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Mudryk, Gakpo and more – Premier League January transfer window XI

The January transfer window is always exciting. It’s the last chance for clubs to get new recruits in before the close of the season.

This time around, it was even more hectic than before. Chelsea took their spending for the season to over €600 million, Nottingham Forest signed their 29th player of the campaign, and relegation battlers Everton strengthened their chances of survival by…selling their top scorer and bringing in no one.

It should be interesting to see how these players get on at their new clubs. Here is our Premier League January transfer window XI.

GK – Keylor Navas (Nottingham Forest) – It says a lot about the money in the Premier League that a goalkeeper with Keylor Navas’ pedigree is moving to the side in 13th place. Nonetheless, it is an exciting signing for them.

Navas is one of the most decorated goalkeepers in the modern game, having once been first choice for Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain. The Costa Rican boasts three league titles, three Champions Leagues, and three domestic trophies, as well as 110 international caps.

RB – Pedro Porro (Tottenham Hotspur) – Finding a replacement for Kyle Walker has proven to be a tough task for Tottenham Hotspur. Serge Aurier, Matt Doherty, Emerson Royal and Djed Spence have tried and failed, while Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker-Peters were allowed to leave.

Now, it’s the turn of Pedro Porro. Spurs spent all month negotiating a deal with Sporting CP for the Spain international, eventually agreeing a €45m fee. Time to see if he was worth the fuss.

CB – Benoit Badiashile (Chelsea) – The first (but certainly not the last) Chelsea man to appear in this team is Benoit Badiashile. He was one of the Blues’ earliest signings of the window, arriving on January 5 from Monaco.

And the Frenchman has already made a bright start to life at Stamford Bridge. He played the full 90 in their fixtures against Crystal Palace and Liverpool, keeping clean sheets in both.

CB – Illia Zabarnyi (Bournemouth) – As things stand, Bournemouth are in the relegation zone. This is largely down to a shaky backline, having conceded a league-high 42 goals in 20 games.

To rectify this, Ukrainian centre-back Illia Zabarnyi has been signed from Dinamo Kyiv. The 20-year-old has Champions League experience and started all five games for Ukraine at the 2020 European Championships.

LB – Alex Moreno (Aston Villa) – Alex Moreno was initially brought to Aston Villa to be back-up to Lucas Digne. However, an injury to the Frenchman brought his debut forward.

In his two appearances, Moreno has contributed to two victories. He played 80 minutes in the home win against Leeds United and kept a clean sheet against Southampton.

CM – Jorginho (Arsenal) – Arsenal are pushing for their first Premier League title since 2004. While their starting line-up has been strong all year, their depth is somewhat lacking. In January, the Gunners have sought to improve their second-choice options, signing Leandro Trossard, Jakub Kiwior and Jorginho.

The latter is the most interesting of the three. He is undoubtedly a capable player, but question marks remain over whether he suits Mikel Arteta’s high-intensity style. Nonetheless, he offers another option in central midfield.

CM – Marcel Sabitzer (Manchester United) – Manchester United weren’t intent on bringing in another central midfielder for most of January. However, an injury to Christian Eriksen in their FA Cup clash with Reading left the Red Devils needing another body.

In came Marcel Sabitzer, arriving on loan from Bayern Munich. The Austrian is technically good, creative, and offers a goal threat.

CM – Enzo Fernandez (Chelsea) – And here we are. The most expensive footballer in the history of British football. Enzo Fernandez arrived at Stamford Bridge on deadline day for an estimated €120m – just seven months after signing for Benfica for less than ten percent of that price.

The midfielder gained a place on everyone’s wish list after a brilliant World Cup campaign in Qatar. He featured in all seven of Argentina’s games, earning the Young Player of the Tournament award.

RW – Mykhailo Mudryk (Chelsea) – One of the most sought-after youngsters in Europe, Mykhailo Mudryk signed for Chelsea after a bidding war with Arsenal.

He made his Blues debut last weekend and wasted little time making an impact. In a rather dull draw against Liverpool, Mudryk came off the bench and looked to be a real threat.

ST – Georginio Rutter (Leeds United) – Chelsea weren’t the only club to break their transfer record last month. Leeds United picked up Dutch youngster Georginio Rutter from Hoffenheim in a deal worth up to €40m.

In 57 Bundesliga appearances, the 20-year-old scored 11 goals and assisted a further four. He made his Leeds debut in the FA Cup, helping his side defeat Accrington Stanley 3-1.

LW – Cody Gakpo (Liverpool) – Cody Gakpo spent a large part of the season closely linked to Manchester United. This was until Liverpool came out of nowhere and quickly wrapped up a deal for the forward.

The Dutchman is yet to show his best stuff at Anfield, but he gave us a glimpse at the World Cup. He scored three times at the tournament, a tally beaten by only four players.

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