Top Five - January transfer coups
The 2010 January transfer window may well go down as one of the quietest on record with the free transfers of OAPs Patrick Vieira and Sol Campbell among the only major stories thus far. Whether the golden oldies can still cut it at the top level remains to be seen, but the following five players have certainly made an impression since their arrival. Football.co.uk's Gareth Burton recites his top January signings.
5. Jimmy Bullard - Peterborough United to Wigan Athletic, 2003 (£275,000)
Jimmy Bullard was a relatively unknown figure when he arrived at Wigan from Peterborough for the insignificant fee of £275,000, but he has since taken the world of football by storm. In his first full season at the JJB he inspired them to promotion to the Premier League and has since enjoyed successful spells at both Fulham and Hull, but Bullard isn't just renowned for his majestic performances on the field. He has emerged as one of football's good guys and has provided fans with moments of genuine comedy gold. A legend in his own right.
4. Brede Hangeland - FC Copenhagen to Fulham, 2008 (£2.5 million)
When Roy Hodgson snapped up the Norwegian defender in January 2008 few Fulham fans could have predicted the impact he would have at the club. Not only has Hangeland contributed heavily to Fulham's recent overachievements, but he has also emerged as one of the best central defenders in the Premier League and was even rumoured to be interesting the likes of Arsenal in the summer. A real snip at £2.5 million.
3. Ashley Young - Watford to Aston Villa, 2007 (£9.65 million)
Martin O'Neill certainly raised a few eyebrows when he signed Ashley Young from Watford for what appeared a relatively extravagant fee, but the English winger has since more than justified his price tag. A string of impressive performances have not only propelled Aston Villa into genuine top-four contenders in recent seasons, but also forced Young into the England reckoning. His excellent performances were recognised last season when he was named PFA Young Player of the Year.
2. Andrei Arshavin - Zenit St Petersburg to Arsenal, 2009 (£15 million)
Andrei Arshavin's long and drawn out transfer to Arsenal was finally completed in 2009 when Arsene Wenger parted with a club record fee of £15million. The Russian proved an instant hit with fans and has lit up the Premier League with a series of glistening displays. He has also shown an admirable versatility and has this year operated as a lone striker, as well as in a wide position. The highlight of his Arsenal career thus far though has to be the four goals he scored against Liverpool at Anfield.
1. Nemanja Vidic - Spartak Moscow to Manchester United, 2006 (£7 million)
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson once more utilised his prestigious scouting network when he snapped up Nemanja Vidic in January 2006. The Serbian defender moved to Old Trafford from Spartak Moscow and quickly settled into life in the Premier League. Not only is he an aggressive and tough-tackling defender, but Vidic also provides a significant goal threat and is a formidable force from set-pieces. His consistent performances have been paramount to United's recent successes and have in turn seen him rise to prominence as one of the best defenders in the world.
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