two league goals this season against Arsenal and Huddersfield (Picture: Getty)The 28-year-old has been sidelined through injury since the start of December, and has played just 514 minutes of football this season.

Sturridge was prolific in the 2013-14 Premier League campaign alongside then strike partner Luis Suarez, scoring 21 goals, though he has not hit double figures in any season since then and only scored three league goals last year.

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Liverpool fans praying new Emre Can contract accidentally revealed by team-mates

Emre Can seems set to leave Liverpool (Picture: Getty)Liverpool fans are convinced Daniel Sturridge and Alberto Moreno have revealed Emre Can has signed a new deal.

The midfielder was expected to leave in the summer once his contract expires and reports in Italy claim Can had already agreed to join Juventus.

Can is an integral part of Liverpool’s side and put in a superb performance on Sunday as the Reds beat Manchester City at Anfield.

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The 4-3 victory ended City’s unbeaten streak as Jurgen Klopp’s side became the first team in the Premier League to beat Pep Guardiola’s players this season.

Can impressed in midfield and a post from Dejan Lovren has sparked hopes the German has performed a contract U-turn.

Lovren shared a snap of him, Georginio Wijnaldum and Can in the Liverpool dressing room after the City win.

Emre Can was brilliant against Manchester City (Picture: Getty)

Three line-ups that can help Liverpool cope with the loss of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona

Philippe Coutinho is on his way out of Liverpool (Picture: Getty Credit – Dean Noroozi/Metro.co.uk)Barcelona look set to make Philippe Coutinho’s dreams come true this January, it’s just too bad for Liverpool fans their hearts must break in the process.

Coutinho is on the verge of finally sealing his move to Camp Nou and whether it be in the next month or in the summer, the Reds must prepare for life without their dynamic playmaker.

The Brazilian is the heartbeat of the fabled ‘fab four’ which also includes Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.

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For Liverpool, it is an all too familiar scenario. They have lost their most influential players before but have always managed to replace them. Don’t forget, it was Coutinho was stepped into Luis Suarez’s shoes when he was seduced by Barcelona in 2014.

So, how could the Reds line-up without Coutinho? Jurgen Klopp will surely already have a side in mind and there are plenty of options available for the Reds.

Lallana or Oxlade-Chamberlain take on Coutinho’s role

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana (Picture: Getty)With the departure of Coutinho, a midfield spot opens up and if the former Inter man leaves in January, Klopp needs to fill it immediately.

Adam Lallana, a proven talisman, could possess the boots to fill the hole, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is also a viable option.

Lallana is keen to put the last six months behind him after an injury-ravaged spell on the sidelines, while Oxlade-Chamberlain is desperate to continue growing at Anfield.

The former Arsenal star craves a midfield spot and with recent performances suggesting he is improving under Klopp, the German may be tempted to hand him a chance to replace Coutinho.

Lallana would be far the more reliable option, however, after an excellent season last year and has all the energy and inventiveness of Coutinho.

The question is would either of the pair be able to dictate the play from further back as Coutinho has done, or are they better served playing further forward, operating in between the lines?

It remains to be seen who Klopp favours between Emre Can, who himself could be heading for the Anfield exit door in the summer, Georginio Wijnaldum and Jordan Henderson. Either way, Klopp has the option to play with both Lallana and Oxlade-Chamberlain in the team or with a more defensive core.

Liverpool could line-up with both Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana in midfield if Jurgen Klopp opts to select just one designated defensive midfielder (Picture: Metro)

If Jurgen Klopp opts for extra security, particularly away from home, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lallana are likely to compete for a single place (Picture: Metro)Like for like and swap in Naby Keita

Naby Keita will be a Liverpool next summer (Picture: Getty)Naby Keita will not rock up at Anfield until next summer, but many Liverpool fans will be crossing their fingers the midfielder will make them forget all about the little magician.

Keita has played everywhere from right winger to defensive midfield for RB Leipzig, but is most at home in the centre of the park, Coutinho’s stomping ground.

It could be just a like for like swap for Liverpool with Keita slipping into the No.8 role Coutinho has flourished in this season.

Should Keita step up and perform from the off at Liverpool, fans will soon forget about another painful Barcelona poaching.

The inclusion of Keita would also allow for either Oxlade-Chamberlain or Lallana to slot in further up the field, while Liverpool are also in the running for Thomas Lemar who could boost their attacking options still further.

Naby Keita looks a perfect fit for the No.8 role Coutinho has largely filled this season (Picture: Metro)More: Liverpool FC

Southampton eye move for Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge with Virgil van Dijk windfall

Daniel Sturridge is not a regular started for Liverpool (Getty)Southampton are weighing up a move for Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge during the January transfer window, according to reports.

Such a deal would be an intriguing one with Saints only in a position to consider such an option because Liverpool agreed to pay them £75million for centre-back Virgil van Dijk.

The deal for the Dutch defender was announced yesterday and will go through on 1 January.

Southampton are understood to be keen to quickly reinvest the money with a striker among their priorities.

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Virgil van Dijk with a Liverpool shirt (Picture: instagram)The Telegraph report that Sturridge is an option, with a loan deal being eyed, possibly turning into a permanent switch.

Sturridge could be open to the move with the striker in need of minutes with the World Cup taking place at the end of the season. His opportunities at Liverpool have been limited by recent fitness problems, but also the competition for places provided by Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah.

Arsenal player Theo Walcott (Getty)

Luke Shaw (Getty)The report adds that Southampton are also interested in Theo Walcott and Luke Shaw, two other players who are struggling to get into their respective sides this season.

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A move for Fulham full-back Ryan Sessegnon is also being considered.

Southampton are desperate for improvements with fears growing the club could be pulled into a relegation scrap. They are currently two points above the relegation zone.

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Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge open to move abroad in search of regular game time

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge in training (Getty)Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is so desperate for game time he is open to a move abroad in January.

The striker has struggled to get into Jurgen Klopp’s starting XI this season, with just five Premier League starts so far this term.

Klopp prefers Roberto Firmino in the central striker role and has even been turning to youngster Dominic Solanke instead of Sturridge in recent weeks.

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp does not seem convinced by Sturridge (Getty)It’s led to a belief that the former Chelsea and Man City player could leave Anfield when the transfer window opens in January, with reports he could go abroad.

The Daily Mail suggest the England international is open to playing outside of England if it means regular game time.

Spanish sides Real Betis and Valencia have been linked with the 28-year-old.

Sturridge has scored two Premier League goals this season (Getty)More: Liverpool FC

Sturridge is aware that his hopes of being picked by England for the World Cup this summer will be severely hampered if he’s spending more time on the bench than the pitch.

The Daily Mail report that Liverpool would want a considerable fee for Sturridge, although Betis and Valencia would prefer a loan deal.

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